I had planned to get a few scheduled posts in the queue for this week. I’ve not done that before and it didn’t happen. Now I am here with dozens of my relatives.
It’s an annual pilgrimage not far from where we live. Slow and easy like a cat’s purr, we tell stories, jump in the lake, shuffle along the old gravel paths between old cabins. And repeat. For a week.
More on this place and time later; Now, I’ll share a simple recipe I made last week with our first cauliflower harvest.
Suddenly, my garden is its own ecosystem. First tomatoes and tomatillos plucked and sunwarm, eaten on the spot. Piles of peas, vines paying no attention to their tidy beds. Nasturtiums and cauliflower like planets orbiting the sun of pole beans. I am a goofy, giddy gardener discovering my ripe food. Each time I say well hello there! They wave back. My kids say say it now as well. Try it; it’s fun.
I am still pushing vegetable starts in the ground. I can’t help it. At nurseries, I see the tables of depressed cucs, a big sign over their limp, yellowed bodies reading
$4 $2 2 for $1.
I am also experimenting with what seeds I can plant right now. I yanked up the bolted spinach and have a few holes where corn didn’t germinate. I don’t yet thoroughly know this new space but I do have a few spots that hold shade for several hot afternoon hours so I am planting some carrots and kale. I might try beets too. It’s so much about experimentation. I could grow lettuce all summer in my previous garden because I learned all the different cooler nooks that discouraged bolting. That might be harder here as my plot is very hot, very exposed. Excellent for setting fruit, hard to germinate in July. But I know it can be done and I am an eager student of this land.
What successive planting works for you? Do you have any ideas for me? Please share!
I had planned to steam and purée our first cauliflower with butter and salt. But our immersion blender broke and I couldn’t get it chopped up enough. Instead, I made a damn good salad with – wait for it – KALE! I can’t get enough kale. Surely, I am addicted.
Kale Cauliflower Salad
one head cauliflower, in floret chunks
one big fistful kale, leaves separated from tough center vein and ripped to pieces
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 cups snap peas
ranch dressing (we like Newman’s Own or make your own)
Steam cauliflower florets and peas until soft. Remove from heat and run under cold water. Separate out the peas and cut each pea pod into 4 or 5 pieces using scissors. Purée (or chop up with a pastry cutter) cauliflower with a few tablespoons (more?) ranch dressing. Set aside. In your salad bowl, mix torn kale, dill and parsley and peas. Add cauliflower purée, toss and serve.
Wishing you all a lovely week.
Hello Montana Garden Queen…
Your garden is lush. But more than that, you love it into life, and then you feed your family the food it grows, grown with love. The neatest, most caring circle of all. Echoes of my own brilliant mother.
Good luck finding the lettuce-loving shady spots!
Ali, sending you greetings from another perfect alpine day