Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cauliflower harvest makes delicious dinner...

The winter vegetable garden came bearing gifts yesterday.

I ventured out into the rain to harvest our first cauliflower.

It was big and beautiful in the garden -- and it had been calling to me for several days.

With a nice roast, mashed potatoes and roasted beets waiting as accompaniment, I brought it in.

Of course, we took a few pictures of it first.

I cut it up and put it on a baking sheet with some olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Then I sprinkled a little shredded Parmesan cheese on it and topped that with some bits of garlic from the garlic press. After 30 minutes at 425 it was a nutty, cheesy, crunchy batch of yumminess.

Jeff checked online and learned that the beautiful leaves that I cut off of the cauliflower are also edible like greens. I cut and cleaned them and set them aside. Tomorrow I'll steam them and toss them with some bacon, onion and sea salt ... maybe a little balsamic vinegar, too.

There are three more heads of cauliflower growing in the garden, but they have a few more weeks to go so we have something to look forward to.

Replenishing, rejuvenating rain in the garden...

We've been given another gift of rain this week. Tied up in a lovely wet bow, our gardens are drinking it in, happy to have the thirst-quenching relief from our frightening drought.

We're not out of the woods yet in Central Texas -- we're still in an official drought. But our fall and winter rains have reduced the severity of the drought. It has been down-graded from the most critical level of last summer -- exceptional -- to moderate. (There are five levels outlined by the U.S. Drought Monitor - from abnormally dry to exceptional.)

A brief bout of garbanzo bean-sized hail at our house yesterday gave me quite a scare -- I was cringing for the daffodils, blue bonnets and vegetables. But they've all weathered the storm and are doing fine. They are a little droopy today, but not damaged. (I realized after tweeting that yesterday that only a gardener would describe the hail as garbanzo-bean sized, since it was bigger than pea-sized. It only occurred to me later that non-gardeners might have called it marble-sized!)

The mountain laurels are in full bloom here, and the row along the driveway is looking green and juicy with all the rain. And I can't seem to get enough of their wonderful grape-like aroma, which conjures up summer Kool-aid memories for me.

My rain barrels are all full -- which is great -- but it's still raining. I wish I had more of them, but we're talking about getting a rainwater collection system. Maybe that needs to move up on my to-do list for next week so we don't miss any more of this precious spring rain.

Are you enjoying some rejuvenating rain in your garden today?