Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tired and Happy

Whew, what a day. My husband and I are literally draped over the couch like wet blankets. We spent this beautiful Saturday out in the yard, and then busy in the kitchen.

It all started out with an early trip to Lowe's to pick up some mulch, soil, and other assorted gardening items. I then proceeded to 90% finish up the new bed I created out back. I layed down more soil and mulch so that it now has the shape that I want. The only things missing now are the stones to line it and a birdbath plopped down in the middle. I like the space I've created - it has a minimalist feel to it and gets a lot of shade - peaceful and inspiring, just how I like my gardens.

While I was out, I planted some coral bells in the front bed, as well as organized my gardening table in the garage, which was looking sort of like a bomb went off in the vicinity. Meanwhile, I had set all of the seedlings but the tomatoes outside for their first taste of the great outdoors - my first experience with "hardening-off". They all seemed to do pretty well. I made sure to keep them in the shade and to only have them out for a few hours. At the tail end of things, I had a hankering to separate some of the more mature seedlings so they wouldn't get too root-bound and tangled with each other. The marigolds now have their own pot which will gradually make itself outside and in the sun. The fish peppers have now been separated and planted into cells in the same container as the tomatoes. If all goes well, I'll be separating more in the near future.

Speaking of tomatoes, take a look at this little beauty!

While I was sweating it out, my husband bagged quite a bit of yard waste and mowed and trimmed the lawn. It feels so good to be out in a yard of my own. Things that seem like second nature to most people (i.e. mowing the lawn), are a new adventure for us. Yes, we are the dorky amateurs on the street taking pictures of the lawnmower.

In other news, I had a nice little mid-day snack of baby radish, which were just bite-sized and young enough to be a little bit sweet:

The second half of our day was spent in the kitchen. My arugula had reached the point where it needed to be used while it was still small and tender. I didn't want to let it go too far and get tough and bitter. I harvested the whole half container that I had planted. So, what was I to do with a colander full of fresh baby arugula? Make white pizzas, of course.

For several years, my husband and I have drooled over this pizza from Pizzeria Bianco. The "Biancoverde" consists of homemade dough, fresh mozzarella and ricotta cheese, peppered with Parmigiano Reggiano, and crowned with fresh baby arugula straight from the chef's garden. Being the pizza nerds that we are, I couldn't help but suggest this as the medium to display my beautiful arugula.

I started by making the dough from scratch using the same recipe that we used when we made pizza before. Next I carefully harvested the arugula and rinsed it. Here is the before picture:

After slicing the fresh buffalo mozzarella and grating the parmesean, we began to assemble: dough on a floured pizza peel, brush of olive oil, minced fresh garlic, smear of ricotta, dash of oregano and cracked black pepper, scattered morsels of mozzarella - BAKE - out of the oven mound on the arugula and sprinkle with kosher salt and a drizzle of olive oil.

Let me tell you, while we've never had a genuine Biancoverde, I have to think that our creation would at least come close. It was delicious - and all the more satisfying to know that a part of our dinner came straight from our garden.

Talk about the miracle of life!

1 comment:

Matthew said...

I have some little starts in my kitchen. Last year was so bad that I am a little discouraged this year. I started purple basil and dill mostly as ornamentals and I don't even know if I'm going to do veggies this year.

Also...check this out