Who has time to write a blog post? During planting season? And when your mom is coming to visit for a few days? And when there’s fresh rhubarb to make into a pie, and bread to bake, and laundry to wash and fold, and piles to sort, and cheerios to vacuum, and books to read? Who? Who has time?
So I am here providing you with an email that I just sent to elizasmom, since it has everything I would have written about anyway. Amn’t I smart?
That asparagus recipe… I tried it, and the smells wafting around the kitchen were intoxicating. I was so excited to taste it, but it turns out that if you only use a few mushrooms, instead of the requisite pound, you can’t taste them at all, and at $50 a pound, I’m not sure I’ll ever try it again. Plus, I used some “whole grain” bread from Panera, which, as it turns out, is only partly comprised of anything whole. Also, the bread had the perfect texture for disintegrating in the milk. I recommend a sturdy, maybe french loaf, one that will hold its shape after soaking, because you don’t want to achieve the mush pudding I got. And the recipe suggests steaming the asparagus until tender, but after the 45 minutes in the oven, they are completely smooshy. So I would maybe steam them for only 2 minutes, not until they’re done, but leave them a little crunchy.
I did make an asparagus frittata the other day, since I started making the pudding again, only to realize I had no bread, and no time to make a crust for a tart. I left out the mushrooms from the inside, and fried them in butter instead, until they were crispy but not burned. We put those right on top of the frittata, or ate them plain, with lots of salt. I had picked up some more morels and some chanterelles from the farmer’s market, and they are a great combination. That way, I didn’t feel like I wasted all the mushrooms, only to not be able to discern their presence. Even Noah had some of the fried chanterelles.
My garden is so far just tons and tons of work. I put in 2 4×12 beds and filled them with compost, peat, and vermiculite, per the “Square Foot Gardening” instructions, then laid out a grid, and started planting in my tiny squares. I went out to thin the lettuces, beets, and chard the other day, and since I planted such tiny plots of them, there was not much to thin. But I did get a handful of mixed greens that I promptly took inside, rinsed off, and put in a bowl with a few drops of salad dressing. I have to say that it was the most incredible, complex salad I’ve ever had. I could taste all the different greens, even though they were about the size of my pinky fingernail. I guess that’s why micro-greens are so popular.
I also started reading about companion planting… after I had already put a bunch in the ground. It turns out that you’re supposed to keep nightshades away from brassicas, so I went out and dug up my tomatoes, since they were all next door to the cabbages and broccolis. I’m pretty much a spaz. Now the tomatoes are in a separate bed, with petunias, marigolds, parsley, onions, carrots and basil, which are all supposed to be beneficial to tomatoes for pest control and better accessibility to nutrients in the soil. I also planted a separate 3×3 garden with just corn, pole beans, and pumpkins. You know, the three sisters. OK, I’m a huge spaz. Well, it turns out that there are traditional patterns for planting them, specifically suited to region, humidity, etc. I just threw them in all jumbled. Maybe next year I’ll be a little more organized.
We bought a couple of fruit trees the other day, and on our way home, realized we’re supposed to call the utility people before digging in the yard, so our trees are still in their pots. The apple tree has about 20 marble sized apples on it.
Derek got me a gift card for an hour long massage for my birthday. I’ve always wanted to do that, but I’ve felt like it would be weird. I guess I’ll find out! It’s so great to have him back. He’s pretty determined to never go away for that long again, if only so he doesn’t have to eat out for every meal for two weeks. It’s really validating when he says to me on the phone, from 2000 miles away, that he can’t wait to come home to my cooking and feel normal again.