Friday, September 03, 2010

Garden Fun

When we got back from vacation last weekend, we found that our garden had exploded. In a good way, not literally. Tomatoes took off, tomatillos too, spinach grew, basil, cilantro, parsley, pumpkins - oh my goodness - I think the pumpkins may try to take over the entire yard. It's been fun. Maybe it's the cool summer we've had, but things take longer to grow and mature than I expected. Growing some of my own organic food has made me appreciate what organic farmers are doing even more.

The other night I made a frittata using zucchini, tomatoes, and basil from the garden. This time next year, I'll be able to make it with eggs from the chickens, too! It was delicious. It also had goat milk cheddar and came from an egg recipe book I purchased recently. I'm getting really excited about the eggs (hence the egg recipe book)... none yet, hopefully sometime in October. Chickens are doing great, looking mostly mature but their combs and wattles are not fully grown or bright red yet.

Ok people, this is really good. It's my very own recipe for tomatillo sauce. Here's what you need:

30 tomatillos, without husks
1 shallot, chopped coarse
2 cloves garlic, chopped coarse
1/2 t salt
handful cilantro
juice of 1 lime
1 "Italian Roaster" pepper (I'm growing these in the garden, they're long and green, smallish, not spicy but of course you could substitute to your spiciness liking)

First you roast the tomatillos under the broiler for about 5 minutes on each side, so they start to blister but not blacken too much. Try to save the juice that inevitably spills out on the pan. Put the tomatillos and the juice in the food processor, along with all the other ingredients and process until smooth. I put the cilantro in last so you can still see some green flecks. If you find it's too thick, add some water. That's it. Super yummy. We had some on trout last night and I plan to use the rest on some roasted poblanos this weekend.
Here we are on vacation last week. We visited Chimney Rock Winery, where we married 15 years ago. Sofia and Maia enjoyed seeing our wedding place and had fun pretending to marry and then not quite as much fun while we tasted some wine. Afterward, we had a wonderful lunch in Yountville at a French bistro that served all kinds of "frenchie" things like rabbit and duck and other somewhat unusual choices. Among other things that weren't rabbit, we ordered their ratatouille, which was a big hit with everyone. Who would think that Maia would love ratatouille? I'm positive that the movie had something to do with that. That's fine. We need all the help we can get to broaden her narrow palette. Ratatouille is on my menu this week - let's see if the movie can help me too.

One final note, and hopefully won't sound too preachy. While we were on vacation, three of Chris' cycling teammates were struck by a car while on one of their regular morning training rides. Two were injured seriously, one requiring knee surgery, and one with multiple pelvic fractures, also requiring surgeries. He may be out of commission for the better part of a year. The third rider required stitches on his face. A fourth rider was able to avoid the collision. It was truly frightening for Chris (and for me). One of the riders is one of his best buddies. The good news is that they will recover. What struck me is the response I got from several people when I mentioned the accident. They said things like, "What are they doing riding on that road?" and "That's a dangerous road for cars even!"

Chris' friends were riding single file and obeying all traffic laws. The driver turned left in front of them. She said she didn't see them. I feel for her because I know we all make mistakes while driving. What I would like to point out is that cyclists have every right to be on the road and are protected by our traffic laws. We need to be looking for them. I love a cyclist. If you're reading my blog, you probably do, too. Let's keep our eyes out for them. So here's a new public service announcement slogan:

Share the Road. It's not just about kindness, it's the law.

Peace to one and all.

1 comment:

Regina said...

All of your garden goodies sound so lovely.

I haven't had tomatillo sauce is a while, now I want some. :)

Ugh!!! It makes me so mad what people say about bike riders. My hubby Ryan, rides all the time and I really worry. Drivers can be so inconsiderate and downright dangerous.