down in the dirt

Oh, yeah.  I’m feeling ALL satisfied.

I was going to skip the garden this year and mooch other people’s veggies.  Which has its obvious plus side, but I’ve found that beggars can’t be choosers, and I like my zucchini and squash picked when young and tender – that tough old stuff goes into the compost – and I like to (ahhhhh) pluck off a tomato and some basil leaves and have a quick little oil and vinegar salad when the mood strikes, which is pretty much daily.

So, I busted a move today and got some plants in the ground.  I scaled back and only planted things I was pretty sure would thrive.  I’ve had bad luck with cucumbers and lettuce (bitter and gross) and with brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower, onions, green beans, and bell peppers (not so productive) so they didn’t make the cut.  I planted two tomatoes (Early Girl and Better Boy), one cherry tomato, one zucchini, one golden zucchini, one crookneck squash, and one packet of mixed squashes (including butternut and spaghetti squash).  Also herbs (cilantro, oregano, and basil) joined the ones that made it from last year (rosemary, chives, and mint).  And some zinnias for cutting.

I sowed some flower seeds in a little corner-of-the-backyard spot, which is ludicrous, because I know perfectly well that Wolf, the German shepherd, will find the fresh, soft soil irresistable for digging.  And some more flower seeds in a spot next to the shed, which (like the veggie and herb gardens) is protected from naughty puppies by a white wire border.  And some of my favorite shade annual – those trailing Purple Queens – in a planter and in the bed by the back door.

Anyhoo – if you’re still reading, know that I am quite happily relaxing with some chardonnay and very, very happily looking forward to grilled zucchini, interesting squashy dishes, and – mmmmmm – warm, ripe tomatoes from the garden.

I am particularly excited about trying this recipe.  It’s from Home Tested Casserole Recipes, and was submitted by one June Holmes of Alpharetta, Ga.

Two Squash Risotto in a Bag

1 tablespoon flour

1 can (14 1/2 oz ) plus 1 cup chicken broth

1 cup arborio rice

1 large onion, diced

1 cup matchstick zucchini strips

1 cup matchstick yellow squash strips

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 T balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

crumbled bacon, optional (mmm, no, but perhaps some kind of nutty sprinkle on top? or possibly sauteed mushrooms?)

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Add flour to large oven-roasting bag and shake well. Combine all remaining ingredients, except bacon, in large bowl, mix well.

3. Pour into bag; close tightly and cut six 1/2 inch long slits in top of bag.

4. Place bag in 3 quart baking dish.

5. Bake one hour or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Garnish with crumbled bacon, if desired.

Makes 4-6 servings.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

    May 05, 2009 @ 00:49:59

    That’s my daughter-in-law, you go girl. There is not much better than fresh herbs… except maybe Leo.

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