There’s a winter storm brewing outside my window right now.
It’s rainy, windy and cold. We’ve had so much rain lately that some of the houses on the banks of the Sacramento river are flooded. I saw a picture of it in the newspaper, so I drove along the Old River Road today to see what it looked like. (You try keeping a 2 1/2 year old happy on a rainy day!) Sure enough, there were quite a few houses with a few feet of water on the first floor.
I believe the weather report calls for rain during the next 5 days. I wonder how high the river will get then…
The weather. Why am I talking about the weather? This is a gardening blog!
Probably because my garden sits out in the weather, and more than anything else, it has an effect on my crop.
I found a few seed packets on my workbench, so I threw them out in the garden. This is what came up…tons of baby lettuce pushing my garden into Spring.
The weather we’ve had lately hasn’t be great for people. It’s cool and wet. Too wet for me. But the lettuce loves it!
So I guess there is a silver lining to the flooded river story: People have evacuated their homes because flooding. It is horrible.
But man, I’m getting some killer lettuce!
Yin and Yang hard at work.
All the salad greens are just absolutely loving this weather. The alyssum flowers came out a few weeks ago when we had 5 or 6 nice warm days in a row. It’s not often that my flowers are happy before the first cabbage is picked- but we’ve had a strange Winter.
Cilantro on the front- carrots in the rear. These are some good carrots.
I have a love/hate relationship with cilantro.
I love it in the summer, so I plant it every fall. By the time cilantro matures, we’re a little past Christmas, which means I’m deep into my “holiday roast beef and mashed potatoes” mode- where all I want is good old fashioned white-person comfort food – which means I’ve got no use for cilantro.
I eat like this until the sun comes out in April and I realize I’m 40 pounds over-weight. Then I put down the bratwurst and switch to light, healthy meals. Usually it’s Thai or Indian- and man do I use a lot of cilantro cooking that stuff.
Too bad the Sacramento heat usually causes cilantro to bolt right about that time and I’m forced to buy it from the store.
So another beautiful patch of cilantro goes wasted again, waiting for curries that never came.
Maybe not! Now I’m back in the house and I see a giant pot of chile stew!
Imagine this is chile verde…but the local store was out of tomatillos. So I changed things up a bit. The result was fantastic! The pork you see there is super, super tender and juicy. One of the best stews I’ve every made.
Why did I make this stew? To use some of my cilantro and oregano of course.
Once again, the garden wins.
Maybe the cilantro didn’t go to waste at all. And maybe my comfort food menu is starting to change!
But wait. The last thing I have to show is this: The grand-daddy of all my comfort foods. (Made by my wife by the way.)
I do apologize for the picture of half-eaten food. I didn’t know how fantastic this dish would be, and I wasn’t prepared with the camera.
Mashed Potatoes and Turnip Gratin. (Recipe)
It’s good. It’s very good. It’s fantastically good.
I started to tear up when I was talking to my wife about it. I’m not kidding. It was that good.
And I would never have eaten it, if I didn’t have a garden. Because who in their right mind actually BUYS turnips?
Once again, the garden wins!
By the way: The most perverse sentence to ever appear on this blog is somewhere in this very post. “Mind in gutter” prize to anyone who can find it.