Friday, June 26, 2009

Recipe: Arugula Omelet

I must say that I enjoy gardening almost as much as I enjoy eating... but eating does win out because gardening has time limits (i.e., daylight hours) and eating can be done at any time. When gardening and eating combine, it's really a wonderful thing.

Adam and I got to enjoy the first harvest from the garden on Tuesday. Concerned that the arugula was going to bolt once it stopped raining, I had picked most of it on the weekend, but had lost motivation to clean and cook with it. On Tuesday, we had run out of leftovers and needed something quick and easy using what we could dig out of the fridge --

thus - Adam cooked omelets with arugula, Swiss cheese, and mushrooms. (Adam's also had red onion.) I had forgotten how green-tasting arugula is - for looking a lot like spinach, the flavor is really quite different. I think it really tastes like eating a leaf, generally mild but leaving that little taste of bitter on the tongue.

Anyway, the omelets were so good that I failed to take a photo before consumption; I thought about it after the fact.

The recipe is something similar to the list below - as Adam did the cooking, I can't say for sure...
Eggs - whisk together
Mushrooms and red onion - slice very thinly
Swiss cheese - sliced from the deli, preferably
Arugula - wash, remove lower stems (below the leafy part), leave leaves intact

Pour eggs in pan, layer cheese and vegetables, and cook like an omelet.
Key to this recipe is layer the arugula in a thick layer, like it's the lettuce on a sandwich. That way, you get a lot of arugula with every bite.
Really, this is an arugula dish with a little bit of cheese and egg to hold things together. And it was fantastic.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Dark Days of Rain

I was so excited in April and May - weeks of gorgeous sunny days, even getting up into the 80's a couple of days. We moved our bedroom downstairs to the sleeping porch two months ago, and it was so lovely to sleep with the windows open. My gardens were thriving; even the hydrangea that I left in a garbage bag for 5 days before transplanting managed to put out some flower buds (whoops - not a recommended practice.) And the rhododendron that I thought might curl up and die actually put out new leaves. And the little squeaky cockeyed optimist in my head chirped, "This summer will surely be a warm, sunny, summery season"...

And all that hope and good will and early planting for nothing - June is rainy and cold... it's been raining every day for a solid week!

The pea plants love the cool, wet weather, although I'd really like to see them start flowering. The pole bean seeds soaked up enough water to sprout vigorously, and the snapdragons and dianthus don't care what the weather does - they just keep blooming. (Mental note to buy more snapdragons next year!)

But the daisies have been beaten down, the lettuce is covered with dirt, and my cucumber seeds show no signs of sprouting. The marigolds look sad and sluggy, the squash is turning yellow (the leaves, not the fruit), and the rest of the garden looks lethargic at best. This is a demoralizing time. This is a time when I wonder how the local farmstand can possibly be starting to harvest their greenhouse tomatoes, and why I bother to grow in marginal soil with marginal sunlight when I can just go to the farmers' market... and plenty of other depressing thoughts that make me want to throw in the spade and spend my time in some more rewarding endeavor (model rockets? writing the great American novel?).

This past week is a test of my little internal optimist's patience because most plants don't grow quickly in cool weather. The daytime high's have been in the upper 50's or low 60's - I've worn sweaters every day this week. How can I expect my hot-weather tomatoes and peppers to do anything, if I'm shivering without a jacket? If I can just hold out long enough until the skies clear... then I'll have a moment of sheer bliss before I go out into the garden and find something else to complain about!

I don't think the daisies will ever stand straight again, but this is what they looked like before the rains came!