Garden Fresh

June 4th, 2012 :: 6 comments

I usually save my trips home to Texas for the major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, but this year I have a wedding to plan so an extra trip was required. My family and I spent a day in Austin shopping for dresses for my mom and sister and a suit for my dad. He was raring to leave the minute he set foot in the first store, so we were fortunate to find the perfect suit in record time.

After all our shopping was done, we drove back to Killeen and my dad was eager to show me his flourishing garden. I usually don’t get to see it since I typically visit in the winter, so I was quite impressed with the variety, health, and size of all the vegetables he was growing. I decided to make a dish that only had veggies that came from his garden. I wasn’t planning on doing a blog entry over my vacation, so all the photos were taken on my iPhone.

I get a lot of things from my dad. My love of cartoons, my sarcastic sense of humor, my taste for spicy/flavorful foods, and just a hint of stubbornness (Dustin says it can be more than a hint). One thing I did not get, however, was his green thumb. My poor money tree at home has about three leaves left which could also say something about my shopping habits at this time. I found out on this visit that my dad made a compost to create natural and healthy fertilizer and places buckets in multiple locations to catch rain water for his plants and a family of birds that live in his nearby bird house. That probably helps to explain how his garden is so healthy, even with temperatures already in the high 90’s and strict Texas water restrictions in force.

With my family’s help, we picked radishes, carrots, onions, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, peppers, and beets. It was the middle of the hot afternoon so we worked quickly. It was pleasant work though, as everything was so brightly colored and ready for the picking.

I washed all the veggies, while my sister finely chopped. I secretly watched her chopping technique to see what I could learn since she is a culinary school grad.

I had an idea to use the stems of the onions as a tie for the wraps and the cucumber flowers as edible decorations. The ties kept everything together and looked like a little bow on top of a gift. We finished off with a very easy peanut sauce by mixing 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 3 tsp sugar, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp warm water and 5 tbsp peanut butter. It was a perfect match to the wraps.

My mom and sister left the peppers and radish out of their wraps, but I like most vegetables so used a bit of everything. It’s all about what tickles your fancy.

After lunch, my sister and I were feeling a bit silly, so we took the old wagon out for a joy ride. My mom even let us take her for a spin, but she would surely kill me if I showed the photo evidence. It was a good weekend and it isn’t ending just yet. As I write this on my plane back to Chicago, I am smuggling veggies in my suitcase.

Tagged , , ,

§ 6 Responses to Garden Fresh"

  • Joy Dupuis says:

    Beautiful! Looks delish!

    • Joann says:

      Thanks! There is definitely a difference in taste with fresh vs. store bought.

      • Debbie says:

        Dad has so many ripe tomatoes from the garden. He can’t eat them all. So I decided to freeze them. I put the tomatoes in boiling water for a couple of minutes then quickly placed them in cold water. The skin comes off very easy. I froze about 6 pints of tomatoes. Now we will have fresh tomatoes whenever we want.

        • Joann says:

          Good idea. You could also make a lot of salsa. : ) I think I’d probably like that idea more than you and dad.

  • AD says:

    I enjoyed seeing pictures of your visit back home. Your Dad has an awesome garden. He must be very proud of it.
    Nothing is better than garden fresh. Should of posted the picture of Mom in the little red wagon. ;)

    • Joann says:

      I just ate an onion that I brought home from his garden last night. It was so sweet, I could have probably ate it on its own. My dad was very proud.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>