Once a flourishing garden/Now just a bed of dirt

My little brother grew up to love nature. When he was here everything grew to its potential, but a year ago today it all ended. I believe that the things you enjoy on earth will be even greater when you get to heaven. So when I open those golden gates I will see gardens as far as my eyes can see. He won’t have to use his wheel chair to tend to it either. One of his favorite things to make was fresh salsa. All he did was chop onions, peppers, tomatoes and a few hot peppers together and the juices would all blend together to make a perfect salsa. Add a little salt and pepper to bring out the flavor and squeeze a lemon or lime for taste and to help hold the colors. Some fresh celantro is good, if you like it. 

Holiday Taco Salad/ oops

IMG_7707.PNGDuring one of our holidays my friend, Jill Bright and I decided to make our taco salad more festive. We cut the pretty green lettuce in small pieces, chopped the brilliant red tomatoes and sweet onions.  Had bowls of black olives and ripe avocados with lots of fancy shredded cheddar cheese. We had both hot and mild salas on hand. Mexican bowls to serve it in and we were ready for a lovely evening with family and friends. Set the salad with all it’s choice toppings by the fresh tortillas chips and all the cokes you could drink.  One thing was lacking!!  Sour cream!!  So as we got it out, we thought, why not color one red and one green for more holiday fun!!  Oh boy, was that a mistake. Instead of increasing people’s appetite that about ruined the evening!! The look of that sour cream made our stomachs do a flip!!  We had to remove it and go buy more sour cream right away and serve it as it comes-white!!  Well we learned our lesson, never mess with something that is already good the way it is. 🥑🌶

Waldorf salad with a twist 

 

Leave it to my California Chef Sister to add a pear to this already deliciously good salad. So with this new idea I decided to look up information on pears. I found out that most pears come from Oregon and Washington and most varieties have a long season from August to May. So why don’t we use them more? Well when you pick them up in the produce area of grocery store they feel hard and if you were to push on them it would cause them to bruise and rot. What to do? Be patient! Buy them, bring them home and put them in a brown paper bag for a day or two then eat them like they are or use them in a variety of different recipes.

 

Lettuce, Lettuce and Lettuce Wraps

imageOk, the garden is planted from little plants the Gordon Lee High School agricultural class grew from seeds. I did this last year and I feel it helps them and I’m always happy with the results. We decided to concentrate on heirloom tomatoes and other good names like mortgage lifter and cherry tomatoes. Also a few Swiss chard plants and several kinds of hot peppers. I love cooking with herbs so we have thyme, basil, parsley and some oregano and mint that came up from last year. Well, since I’m not a real farmer you can imagine how surprised I am to still have this second generation lettuce growing. It’s growing everywhere. Lettuce from the raised beds have started growing even in the grass now. I was brought up never to waste anything so I’ve been very busy making salads, sandwiches and using big pieces of the beautiful green lettuce leaves under anything like chicken salad and pear salad and whatever else I can think of. So now I’m onto Asian lettuce wraps. Maybe I will double the leaves! This is a great recipe. Easy to make and fun to eat. Oh, and have plenty of napkins handy.image