Success in gardening Monday, Mar 24 2014 

I think a point in the ‘success’ column ought to be awarded for last night’s supper.  The parsnips overwintered out in the garden quite happily;* the parsley (a main component in the omelette)  came out of the freezer green and crisp; the frozen snow peas from last year also came out tasting, if not like fresh peas, certainly close to it.  I could have used our own onions, but we are down to the last midget sized shallots which are a bore to peel (shallots are overrated, next year it will be just straight onions).  Oh yes, and the peaches in the cobbler? Last year’s crop, canned.

Now about those eggs….  though I think the ham and the potatoes will remain store bought.   As will the milk.

*most of the row is still out there, still buried in the snow, which is ridiculous.

On Vegetable Gardens Thursday, Feb 27 2014 

There are plenty of reasons to have them of course; but one particular point has been on my mind the last few days.

Along about September, I am begging for a frost: the bugs are having a field day, I can’t go away without mutant squash sprouting, there is an overall sense of rot and decay…and the freezer is in decent shape.   But then comes the end of February: the snow is still snowing, cold enough that where it isn’t ice it is drifting, there isn’t a green thing in sight, my car is grey*…and the freezer…

Well, it isn’t just the freezer, it is also the jelly cabinet.  I am charged with shopping and keeping the dinner budget within shouting distance of inflation.  But, the wealth of a garden is beyond measure.  This week I was playing around with some pork chops and chicken thighs.  One night: pork chops braised in a sauce of elderberry jam and mint vinaigrette; another night pork chops in a strawberry/fig (thank you Betsy!) with sage (freshly frozen) and onion; another night, a bit of apple butter, or maybe some tarragon butter for the baked chicken, or maybe a winter squash as a side dish, or some frozen green beans, or some parsley on the the top….  Now the pork chops and chicken don’t come from here, but elderberry jam and mint vinegar?! You can Not buy that.  Not here anyway.

February and the vegetable garden more than answers the need.  Maybe we couldn’t live off it year round; but we certainly couldn’t eat the way we do unless it was there.

*It is grey anyway, but it is Grey-er.

Summer Kitchen Wednesday, Aug 15 2012 

A  A photo from last year, though much to my surprise I have been canning some tomatoes today, only three and half quarts so far, but something!

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