Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bounty From The Garden

It is a little strange to consume the lovingly brought up green beauties but it is harvest time in the lan household. No, the beans and corn are not ready yet. Neither are the tomatoes, chili etc (I wish!) But the lettuce leaves are. I wouldn't have realized that they ready, had it not been for visiting HAunt asking what we are waiting for! So took a basket, collected leaves from the mixed variety and made a salad with a quick dressing recipe poached from PW's website. Here is the know-how:

In The Mix

Veggie patch in your backyard : 1
Basket to hoard the green goodies : 1
Green lettuce leaves ready for plucking - as many as you want
cherry tomatoes - a handful cut in two
herbs  - a sprig or two ( i used cilantro and spearmint ehem.. from my garden)

For the Dressing
( With slight changes from PW)
olive oil     - 2tbsp
lemon juice - from half a lemon
garlic - 1 clove
salt - 1/4 tsp
pepper - as much as you want
sugar - 1/4 tsp
paprika - a pinch
parmesan - didn't use this as i didn't have some at hand.

How To Do
Place all ingredients for the dressing in a jar. Shake well. Store in fridge for 24 hours and it is ready. I used a glass and covered it up with plastic wrap. Peel the garlic before adding but no need to crush or slice. Didn't have enough time to let sit the first time but still tasted pretty good. Sitting for a while obviously infuses more flavors and next time I might add the cheese to see how it differs.

Cut the aforementioned salad green as small or as big as you want. Throw in a sprig or two of the herbs of your choice torn to desired size. Add halved tomatoes and dressing and toss well in a bowl before serving. Good for the body, good for the mind:-)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Oh Glorious Spring!

The smoothie in the glass if you can see it is with water melon, banana and milk, generally following this recipe. Yes spring is here in all its beauty!

I am beginning to enjoy the changing seasons here. Spring, of course is the best as it heralds the end of winter and fun time outside the house. This year is special because we finally decided to start that vegetable patch. Yes, you heard it right. V-e-g-e-t-a-b-l-e patch! My family will be so overwhelmed by this turn of events. The I-don't-want-to-get-my-hands-dirty girl is doing what? My oldest brother however is quite the green thumb and was probably happy to see this picture of our humble patch that I texted him.

For all humility our intentions for the patch are quite lofty. The following members are thriving in it so far: beans, corn, lettuce, chili, okra, onion aaaaand tomatoes. Our carrots however were not happy to be transplanted and some of them are giving up despite tender and constant care. Good that at least a few are planning to stay. The kids were out in full force helping till the soil, adding plant mix, food, digging holes and what not. The best loved activity is of course watering! It is pleasant and very relaxing to be in the presence of these growing things. Leaves moving gently in the wind always do something to me and I can watch this activity for all eternity. So I love watching the little beauties braving the hot sun and living it up with the backyard wind! Now I get my Mom's fascination with growing things although I had always appreciated that in her. I surprised myself by this sudden passion to grow things! I certainly hope at least a few of them will bear fruit so the passion will live on. My husband had always loved working with roses and other flowering plants but had put things off for a while. Now that I am in the melee he is having fun too. He is seriously trying to grow a muscat grape vine and I hope it will thrive. Grapes are not easy but he is confident. My Mom had brought up this grape vine in our garden in India by her constant vigilance and I still remember the few white grape clusters that grew on it and the joy! My oldest brother had brought the seeds for her. He texted me this picture of his rose garden.

There is not a veggie or fruit tree that he has not grown successfully in their ample backyard. My sister-in-law often talks happily of their yearly harvest which is always so plentiful. They are visiting us along with my Hfamily for my girl's first communion and I hope these little guys will be thriving by then. The weather is so weird this year! Just last week we had a day of hot hot sun, two days of rain and a few regular days! I hope we are not over watering them which happened the one time I tried this before. This time we are faithfully following the garden store lady's advice to the letter. I even tried to draw a picture! I know, I know. It was a passing fancy and I won't repeat it.  But this beautiful flower in our garden begged to be drawn and here it is:

Yes, it was on the back of a picture bingo game paper and you can see some of it showing up. What is great is that I got a precious award from my girl for the picture. Proudly I bring it to you my fellow Moms:

Wait till she grows up and sees it for all its shortcomings. Untill then allow me to bask in it....