Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Greens and Ham

We've had mustard greens several times lately. Pork, greens and sweet potatoes go together like peas and carrots. Sweet potatoes are ubiquitous this time of year and I am a failed sweet tater farmer. So I buy them. It makes no sense to grow something badly when there are eaier things that do well. Mustard is a shade of green that is quite pretty in the garden.
Broccoli heads are slowly forming. Some of the collards are ready to eat except that the key weather element, frost, has not come our way yet. Southern lore has it that collards are extremely bitter before frost. I grew some broccoli rabe once that I forced myself to eat. Gack. It was one of those moments in personal history that shouldn't have happened. Scott put down his fork and watched in silence. I'm still recovering. No way I'm going to try unfrosted collards.
The lettuces are in different stages. It's fun to watch them change from tiny shoots to fully developed plants. Lettuce is the best bang for the buck in our fall garden. A $1.00 packet of seeds will surely grow $100.00 worth of lettuce. Ridiculously easy and fabulously tastey. When you grow your own lettuce, you can harvest the outside leaves as they mature and leave the plant to continue forming new leaves. Much better than just cutting off the whole head like farmers have to do. The salad bowl of America is not in California, it's in your own backyard y'all.

Parsley Lemon Vinagrette

1/4 to 1/2 cup parsley
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teapsoon dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon honey
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil

Whir it all together in a blender or with a magic kitchen wand. So good.

Note: The elaborate fencing/netting is to protect the lettuces from frost and cats. There is a huge plastic sheet, not seen, that can be pulled over the bed when the temperatures fall below 40 to protect the plants. The cats are brats. The other strategy to keep them out of the garden is wheat straw. As it degrades it becomes very slimey and they hate it. Me to. It is weird.

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