Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

We had quiet the storm last night! Lots of majestic lightning, lots of was wonderful !!! I went out to check on the garden this morning, to assess any damage that was done. None. Lookin' good !!!
Our garden spot isn't huge, by livin' in the country standards. We are trying a garden again this year after several years of not even trying because of our enemy, fire ant.
We are growing cucumbers, yellow squash, spinach, tomatoes and Swiss chard. We wanted to keep it simple so that we don't get overwhelmed by the garden work, since we both have other things in our lives that need tending. Past experience has taught us that the "overwhelmed" stage leads to the "discouragement" stage which quickly disintegrates into the "feghit about it" stage, at which point the garden is done for, "sleepin' with the fishes" stage. Might as well get out the tiller and turn it all under....a sad day of personal defeat for all.
THIS, though, is the "lookin' good" stage!
Here is the Swiss chard. I can not adequately express to you my deep love of Swiss chard. I could eat it every single day!! They sometimes carry it at HEB in the big cellophane bags alongside the turnip, mustard and collard greens. Chard is very mild, doesn't have a spicy bite like mustard greens, and really is more similar to spinach. Here is how I fix chard or spinach or any kind of greens :
* Prep the green by stripping the leaf from the biggest part of the stalk
* Of course wash and wash and wash again to remove all dirt
* In large skillet or pot, drizzle olive oil, maybe 3 Tablespoons, on bottom
* Smash and peel 3-4 garlic, add to the oil and heat. DO NOT let the garlic brown.
Remove garlic and set aside
* Add the chard, stuffing it into the pot -- keep on stuffing it down
* Cook on medium heat until the chard begins to shrink down, then with grabnabbers
(that would be kitchen tongs to all you who do not watch Little Einsteins on a
regular basis) turn the chard over until all is cooked. Takes maybe 7-10 mins.
* Mince the garlic you removed earlier and sprinkle over the chard
* Also, sprinkle with Kosher or sea salt. Any salt will do, but don't overdo, because
chard is naturally salty tasting.
ENJOY!!! It is soooooo good -- good for you, tastes like heaven. I can't wait until tonight when I cook it for dinner again.
OH ---- IMPORTANT -- I started out with a large laundry basket FULL and it cooked down to a half a skillet full. Chard and all other greens reduce down dramatically !! Just wanted you to be forewarned.
And yes, this does "fly in the face" of everything you ever learned about Southern-influenced vegetable cooking. And know this --- I can cook a mean pot of greens, Southern style. You know the kind where you cook them in water for waaay too long, with a slab of bacon or salt pork in the pot. And then eat them in a bowl with all that yummy juice poured over a huge slice of cornbread......oh, yeah! I love those kind too!!!! My recipe however, is much healthier and I'm trying really, really hard to be all about healthy !!
And finally -- a picture of my backyard. Well, the cotton field just beyond the back fence. You can tell how much it rained last night. If you look really closely, you can see the cotton already coming up. It was planted on Memorial Day, just 9 days ago. But it was up and growing at about 6 days. I love !!!! watching this field go through all the changes as the year goes past. I am my Daddy's daughter, after all. A real farmer's daughter!
I am very thankful today for the abundance of my life. There are the big things -- Jesus in my heart, a husband who adores me, children whom I adore, a wonderful shelter to keep me warm and cool, a great church family and many friends. And then there are also hundreds and thousands, millions even, of blessings of abundance that the LORD has given me...not enough space, even here, to list them all. I am just so aware that this garden and this field and the rain that fell last night are all on that list.
Blessings on you today,
Gwynie Pie

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