Life's Little Details: Knitting, Sewing, Green Living, Frugal Living and Cooking In A Little Corner of Southern French Countryside.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Lazy Man's Winter Garden

We are at the point of tilling/plowing in our garden for the coming season. My husband has been procrastinating on this one, much to my dismay. It just doesn't seem to be at the top of his list of priorities the way it is on mine. He has, however, looked the site over for planning his plowing strategy (I suppose it was for that reason). After having done so, he came back and told me there was some fennel to harvest.

Last year, I planted fennel in our garden. Maybe due to lack of water or the type of soil we have, they didn't grow very quickly. I used a few sprigs here and there to season baked or grilled fish, but the bulbs were too tiny to do anything with. The entire winter has passed, and I had forgotten all about them. I had pretty much figured they'd never grow to a useful size. I was wrong, though. They have wintered quite well (at least in appearance), so I harvested some this evening.

As I turned to come back to the house, I spotted a lone, tiny kale. I love kale, and they don't sell it here in France. I can't even find any seeds for it, so I'm pretty much out of luck for having it. I had planted some American seeds last year and with all the weeds that grew up during the summer, I apparently missed a plant. Having seen this, I decided to snoop around a bit here and there. I was, again pleasantly surprised to find two healthy-looking bok choy plants, another of my favorites. All of these delightful surprises really made my pregnant belly happy, because just the other day, I was thinking how nice it would be to have a simple meal I once had in a tiny vegetarian restaurant in the New Orleans area. Just brown rice, black beans and steamed kale. This meal is wonderful with some Japanese Nihaizu sauce (which I happen to have in the fridge - one of those many bottles) and sprinkled with chopped green onions and sesame seeds. Mmm.