Wednesday, April 15, 2009

With Silver Bells and Cockle Shells

Week of April 5 through 11

Our garden is thriving! Everything is growing steadily and becoming so lush.

We've seen even more tomato blooms appear this week, so it won't be long now before we see some tomatoes. The tomato plants seem to like their expertly crafted cages - and Gizmo likes the tomatoes. At least she's laying in the garden instead of pooping in it. The cats seem to think we built them a 6x6 foot litter box, just because we love them that much.

Growing up, my dad always planted 5 or 6 squash plants, and each plant would produce at least six squash. We would eat squash for weeks. Squash casserole, squash pancakes, squash stir fry, buttered squash - you name it, my mom could add squash to it. I don't dislike squash, but I don't like it enough to include it in every meal. I was excited to see the first squash blossom this week, but that bloom also gave me a sense of foreboding about what my diet will consist of when it turns into a big yellow crookneck. And I don't know how to make squash cupcakes.

My grandparents have a huge garden with an entire row dedicated to blackberries. When we would go to visit, we would spend hours in the hot sun, amongst the fire ants, picking buckets of berries. Well, picking and eating. Pick one, eat three, because we couldn't resist them right off the vine - plump and delicious with just the right combination of tart and sweet. They were black gold, and we always wanted to hoard as many as we could in the freezer so we could have blackberry pie all year round. When we decided that we wanted blackberries in our garden, I knew that the plants had to come from my grandparent's garden. My dad cut some canes from their plants, and while The Parents were here for Easter weekend, he planted them for us in our backyard. (I put him to work again, trimming our trees and pruning our azaleas, he's never going to want to come visit if he has to work for his room and board!) We won't get any berries this year, but they will definitely be worth the wait.

The herbs are also coming along. I'm dreaming of the day when I can make a caprese salad with basil and tomatoes from my own garden. All I need is a cow to milk so I can make some mozzarella. Maybe next year.

Around Our House next week: While the Husband's Away The Wife Will Play (in the craft room!)

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