“It was such a pleasure to sink one’s hands into the warm earth,
to feel at one’s fingertips the possibilities of the new season.”
There is something deeply satisfying about reaching the end of a day spent gardening. To ease up on aching legs, rub your sore back, and look around at neatly dug gardens mulched with shiny yellow straw, knowing that within a few weeks or months there will be all sorts of good things to eat.
This week has been spent outside in glorious Autumn sunshine digging, weeding, watering, mulching, planting, and planning. I’ve loved sorting through seed packets and choosing the veggies we want to feast on this winter: celeriac and ruby red Swiss Chard, black, yellow, and striped radishes, heirloom beets, Belgian endive, deep red radicchio, purple Brussels sprouts, turnips, peas for Spring, garlic, dill, and cilantro.
I may have throbbing muscles, blisters, cuts and scratches, but it is worth every ache. Especially when there are still a few evidences of summer bounty to remind me that beautiful things will emerge from the dark soil.
Until then I will continue to plant and dream and feast on the last of the sweet cherry tomatoes, mini-capsicums, cucumbers, and pumpkins.
This morning I took a break from gardening to wood-burn a lovely new box that Bear made for me to carry my medieval supplies. Our medieval camping season starts soon and we are so excited. Early mornings with hands wrapped around steaming cups of coffee, nights spent around the campfire talking for hours and drinking homemade spiced wine and mead. So we’re busy sewing and wood-working, getting our garb and equipment ready for fun, memorable times with good friends.
Now it’s time to have some lunch and get back outside to plant some olive trees.
For lunches this week I’ve been making all sorts of dishes featuring seasonal veg such as these lovely yellow string beans. After a quick steam, I saute them with double-smoked ham, caramelized onions, and crispy bits of garlic. Served with a bowl of French Onion Soup, they made a hearty and satisfying meal.
What is your favorite thing to make with string beans? xo
Yellow Beans with Ham, Garlic, and Onions
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, halve and thinly sliced
1 cup double-smoked ham, chopped
3 handfuls of yellow beans, tailed and snapped in half
salt and ground pepper
1. Steam yellow beans until crisp tender. Drain and set aside to dry.
2. In large saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat.
3. Add onion and garlic. Saute until soft.
4. Add ham and saute until ham begins to brown.
5. Add yellow beans and more olive oil, if necessary. Heat through. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.