I have been going in a lot of directions this past week and eventually, did accomplish a few things. Someone once asked how often I work in my garden. Interesting question. I seem to work in it a little everyday. Sometimes it is a full day, but that is only now and then. When things get planted and on their way, it is less but when the weeds want to show their stuff it needs tending. I do what I call a “walk through” generally the first thing in the morning when it is cool and everything looks its best. I carry a small trimmer and a light weight basket or plastic bucket as I troll the garden. Then, if I spot something that needs pulling or trimming, I can do it immediately and don’t have to go back to clean up. If I do this most days, it never seems overwhelming or much like hard work. In the beginning of the season, there are a lot of days of lifting, bending, digging and walking. But I guess that is all good. This week, my Peonies, Astilbe and Lady’s Mantle are in full bloom. I have 16 Peony bushes so I cut some everyday for the house. They bloom fast and furious for a few weeks and then they are done.
Today a bucket is going to the cabin. The bucket I have them arranged in was my Dad’s minnow bucket. Aside from the cool, vintage look, it is certainly another sweet reminder of him…especially at the cabin where I spent every summer weekend of my young life. Then the very same cabin became our summer weekend destination with my own family and now our grandchildren. It is a pretty special place for us all.
This week also meant a two day trip to Atlanta to meet with the gals at the Cotton + Steel Studio. Most of you may know, they are the collaborative group of five young designers for RJR Fabrics, designing a broad range of cotton, rayon, canvas and double gauze modern prints. We are working on co-branding a project that will debut next fall at the Houston Quilt Market. We will keep you posted on that project as we get closer to October. While there, we did visit some really fun restaurants. At one, I ordered a Cucumber Salad. When it arrived the presentation was so appealing. As it turns out, it tasted just like the recipe from my mom that I make often, except…the cucumber was cut differently and crushed red pepper flakes were added turning the whole dish into something really fun. I made some for this weekend.
Also on the menu for this weekend was a Tomato Veggie Bisque. Every adult in my family is trying to add far more vegetables to their diet. We all like almost everything, but keeping fresh veggies on hand and ready to use at the spur of the moment is sometimes a challenge. I have concocted a soup recipe that uses a huge variety of veggies. I make it in a large turkey roaster in the oven and then freeze some and give some to my daughter and son for their households for the upcoming week. It is a quick way to get a serving of many veggies and actually hearty enough for a meal on its own. It makes a big, big batch and most importantly, is ready to eat in a flash. Every veggie you add makes it bigger and better.
Whenever I try to pass on a recipe that isn’t exact, I know I am taking a chance. But if you are willing to taste as you go and alter the spices to meet your palette, this is a great way to pack a lot of vitamins and fiber into your diet… and freezing some for later is the best. All the mess and work is done at once and you can enjoy over and over again later on or share as I often do. The ingredients change, depending on what I have on hand. But, this is what I used this morning….
I serve the soup with tiny, homemade croutons and ribbons of fresh basil. Tonight we had it with grilled brats and cucumber salad. It was a great way to end the weekend.
We just had a huge thunderstorm which means I don’t have to water the plants in the morning.