I am NOT a fan of gardening. I don't like getting my hands dirty and I don't enjoy being outside in the blazing southeastern heat. However, I married a man who absolutely LOVES it! He finds great joy and is re-energized by working in the yard and gardening. So, as you can only imagine, this has caused several "spats" in our little home of curls.
When he first decided to start a garden...in our front yard...(hence major source of dissension) it was a little over the top. He spent most of his free time at the infamous HOME DEPOT in the gardening section or in our yard digging, tilling, planting, and watering. He definitely planted way toooo many different types of seeds and found himself overwhelmed with all of the maintenance. He even planted CORN...yes, we had corn stalks growing in our front yard. And I increasingly, day by day, got more and more frustrated and continued to nag him about all the time he was spending in the yard. (Sorry again, honey.) Especially because in that first year we really didn't see much vegetation as a result from all of the hard labor.
So, now, three years later, as we are midway into the summer, I can honestly say that we have both grown in this area of our relationship. Sweet hubby now manages his gardening time really well. I am quite proud of all his hard work and I am learning to really appreciate all the goodness that comes from his green thumb. I now understand how important gardening is for my husband and how it gives him a source to use his hands and creativity to provide yummy produce for our family. He truly enjoys seeing the fruit of his labor and being outside in God's beautiful creation. It's also really fun for him to garden with the curly girlies and teach them how to plant the seeds. They love watering the garden and picking new fruits and veggies with their Daddy!
Here's a peek at the bounty...
In the weeks to come, I will be providing different recipes that include yummy homegrown goodness as the main ingredient.
For starters, last night we had a cookout with some dear friends of ours and I wanted to use some veggies from our yard (and some that my Mom gave me from her yard). So, I put together this pasta salad. It was very easy and I just used a couple of staple items from my pantry.
Bag of pasta
ranch dressing mix
cucumbers and peppers
shredded parmesan cheese
First, boil the pasta according to the package. Wash and dice up veggies. Once pasta is done, drain and let cool. Pour a small amount (about 2-3 TBSP) of olive oil over the pasta and stir it up. Add dressing mix and veggies and stir together. Sprinkle with the cheese.
At this point, if it looks too dry, add a little more olive oil and stir again. Refrigerate for a couple of hours.
Of course, there are lots of variations on this.
You can use different types of pasta.
Choose a different type of sauce pack. And herbs from the garden too!
And of course, the veggie choices are unlimited!
Add whatever cheese you like. You can also make it a one-dish meal by adding grilled chicken.
Don't be afraid to play around with this dish, trying different spices and ingredients. Take lots of taste tests and if it needs extra oil or spice, simply add more. Just remember, don't add too much because you can't take it away!! Enjoy!