Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dinner From The Garden

Tonight was our first dinner from the garden. We had two zucchini, as of today, ready to eat. So we decided to go with a simple summer pasta dish. Nothing fancy...just a few ingredients. But, it was delicious. And, so satisfying to actually be eating something that we grew.

I have a feeling though that we will probably be eating more zucchini in a few days given what is growing on the plants right now. Besides the zucchini, nothing else other than the arugula and the herbs is ready for harvesting. Dan and I are hoping that there will be something new by early July to enjoy. In the meantime, I think we may be eating more of this pasta very soon.


2 - 3 medium zucchini, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons, olive oil
3 tablespoons, flat leaf/Italian parsley, minced
1 teaspoon, dried thyme
1 1/4 cup, chopped Roma or cherry tomatoes
3 cups, dried
orecchiette or similiar pasta
1/2 cup, grated Parmesean cheese

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add, zucchini and saute until it softens and starts to turn golden. Add thyme and garlic and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Then add the tomatoes and cook for about 2 more minutes.

Drain pasta; return to pot or a serving bowl. Add vegetables, the remaining olive oil and the parsley and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt (preferably kosher or sea) and fresh ground pepper. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's Alive!

We are so excited. We are the proud parents of a lovely zucchini. It's our first vegetable from the garden.

I have been watching this little squash grow for the last week or so but in the last few days it had really started to get a lot bigger. Well, today it must have had a giant growth spurt. And, so I harvested it. Dan and I are not yet sure how we will prepare this glorious zucchini but in the meantime we are happy to bask in its lovely squashy glow.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bye Bye Oleander, June Gloom and other thoughts...

Bye Bye Oleander

Last Sunday was a big day in the backyard. We finally had our three Oleanders removed. We have hated them since the day we moved in. Though I will confess to being the bigger hater. May be it is because I am a native Angeleno but Oleanders have always seemed to me to be a cop-out landscaping option for those with little imagination or because they think they will be a low maintenance option. They are boring and they are poisonous. Plus, they were starting to take over parts of our backyard and block the sun from the other plants that we actually like. So, needless to say, I was thrilled when our gardener cut them down and took them away since this was not the right DIY project for us.

June Gloom

Yes, it is that time of year again in L.A. It's time for June gloom. Though since we have a fledgling vegetable garden, it's been great. Nothing is getting scorched from the relentless summer sun and we don't have to water as often. And, now with the new DWP water ordinance in effect, we have to be more careful and sustainable about our water usage.

and other thoughts...

The vegetable garden is still growing like crazy. I say "still" because we are amazed that we haven't killed anything as of yet. We swear that the zucchinis are going to take the house. The tomatoes are starting to appear on the plants. We do have a few issues with something eating holes in the leaves of the bell peppers, basil, jalapenos, spinach and arugula. I did find a worm one day and quickly dispatched it. And, have found aphids on a couple of the tomato plants. Not happy about the aphids. I quickly took to squishing them with my fingers. Yep, that was a bit yucky but you gotta do what you gotta do to keep those tomatoes healthy and happy.

Dan and I just finished spending several hours in the garden pruning, planting and cleaning up. Yet, you can't even tell. All that time and effort and no one but myself and Dan would probably be able to to see the difference. We love being out there but sometimes it would be nice to really see the hard work.