Friday, September 21, 2007

Gardening for procrastinators

I love growing my own food. Especially those foods that only come in wasteful little packages, like mint. Or those that come in giant bags when I only need a small amount, like basil. Or those that I can't find organic, like aloe vera. Without my own garden, I constantly struggle with the choice between buying something I don't quite want, or doing without.

Having my own house means that I have the freedom to tear up the yard any way I please and plant vegetables to my heart's delight. It also means that I am so constantly busy with endless house-related projects that a garden never makes it to the top of my priority list.

When I do have free time, planting a garden seems like such a huge overwhelming project that I can never even get started. It's more than just throwing a seed in the ground and watering it. I've got to decide which part of the yard gets the right amount of sun, truck in quality dirt, put up some kind of little fence to keep the dog from watering my vegetables.

But I really want to have fresh mint for my green smoothies and fresh basil for raw pesto without having to throw away most of the bag. What's a girl to do?

Just go buy the plants. The rest will follow out of necessity. I saw a lovely little aloe plant at the co-op the other day that I couldn't resist. I took it home and let it suffer in it's tiny plastic container with crappy dirt for a good week. But it started to look weak so had no choice other than to hunt around for an appropriate planter and some high quality soil.

During my recent trip to the grocery store, I happened upon some beautiful basil and a lovely little mint plant. I couldn't see for myself, but I'm pretty sure my face lit up like a kid on Christmas day. I've been thinking of planting an herb garden along the front of the house, but hadn't looked into how much sun shines there, how much sun the plants would need, etc etc etc. Maybe I should wait, I thought for a few moments. Screw it! I'm getting those plants!

I'd better figure it out quick. Those herbs won't last forever in their tiny plastic cages.

Raw food dish of the week - Vanilla Ice Cream

I scored a brand new ice cream maker for $25 at my favorite neighborhood thrift store last week. My first ice cream attempt didn't go as well as I'd hoped. I think I need a recipe with more creamy fattiness in it - maybe some cashews or something. This was more like ice milk. The other problem was that I didn't realize I was supposed to fully freeze the ice cream maker before using it. I put it in the freezer for a few hours but then got impatient and used it anyway. So the ice cream was a bit runny. Tasted good though. Ice cream for procrastinators.

You can bet there will be many more ice cream experiments in my future. I'll definitely be picking up a copy of Vice Cream, written by my friend Jeff. I've tried his ice cream and it's the best ever.

Ingredients: Almond milk (almonds, water, dates, blended and strained through a nut-milk bag), vanilla bean, agave nectar, Celtic sea salt.

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