Thyme for spring greens
- Everyone with a deer-proof place in the sun should be picking the first spring greens of Blanco County this week. We have enough baby lambs quarters for a goodly helping along side tonight's baked chicken and sweet potatoes. While the oven was still hot, I popped in a pan of banana bread, so it smells warm and good at our house today. And we got all our basic food groups in those two big pans, enough for lunches this week, too. Last night we stewed up a big pot of beef 'n' brown rice, with Chinese seasonings, so leftovers will definitely not be boring.
The Last Mate and I are working hard at civilizing our abode. The slave labour of establishing the garden is done, for life, which is why these gardening columns have slowed considerably. Ahem. Now that the rain has returned, all manner of scrumptious weeds are sprouting everywhere. If we don't find them tasty, some bug probably will. Our only garden chore this thyme of year is to thin the herd ----- the survivors will fill the spaces until they, themselves, need to be thinned. Just enough elbow room to grow is all they need, so be sure to leave plenty for everyone else, or you may find that the caterpillars or grasshoppers have eaten your share! We never spray, either, because the wrens and warblers need all the bugs they can eat to raise next year's baby birds. Poor little titmice have had it hard in my yard, this year, since they live mostly on grass seeds and such. Nothing is growing still, out there where the dozers roamed. Hopefully it will all come up grass, can I have a pony for the grandkids? Meanwhile, inside the deerproof fence, the rampant veggie jungle springs anew, loving this January rain. And I didn't have to do any work except organize a little compost and re-set a few stepping stones. Ha! Tomorrow, when I'm in town, I'll buy more lettuce and snow pea seeds to plant where some of the thistles are coming out. Never leave bare soil, have something going on all the thyme, Mother Nature abhors a vacuum. You feed her by building good soil and sharing with her other children, and she will feed you in return. If you fence out the deer!
~~~Recipe of the Week: CHEESE SLAW ~~~Serves 6 side dishes, 2 chef salads, or 8-10 tacos. Double for a crowd.
This is the Last Mate's favourite salad. I have been known to eat a whole bowl by myself. It's much more tender than cole slaw, children love this much better, especially if you let them grate the cheese.
Shred 1 head leaf lettuce (the organic kind from Real Foods Store)
Grate 1 hunk of your favourite cheese (1-2 oz. per person), 1 large carrot & 1 apple, in that order.
Toss into lettuce, along with black olives, sliced almonds, cherry tomatoes, or croutons.
Toss with raspberry vinegar or your favourite dressing, serve with garlic toast. Also good on burgers or tacos.
Add a can of albacore tuna, leftover chicken, or taco meat, and you have a whole different thing.
For large parties, add grated zucchini instead of apples, because apples will turn brown on a buffet.
Traveler in Thyme
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