Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Back-porch local

By June

These long, sweet evenings, we collapse into the dinner hour. Days are full, and we get very, very empty, but who feels like cooking? We go out to eat...out the screen door. Thank goodness for the salad boxes on the back porch. With their abundance and some homemade bread and eggs fresh from the hens, we can feed ourselves simply and well.  We dine in splendor out there on the porch, among our greens (and reds and speckleds), leaning back in the Adirondacks and watching the birds flit back and forth across the meadow.

We over-wintered one four-by-four salad box, and the mache that burst onto the spring scene gave us the early greens we craved. Next came arugula and some beautiful mixed lettuce. I have no idea what variety of romaine we made into a Caesar salad this week, but it was romaine fit for Caesar himself.

The wrinkled, crinkled cress is wild out there now. After we finish our meal, Fern and Blossom graze around for more salad. They nab a little bubbly lettuce in foam green, then go for a ruby leaf. They love the cress most of all, crave it for its wasabi spike up the back of the nose, yowza! I admit it, I love that sensation too.

Often, on my way out to the big vegetable patch, I pinch a little nibble from the back porch. It reminds me why I'm off to shovel yet more compost: because nothing tastes better than something you can have seconds of -- straight from where it grows.


Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

Hmmm... looks delicious! There's nothing like freshly picked lettuce. I love the freckled lettuce. I've got some growing too. -Jackie

Quinn Lavigne said...

yum!!! can't wait until i can do that!!

Heather said...

That speckled lettuce is stunning. What on earth is it? I must have it for next year.

Lisa said...

We planted 8 kinds of lettuce this year. There not quite ready just yet, but in a few weeks I should be harvesting some. I don't have chickens but I'm lucky enough to work with someone who does and he supplies me with fresh eggs every week. Sometimes simple foods are the best.

ozark summers said...

we have enjoyed the lettuce varieties, radish and onions so far. Everything else is planted and growing strong. Once the spuds are dug the late corn and pumpkins will go in.. blueberries are turning dark blue and are plumping. the blackberries are plump and red on their way to becoming cobbler material...the strawberries are first year so we are watering and mulching and showing TLC so next year will be a bounty. we will have shortcake to share....hint hint
xoxox from the ozarks

Daphne said...

I hope to grow mache over the winter. I'm going to have to find seed for it. I've never grown it before. Your speckled lettuce at the bottom is so beautiful and interesting.

I left you an award on my blog. If you are into such things pass it along.

Quinn Lavigne said...

i was so mad! the other day, i went outside to find that some animal had been eating and digging at my Tom Thumb lettuce. i'm hoping it grows back! i can't wait to make sandwiches out of my lettuce this summer!

June said...

Can you tell my black locust bloomed, and I've been out planting the heat-lovers: Tomato, eggplant, peppers, basil are all in!

Jackie, thanks for stopping by! Lettuce is so beautiful that it's amazing you can eat it too! I'd love to see your freckled lettuce. I'll be checking at your blog, fingers crossed.

Sportslover, I'm so sorry about your Tom Thumb. You could throw some more seeds out. The weather will get warm fast now, but it might work. I have some wee seedlings over here that I would share... Anyway, in August, you can start some seeds and have a fine fall on your back porch.

Heather, The speckled lettuce is forellenschluss (speckled like a trout). I got my seed at Fedco -- and I got the idea from Barbara Damrosch, who described it in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Love it!

Lisa, Will your lettuce appear on your blog? Hope so! I'm sure your photographs will make me swoon.

Ozark Summers, I cannot believe how accelerated your growing season is compared to ours. I'll be over for that short cake. Do you use your mother's amazing recipe?

Daphne, I know I'm a broken record with Fedco. But they have mache, several varieties. And I also believe Kitchen Garden Seeds has some nice ones; I LOVE KGS. Thank you so much for the award! I'll be over to check it out...

Thank you all for checking in here and for being patient while I got my last little seedlings tucked into their summer beds!


ozark summers said...

the shortcake tradition lives on. Spud has developed a love for it also, with or without the berries. Its going in the oven today. The blueberries are ripe! Off we go to pick until our fingers and whatever are blue with juice. we are not content to just pick and nibble a few as we go. There has to be target practice with the fallen berries. After all, summer would not be complete unless you have b/berry stain in your blonde locks for a week or so...

June said...

Oh, dear Ozark Summers, do I ever get a charge out of thinking of you blondies running around with blue streaks in your hair... Nice image, you.

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