Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Salad and Home Sweet Home

Laid Garden Table with Asters

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The garden is beginning to yield some springtime veggies, and we have been enjoying peas straight off the vine, and loads of lettuce. The heat waves of July and August have made a lot of our lettuce bitter, but it truly does help to put the lettuce in the refrigerator for a day or two to make it taste better. I wanted to harvest as much as I could before it started to bolt, so I have been going out and getting a dish-pan full every few days.

I cut the lettuce off at the base (new lettuce will start to grow, just in time for Autumn), bring it in and rinse it off. I lay a clean dishtowel in my dish drainer, and as I rinse the lettuce I lay it in the drainer. Then when I am all done rinsing, I put the lettuce in gallon zip-top bags, and store them in the fridge. When I want a salad, it is very convenient to pull a bag out to start one.
Above: Garden lettuce about a month ago
Today we had a huge delicious salad, with some produce from the garden, some from the store. We actually harvested 3 small red tomatoes! If we have an Indian summer (and if the rabbits stay away for a while), we will have beans, cucumbers and enough tomatoes to make salsa. I am grateful for what we are getting out of our garden; and though the harvest came on very slow this year, at least we don't have to be canning excess produce in the heat!

Every head of lettuce I bring in saves about $1.50-$2.00, since we only planted Butter lettuce this year. That alone makes me feel rich.

Potato Digging in the Kitchen Garden

Potato Digging in the Kitchen Garden

Giclee Print
Small, William

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RECIPES:
The combination of veggies that we found tasty for a light Sunday lunch:

Buttercrunch Lettuce (several heads), torn into bite-sized pieces
Cauliflower cut into small bite-sized pieces
Peas (you could use frozen thawed peas, but it tastes best to use fresh raw peas from the garden!)
Sliced small tomatoes
Sliced radishes
Chopped avocados
Fresh cooked bacon, cut into bits
Roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
Dried cranberries

The salad dressing is adapted from a recipe given to me, and I used what I had on hand. The person who gave it to me was unable to remember the source, but since I put in all the substitutes I had on hand, it may as well be a different recipe altogether!

Buttermilk Dressing:
1 Cup Buttermilk
1/2 and 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 or more Tbsp. fresh chopped chives (or green onions)
Dash onion powder
2 Tablespoons dried cilantro
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar (or lemon juice)
Dash or two of salt


Today I was thinking of the song, "Home, Sweet Home." The few times I have heard it (other than when I have played it on the piano from old sheet music) it has been in the background of a Bugs Bunny cartoon. The song is really charming, it is a pity that it has been reduced to loony tunes!

I like old sheet music, because it often has more than one verse to a familiar song. Not many people can sing the other verses to our national anthem, of which there are four, and I suppose not many have ever seen the other four verses to Home Sweet Home. The words were written by John Howard Payne in the 1820's. A introduction in my old sheet music says "Payne's mother died when he was thirteen, and after that the author of the world's home song never knew what it meant to have a home of his own."

Home Sweet Home

'Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.
A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there,
Which, seek through the world, is ne'er met with elsewhere.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home;
There's no place like home! There's no place like home!


Cottage near Witley, Surrey

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An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain,
Oh! give me my lowly thatche'd cottage again;
The birds singing gaily, that came at my call,
Give me them, with the peace of mind, dearer than all!
Home, home, sweet, sweet home; 
There's no place like home! There's no place like home!
I gaze on the moon as I tread the drear wild, 
And feel that my mother now thinks of her child, 
As she looks on that moon from our own cottage door,
Thro' the wood-bine whose fragrance shall cheer me no more. 
Home, home, sweet, sweet home; 
There's no place like home! There's no place like home!
How sweet 'tis to sit 'neath a fond father's smile, 
And the caress of a mother to soothe and beguile;
Let others delight 'mid new pleasures to roam, 
But give me, oh! give me the pleasures of home.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home; 
There's no place like home! There's no place like home!
To thee I'll return, overburden'd with care, 
The heart's dearest solace will smile on me there;
No more from that cottage again will I roam, 
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home; 
There's no place like home! There's no place like home!

-John Howard Payne
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