I don't know about what's it been like where you live, but the weather here on the edge of the Canadian Rockies has been fantastic! It's been warm; thankfully our house wasn't damaged by the storms that followed the really hot days, but the rain was just what Murray's garden asked for.
I have to call it "Murray's Garden", because I certainly didn't do any of the work, at least not so far as the planting or maintenance go. My job starts now: figuring out what to do with the harvest.
We've been through the rhubarb, and the raspberries, and the strawberries. The zucchini that Murray planted along the side of the house has flourished. I haven't made zucchini loaf yet, but it's really just a matter of time. I wish the kids enjoyed it more though. Gavin used to really enjoy it and I think he eats it at daycare. But at home? Not a chance.
Tonight I made a zucchini lasagna that replaces the lasagna noodles with zucchini slices. It was in a magazine of recipes designed for picky eaters. I wouldn't have thought that zucchini would be appealing to picky eaters, except that in this particular recipe it is smothered in cheese. In fact, it is so smothered that I had the following exchange with Gavin when he noticed the green edge of the vegetable:
"Mom, I don't like this. What is this? Is it a pickle?"
"Do you like pickles?"
"Then it's a pickle."
Yes, I lied. I maintain it was for the greater good of getting him some fibre or whatever goodness is in this particular squash. He still didn't eat the green edges, but most of the rest was consumed.
I know I've said this before, but I love how the garden is teaching the kids where food comes from, whether it's something they want to eat or not.
This past weekend, I thought that we could dig out some carrots that were larger than a pencil. I was right. I asked Gavin and Mia if they'd like to help. They preferred playing in the dirt patch that Murray set aside for them in the garden. As I dug out carrots, Gavin was "digging" at his construction site. All of a sudden I hear:
So not only did we have fresh garden carrots for supper that night, but new garden potatoes too. Gavin was so proud about digging out the potatoes.
That night I made my fail-safe side dish for summer barbecues:
1. Cut carrots and potatoes into one to two inch slices. If the carrots are small enough (say around six inches and fairly thin) then you can keep them as is. For small new potatoes, I'll either cut them in half or leave them whole. Mix the vegetables together.
2. Pull out a piece of aluminum foil and spray it with non-stick spray. For extra flavor add a dollop (isn't that a great word?) of butter or margarine.
3. Put as much of the carrots and potatoes on the piece of tin foil as you think you can have and still be able to make a packet. As you can tell, I'm not good at this recipe stuff. What I mean is that you wrap the vegetables in tin foil. I guess I should have just said that to start with. But BEFORE you wrap it all up, there is one more step.
4. Add some more butter. Then sprinkle about 1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp oregano and 1 tsp of thyme over the vegetables. You can add more or less seasoning, depending on your taste.
5. Wrap them all up and throw them on the barbecue at medium heat for 30-40 minutes, depending upon how many veggies you fit in one packet. The more veggies, the longer it's going to take to cook.
This is what ours looked like on Sunday night. As you can tell, I'm not the greatest food photographer. But it's not how it looks, it's what it tastes like, right? Right?
And these tasted good. Really good.
But no matter how many recipes I come up with for cooking these vegetables, the kids prefer to eat them right out of the ground.
I think it's the dirt.