From Garden to Kitchen

Today's harvest

The toy garden continues to delight me.

I have thought that maybe it’s providential that the camper is out of commission for a while.  If it were up and running, I wouldn’t have planted my late little vegetable beds and would have missed out on the primal sense of accomplishment that growing one’s own food provides.

Today I weeded and tied up sagging tomato branches.  I also encountered one of the heartbreaking displays of nature’s balancing act.

Tomato hornworm with parasitic wasp cocoons

I noticed that one of my tomato branches showed telltale signs of the presence of a tomato hornworm.  Then I found the worm — covered with the cocoons of a parasitic wasp which effectively turns the caterpillar into an eating machine on their behalf until they devour their host.

But back in the kitchen, all I felt was the joy of cooking good fresh food.  I had originally planned to do a traditional meat and veggie dinner, but as I looked at all of the fresh garden goodies, I changed my mind.

Vegetarian feast fresh from the garden

My neighbor had given me several ears of corn from her garden.  So I steamed it, scraped the kernals off the cobs, and made real creamed corn — with butter, cream, and lots of pepper.

I had several yard long beans in the refrigerator, so I combined them with the ones I picked today, steamed them for 3 minutes, then battered and deep fried them for a special treat.  (This turned out to be a very high fat dinner!)

I wanted to make eggplant parmesan, but didn’t have the right cheeses, so I dipped slices in egg, then in a bread crumb-parmesan mixture with oregano, celery seed and thyme, fried them, covered them with buttered bread crumbs, then topped it with freshly grated parmesan–and served it topped with fresh diced tomato.

Goodness to come

Last of all, I sliced little pickling cucumbers from the garden and added a dash of ranch dressing.  We love pickling cucumbers because they are so much crisper than salad cucumbers, and they are just the right size.

Life is wonderful–even though we are temporarily without a camper.

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