All posts tagged: how to

Winter Vegetable Salad

Love though I do Halloween, Thanksgiving is a very close second. Every year the pattern repeats: up pre-dawn, shower and coffee, begin the feast by 7am. Pies and goodies prepped the night before mingle with timeworn cookbooks and flying utensils while the Macy’s parade plays on tv. We’ll eat in the early afternoon, if nothing goes awry. The menu is planned well in advance, always essentially the same, with or without turkey (we’re a ham family) and with an occasional swapping of a side, albeit scalloped potatoes, deviled eggs, and dressing are absolute mainstays. Post feast come naps and decorating the Christmas tree to the tune of E’s excitement and George Bailey finding out it really is a wonderful life. And while those traditions repeat annually, this year something new to celebrate our first Thanksgiving in our home. My poor little 50’s kitchen table I’ve had since college has sufficed as our dining table for a time now, but its scant four feet by just under three feet surface hardly cuts it especially for larger meals. Knowing we wanted something …

Sacked.

                And the rain keeps coming, in downpours, torrents. With flooding all around us, they say this is a record breaking year. It is also a garden breaking year if it keeps up. With only a couple of types drowned, the beans are surprisingly unphased and the melons and then some are trying to put on, but most plants have been stunted. Next year, perhaps. In the meanwhile, attentions have turned back toward the house between summer vacations. Specifically the handful of flora planted have done well and while working on a few decorative projects for them it occurred to me to share a sort of addition to a previous post. While the five gallon bucket container concept may not be the most attractive of planters, they can be both hidden and dolled up. A group of them can be corralled in lattice of equal height to the buckets, lending a quick camouflage. But if you would like to use them as a light weight container for dwarf elephant ear rather than …

Campfire Sweet Potato Hash

In a collage style frame I keep snapshots from my first birthday spent with Josh, a birthday on the Illinois River, camping and floating and lazily enjoying the day. E frequently asks about those pictures, about “daddy’s river” as she calls it, one of his favorite places. And so, in spite of the river being up from all the rain, we decided to take E to her daddy’s river to camp. We scavenged a collection of rocks, driftwood, feathers, and shells, played in the late afternoon sunshine, and taught E to make daisy chains and how to improve her rock skipping game. And after dinner and a visit from a less than skittish raccoon, E had taken in all the excitement she could. Josh and I stayed up, watching one of the most beautiful moonrises I’ve ever seen, the sort of thing you can’t quite justly describe in words but it stays with you until the end, locked away forever in memory. The river whispered by, swift current and humble power, and we talked nonsense, relaxed, laughed. …

Springtime Pasta Primavera

    This spring has come bearing all the rain our drought ridden region has been missing for half a decade. The issues brought with that amount of rain in a matter of weeks make me feel like I’m in Louisiana again, another home, in the swamp and the green and earthy damp smell of rebirth. Boudreaux, get the pirogue. And on the downside, the garden frequently takes on the look of a water feature, plants are being lost to root rot and powder mildew and nothing is growing at the rate it should. Except the weeds. Oh the weeding. Tedious would be understating the situation, but spoiled for some time by container gardening, any weeding had become nearly a foreign concept. But for all the challenges, as always it is worth it for lettuces, greens, peas, early tomatoes, and new potatoes. And nearly as much as I adore all those early harvest goods, I adore this recipe, a light pasta playing less on the sauce and more on the quality of the pasta and freshness of the early …

Spring Salad with Honey

  The days are rainy and a little chilled lately, but tromping around the muddy orchard and garden in worn green rain boots, weeding and admiring, it becomes a welcome rain dance. And life has given me a mess of baby lettuce and greens and I’m making salad. Upon discovering a selection of almost empty microgreen and lettuce seeds in my seed box, I decided to dump them all and see what came up. Happily, they’ve produced more than enough to keep me in salads until my larger leaf lettuces catch up and there is nothing, I mean nothing, like fresh lettuce for a salad. So in spite of these rainy cool days, there’s lettuce, green onions, and strawberries to enjoy, thinking of the warmer days around the corner and splashing through the puddles until then.      SPRING SALAD WITH HONEY 4 cups mix of baby greens and lettuce of your choice 1 ½ cup strawberries, sliced ½ cup slivered almonds 4 green onions, sliced ½ cup dried cranberries ½ cup crumbled bleu cheese Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe below) Toss …