Archive for May, 2012

There was so much lettuce in the garden and I didn’t want this weekend’s 95 degree heat to get to it. So, I harvested a lot of it and decided to make a nice chilled soup called Lettuce Gazpacho. I got this recipe from a friend, a talented personal chef, who brought this on a picnic outing one summer day last year. This recipe is now one of my favorites.

Most of the ingredients for Lettuce Gazpacho

Lettuce Gazpacho

8 servings

  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, coarsely chopped (or use a regular cucumber, it works fine.)
  • 3 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped (I used the blend of lettuce from my garden instead)
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1 cup onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 jalepeno peppers, seeded, coarsely chopped
  • 2 fluid ounces olive oil
  • 2 fluid ounces sherry vinegar (I used balsamic, it was all I had on hand)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 oz cubed white bread (I used multi-grain)
  • 3 cups water (I used less, for a thicker soup)

The chopped cucumber, onion, jalepenos, and minced garlic.

Into the food processor!

Puree the first 9 ingredients in a food processor. Add bread, let stand until soggy, about 2 minutes. Puree until smooth. Mix in water until you have a desired consistency. I added less water for a thicker soup. Refrigerate 2 hours. (Or if you can’t wait, like me, eat it right away!) Can make up to 2 days ahead.

This chilled soup is so refreshing on a hot day! The jalepenos give it a nice little kick.

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It’s cross-over time in the garden, when the early Spring crops are ready for harvest, and the warm-weather plants and seeds go in. So there’s a lot growing in a small space right now! I’ve been enjoying lots of wonderful lettuce but we’re expecting 95 degree heat this weekend so it may not be around much longer.

The lettuce is “cut and come again” so I’ve had a continuous supply of lettuce for weeks.

The seeds were a “gourmet blend” of Flame lettuce, Salad Bowl, Grand Rapids, Oak Leaf and Red Salad Bowl.

Also in the garden—strawberries!!! I’ve been thrilled with all the strawberries I’ve gotten this year. Last year, which was the first year I had the plants, the yield was low. But so far this year, I am usually able to pick a small handful each time I go to the garden…just enough to put on my cereal for breakfast. These are red and juicy all the way to the inside. They are so sweet and delicious, sometimes I can’t help but eat them before I leave the garden.

This variety is called an “Ozark Beauty,” an everbearing strawberry plant.

The everbearing Ozark Beauty should produce berries all summer, until frost.

As kind of an experiment, last Fall (around October) I planted a couple of garlic cloves in the garden. I wish I had planted more, because this week I pulled up a lovely head of garlic that I can’t wait to try. I’ve read that you can begin eating it right away, or wait until the garlic “cures” by hanging it up for a few weeks. Since I harvested two heads of garlic, I think I may try it both ways and see which tastes better. This Fall, I’m planting more of these!

I wish I had planted more of these! Usually if I recipe calls for garlic, I double the amount.

Oh yeah, this will keep the vampires away.

Now, if only the basil was ready to harvest, I could take some of this garlic and make pesto! But the basil was only just recently planted. Also in the garden, there is swiss chard, onions, fennel, okra, 4 varieties of tomato plants, beets, red peppers, and kale.

This week I plan to go down and spruce up my garden plot a bit, because next week we’re having lots of visitors! The East Row Garden Walk is June 2 and 3 and our community garden is a relaxation stop on the tour. Come to Newport, KY and check out all the lovely gardens!

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The new section of the garden with its finished path.

The community gardeners got together to complete the path in the new section of the garden. It was our second workday of the year and when we arrived there was an enormous pile of wood chips that had been dumped in the street. It looked overwhelming at first but we got busy fast with wheelbarrows and buckets and got this done in less than 2 hours.

Yay team!

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