Friday, June 18, 2010

Bountiful Summer

Summer is bountiful in every way. Time with my teenage kids is bountiful, and they, mostly, enjoy each other's company. They each get a kick out of the other's sense of humor, so laughter is bountiful.  Plans and responsibilities are bountiful. Ambitions are bountiful. My garden is bountiful enough, with plenty for me to eat, and will soon be overly bountiful, which will be fine since I will have enough to give away.  What is proving not to be bountiful is time to take care of it all.  Still, I can only do my best, and we are very blessed with this bustling, happy household.

Here is a wonderful plateful of a salad I assembled quickly recently for lunch from a new harvest and leftovers. On artisan butter and frisee lettuces, I layered last night's crookneck squash (homegrown by moi) with shallots and mushrooms -- cold, chickpeas, almonds, capers and leftover barley.  I topped it off  with Annie's Goddess dressing, which I find to be too thick on its own, so I add a tablespoon or so of Bragg's apple cider vinegar and shake it up to thin it.  This was such a wonderful, bountiful way for me to use up little bits and pieces of leftovers, and the meal was energizing and filling, and kept me going all afternoon.

Here is my most recent garden harvest.  I love everything about it.  Don't my veggies seem to have personalities?  Particularly entertaining to me are the cucumbers.  They have grown so quickly, and look like funky little aliens.  They are all wearing an unusual corset of spikes, like cacti.  I guess this is protection against marauders.  After delivering a painful poke to the harvester, when rubbed from the side they come right off. I have enjoyed these in salads, and I have also made a batch of umeboshi vinegar pickles from them.

Take a good look at my arugula.  You can see the telltale nibble marks of the fat, green tomato worms (really caterpillars) who have found the greens first.  I pick through these and give the chewed ones to my dogs Emma an Ellie, who don't mind eating after caterpillars.  They love veggies!

Well, my plate is full today -- literally and figuratively -- so I'd better go get to it!  Find and enjoy your bounty!

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