Friday, April 20, 2007

It's time...

NAME THIS UTENSIL ....
I will tell you what it is at the end of this post.

GARDEN

I feel like an expectant mother who has been waiting for her first born to arrive. The weather has been right and the ground ideal to begin planting again. Armed with my mantis tiller, onion hoe, 4 tine cultivator and sack of seeds to plant I have visions of wonderful produce dancing in my head. The two small, barely visible yellow packets say PEAS, one kind in Sugar Anne and the other Mr Big Pea. Some people get into flowers and yea, I do enjoy these but vegetables fulfil the practical side of me perfectly.

I recruited my mom and niece to help me plant yellow onions. I have three rows which were planted about 1 inch apart so I can thin them while harvesting young onions with greens. We cannot start large onions that can be stored for winter use from seed here because our zone 4 growing season is not long enough so we use bulbs or "sets" for that purpose. I personally have not had much luck with red onions, which I'm not sure why yet and I usually do not use the white onions. I have heard there is flavor differences, but I am satisfied with the foods I have.... except vidalia onions are super sweet. I will buy these on occasion (when they are "in season" at out grocery store at a reasonable price).

Right now I have planted premium green top broccoli plants even though I prefer packman type, snowball cauliflower plants, nappa cabbage, salad bowl lettuce plants, 2 kinds of peas (edible pod and the kind that needs shelled), cylinder beets, and Yukon gold potatoes.
I like English breakfast radish which have a very mild flavor. I am going to wait to plant these for a couple of weeks because they have a short harvest time and I like these esp well in fresh salads. Soon I will have rhubarb and asparagus coming up as well as oregano and marjoram in my herb bed... these come back each year with little assistance. Corn and green beans (planted every three weeks up through August) will wait until the first week of May while tomatoes and green pepper plants will wait until the first of June with chard. Turnips will be planted in June plants and Brussels sprouts near the end of July for a mid to end October harvest because they can stand a good frost and have a better flavor when they get it.

FOOD...
This has become a staple for my regular lunch at work. It is simply a rectangular Tupperware container that holds my salad which I like to top with a container of balsamic vinegar combined with a little salt and stevia. It is made from romaine lettuce, shredded purple cabbage, carrots, fresh mushrooms, and oven baked flavored tofu. I prefer to get my fats in with a square of dark chocolate (not pictured) instead of in salad dressing. Complete the meal with an apple which I usually eat mid morning.
Here is another meal...

This one comes from Dreena's Everyday Vegan. Chickpea Sweet potato casserole served with 1/2 a whole grain wrap rolled around a lettuce leaf with apricot mustard (I made this). I like to add currants into this stew which offers a little color boost. I ended the meal with some chopped fruit (apples, apricots, dates, and currants over leftover brown rice. I sprinkled it with a sweet lime juice, cardamom, and almonds.

It was good.

On a side note I want to mention that my 90+ year old granmother is in a nursing home. She is blind due to two strokes that have also limited her mobility. Her mind is excellent and she loves good company to talk with. It saddened me when I stopped for a brief visit and she said she enjoyed the visit because conversation helps her to feel alive, she doesn't get much otherwise. I have since made it a point to stop regularly to tell her what I am doing with my day. She loves to hear about the garden and often shares stories that certain vegetables remind her of. I think get just as much from the visit as she does. If I would make a list of things that would become well known for a friendly and peaceful lifestyle, visiting nursing homes and talking to a few residents would be one that list. Peace!

And now for the revealing of the above utensil . . .

20 comments:

Johanna3 said...

that spoon make me laught so hard! lol

your garden will be so great!

laura jesser said...

Great post! That is one funny utensil--no vegan should be without one of those!

I think it's great that you have been visiting your grandmother so much... I have a hard time with nursing homes because my biggest fear is getting old and not being able to take care of myself anymore. But I know that the elderly enjoy it so much... and she's blessed to have family who still cares about her.

Emmy said...

Enjoyed reading about your gardening plans. We will have a community garden plot this year so I've been busy planning out what to grow.

I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother's health problems. That's heart-warming you stop by and have nice conversations with her. My grandma is also in her 90's and will turn 96 this year.

erica said...

But what about the BIG farts?

Hahaaa!

How amazing that your grandmother is still alive, and wonderful that you visit her. The garden is so exciting, I should do a garden post - except all my camera batteries are dead. Plus we're still in tiling h-e-double-hockey-sticks. Bleck.

Tara said...

That bean spoon is great! LOL!

Re: Nursing homes. I had a job interview in one a while back, and I just found it so sad. I didn't get the job, but I wondered for a while after that if people ever just go to a nursing home just to talk (or listen to) to the residents? Would a nursing home allow that? I think that's something I would like to do, but I am so shy! Ugh! ;)

I love your garden, Dori. You are so amazing!

Tara

Hummie said...

Oh, you got me! That tool is funny! I hope for well with your grandmother!

Urban Vegan said...

I was goign to name that utensil "Harry."

I am so jealous of your garden. This urban vegan will have to live vicariously through yours.

KleoPatra said...

Oh that is hilarious about the bean spoon... the gas out of the beans! ROTFL!!

That casserole looks awesome... and i'm so excited about your garden-to-be... it's really coming along. Nice that your mom and niece could help out. YEAH! Looking forward to seeing the garden grow...

About your grandmother... wow 90'ish years of age. I'm so sad she's blind but i love that her mind is still intact. Dori, please, please, please don't be sad that she told you about what her life is like and how your visits keep her feeling alive. Be glad that she is so honest, and be glad that you share yoru time, love and news with her.

i just interviewed 5 ladies who are between 83 and 94 years young for a story i did and it was the best chat i've had in years... they've got problems, health issues, etc., but they were delightful and loved the visit. It ended up being much more for me than just an interview for my story!! Bless your grandmother 100fold, Dori. She sounds terrific. (And what a surprise, look at the offspring... yes, you!)

bazu said...

That spoon has me laughing out loud! How hilarious, I'm going to keep my eye out for a bean spoon. Hee hee.

Veg-a-Nut said...

Your spoon is a hoot! I love working in the garden. Too bad I can't this year (my stupid back). My DH planted some tomatoes in a pot so I am hoping for few sweet, red, gems. I am sorry for your Grandma, but happy you are able to spend some time with her.

Vicki said...

A bean spoon? How interesting! My guess was a pasta measuring device. I would love to come help & learn from you in the garden -- I love gardening, and I'm fascinated by all that you share here. If you haven't already read it, you may enjoy John Robbin's new book "Healthy at 100" you are an inspiration.

Melody Polakow said...

lol.. a bean spoon!

I love that you appreciate your grandmother so much... It is really amazing to sit and listen to someone with such life experience.

theONLYtania said...

Your garden is so extensive! I hope to be able to do that much when I have a garden. You got some good helpers there :-)
That stew looks good.. good thing I have TEV.. can't wait 'til I have a kitchen! That is sad about your grandmother, but I really love visiting eldery people and making them happy.
Oh yeah.. nice bean spoon. Let me know if it works? Haha.

aTxVegn said...

What a funny spoon! Your garden sounds fabulous. I don't know how you have time to tend to it. I guess you recruit good help! I'm glad you're taking time to visit your grandmother. I don't have any of my grandparents, and I sure miss listening to their wonderful recollections.

Twisted Cinderella said...

Your garden sounds wonderful! That bean spoon made me laugh out loud!

Jody from VegChic said...

Bean spoon? People come up with the craziest things.

Glad to hear you are doing well and getting back to gardening.

I've got to start planting some seeds again this year. We live by a river and that means I have a bit of a slug problem. They really love fresh vegetables. I'm hoping I can deal with that creatively this year. One idea I have is a sand "moat" around my gardens.

BTW - I don't always comment, but I am lurking here. It is funny the connections we make with people so far away. Someone in the office was talking about learning how to can vegetables and jams. The first person I though of was you. I forwarded your blog to her!

Vanessa said...

hilarious! thanks for posting.

Kate said...

I wish the spoon really worked. Your grandma sounds like an amazing woman. I love looking at all your wonderful food!

Carrie™ said...

The little farts will climb up the ladder and jump over the side. HAHAHA!!! That is priceless! As is your grandma. How wonderful that you can visit her.
You've planted your garden already?! Wow! Here, we wait until the May long weekend. There may still be danger of frost until then. Oooo, Dori - you're going to tease us with photos of your vegetables aren't you?

Mikaela said...

Your garden is AMAZING, I loved hearing about your grandmother and the bean spoon made me laugh :)