Saturday, July 30, 2011

Garden Day

We worked in the garden today and took some pictures.

Let's start with some broccoli, green beans, and round two of both peas and zucchini, shall we?

 Garden bed two has a lovely assortment of...



and peppers.

And here are some potatoes, onions/chives, and a lonely--but resilient--carrot.

This little guy keeps watch over the plants. You may know we bought him from Target's toy department, but the birds don't and they stay clear of his rubber wrath.

We've made do with our quarter acre, which has meant getting creative with space, like when we put corn by the driveway...

or enabled a stray pumpkin vine in its attempt to take over the front porch.

Here's some basil from the herb garden, just because I think basil's sexy.

And, finally, here's a shovelful of gorgeous compost.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Backyard cuisine

Hey there! Been awhile, I know, but I wrote a novel and that takes a little bit of time, you know?

Here's what we ate with dinner last night. It's pan-fried potatoes with minced garlic and fresh basil and thyme.
The potatoes were from the garden--we pulled some the other night and they were perfect, pink new potatoes. The herbs? From the herb garden, right outside the kitchen door. We bought the garlic--we don't grow our own garlic because our weird neighbor grows garlic and we don't want him to talk to us about growing garlic. But the rest was all backyard grown, and that's not too shabby, right?

The best part was pitching the dish to our beyond-picky six-year old daughter. It went something like this:

Me: Would you eat potatoes if I fried them in a pan?
Daughter: No
M: Are you sure?
D: Yes
M: They're from the garden.
D: (pauses) Okay then.
D: (few minutes later) Dad? Can you fix these for Thanksgiving dinner? They. Are. Awesome!

Now, I'm no great cook, am only now coming to the realization that you can toss herbs into a meal to give it that "flavor" thing people are always raving about. Watching her scarf those potatoes down and ask for more made me feel like friggin' Jamie Oliver or something, though.

More important than her enjoying a side dish, however, was her responding to the fact that the potatoes came out of our garden--she helped plant those potatoes, checked on them every day with us, and pulled them out of the ground just the day before. We're growing food together. Every day without fail, she runs out and gathers berries, even eating green beans raw--she doesn't eat green beans, but she'll gobble down a bean that she pulled off the plant. That, to me, is something important. She's realizing that food doesn't come from Wal Mart but from the ground, and anybody--even her barista dad--can make food come out of dirt. How far are we gonna take this? I'm not completely sure, but I do know that we're nowhere near the end of the life lesson. I mean, the tomatoes are still green and I think we can coax a few more inches out of those cucumbers.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wait... Reverse that

It has been a while since anything new has gone up on this blog, and for good reason. Early last week we were hit with some news that greatly affects the way we eat. My gestational diabetes test came back showing some pretty high numbers. I spent three hours with a dietician last Friday and relearned how to eat, at least for the next few weeks. This will change the dynamic of our little blog temporarily... but I'm hoping that the change will also teach me a few things about measuring ingredients and appropriate serving sizes... things that I have been blatantly ignoring.

Today the Mr. did a grocery run like no other. Instead of hovering over the ingredients list on the labels, he compared grams of carbohydrates... something I for one have never done. It turns out all those beautiful organic options in the grocery are way higher in carbs than the other foods. All of summers' colorful vibrant fruit that I've been consuming at a rapid rate, is not a great option when your placenta keeps loads of sugar in your blood. Desserts, muffins, breads... um, yeah... those are going to have to wait a while before they make a comeback into our home.

The biggest change in the diet is the protein. We admittedly don't eat a lot of meat. Now I will be consuming meat 14 times in a 7 day span. This to me.... sounds awful and completely counterintuitive to a natural whole foods diet that I usually try to stick by. It is what it is, and I will do whatever I need to in order keep myself and my little baby inside healthy and safe.

As I flip through the books and guides, I am finding that some things remain true. Herbs. Herbs change a meal into something you remember. Herbs are great for your body inside and out and herbs are naturally delicious. Luckily, our herb garden has been good to us this year.

Saying goodbye to my orange juice has been one of the harder adjustments. I'm working on convincing my pallet that unsweetened iced tea is good.... with a little less honey each time I fill up this jar.

I have a few recipes that I'm working on posting this week. They will be very diabetic friendly and hopefully they will taste awesome and you will love them.