The Garden Welcomes Us Home

Thankfully our return to mid-Maryland yesterday was relatively uneventful, which is to say that the dog did NOT vomit on me this time.  And that’s all I’m going to say about that.  In addition to a pretty pleasant ride home, we arrived in time to see vegetative splendor all over the garden.  WOW!  Everything is going crazy and it is such a joy to tame it all again by eating. 🙂

This morning I harvested a shoe box full of peas (note to self, be more clear about dividing into shelling and non shelling when planting.  They’ve married one another and made things a bit tricky, but delicious.  The cauliflower actually has little cauliflower nubs in it.  The onions are going gangbusters and the beets and carrots have enormous greens on top.  The lettuce withstood the unseasonable heat and all the new plantings done in haste before our trip seem to have settled in.  The tomatoes look dubious, as usual, but that’s a post for another day as I don’t wish my garden gratitude to be spoiled.

We had originally planned to go the store this morning to pick up more supplies for our trip-empty fridge and within an hour of harvesting, it was very clear that we wouldn’t need to go anywhere.  YAY!  All sounds great, right?  It is, and I’ve saved the best for last…  oh my, how I love fresh strawberries…  This colander is a full size variety.  There were A LOT of strawberries waiting for me, which is extra swell because we had a special guest coming for dinner.  I figured it was a good time for strawberry pie.  But friends, I have to tell you, the traditional strawberry pie with the goo, well let’s just say that when it comes to food, I’m a no-goo kind of gal.  So I did a quick internet search for fresh strawberry pie… and I got an extraordinary number of either gooey or too cooked for my liking berry suggestions.  Looks like it’s time to make a new wheel.  I changed my search approach when I remembered someone saying something about strawberries and balsamic vinegar…. and the search was on. This sounded more like what I had in mind.

So I hulled and sliced about a pound and a half of strawberries, put them in a bowl with a tablespoon of balsamic and a tablespoon of sugar and let them sit there.  I defrosted a tart shell made on another day – although a regular pie crust would have been fine.  When dinner was complete, I put the balsamacized strawberries into the tart shell and made an attempt at a decorative drizzle with almond yogurt.  Delish.  Truly fresh strawberry pie, served to a new friend, and a fine feast from the garden.  Welcome home indeed!