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My wife was more pleased than I was, when I presented our dinner to her last night, complete with a small (literally) garden salad on the side. Yes, I took the kitchen shears out to the garden tower beside the house and selected a dozen or more varied-size leaves from the lettuces I had been growing for the past three plus weeks and composed a simple salad.

Nothing like it. Mostly a mix of green and red lettuces, I added some Persian cucumber sliced thinly, sliced green onion, and a handful of parsley. Together with thin strips of chorizo sarta (a Spanish charcuterie) I added a simple vinaigrette with mustard, we shared the last leg of duck confit, as well as a store-bought spinach-stuffed bolani (Afghan flatbread usually stuffed with anything from potato, lentils, pumpkin, etc.). Two margaritas on the side.

From my more savvy gardening buddies, I’m told that the lettuces I’ve trimmed will grow back and that several lettuces can be picked from for weeks, though its advisable to have new plantings ready to follow up in a staggered basis when the original plantings get exhausted.

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Gotta admit that its fun to learn new things; while I generally tend to shy away from mastering skills that involve computers or finance, understanding the odd subtleties of growing vegetables appeals. For instance, learning what can grow and where it can grow, depending on how much sunlight is available, what kind of soil there is, etc. intrigues me. Our yard suffers from a lack of direct sun due to its location, adjacency to a tall tree and a tall neighbor building, and only gets the best sun, no surprise, in the late spring and summer with the approach of the longest days.

I’ve also realized that come retirement, having goat milk to make cheese is more appealing than raising a small herd of them for that purpose. Cheesemaking skills over animal husbandry. I’ve still not written off ducks, though.

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