Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This is (sort of) growing on me.

Get it? Oh, garden-themed blog pun, you are hilarious.

My craftiness has had to take a back seat lately to busy season at my wedding/event floral "dayjob". Dayjob is in quotes there because we've been so busy it was a few 50+ hour weeks in a row, but since I've only got three weeks of work left, things (for me, anyway) have been slowing down a bit. Why only three weeks left, you ask? More on that later.

For now, here's some glamour shots of my meager garden plot:

That last photo is in memorium of my former bean plants and their delicious bounty. The plants succumbed to some sort of unidentified problem (bacterial, I suspect) that caused the leaves to turn red and splotchy and the beans to wither and yellow on the vine. It is also a picture of a cat that I like.

Being such an amateur, I lack the experience to sort out what disease is wilting the beans and what bug might be eating the chard and why the lettuce won't produce the same amount each week. This is my first attempt at a garden that isn't a collection of oversized terra cotta pots, and despite how "rustic" everything looks, it's been producing pretty well. Last night I made a big batch of arugula pesto and could probably do the same tonight if there wasn't so much left over. Last week I recruited my roommates to eat a salad of arugula and baby chard, along with a bowl of green beans and a side of chard cooked with garlic, and just yesterday I got my first of many yellow cherry tomatoes and handful of basil. Still waiting on the neglected cilantro to turn into coriander, but there's no hurry. I'm hoping to leave my roomates with some kale and cabbage to harvest in the winter, now that the beans have vacated their precious space.

Leave kale for my roomates...what does that mean? It means that in a mere 29 days I will be on my way to California in an all-American-road-trip-to-a-new-life-out-west kind of way. The boyfriend is in San Francisco as I write this, searching for an apartment for us in the East Bay. The thought of smelling salt water again fills me with joy, as does the idea of visiting an artichoke farm. Funny what things you fixate on. I've mananged to convince some unsuspecting friends that they really do want my house plants and cat and some odd furniture bits and artwork. Donut and I divided up our cell-phone family plane today (so sad!) and soon I guess I'll have to start packing. Not quite sure how I'll fit into the Wood Street Blog without actually living on Wood Street, but I look forward to, at the least, guest blogging from time to time! Heaven knows there will be plenty of DIY, foodie, crafty awesomeness going on in the Bay Area to report on.

Here's another picture I like and a recipe to go with it, because this is my blog post and I can do that.

Steph's Keep-Me-Full-At-Work Granola

3 cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/4 cup Flax Seeds
1/3 cup Dark Brown Sugar, dissolved to a thick syrup with water
1/3 cup Light Oil (vegetable, canola, safflower, etc.)
1/2 cup Raw Walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Dried Fruit (strawberries, raisins, dates, etc.)
1/4 cup Pumpkins Seeds, raw

This recipe is something I always toss together, depending on what bulk leftovers I have from my last Whole Foods run. The basic idea is to mix the oats, nuts, seeds, etc. in a large bowl, then drizzle the oil and sugar water over it. It gets a quick toss before being spread on a cookie sheet and placed in an oven set to 350. There's no real "done", but once things get a bit more golden and the oats become crunchy, I call it done. It usually takes about 20 minutes. After cooling, the fruit is tossed in and a handful of raw sesame seeds are sprinked over the top before I scoop it into one of the storage jars I can't stop buying at thrift stores. Easy! And seriously, if I eat this for breakfast I won't need food for 6 hours or so.