By Nancy Smorch
Despite the cold rain and the frost, this is what I found in our garden this morning! I was so excited to still find tomatoes growing. I’m using them along with some yummy gluten-free bread that I “fry” in olive oil, then I’ll spread on local goat cheese and cut up the tomatoes and mix them with salt and pepper and to put on top.
I’m not sure if I’ll put olive oil on it - but probably - just about everything tastes better with olive oil, right? I’ve already roasted the beets for a salad with, again, goat cheese (I have to get it all in before we head to Florida!). The squash we roasted with olive oil and sea salt and are just snacking on that. Although one could easily blend that with some pasta (gluten free, of course), butter, sage, and, once again, goat cheese.
The sage and mint were still looking really good in the garden so I picked some of both - the sage to use when roasting vegetables, and the mint to either just eat plain or maybe steep in some of my tea. The mint also makes a great floral arrangement with the purple flowers on top. Did you know you can also eat some mint leaves when your stomach is upset and it may help it feel better? I’ve done that before. I’ve also used mint leaves as a garnish and to eat alongside brownies or anything chocolate (homemade chocolate ice cream with some mint leaves sounds amazing doesn’t it?).
I absolutely love having the ability to go out into the garden and pick fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs. They have so much flavor and it feels so good knowing that we all played a part in nurturing them along and connecting with the earth. I’m actually thinking of expanding our garden for next year. I’d like to include more lavender, some raspberry bushes, more strawberries, pumpkins, leeks, more potatoes (we’ve already eaten all of our potatoes from this season!), some different varieties of heirloom tomatoes, and some grape vines. I’d also love to share much of it with family and friends - that’s half of the fun! And part of the fun is dreaming, visualizing, and planning for it all.
Just because it’s fall, it doesn’t mean the trips to the farmer’s market and your garden have to end. There’s still a lot of great food yet to be harvested and enjoyed this season, so dig up and dig in!