From this Garden this Week, August 19, 2021...
From the Garden this Week…
Eggplant, Tomatoes, Peppers, Green Onions, Melon, Zucchini, Beets, Cucumbers, Radishes, Garlic, Basil, Plums and Nectarines
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
Thai food is one of my favorite cuisines. The cooking style is quick and easy, with French influences and uses lots of fresh herbs and vegetables. I found this recipe for a cucumber salad last winter and I finally pulled it out. You can use greens or lettuce to bulk it up, or add noodles and grilled fish or chicken to make it a meal. We sent small red chilis last week that can be used, but you can also substitute another spicy pepper or leave it out if you don’t like the heat. Once you mix in the vegetables, eat it right away to enjoy the crisp and refreshing flavors.
Thai Cucumber Carrot Salad
1-2 limes and juice to make 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
1 Thai red chile pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup oil
1 small head lettuce, cabbage or greens, shredded, about 4 cups
1 large Armenian cucumber, chopped
2-3 carrots, shredded
1-2 radishes, shredded
3 green onions, sliced
1 medium avocado, peeled and cubed
½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
½ cup basil leaves, chopped
Finely grate zest from lime. Cut the lime crosswise in half; squeeze juice from limes. Place zest and juice in a large bowl and add sugar, red chile pepper, garlic, salt and pepper, mix well then add the oil and combine. Add to the dressing the lettuce, cucumber, carrots, radishes, green onions and mix well. Add the avocado, cilantro and basil, stir gently to combine. Eat right away.
Elouise antics continue…
You never really know what this bird is going to be getting into! A few weeks ago, Cindi caught her uprooting succulents. This week, as I headed out to document our veggies in situ and our volunteers in action, I caught her sneaking tomatoes!
I can’t say I blame her; those little juicy ones are irresistible!
The summer squash harvest this year has been more than good and the best way to use a quantity of squash is by making noodles. I bought and gave away a spiralizer, it didn’t work out for me, so It’s hard for me to recommend a particular tool. I like to use a vegetable peeler and shave the squash; you can also shred it on a box grater as long as it is sharp. If you have a mandolin that works too. Or practice your knife skills and just slice it thin. If your pieces are thick cook them a little longer and less for thin slices. There is no need to cook the noodles separately.
Sautéed Zucchini Noodles
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes
2-3 summer squash, shredded, spiralized or shaved
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
¼ cup torn fresh basil leaves
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add garlic to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, about 1 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the shaved zucchini and salt and cook about 2-3 minutes until soft. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, basil and fresh ground pepper.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul… By Ronda May Melendez
The sun illuminates the recent outgrowth of my dwarf bay in the garden. It is lovely. Sweet. I reach to work toward my mission, picking some leaves for a friend. My fingers meet with a sticky residue. I continue to pick. In short order, I find my fingers not only sticky but covered with dust! Am I able to confess here, reader, that I am not pleased? I do not like the sensation. Stickiness and muck...not my favorite combo. I finish my task. Clean my hands. And, true to my nature, begin to research why my bay leaves are sticky.
It turns out that little critters are the producers of the muck. In fact, they have defecated all over my leaves...defecated! Ewwww. There are many things that I expect to see in a garden or read about in my gardening journeys, but, honestly, I had not expected the issue to be insect defecation...the little stinks!
As I reflect on a remedy, it strikes me how often we, humans, bring our muck to our environment. Situations get sticky. The surrounding dirt and dust cling to our sticky bodies and minds and we wonder why we find life so agitating.
It turns out the remedy is to spray my bay tree with neem oil. Neem oil impairs insects feeding capabilities and hormone production. This in turn, kills off the insect itself, while also acting as a preventative for it to lay eggs, thus producing more little instigators. Biblically, oil is mentioned over 200 times metaphorically for the presence of the Holy Spirit. Could it be the remedy to our ‘stickiness and muck’ could be the oil of the Spirit, as well? After all, the oil of the Spirit kills off the nature of the flesh and allows for the bringing forward of the fruits of the Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” - Galatians 5:22-23