Garden-sitting for the Alters: Harvest edition!

September 11, 2009

Well, the summer has pretty much ended, which is kind of a bummer. On the bright side, however, harvest season is in full force! Before my final schlep up to the Alters’ garden (I’ve been garden-sitting, for those who don’t know; here’s Part 1 and Part 2), Jacob let out an exasperated sigh and said, “Remind me why you’re doing this, again?”

I had four words for him: We’re sharing the bounty.

And my, oh my, what a bounty there was! I was literally stopped in my tracks when I entered the backyard and saw a zucchini plant crawling up a tree, the tendrils of a squash plant creeping over to the house next-door and lettuce that had grown nearly as tall as my chest (I decided to let it “bolt” just to see how high it would get — turns out, it can get pretty high; and it even has beautiful little flowers at the top in a cute starburst formation). Part of me was almost weirded out by the whole scene, like it was straight out of Little Shop of Horrors and Audrey 2 was everywhere. But I regained my composure and started wandering amongst the foliage to see what I could pluck — I was told by Kelly to “eat, eat, eat” whatever was ready to be harvested — and eventually discovered two HUGE zucchinis. The squash wasn’t quite ready yet, so I gave it more water and let it be. There were ridiculous amounts of kale, so I snatched a few leaves of that; then I took some stuff that I thought was maybe spinach but is actually a complete Mystery Plant to me. It has a kind of lemony taste to it and big, flat leaves. The peas had unfortunately dried up, but the beets were still kicking, so I pulled up a couple of the bigger ones. Here’s the finished cornucopia:


I guess it doesn’t seem like very much, really, considering the square footage of the garden itself. However, it’s still exciting that, with a horribly damp summer and next to no green thumbs, I was able to help the Alters produce real, living, healthy food. Needless to say, I returned home, dragged Jacob outside, pointed to the veggies and said, “THAT’s why I spent all that time weeding!” Then, we had a delicious vegetarian curry.

Chopping broccoli, before processing it (Day 243)…

October 29, 2007


Remember that old Saturday Night Live sketch where Dana Carvey belted out a power ballad about chopping broccoli?

Well, if not, watch it here. If so, you’ve already picked up on the subject line of this post and I can go on to explain:

Because Ontario veggies in the fall mostly consist of potatoes, onions, leeks, carrots, cabbages and squash, and I’m not able to cook any of this in my oven, I’ve been making a lot of soups lately. As well, my visitor — who’s gone back to Portland, now — has turned me on to smoothies in the morning. Both of these require a food processor (well, not all soups, but most definitely all smoothies), and I happen to have a small, wand-shaped one that’s pretty eco-friendly in that it can be set on low speeds and afterwards there’s very little cleaning involved.

But the less that gets chopped up in advance, the more blending that’s required after. So from now on, I’ll be slicing and dicing my ingredients as thoroughly as possible before calling upon electricity to finish the job off.

Photo courtesy of CoolThinker on Flickr