Archive for July, 2010

summer fest: cukes

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

The first cucumbers and tomatoes are in. Or I should say, they’re gone. Gobbled up after passing feline inspection. But there are more on the way.

I’m growing two kinds, Boothby’s Blonde (described by a friend as a naked Kirby), and Suyo, which is pretty spooky-looking but delicious.

Last night I picked some of each and made them into a salad that was made for me when I visited Serbia several years ago. I don’t have a recipe, it’s so simple you can make it however you like it. More or less garlic or dill. Creamy yogurt or low fat…

I sliced the cucumbers thinly using the slicing side of my box grater and put them in a colander in the sink, salted them heavily and let them drain for a while.

In a bowl I mixed some plain yogurt with a couple of cloves of garlic, crushed, and some chopped up dill. I rinsed the cucumbers, dried them a little, and tossed them in the yogurtey mix.

All done. Simple and refreshing.

I thought I’d post about it today since it’s Cukes & Zukes day on the cross-blog Summer Fest. Find more cucurbit recipes and info on Summer Fest at

summer rain

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

I love it when “water garden” is on my list for the day and I wake up to the swishy sound of tires on wet road, and the patter of drops in the gutter above the bedroom window.

Can’t help feeling pleased with myself when I’ve crossed something off my to-do list before getting out of bed.


Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Last October I planted half a pound each of four types of garlic. I haven’t grown garlic before, being as this is my first year with a year-round garden, and I had no clue how much I’d be harvesting. Granted, the garlic took up more than 10% of the raised beds, which was kind of a clue…

This is the Inchelium Red softneck garlic, just one third of the harvest. The hardneck is still in the ground, waiting to be dug up.

I used the compost sifter M built for me and laid them out to dry in the shade on the patio.

It’s been 2 weeks and they’re looking ready to braid.

When all 4 types are harvested and cured I’d love to have a garlic tasting but I can’t figure out what dish would be a good comparison vehicle. Aioli? Garlic bread? I don’t think I’m up for crunching raw cloves.

ideas are in the garden

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

It’s mid-summer hot — too bold to be out in the midday, but I ventured into the garden early this morning to water and find inspiration in the shapes and colors.

The ferny leaves of a garbanzo plant…

Soft focus constellations scattered across the Moon & Stars watermelon…

Snapdragons grown from seeds so small I had to use a damp toothpick to pick them up have turned into these complex, elegant blooms…

The cucumber and pumpkin vines are perfect spirals…

The fractal bloom on last year’s parsley plant and the perfect red of its Salvia neighbor…

The psychedelic iridescence of a resting fly…

And the spiky dome of vibrant orange at the center of an echinacea flower…

If I spent every minute of my life making, I could never come close to the endless creativity of this natural world.