Friday, July 24, 2009

The Russian Tomatoes are Ripe

In Bloom

Friday, July 17, 2009

Supper from my back yard

We made the most amazing supper last night after a quick walk through our gardens. Sauteed broccoli, hungarian wax pepper, bright lights swiss chard, baby white onions, and garlic over pasta dressed with olive oil and lemon zest and topped with cherokee purple and yellow pear tomatoes, blue cheese crumbles, toasted pine nuts and sea salt. Oh Yum. Highlander said it best. You can't get food like this ten months a year. Even if you have all the money in the world. You can't buy this in January.
What a lovely place in the world to live. We poke a few seeds in the ground in May and eat miracles in July.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Des Moines; You are Awesome.

We went to a little family get together this past weekend in Missouri. On the way, we stopped at the farmers market in Des Moines, of course. Highlander bought the most amazing breakfast burrito. It was overflowing with tomatoes, cilantro, potatoes, spicy chorizo, and scrambled eggs. I might have eaten well over half of it if he wasn't such a fast chewer. The little girls had a fabulous time, as little girls will when given the space to freak out and play in the street while an Ani DiFranco wannabe croons on and on about her broken heart and their mother wanders as if in a trance. Hey, that's free reign for my babies. They took advantage, as they should.

I think I bought the last 20 ears of corn in town. The third veggie stand I approached glared at me as I asked, "Sweet Corn?" She barked, "We're All Out!" Ah, Farmers. The lovely tiny Asian woman beside her croaked, "He just went to get some. He'll be back." I smiled and said that I would wait. And so I waited. Which really annoyed the obviously exhausted eighty year old corn farmer. Tori screamed, "I Want To Go Home!" Which of course, she did not. I said, "Sorry. Your mother loves the farmers market and we are staying until I GET BORED." She called me a knucklehead (thanks SpongeBob) and I told her to put her rear end on the curb. She cried. Zoe called her a baby. Highlander asked her why she was so negative and complaining here in the middle of heaven. She noted that she did not know why. Then she snapped out of it and we took some pictures of her and Zoe climbing on him like he wasn't the enforcer of their Mother's Rules. The farmer came back with the corn and I gave her an extra smile. She scowled. I paid her. We wandered away.

Farmers Are Not Marketers. Nor should they be. I'm glad they are just farmers.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tomato class at New Pi

I'm going back in for another marathon cooking class at New Pi. The Asparagus class went so well that I couldn't resist spending two hours talking about tomatoes. I get to wear a head set with a microphone, like the Sham-Wow guy. Of course, that means that the "students" can hear me muttering to myself. It also means I don't lose my voice by the end of class.

I'm working on what to cook. I think Bruchetta Salad is a must. Rainbow BLT's can't be left out. Especially considering the victory that was recently won by Iowans on the gay marriage front. I may try to pull off the veggie red sauce in honor of Tori and Zoe; they love it! We'll be talking about dirt, and seeds, and why grocery store tomatoes are a definite Turn Off.

I Heart Tomatoes.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What's growing on July 5

July 5th vegetable progress:
Sweet bell peppers. We'll leave them on the vine until they start to turn red.

Striped German tomato. They are a favorite around here. Makes an impressive BLT.
This is my first try at red cabbage. I have a friend who just invented Buffalo Cole Slaw. It's not for the faint of heart. I think a nice fat head of happy local cabbage will make it even more irresistible.

This is also my first try at broccoli. The bunnies keep crashing my party in this particular garden, so a few of the plants are missing whole leaves. The problem is that the baby bunnies are super cute. I just re-read Watership Down this past winter and I'm still a bit convinced that the rabbits in my yard have an entire society.

This is one of the Brussels sprout plants. These are my favorite. Now that we've got tomatoes figured out, Brussels sprouts may be the next big project. I have six plants this year. If all goes well, there will be a new garden in the spring waiting for 36 little Brussels sprout plants.

It's been a crazy weekend. We've been to parties and lunches and the little girls ran in a big race. We're headed out the door in a few minutes to another party. But I had to run out and see what's growing. Soon....we'll be eating out of the back yard. Hooray.