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September 11, 2007

Laura’s Blog Entry

In the midst of Zazzle Fever here at the Smith house, I have managed to resist opening my own store – SO FAR. Mari has gone over to the dark side and I feel my resolve slipping away…

But in the meantime, here is a little harvest story. At the end of August we made a trip to the Newtown Farm Market to kill two birds with one stone. First of all, we could do part of our grocery shopping, but secondly we went as a reward for Mari for getting through a week of homework with no one needing a blood transfusion or a stitches. Our eardrums were a bit worse for wear from some heartfelt screaming, but we don’t have a penalty for that. Or we’d never get to do anything fun… She gets to choose an activity at the beginning of each week, and if she works hard and slogs through page after tortuous page of math problems (and spelling and reading) we get to do the activity.

She chose the farmer’s market, not because she loves fresh vegetables (unless you count candy corn). She knows that these places often have a special candy section with crazy things like green apple licorice. CAN YOU SAY ICK? Here’s why I like to go:

This was the best watermelon I ever tasted. I am converted. Also, the strawberries were amazing. Bonus: we discovered some delicious orange cream soda. Some of the rest of the veggies went into a vegetable stock, my first attempt at finding a recipe I like. It turned out pretty well. It has a pretty good flavor, but I wish I had some fresh ginger on hand, as the recipe suggested. I used a recipe from the book The Moosewood Restaurant Kitchen Garden, which is a great book for gardening – especially herb gardening, as well as healthy vegetarian recipes. I also made the North African Roasted Vegetable Salad from the book and it is to die for.

Finally, I made use of my abundance of herbs this year.

I have been inspired lately by a Midwestern podcast called Geek Farm Life. It is about a couple from Indian that raise a few animals and grow most of their own food on their small farm. With all the work they do, I figured I could at least dry some herbs. So far I have dried some thyme, sage, and for the first time, basil.

Dried herbs in the store are so pricey, and pretty tasteless compared to my own. I can’t wait to make a soup and use the basil; it smells amazing. I have some fresh rosemary from the grocery store that I also plan to dry. Next year I’ve got to start earlier and get a fresh rosemary plant. I miss having it. My other goal is to grow chamomile and blend my own tea.

Well I am off on another brave attempt to make French Bread. Christa Belle from Hungry Lucy gave me some personal pointers on their podcast the other week and I can’t wait to give it another go. She has a lovely blog about gardening and food, if you are interested. Bon Appetite!

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