Silver Linings Playbook: farm edition
Early tomatoes and plump blueberries: the sunny side
May is too early for a tropical storm. Plus, we’ve already had too much rain. But mother nature did not get that memo and you can’t argue with mother nature, so it’s time to practice the art of letting go and moving on. Oh, and don’t forget the art of keeping on the sunny side.
So I try to keep the losses in my peripheral vision and focus instead on those early tomatoes! And the fact that it doesn’t matter that our blueberry irrigation system needs a bunch of repairs because the blueberries love all this water and we didn’t even need to turn the irrigation system on.
Yes, the arugula and little gem lettuce threw a temper tantrum (turns out they’re not aquatic plants), but we ate the first ripe tomato last Friday and the blueberries are beginning to change color! And, I can shake off all that regret for not growing strawberries this year because this is exactly the heartbreak-inducing weather that did in our strawberry-growing desires last year.
Also, as soon as the sun comes out there will be fantastic tubing potential on all the rivers that were previously too low to navigate! So yeah, there is always a silver lining if you keep the losses out of focus and look instead toward where the sun will be when it finally comes out.
With the rains comes lots of lettuce and Jason is on a mission to make salads into main courses. We have seen strawberries at the market, which inspires one of our favorite salads:
Strawberry and chevre salad with balsamic vinaigrette and toasted walnuts:
Baby lettuce mix
Plain chevre (goat cheese)
Balsamic vinaigrette (see below)
Slice strawberries and goat cheese on top of salad mix. Toast the walnuts in a toaster oven (or stir them in a cast iron skillet on the stove top until dark brown). While the walnuts cool, make the balsamic vinaigrette:
The standard ratio for vinaigrettes is three parts oil to one part vinegar. But it's a flexible ratio.This is also not something for which you need to take out the measuring cups — eye-balling the proportions right in the salad bowl or jam jar is perfectly acceptable behavior.
Balsamic vinaigrette will take you far in life. This is made just with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and the balsamic adds just the right touch of sweetness when tossed with salad greens. If you're feeling fancy, you can add other ingredients the mix, like a dollop of grainy mustard, some minced shallots, or a tablespoon of fresh chopped herbs. If you'd like a little more sweetness, whisk in some brown sugar or honey.
Drizzle your vinaigrette onto your salad and top with chopped toasted walnuts and voila!