In the Garden

This week in the garden I was thrilled to find that three of my four hydrangeas are blooming. While it may not seem like a big deal to some getting them to bloom at all has been a challenge. I’ve added black-eyed susans to my 2019 garden while my morning glories and sweet peas continue coming up everywhere. Snapdragons from years past have re-seeded in between bricks on my patio and are thriving.

Using my PlantSnap app, I learned that what looked like zucchini (which seemed odd since I didn’t plant zucchini) is actually gourds. It seems seeds from old gourds, tossed behind my grill four or five years ago have decided to grow…..go figure!

In the Garden

At last my first Morning Glories of 2019 have appeared. In years past Morning Glories overtook my herb garden and naturally dropped thousands of their seeds. This summer as a pre-emptive maneuver I carefully pulled up the little ones as they started emerging and relocated them in other flower beds. A surprise was that a number of last year’s seeds dropped into neighboring pots and are coming up as “volunteers”. An unplanned siege by a maniacal woodchuck has limited the number surviving close to the ground as apparently they are delicious…don’t get me started.

I’ve also included other favorite photos from around the garden – moss roses, clematis and my pink lilies are adding to the beauty this week.

Chunky Guacamole

Guacamole is one of my favorite foods and I’ve enjoyed it countless times – both at restaurants and my own. Yesterday realizing that I had everything I needed to make up a batch, I made (possibly the best) chunky guacamole I’ve ever had. Seriously, it was so good that I wrote down EXACTLY what I’d done with the hopes of capturing the magic in the future.

Chunky Guacamole

  • 3 ripe avocados 
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1 large or 2 small jalapeños
  • 1 large or 2 medium/small garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 shallot
  • 1-1 1/2 T chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3-4 t sea salt

Halve avocados, remove pits setting them aside for later, scoop each avocado half into a large bowl. Halve the tomatoes, seed and then coarsely chop them – place into a second bowl. To that bowl add the jalapeño first removing the seeds and ribs and finely chopping. Mince the garlic and add to the second bowl with the shallot after dicing it.  Add the sea salt to the second bowl and toss the mixture together.  Add second bowl to the avocados, followed by the lemon juice and half the lime juice. Used a hand chopper, do a coarse chop over all ingredients and stir to blend. Chop again until it’s the chunkiness you desire.  Add chopped cilantro, stir to blend.  

Now for the tip:  In the bowl which you are using to serve or store, push the avocado pits into the guacamole. Drizzle the last of the lime juice over the top and press plastic wrap over the guacamole, touching it to the surface rather than the bowl.  Remove the pits just before serving. These steps keep the guacamole from turning brown, I deliberately waited 24 hours to take the photos and it’s still a vibrant green.   

A perfect light meal of Chunky Guacamole, warm corn tortilla chips and a hearty red wine. Living the dream!

Herb Garden

When you have a passion for cooking and gardening, a robust herb garden is a natural fit.

This year’s garden includes chives, garlic chives, flat leaf parsley, cilantro, dill, oregano, two types of basil and rosemary, three varieties of thyme and four varieties of sage. A few are perennial and the sage that is now on year five is flowering for the first time, sporting the prettiest lavender blossoms. The chives are blooming as well, adding to the beauty of my herb garden.