A Walk through the Garden

Yesterday I saw this meme in my Facebook feed, and it seemed like a perfect theme for the day: 

Have you ever thought about 
how much of life is just a series of obstacles 
keeping you from sewing?  

My point exactly. Frankly, I can't even remember what I did yesterday, which makes me mad. How can I complain if I can't remember what I did? It's a good thing I keep my camera with me at all times, documenting life as I go. Sometimes I use it during the day to review...just in case, I've forgotten what I was doing right in the middle of doing it. And if you're like me, that probably happens fairly frequently. So anyway...

I tried this recipe for Pink Pickled Turnips. Pretty, huh?

So here's the thing: We get turnips in our CSA shares, and I've got nothing against turnips. Nevertheless, they seem like a winter vegetable to me, so I don't know what to do with them in the summer. Enter the internet, which is always providing me with way more recipes than I'll ever have time to try even if I live three consecutive lifetimes. This one has just a few ingredients, including one small beet. And I have a couple of beets rolling around in my vegetable crisper, so thank you very much.

This recipe doesn't even require any processing. You just peel and cut the vegetables into wedges, mix up the pickling solution, pour it into a jar, pop it into the refrigerator, and you're done. Except for the eating, which you have to wait a week for. Bummer. So I have no idea how this is going to taste, but I'm anxiously awaiting next Saturday to open it and try it. (Drums fingers on table.) Also, you might want to know that I can never find the required Fresno chiles in my grocery store, or even at the Farmer's market, so I substituted a half teaspoon of crushed red pepper.

Last year I started a folder for recipes that use CSA veggies. Thanks to the internet, my folder is now two inches thick with recipes. When I picked up last week's share, I decided to go through them and pull some out to try. This one for Spinach & Artichoke Rustic Tart was first on the list. And this was surprisingly easy.

You'll either have to use your own crust recipe, or click on the link for their crust. Theirs uses white wine, so count me in. The crust was really good, and easy to work with. Their recipe makes enough for two crusts, but I only wanted a single one. I used just half the recipe, which meant splitting an egg in half. Instead, I used just the egg white in the crust, but don't do anything with that leftover yolk, because you'll use it to brush on the crust just before baking the tart. Perfect. Also, the recipe didn't tell me what to do with the dried oregano, but I figured they must want me to sprinkle it over the top, so that's what I did.

And here's the other thing about this recipe: Do you always have leftover ricotta cheese? It seems like you're forced to buy a 15 oz. carton, and generally, you don't use the whole thing. So I always stick plastic wrap over the unused portion, and that extends the life some, but not forever. And usually, I end up throwing out the last of it. But this recipe uses a full cup, so again I say, thank you very much. I just happened to have some leftover in my fridge.

And this was really good. We liked it a lot. There is some left over, and it will be good for breakfast.

I served it with a side salad of Cherry Tomato Salad with Tarragon. I didn't have any fresh tarragon, so I used a teaspoon of dried. And, no, I did not peel the cherry tomatoes. I might be crazy, but I'm not insane.

So there I was at the end of the day, and I couldn't remember what I'd done other than a whole lotta food-related stuff. I'm sure there was something, but without pictures, who knows what it was? Are there any unsolved crimes in your neighborhood? Possibly it was me. So anyway...I decided to take a walk in the garden to restoreth my soul, and who should I run into but this guy. He was resting on one of the sage blossoms.

And look at the plenitude of cherry tomatoes on the hanging cherry tomato plant! None have ripened yet. Do you suppose it's an evil plot to fill me with desire, and then never ripen? It's kind of the story of my life where tomatoes are concerned. Still, it's only June, so I'm hopeful.

Speaking of evil plots...the cherry trees. The cherries are starting to ripen. These are the Bings.

These are the Black Tartarians.

I fully expect to walk out this morning and find the tree completely devoid of cherries, the raccoons having partied the night away. I'm pretty sure I heard Lionel Richie singing "All Night Long" last night.

But here's something they won't eat...the zucchini...which is sporting its first blossom.

Around the corner from the zucchini are the day lilies just beginning to open. You have to be quick with these. They aren't called "day" lilies for nothin'.

The first buds are appearing on the echinacea. The appear to be munched by slugs, which is kind of surprising, but I'll throw out some slug candy for them today.

Also, the first blossoms are beginning to open on the hydrangeas. This pink one...

and this blue one are on the same plant.

This next one is the purple one gifted to me from Erik and Mae. Mae keeps thinking the color will change one of these years, but it's still looking purple to me.

The greenhouse tomatoes are about the size of walnuts now. Still a ways to go before these will be ready for salsa or sauce.

And I can't get over the plums on the plum tree. I've never seen it so fruitful in the dozen or so years since we planted it.

Our vegetable garden, neglected for several years now, is a tangle of weeds. I think it's been about five years since we planted any vegetables. Our last vegetable garden was almost a complete failure, and so we've been reluctant to give it another try. Maybe next year. For now, it's a wildflower haven. Yesterday I noticed this single poppy growing right in the middle. Now how do you suppose?

Also...these little wild daisies.

The blooming grasses are causing me no end of grief this allergy season, but they are pretty.

And then this guy, er, gal. I figure there have to be man ladybugs, don't you?

Anyway, I said to myself, "Oh, there's that naughty mint coming up where it isn't planted." But when I rubbed the leaves on it, it turned out to be catnip. So apparently catnip will come back if I don't do anything...including planting it myself...but when it comes to the Gracie Memorial Catnip Garden, I must replant it every spring. I'm telling you, life is a series of imponderables...and obstacles keeping me from sewing.

Speaking of obstacles to sewing...the old RV. It's still hanging around here, but today we're unloading everything into the new RV. There are a couple of minor repairs to make on it, and quite a bit of cleaning, and then, we'll be putting it up for sale. We're hoping it goes fast because it's looking a little bit like an RVB&B around here right now. Also, I'm going to try another recipe from my CSA recipe stack. And, hopefully, there will be sewing. Hope springs eternal, but don't count on it.

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

Lady Jane said...

I love your garden and your recipes. You are very busy. My gardening is keeping me from sewing right now also. So much to do and sew little time. Hugs, lj

gpc said...

I love pickled turnips -- I discovered them at a middle eastern restaurant, where they serve them with chicken or lamb schwarma (and garlic paste). The beet makes them a lovely, shocking pink. My recipe only uses garlic, not hot peppers, but that can't be a bad addition, in my opinion. I cut mine into sticks or little cubes, to make them easier to put into a pita wrap, usually with chicken. Yum. My vegetable (and herb) garden is also now a jumble of weeds -- er, wildflowers -- with clumps of sage and chives thrown in for good measure. The bunnies love it, and I do love me some happy bunnies since I don't have any critters of my own.

quiltzyx said...

The pink pickled turnips do look good. I'll be waiting to see what you think. gpc does make them sound good in her pitas! And that Spinach & Artichoke Tart - oh my goodness!! Looks fabulous & doesn't have any poisonous stuff in it either!

I've never seen a red dragonfly before. When I looked it up, it doesn't say anything about them living in the US, but said they do like to hang out by water. Hmmmm. Gee, it looks like maybe you'll get to taste your own homegrown cherries & plums this year. Maybe. The Hydrangeas are sure pretty, along with all the other bloomin' things in your yard!

Brown Family said...

The Spinach and Artichoke tart is interesting. I might have to try that!
I have never seen a red dragon fly or is it a damsel fly?

WoolenSails said...

That spinach tart looks delicious. You guys have more fun on camping trips since you can eat out. I wanted to go on the ferry and eat out, but that was out with Bean, Kitties are easier to camp with;)


Denise :) said...

What a fun walk ... you've got lots of exciting things growing on in your garden! That spinach artichoke tart looks SO good! Todd doesn't like either of the two main ingredients, but I'd make it just for me. :)

crazy quilter said...

Wow I am so jealous of your plum tree! I adore plums and would certainly make jam if Only I had a plum tree! And the cherries again I am envious of those Bing cherries. I do buy them at the grocery because I love them but they can be pricy in my neck of the woods. I don't know if they would even grow here but next fall I might see if I can find one on the Internet of course! So enjoy looking a all your bloomers, it has been s hot here nothing is blooming not even the roses. Hope you get to the sewing room , it is feeling neglected . Keep on having fun.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Love all the blooming things along with the insect close ups. Oh, how I miss our plum trees. Our cherries are being eaten as soon as they show a little color. I bought some from the local farm.

piecefulwendy said...

Well, despite no sewing going on, you have lots of things going on! That spinach tart, I may have to give that a go. I'm thinking your plum tree must have the "blessing of Betty" this year, maybe? (Did I get her name correct?) I hope the cherries are left alone long enough for you to nab some, they look so lovely. If we were there, John would sneak some when you weren't looking. Enjoy your day today, whatever you are up to!

Lyndsey said...

I love your walks around your garden and wish ours was bigger. It certainly can't get much smaller!The plums look good and so do the cherries. My parents had a cherry tree but the birds used to pinch most of the cherries.

Angie in SoCal said...

Nature's abundant blessings are in your yard. How soothing it was to see those photos and read your post. That spinach tart looks so good. Can you share the recipe? Sewing has been very scarce here also.

Kate said...

Maybe it's that you do so much in one day, your brain is protecting you by letting you forget some of it? It's a theory anyway. Lots going on. Hope you've bee able to work in some stitching here and there.