Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Life Rolls On...

Thanks for all the kind comments, both public and private, on my recent family losses. It really means a lot. I'm bouncing back, and life keeps rolling along. And I guess that's as it should be... to every season, blah blah blah. And right now, it's the season to reap the bounty of my haphazard gardening efforts. So far, not too bad this year.

Ouiser Boudreaux from
Steel Magnolias
Waaaay back in early March, I dug the garden plot and planted the usual: some tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. As I've said before, I think there's a law somewhere that mandates southern women to grow at least a couple tomato plants every year.
(Miss Ouiser would agree... "Because I'm an old Southern woman and we're supposed to wear funny looking hats and ugly clothes and grow vegetables in the dirt. Don't ask me those questions. I don't know why, I don't make the rules!" Only I'm not that old, I don't generally wear funny hats or ugly clothes, and I actually DO eat tomatoes... especially homegrown ones!)

Here's what the garden patch looked like on planting day.

And here's what the cherry tomato plant looked like about a week ago.

The thief left behind evidence.

Not too many garden pests have found us yet this year, other than a bird or a squirrel or a rat that nabbed the first big ripe tomato the night before I planned to pick it. And then it rudely left the remnants of said tomato just a couple feet from the patch, just to rub it in I guess. Dang wildlife creatures!!

The herb garden in our front planter box was looking gorgeous a couple weeks ago. We've got radishes, basil, dill, cilantro, curly parsley, flat leaf parsley and chives. Unfortunately, aphids decided to decimate our radishes. We got a few tasty ones before they died off though. (Tasty radishes, not aphids. I have no idea whether or not aphids are tasty, and currently have no plans to research that subject.)

Currently sitting on my kitchen counter is this bunch of recently picked goodies... cherry and grape tomatoes, a bigger tomato and a couple of Mexibell peppers. Those Mexibells were labeled as being slightly hotter than regular bell peppers, but let me tell you what.... they really pretty hot!! They're not quite as hot as jalapenos, but close to the neighborhood. This is the first year I've planted that variety, and I'm surprised and delighted with their heat! I'll definitely look for them again next year.

As for those tomatoes, they are destined to make an appearance in tonight's dinner. They will be transformed into a tomato & fresh basil (from the herb garden) salad, with mozzeralla pearls and a balsamic and olive oil dressing. Mmmmm!! I think there are a few eggplants ready to pick as well, so I'll probably grill those up too. I'd invite y'all over, but I haven't dusted the house this week. (I really just don't want to share this fresh bounty, but as a southern "lady", I'm too polite to tell ya that.)

If you're growing stuff yourself, I hope your garden patch is pest-free, and that you have a bumper crop of your favorite veggies!

Thought y'all might want to see the transformation of the tomatoes above to the delicious 'mater/basil salad I whipped up last night. It was yummy! I made a little too much dressing, but that's okay... just need to dish it out with a slotted spoon.

If you'd like to make some yourself, all ya gotta do is cut up some cherry and/or grape tomatoes, chop or chiffonade some fresh basil, toss in some fresh mozzarella pearls or chunks if you like, and then douse it all with some kind of dressing to marinate for a little while. I made my dressing by whisking together some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, a little sugar, a little salt, a little pepper and a couple of fresh garlic cloves run through a garlic press. Pour it over the salad and chill until you're ready to eat. Yum!!

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