Tag Archives: My Little Victory Garden

My Little Victory Garden: Peashoots, Rain and Tornadoes in Oklahoma

Pea shoots cut in the evening sun. Everything is so green...

We’ve been sent a mixed blessing from the weather gods here in Oklahoma.  On the one hand, we’ve received a wonderful Spring rainfall and our state is green. The vegetables in my garden are green.  The trees, the wheat and the landscape…all green.  It’s beautiful here.

But on top of all that green, at least in some locations across the state (notably Norman and Woodward…ESPECIALLY Woodward) is now a blanketing of debris strewn about by tornadoes.  And in a few cases, there are also grieving people who lost family members, including children.  The losses also go past the people, however. And even if we know and understand that people are what matters, businesses, homes and a large variety of property now has to be cleaned up, rebuilt and managed.

I felt strange today.  And lucky.  Although I slept through the night both Friday and Saturday, and felt assured that we had warning systems in place as well as a storm shelter buried into our garage floor, many Oklahomans didn’t.  People are tired, they’re sad, and they’re trying to help manage their lives as well as figure out how to help those in need.

I was thinking through these various thoughts as I went to one of two patches of peas I’m growing.  One I’ve grown simply to use the shoots and that’s what I’m going to share with you today.  The other, I’ll let grow to fruition and enjoy peas in a few weeks.

Pea shoots, cut early and properly, are an incredible addition to a healthy and balanced meal plan.  There are literally endless ways to eat this beautiful plant that tastes just like the mild side of English peas.  A Chinese graduate student was visiting our home Wednesday night and he said the people in his village ate them all the time, stir fried along with other vegetables.  But you can also use them fresh in salads, on sandwiches as a lettuce substitute, cream them into a beautiful coulis, or in so many other ways.

I urge you to check out this website for all you ever wanted to know about pea shoots, recipes, and beautiful photos of the possibilities.  And, if you’d like, you can grow them inside your home by a window like people grow bean sprouts or wheat grass.

Tonight I used them for a “local Okie” ingredient meal and I must say, this is one of my favorite Little Victory Garden creations to date: Continue reading My Little Victory Garden: Peashoots, Rain and Tornadoes in Oklahoma

My Little Victory Garden: All Okie, All The Time

These morels were foraged in the Guthrie, OK area on 3-17-12.

Our early warming season is definitely moving things along in my own garden, AND in the local producer arena.  I take a few minutes to tend to my garden every day and have been delighted to see the speed of seed germinating, onion shoots climbing and the green of asparagus and rhubarb sending promises of wonderful meals for the very near future.  Our local producers who grow for part or all of their livelihood seem to usually be about three weeks ahead of me.  Either that, or they’ve got some great hoop and green houses because the produce is already rolling in.

This past Saturday at the OSU-OKC farmer’s market I purchased beautiful fresh dill, spinach, tender bib lettuce and rainbow chard.  Then I headed over to the Urban Agrarian and picked up tomatoes, carrots, Della Terra whole wheat spaghetti, pork bones for stock, cilantro and…mushrooms.  There were beautiful chantrelles waiting to be purchased in the front display and I was SO in the mood for mushrooms.

Why?  Well, it is morel season in Oklahoma and so far I’ve come up empty-handed on the two quick foraging runs I’ve taken.  However, my friends in Guthrie seem to be in the right place because they are now pulling in quite a few.

Armed with a refrigerator full of local food, I put my thinking hat on, and came up with this meal: blue cheese and veggie stuff tomatoes, chantrelle and bacon cream sauce for the spaghetti and a simple quartered bib lettuce head.  Here are the “how tos…” Continue reading My Little Victory Garden: All Okie, All The Time

My Little Victory Garden: Gillyflowers and the Circle of Food-Life

I stood over the sink during the second wash. Most of the dirt was already down the drain and I was now searching for dried sections on the onion shoots. I had just pulled about forty green onions from My Little Victory Garden so Mick could help me get the dirt ready for early Spring planting.
Here is what a clean, fresh palette looks like to a garden artist. Wow...imagine the possibilities!
I continued to clean the lettuce that had grown over the winter, but it was rough, tough and not really great to eat. I decided to give the deer a treat so I washed it up a bit and left it over the back fence for them to find tonight.

Continue reading My Little Victory Garden: Gillyflowers and the Circle of Food-Life

My Little Victory Garden: Ratatouille’s Ratatouille For Two-ie

You know the scene, right?  The rat’s cooking has turned a failing restaurant around and garnered enough raves to entice a visit from the most revered food critic in Paris.  So, did the staff serve him truffles, pate’, or something lovely drenched in butter?  No, Remy (the infamous rat chef) served the food critic a peasant dish: ratatouille.  As the first bite was analyzed, memories of childhood and a mother’s love flooded through the critic’s brain.  The corners of his mouth turned upward, and the rest was…well, if you haven’t seen the movie, then perhaps you should.

As I rummaged around in my garden this week, I had a light bulb moment. Continue reading My Little Victory Garden: Ratatouille’s Ratatouille For Two-ie

My Little Victory Garden: Leeks and the Squash Monster


The squash monster, a.k.a. "Audrey II"

This past week, I picked up my second order from the Oklahoma Food Cooperative.  I had been waiting for leeks to be ready, and they finally were.  Leeks, new potatoes, creme fraiche, beef bones, chuck roast, ribeyes! (my husband’s 50th birthday is in July), fresh broccoli, fresh corn, and seventy-five pounds of Stratford peaches.

Yes, seventy-five pounds.

My daughter, her friend, and a former supervisee were canning.  Oh, that I could just taste fresh peaches every day I might write more like Shakespeare!

I’m going to tell you about some of this produce and how it turned into a delightful meal, but first I need to share with you why Cucuzza squash might actually be Audrey II in the next production of Little Shop of Horrors. (The guy sure looks like plant food to me!)  By the way, I think Levi Stubbs did such a great job with that song.  But that’s beside the point.  The POINT is that I told myself last year I couldn’t grow squash in my small raised gardens.

Then I changed my mind.  I was in Lowe’s, I sauntered over to the seed packets, glanced casually along the top of the veggie packets and then hesitated.  “Cucuzza Squash?” I thought.  “What is that?  Hmmm…” I read that it’s a yellow-green heirloom Italian summer squash you pick when it’s approximately eight to ten inches long.  And, when left to its own devices, it continues to grow then dry into a gourd. “Hmmm….” Continue reading My Little Victory Garden: Leeks and the Squash Monster