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Currently Browsing: How Does My Garden Grow

Food Porn

I realize that you may or may not know how much I love to cook. I do take pictures sometimes of what I make but I even more seldomly am posting them. I don’t know why. Well maybe it’s because there’s a lot that goes into being a food blogger. Except who doesn’t like oggling the pictures. And we all need some inspiration to be in the mood for food to make. So I’ve decided to give you a food porn picture-athon for today only. Enjoy!

gardentomatoes on Food Porn on Shalavee.comHomegrown garden tomatoes went into gazpacho (recipe here) and homemade tomatoes sauce and got roasted by the cookies sheet full. Roasted sungold and grape tomatoes became my ketchup with my breakfast eggs.

gazpacho on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

Fresh tomatoes and garlic on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

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cooking-peppers-and-onions-and-freezing-the-pablanos on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

Cooking peppers and onions and freezing the garden poblanos that grew like gangbusters.

gluten free pizza on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

Gluten free pizza has the best texture but sadly tastes like nothing.

crabs-an-eastern-shore-maryland-delacacy gluten free pizza on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

Two years in a row I’ve celebrated my birthday with crabs. This years bushel did not disappoint. Sweet and fat and too many were left over. Accompanied by Maryland Silver Queen sweet corn and more slices of homegrown tomatoes with mozzarella and basil and our meal is complete.

 

eastern-shore-corn-porn Food Porn on Shalavee.com

sausages-and-biscuits on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

I was raised on Midwestern breakfasts. Biscuits, sausage, and gravy. And poached eggs not pictured.

I thought for a moment these were my killer crabcakes sizzling in the cast iron pan, the recipe for which you can find here on this post.

But the biscuit recipe can be found here. And I’ve taken to using frozen salted butter chopped into the flour mixture in a cuisinart.

The resulting biscuits are to die for.

 

biscuits in-the-pan on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

chicken-wild-rice-and-mushroom-soup

And a chicken, Portobello mushroom, and wild rice soup I whipped up recently because it’s become soup season now. Fair-the-well sweet Summer garden food. Hello heavier more caloric winter feasting food. We’ve missed you.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Thought Weeds : Where They Stop and You Begin

What is there to not love about a good gardening analogy? Growing your life and weeding out that which doesn’t work is such a universal concept. The analogy can be used for money, community, happiness, and self-love. Tending them daily, rethinking them, weeding them, and watering them as you would a vegetable garden. Staying in touch and mindful of anything guarantees you’ll do a better job at it.

So when my therapist offers that the soul garden I’m living in and the thoughts I’m living by contain some big ugly weeds that I did not plant and I have every right to pull out and plant my rose garden, I said “Huh!”. Although I’m not much for roses, I liked the analogy and never really thought any more about it. Until this morning.Thought weeds on Shalavee.com

I took myself outside for some weeding therapy in the yard for 45 minutes. My garden and I have fallen on some bad times of recent. As in I just did not have any time to devote to it as I was tending to a demanding two/three-year old this past year.

The neglect is starting to show. It’s a murmur in my mind every time I’m out there weeding when and what I can. What really struck me today however was how when unchecked, the plants drift and devour the space of other plants. With no discipline or choice, the garden does as it pleases. And if you leave a plant to its own devices, it will root deep and sprawl. Much like the unchecked thoughts in your mind that you just haven’t gotten around to wrangling either.Thought weeds on Shalavee.com

If what my therapists suggests is true, there are thoughts that we regularly entertain that we did not put into our own heads. But rather were given to us by well-meaning adults to plant in our small eager childhood brains to help us grow. Except that they didn’t work for us. In fact, these thoughts have done nothing but soak up our sun and our rain and have kept us from spreading out and flourishing. And if we realize that these gardens/brains won’t die if we make decisions to redesign and weed our garden/life plans, we can turn this whole garden/life thing around.

I was pulling handfuls of ajuga up the next thing I knew. I like it but it has devoured the entire front area of my garden where I think I may like to plant some Spring bulbs and flowers. Suddenly, I am having hopeful thoughts about my garden. Just a little foresight this Fall and I know my Spring garden will make me so much happier. Thought weeds on Shalavee.com

For me, just a few moments to journal about how the fear of failure/success has kept me from entertaining some big goal dreams like writing a book has opened my eyes up to investing in my life again and I feel hopeful again. Instead of resigning myself to let whatever happens happen. Instead of keeping myself a willing hostage to the ‘what if I fail’s, I’ve decided to intervene in the spreading of the thought weeds and see what beauty may come of it. Mind you some of these Lie weeds are huge and nasty and insist you’ll die if they die. These may require some friends to witness and some heavy-duty gloves to pull their thorny nasty selves out. But once they’ve been removed, the light and space in your brain feels amazing. You’ll understand the need to weed the exterior and the interior landscape is the same and a mindfulness practice will have begun.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Eat Your Rainbow

I’m no health fanatic but a yummy food aficionado? Absolutely. I also love beautiful pictures and art. I love colors. I swoon over a wildflower garden with butterflies or a rainbow in the sky. So when it comes to wanting to make pretty food, I’m inspired by natures palette to be a little more creative. Why-Eat-Rainbows on Shalavee.com

Eat your colors, or eat your rainbow, was a nutrition advocacy slogan from a few years ago. Here’s one article that enlightened me on the eating my rainbow. The concept was catchy and it seems that it really does round out your nutritional needs for phytonutrients. The yellow food is good for your skin and digestive system. And red helps our joints. And you remember orange is good for your eyes.overhead wax beans on Shalavee.com

Farmers market tomatoes on Shalavee.com

Our appetite, or our mood to eat specific foods, has a lot to do with how food looks. If you see pretty, you want to eat it. So I’ve added a few recipes and practices to my cooking repertoire just to appeal to my visual. And of course, they make my body happy too because there’s more vegetables.

health salad on Shalavee.com

purple cabbage on Shalavee.com

I regularly buy purple cabbage to use in stir-frys, my warm salad, coleslaw, and to throw in my salad mix with shredded carrot which then makes it look good enough to eat with nothing more added. Red onion is lovely in salads, fresh fruit salsas, and just classes up the joint where plain onions can seem plebeian. I also now but the three pack of multicolored peppers, red, orange, and yellow plus the greens. I’m happy enough seeing all of these together.Fresh salsa on Shalavee.com

But on top of gazpacho, in a stir fry, or in that fruit salsa to top off grilled pork chops, I am equally happy. It may become more challenging as we move into Winter but there’s a new crop of fresh produce to explore. Cranberries, butternut squash, and kale !

Do you think about the colors of your food? Do you agree that it seems more satisfying when you see more colors on your plate?

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

 

Weeding My Garden

This weekend was a glump of happy life happenings. It was a Mother’s Day weekend of wonderful gifts. My cooking hiatus started Thursday so carry out food it was for three nights in a row. Usually this would bother me. Not this weekend.

Caitlin and Fiona on Shalavee.comOur surrogate daughter Caitlin visited Friday and she and everyone else but me and Fiona went to see a local high school production. Instead, Fiona and I watched Follow That Bird, the Big Bird movie from the 80’s. Sweet. And then came Saturday, the day I’d been patiently awaiting. My gardening relief crew showed up as planned. The Uber Weeder on Shalavee.com

My garden story is a story of overwhelm and give up. But it was also a story I hated telling. So I asked for help from two women who I knew would bring it on strong. The uber-weeder and the disciplinarian/transplanter. I am so cheered and encouraged by their presence in my life and my garden. Hope has returned. And these are the thoughts that bubbled up for me on life and gardening. Ajuga takes over on Shalavee.com

Everyone’s got a life garden they are tending. The original garden plan is created in the family you grow up with but sometimes the major focal plants are just not what you want or need in your garden in your adult life. One person’s rose is another’s thorny weed. And so it’s up to you to decide which dreams and efforts are worth keeping and making the effort for and which need to be summarily yanked from that bed and tossed ceremoniously over the precipice. The Boobis Garden

Sometimes in my garden I’ll continue to coddle plants that needed the boot long ago. I’m a laissez faire gardener. Sometimes I make so much effort only to have half the garden get nuked by two freakish years of spring frost. Sometimes, we don’t want to make the effort unless we know it’s the perfect height and color plant in the perfect micro-climate in the perfect soil and light. Perfection is also a garden killer. And a life thwarter. Nothing grows if it’s not planted.New plants to kill on Shalavee.comBut most of the time you are taking a gamble on every single choice you make in the garden and your life. Once you expect the unexpected, you can start to hedge your bets. You’ll make good friends with people who have gardens and who have the sort life they can advise you on creating. You get medieval on the weeds and the negative influences in your life. And you keep your eye on the prize, your hands in the dirt, and you keep on digging, goaling, and doing. Awaiting my garden help on Shalavee.com

My garden is nothing like I’d like it to be. And yet, I am beginning to see my garden and my life not as a product but as a process. A learning process. Not as a destination but an adventure. My perception of how things are going is the only control that I have. The quality of my garden is both mine to make and to choose to then see. So I begin again. Enjoying the small moments, seeking some bigger ones to take root. And not trying to overachieve while I still have a wee Fiona ensconced in my soul and my time. All in good time.

(The story of my lovely mother’s day weekend will be another upcoming post. Talk atcha then.)

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

May Gardens Grow

Although I have given up on my garden to a great extent ( see this post for the back story for my grief-talk), Mark soldiers on with his. In fact this year, he constructed a raised bed to improve and expand his prior garden design. One year we decided to order our tomato plants from Burpee and we’ve done so ever since. We began this practice the year after I started everything from seed and then most of our majestic six-foot plants were tragically struck down by the Downy White Mildew Blight. Heirlooms go first. Hybrids don’t bat an eye.

Pregrown planties from Burpee on Shalavee.com

This incident is one of my reasons for my heartbreak and grief in the garden. But not Mark. He get’s such enjoyment from the planning and the production, giving away more than half our yield to friends, neighbors, and in state relatives, that he couldn’t stop even if he wanted to. Veggie Junkies have been created. He needs to feed their dependency.

Mark's garden April 12 2015 on Shalavee.com

The new bed was planted perpendicular to the old bed and so there was a bit of the old bed left. My son Eamon really mostly hates anything that gets his hands dirty or is remotely related to “yard work”. So having him help has been really disappointing at best. But this year I said he needed to plant a wildflower garden in the old bed and he said “yes”. The trick is to figure out everyone’s GAS. I said we would draw a map. He was excited.

Eamon and his garden mapping on Shalavee.com

I had a fist full of seed packages that had waited to be thought of. Some were old wildflower mixes. While I had two coreopsis, some zinnias, Echinacea, and a random bag of blossoms from a dried up celosia plants from my Mother-in-laws. I have no idea if any of them will germinate. But I told Eamon to divide the garden into quadrants and the map them out. So this is what he made.

Eamon's garden map on Shalavee.com

We are hoping that Fiona is bitten by the gardening bug. So far though, Mark had to convince her that worms don’t bite. And every time she sees a bee she says “Ow”. There’s still hope for his garden help and my kitchen assistant though. Some teeny tiny garden gloves and an apron might need to be added to the dress-up chest soon.

tomatoes and green peppers at the end of April on Shalavee.com

The Snap peas and zucchini (courgettes), as well as the swiss chard and garlic have all been reported doing well. There seems to be some concern over the cucumbers however. I’ll keep you posted. Happy gardening!

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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