Friday, November 6, 2009

I made pizza with spinach from the garden.

It's true! I made whole wheat thin crust pizza with tomatoes, basil and spinach.
After i rolled out the dough, I spread a thin layer of basil. Last week when I made this sans spinach, I put the basil on top of the tomatoes and the basil got quite crunchy and wasn't terribly flavorful. So I put basil on bottom this time.
Next I layer washed trimmed spinach leaves, then a can of drained tomatoes. Fresh slices would be better, but this is good too.
Then shredded low fat mozzarella cheese and parmesan.

Then I baked it at 425 for around 10 minutes, untill the crust looked done and the cheese was melted and just golden brown.

Avery was so excited when I pulled it out of the oven, he waved to it, and brought Pop over to look at it.

Avery ate his pizza with great gusto.

Sun flowers

ones in pots.



Sunday, November 1, 2009

eating local

Have you ever had veggies right out of the garden? No long trip in a truck, no refrigeration, no sitting in a grocery store, no languishing in the veggie crisper, no being overcooked. Just a quick rinse and then crunch.
Picking my veggies is so rewarding. It reminds me of my grandfather who had an amazing garden on his ranch in the Texas hill country. He had rows of pole beans that towered over my eight year old head. When it was time, we'd go down to the garden pick tomatoes, beans, okra, inspect the pecan trees, feed the cows. He had a ranch hand, but he still liked to do these chores himself. He was like that.
The smell of tomatoe vines, bean leaves makes me eight again, marveling at the plants Granddaddy had grown, taking three steps to match his long stride.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

In season

Today for lunch I made butternut squash soup using half a squash left over from my Dinner for Henry Pizza. I modified this  healthy recipie, adding milk at the end to add some bulk and thicken it up a little bit- though if you wanted to stay vegan, you certainly could.
After finally figuring out what is what in the garden, I harvested a decent amount of collard greens. I wanted to keep this lunch as healthy as possible and also wanted Mom to eat it (she despises collards with bacon fat) and didn't want to go to the store. So, in big pot, I combined the greens, some prepared salsa, garlic, some onion, about 1 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for a while. Next time, I'll add less vinegar. Once the green were limp and tender, I spread some soft herbed cheese on whole wheat toast points and topped with a spoonful of the greens. OMG! so good! The cheese was a good counterpoint to the greens. And the soup balanced the whole thing out.
Norm ate the whole meal! Mom liked the greens, and so did Dad, a born and bred Southerner.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


One of the things I love the most about learning how to garden is all the surprises along the way. I've found that often it's the means as well as the end that is meant to be enjoyed. Sometimes these surprises are frustrating- Why did my peas that did so well last spring totally fail to thrive this fall? What the hell is going on with my sweet potatoes? Do I have some sort of potoato whale hybrid that needs two years to gestate? But often the surprises are plesant. Volunteer tomatoes! A canteloupe plant from the compost! Oh boy!
I'm finding that even (especially?) when I do my best to tame and culitvate her, Mother Earth always finds ways to keep me on my toes.
P.S. green beans for dinner on thursday!!! Can't wait!

baby melon.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


When I was in high school, my email address contained the word heliotrope, along with an inordinate amount of x's. I thought it was clever; somehow brainy and mysterious but also religous at the same time. A conversation starter-- any plant who follows the sun (or Son). My friend Paul Higgins once riduciled me. He used words like assanine and ridiculous, and more that ten years later, I agree with him. Funny, Paul was an atheist at the time, and if I had to guess which one of my friends would later attend a relgious university and structure our life around the church calendar, Paul would have been last on list. I would have been wrong. Paul is now one of the most faithful people I know, where as I am currently....unaffilated. Ten years is a long time.
All that aside, plants really do follow the sun and my sun flowers have curved stems from trying to stay close to the light.

For your viewing pleasure, pictures of my sunflowers.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

In Between

This morning while Avery was out on a walk with my parents and then later napping, I did some gardeny type chores--weeding, compost turning, trimming the greens for my lunch later in the day. I gave every body a late morning drink before the heat of the day sets in-- It may be fall elsewhere but down here in the Land of Eternal Summer the heat index still occasionally hits 100.
Everything is growing so well! The beans and peas have the very beginnings of blossoms; the cabbage typ plants-- collards, broccoli, actual cabbage-- have nice green leaves. The sunflowers have nice strong stems and track the sun through the sky. The ones in the ground are doing better than the ones in the pots, so now I know that. The sweet potatoes, though,  are still an enigma. They've been in the ground for months and keep putting out a vine with healthy leaves, but the actual potatoes aren't anywhere to be found. Next summer, it's a sweet potato tower for sure.
Everything seems to be in between times. Not seedlings, nor fruit producing. Soon, though.