Counter Culture

Here in my kitchen we’ve begun to enjoy the first produce from our garden: radishes of course, and the peas have started as well. The lettuce has been ready to pick for some time, I’m just waiting until I need it!

I started my garden last year, dug in the terrible, clay-filled soil of my backyard. I have dumped in straw, peat, and manure, but from what I’ve been told, it is going to take a number of years to get the dirt in good condition. Right now I have to rely on Miracle Gro if I want anything to stay green and actually grow. As time goes on I hope my dirt will develop so I won’t need that.

The most fun thing about the garden right now is that it has brought many, many birds to our backyard, including a pair of mallards who fly in each evening to peck at the leftover birdseed (and hopefully not at my little plants). The golden finches are finding the beet greens to be very tasty.

Each week I eagerly anticipate my CSA pickup. It’s kind of like getting a pile of presents to open. Swiss chard was among the recent arrivals. I often marvel at the amazing colors we get to enjoy while working in the kitchen. Food can be so beautiful! Just look at this PINK color. And look how it is paired with green (the natural complement of pink/red) to make a stunning combination.

I chopped the chard stalk and sautéed it with onion until soft then added in the cut greens and continued sauteeing until all was soft. A little balsamic vinegar finished it off.

Last Saturday was my annual day for  garage-saleing.  I’m always on the hunt for new things for my kitchen. I found the red-checked tablecloth which will be perfect for summer, and a few different antique china platters (50 cents each) as well as a beautiful green glass bowl.

I was most happy to find a brand new salad spinner for $2. The spinner I have been using was a wedding gift and had served us faithfully since then. The spinner happened to break the same week as my washing machine and I did feel as though my trusted tools were falling apart around me! (Especially since the dishwasher was also broken.)

I hope you all are enjoying the beginning of summer and all the lovely produce that is beginning to be available. If you have the chance, check out your local farmer’s market — it is always very inspirational to me, even if I can’t buy much. One of these weeks I’ll have to take you on a tour of our local market…

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