WHEN WE ARE PUSHING HARD to get the garden “open” for spring, my trusty helper and I come up with incentives—usually in the form of food. “Treats,” we call them, or “employee benefits”—whatever it takes to get to the finish line despite the to-do list that’s far too long for too-few hands. “Let’s make the Reubens tomorrow,” Susan said, after a relentless day of chores last Thursday, and last Friday we did. Vegetarian Reuben sandwiches, specifically; hold the corned beef. [read more…]
recipes & cooking
"Margaret lets the garden tell her what to eat," a food-blogger friend said recently, and that is true, since I grow edibles to eat fresh in season and also can, freeze and store for offseason use. From heirloom baked beans to refrigerator pickles and peach clafoutis, some of my favorites--along with preserving and storage tips--can be found here.
I DON’T THINK I HAVE EVER planted a theme garden—you know, a Children’s Garden, for instance, or White Garden or Shakespeare Garden, the kinds of demonstration plots you might see at a botanical institution. But the joy of a winterlong supply of homemade vegetable soup from my 2012 harvest has perhaps changed that. I suppose am at least informally growing a Soup Garden this year—all but one or two ingredients are sown, with thought of soup-making in mind. [read more…]
WE WERE SCHEDULED to be gardening, but even my trusty helper Susan and I were not in the mood, thanks to 30’s and sleet. Let’s cook while we wait, we said—but what do I have to work with? Friday’s pantry lunch: crispy polenta cakes that incorporated on-hand onions, carrots, garlic and bleu cheese. Delicious, easy, yet special enough for company (not just two chilled gardeners happily avoiding their chores). [read more…]
I CRAVE A SALAD—but one with something more substantial, not just greens. I’d also love an escape (too many garden chores screaming for attention—get me out of here!), but then I remember: I hate to travel. Thankfully, I have found comforting solutions on both scores in a book I bought last fall, “Jerusalem: A Cookbook” by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamini, an intimate journey through a cultural fusion of traditions and tastes. I’m making fattoush for lunch–the recipe is on the jump–and offering you two “tickets” to “Jerusalem,” too, in the latest cookbook giveaway. [read more…]