Monday, March 15, 2010

Nettle season

I had such a good dinner with friends tonight, including a big bowl of steamed nettles. It's been a long time since I had them, and what I learned is that balsamic vinegar is the way to go. The bit of sweetness in the vinegar combines with the strong green of the nettles for side dish perfection.

What a wonderful way to bring in the spring.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Gardening with the grandbaby

Hailey has laid out lunch for "the guys," who are invisible to me: kale, walnuts, apple slices, and grape hyacinths. She ended up eating the apple and playing spitting games with most of the kale. She seems to be entering the "no greens" stage. She loves to pick them but not to eat them. We'll see how she feels when the sugarsnaps are ready.

I had some time with Hailey, so I was happy to abandon desk work in favor of a bit of gardening. We planted a small flat of chard starts (on sale, and I only have a few wintered-over plants), seeded some salad greens in a big pot on the deck, and put a few fingerling potatoes in the white pot to Hailey's left in the picture, with a mixture of compost, potting soil, and peat moss.

I've been reading up on various potato schemes. Lots of hype from sites with something to sell; lots of tales of failure from gardeners who have tried growing them in buckets, barrels, tires, etc. However, most of the sad stories I've read so far focus on too much sun in southern climes, which baked or at least shriveled the spuds before they could reproduce much. That's not likely to be a problem for me and I am very short of suitable garden spots for potatoes. Of course I live in a great potato growing region, and I can choose from a wonderland of organic varieties at the food co-op and the farmers market. I don't need to grow my own. But I do love harvesting them, so it's worth a try. Right next to the potato pot is the Meyer lemon, which has survived a couple of light freezes since I put it back outside and looks about to wake up and start growing new leaves. March is a great month.

I also stopped by Twisted S ranch in Ferndale today and bought some buffalo meat: brisket and osso bucco. I figure to give the brisket the old-school Julia Child daube treatment. It's rare that I buy an expensive cut of meat, so I may as well put some time into the preparation. That means it probably won't happen this week, but I hope it's soon.