Cooking / Gardening / Herbs / Sewing / Yogurt

The Ninth Make It Monday

For years and years I’ve been plagued by crafty, thieving, garden ninjas.

I may be exaggerating, but only a little.

I’ve only been gardening a few years & squirrels aren’t really intelligent. But it feels like my war with them has been waging for centuries (I just finished watching Game of Thrones, so it might be shadowing how I’m picturing this- but it is amusing imagining an army of squirrels in little helmets & swords & vanquishing them with dragon fire).

From the left: stevia, thyme, sage, rosemary

This year I shall defeat the little buggers with the mighty force of jute. Yes, good old burlap.

Yesterday I put jute in some of my planters. I’m hoping to deny the squirrels any portal of entry. This should also help retain moisture & keep that damned expensive, organic dirt from blowing away in the wind. And I hope those murderous squirrels scratch their paws on the stuff (I swear I usually love animals- I’m vegetarian!- but don’t come between me & my plants). It really has been a problem though. Years past I haven’t enjoyed a single tomato because those damned squirrels dig up the roots or bite into the unripe fruit.

While I was busy putting in some burlap, I was also planting my farmers market finds: stevia, sage, rosemary, thyme, mint & celosia (cockscomb) flowers.

Celosia flowers planted among lettuce.

I also came up with some new recipes. I bought purple asparagus at a farmers market & searched for a good recipe. None fit the bill, but the various ingredients used inspired me. So, lemon marinated purple asparagus sauteed until the lemon caramelized & topped with a dill yogurt sauce. I’ll post the recipe later. It was amazing. I cook a lot & it’s rare that I’ll say something I’ve made is amazing, but this was amazing.

Sauteed, lemon marinated asparagus topped with yogurt dill sauce & accompanied by a millet & tomato fry up in the background.

Another farmers market find were my first strawberries of the season. The bike ride home was bumpy, as in three speed-bumps-down-a-certain-residential-block bumpy (City of Chicago, please spend your money on more useful things- this wasn’t even near a school). So my berries got badly bruised. I made a strawberry pie, my first. It was alright, but I’m not sure pie is the best way to use strawberries. I’m glad my boyfriend is here to eat all the things I think are just so so. I won’t bother you with a picture of my not so pretty crumble top pie.

Finally, I’ve been participating in a Pin Cushion Swap. Tomorrow I’ll be mailing my finished cushion overseas to my trading partner in jolly old England. I’ll post full pictures of the first ever pin cushion that I’ve made once she receives it. I’m very excited. So, I leave you with a few mystery pictures.

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