So, I’ve been busy catching/resting up after our big trip to see the kids over Mothers’ Day weekend. I’ve been trying to figure out how to boil it all down enough to tell you about it but I haven’t quite gotten there yet. Let’s say, for now, my heart is full. Details to follow!
Instead, a bit of a detour. Two tomatoes!!! This after years of frustration and rotting, squirrel tooth marked disappointment. Seasons of hopes dashed amongst miles of vines and no blooms. Hours of watering and composting and feeling as though I’d never get my Steel Magnolia membership card.
Finally, inspired by some clever neighbors, I got Randy, from Intown Terra Professional, to help me build a squirrel-proof tomato cage. It’s working! In fact, the new garden is working all around. Yay!
In addition to the cage, I’ve done a few things differently this year. Big raised beds that look a lot like galvanized horse troughs but are, in this case, flower pots. Extra holes drilled in the bottom for good drainage. Elevated on cinder blocks so I can reach despite the back and knee issues. (No holes to dig!)
Lots of compost!
In fact, for the tomatoes, I went with the old notion of a $1.00 plant in a $10.00 hole! Following some advice I found on a website, I added fish heads and bones (small snappers from the DeKalb Farmers’ Market—no oily fish here!) along with crushed egg shells, some organic bone meal and an aspirin! I don’t understand the aspirin, but I needed all the help I could get!
When plucked from the vine, my patio sized works of art smelled terrific. Nothing smells like tomatoes truly just off the vine. After I admired them and took their portrait, I began to contemplate what to do with them for dinner. (Bill should be honored that I didn’t wolf them down on the spot) I needed to celebrate the wonder of real food in my front yard.
A few minutes of rooting around in the fridge produced a small head of organic cauliflower, some leftover, rare, roasted asparagus, and a smidge of hard herb salami. The good stuff from our friends at Pine Street Market. You might find arugula or green onions or even fresh mushrooms. It will all work.
I rinsed the cauliflower and left it to drain on a clean kitchen towel.
Next, mix the dressing in the bottom of your salad bowl. The general rule of thumb is 3 parts organic olive oil to 1 part something acidic. In this case, sherry vinegar. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste. Mix well with a fork.
Chop all the ingredients and add, with the miraculous tomatoes, to the dressing. You won’t believe the difference the small bites of salami will make!
Toss well and let it rest 15-30 minutes. Re-season as needed and enjoy!
Blessings be with you on this Memorial Day. Check back soon for more details on the garden, the kids, and the huge game of Furniture Yahtzee about to begin at our house…
It’s time for Bill’s favorite game!!!