From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - April 7, 2022 - Baseball Opening Day Edition!
From the Garden this Week… Kale, Swiss Chard, Sweet Peas, Mixed Greens, Carrots, Cauliflower or Broccoli, Bok Choy, Radishes, Beets, Lemon Balm, Pink & White Grapefruit, Lemons, & Oranges
Coming Soon… Butter Head Lettuce
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
At home, I am always looking to squeeze more vegetables into meals that everyone likes. My husband taught me to use spaghetti as a substitute for more authentic Asian noodles in this adaptation of Chinese chow mein. And of course, I added in the extra vegetables. I like to call this my “disappearing bok choy” recipe, because no one knows that they have just been served an entire head of Bok choy. Slice the bok choy thinly across each rib and leaf, separate out the white and green parts (It’s okay if some of the middle pieces are not perfectly separate.) If your family is not averse to extra vegetables, feel free to add in even more. Americans are used to this being a noodle dish with added vegetables, but it can be a vegetable dish with added pasta.
Chow Mein Noodles
8 ounces wheat noodles, spaghetti or linguini
or Asian wheat noodles, if available.
2 tablespoons oil
½ cup onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon diced ginger
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
1 head bok choy, washed
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooked and chopped shrimp, chicken, or pork (optional)
3-4 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
* Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, slice the bok choy keeping the white and green parts separate. In a very large skillet or wok, heat oil over high heat. When the oil is nearly smoking, add the onions, garlic, ginger chili flakes, carrots, sliced white ribs of the bok choy and salt, sauté about 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the cooked meat (if using) and the sliced green leaves of the bok choy. Stir until the leaves have wilted. Drain the pasta from the water. Add the hot cooked pasta, green onions, soy sauce and toasted sesame oil. Turn off the heat and stir thoroughly to combine.
Play Ball, Farm Team! by Keith F Martin
Take me out to the country,
Take me out to the farm.
Plant me some carrots and cauliflower,
I don’t care if it takes a whole hour!
Let them root, root, root for the Farm Team,
If the crops don’t grow, it’s so hard,
for it’s one, two, three weeds, you’re out,
And there ain’t no chard!
Welcome, Boys of Summer!
Lemon Balm is a relative of the mint family and grows prolifically in the cool spring. It makes a good tea when steeped in hot water on its own or I like to add it to marinades or dressings. It goes with anything that you would usually pair with lemon, like chicken or seafood. Alternatively, try this recipe for lemon balm cookies if you need a refreshing sweet treat.
Lemon Balm Cookies
2 tablespoon minced lemon balm leaves
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup butter, softened
⅔ cup sugar
2⅓ cup all-purpose flour
In small dish, combine the lemon balm and lemon juice, press mixture with back of spoon to blend. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter & sugar until light & fluffy. Beat in egg & lemon mixture. Gradually beat in flour & salt. Roll the dough into a log and the wrap with parchment or waxed paper. Refrigerate until firm about 2-3 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap the dough and cut into slices about ¼ inch thick. Bake 8-10 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Remove from the oven when slightly golden brown around the edge. Let cool and enjoy.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul . . . Bougainvillea by Ronda May Melendez
Settled just a few miles from the ocean and a half hour from the desert, San Marcos has an astounding microclimate. Arid lands lie to the south and west, and yet, one can find tropical vegetation flourishing here! So many fascinating plants are exquisitely poised against the backdrop of these desert lands. One such plant is the bougainvillea. They are in bloom right now and are just extraordinary!
Yesterday, I kept spotting their vibrance everywhere I turned. Those bright fuchsia blossoms called out to be enjoyed. Since I wasn’t driving, I had more time to ponder their situation and thought, “Here they are, planted in parched, bone-dried land, and yet, they are receiving the essential nourishment to flourish where they are.” I also found it quite striking that the delicate blooms, lovely in form and color, emerge from vines that bear such brutal thorns!
This reminded me of the Israelites traipsing around the desert after having passed through the Red Sea. They, too, were not all that far from the sea, situated, as it were, in a land offering no native comfort. And yet, despite the discomfort and their thorny ways, God was working out a delicate beauty that He had designed into their being. He knew their beauty and worth but was also painfully aware of how their thorns pricked constantly at His heart and others.
I don’t think we are much different in situation. We endure our own versions of the sea and desert experience. We are there right now! My question - How might we settle into the Lord so that our beauty blossoms, despite arid climes and thorny ways, and even flourishes, for Him and others to enjoy?