Fake Cocktails and First Salads

Have you noticed I haven’t been talking about the garden much lately? That would be due to the fact that the seedlings in our office, resting peacefully under lights, getting plenty of water and warmth, etc. etc., blah blah blah, are NOT GROWING. I’m very disappointed and am starting to get mildly frantic because WHAT WILL I PLANT IN MAY?! I have a bunch of seedlings that have one set of leaves and refuse to get bigger.

Note: This is really all my fault. I packed the planters in on each tray, and they stayed too wet for too long. Lesson learned. I’m hoping against hope I can rectify the situation, because I really don’t want to have to go out and buy plants. That would be ridiculous, people.

However, the plants that are in the backyard already, particularly the lettuce and peas, are doing superbly well. So well, in fact, that I was able to eat my first salad tonight, completely from the backyard. I never knew lettuce could be so good.

20120421. Lettuce from the backyard - first salad of the season.

20120421. Lettuce from the backyard - first salad of the season.

To go with my salad, I had a fancy fizzy water – club soda with homemade lavender simple syrup, using dried lavender from last fall’s plants. I say “homemade,” but simple syrup has got to be the easiest thing in the world to make. It’s not called simple for nothin’ – ba dum bump CHING. Want to know how hard I slaved over the stove last night? Here you go:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons dried lavender leaves, flowers, or whatever you’ve got

Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5-10 minutes. Turn off heat, and let syrup cool. Pour into a pretty bottle using a fine sieve to strain out the plant bits. Throw it in the fridge. Mix with club soda (or club soda and vodka) to your heart’s delight. Garnish with a sprig of fresh lavender if you have some on hand. Enjoy.

20120421. Lavender simple syrup + club soda = love.d of the season.

While I am apparently awesome at killing seedlings, I am fantastic at raising chickens. Really, when we go on excursions to the outdoor run, they think I’m their mother, pecking around underneath me, eating grass and peeping contentedly. Yeah, I am probably not going to be able to eat these girls ever. We’ll have four very pampered 12-year-old chickens hobbling around the yard with their little chicken walkers and chicken hearing aids.

20120420. Me and Henrietta.

Henrietta and Yolko are the two friendliest and most cuddle-able at this point.

20120420. These expressions kill me.

The chickens give good face.

20120420. These expressions kill me.

Yolko, you are KILLING me.

Here I am, playing the role of mama hen on their first trip outside. Just look at those girls, all lined up. Heart. Melting.

20120415. Right before Beaker pooped in my hand.

This is right before Beaker pooped in my hand. Ah, chickens.

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7 thoughts on “Fake Cocktails and First Salads

    • Thank you! We’ve had a spell of cool, wet weather the last week or so, and the lettuce has really taken off since then. Tonight, Chris and I will *both* get to eat a salad!

  1. It’s amazing how different food tastes when you start growing it yourself. I didn’t know lettuce could have such a sweet flavour. I refuse to eat grocery-store tomatoes after tasting the ones I’ve grown in the garden.

    Your chicks are looking good! So, so cute.

    • I loved our tomatoes last summer. Ohmygoodness, the sweetness of those warm yellow pear tomatoes, straight off the vine on a hot summer afternoon! Only about half ever made it inside in a bowl since I plucked the rest and popped them directly into my mouth.

      Lettuce was a new one for me this year, and I’m so thrilled it has taken off so nicely – even surviving a few frosty evenings. Well done, lettuce!

  2. I know what you mean about home grown foods. I didn’t really like bananas until a couple of years ago our banana palms produced fruit. They tasted so smooth and sweet. Nothing like the texture of those in the shops. These were delicious.

  3. Pingback: State of the Garden Address, May 9 « Space-Farm Continuum

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