Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Just me, the lightning bugs and Son of Rabbit Kong

He’s not even intimidated anymore particularly. He stays just a little ahead of me on the paths and disappears into the underbrush. I think there must be a wormhole somewhere—he slips into an alternate universe.

But it’s nice being out here with him in the gloaming. The city is very quiet this year; I feel like it’s quieter than usual. It isn’t the heat-here by the lake it isn’t all that hot. There just isn’t any noise this year. If you close your eyes you can breathe in the scent of the dirt and feel a million miles from the city.

The new beans, barely a week old, are sturdy 4-inch high sprouts with 2 sets of leaves. Beans are my favorite sprouts—so sturdy and insistent. The beets are visible to the naked eye, and there are a couple tiny broccoli sprouts, but I’ll wait to log them. Still no sign of the succession carrots, but they take a little longer to germinate; as much as ten days.

Pulled a half-pound turnip with a beautiful waxy sheen and froze the greens for stock. Snagged a few ounces of beans, most of them too small but I’m afraid to leave them for my furry little nemesis. Other than herbs there’s nothing else ready yet. The earliest tomatoes are just starting to pink, the cukes and zukes got their first flowers just this week; the eggplants are still in the blossom-drop stage. Hopefully they’ll settle in and decide to fruit.

I’m sure as soon as I left the little sneak thief snuck back out to snack. His passage through the rustling leaves is the only sound out there.

Late broccoli soup
The last broccoli florets
Large basketful of broccoli leaves (small leaves and large leaves)
Tender stems from the broccoli plants
2 small garlic heads
1 medium onion, diced
2 early carrots
6-8 new potatoes sliced in half or quarters, or 1 large mature potato, peeled and diced.

3 cups stock
1 cup milk or half-half

With the large broccoli leaves, the garlic and onion peel and the carrot greens, make 3 cups of stock. Keep hot. Cook the potatoes about halfway in a separate pot, drain and set aside

Dice the onion, broccoli greens and stems and carrots. While the onions are sauteeing, scald 1 cup of milk or half-half. Saute the onions in butter or olive oil until tender, press and add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds, then add the broccoli and carrots. Saute until the broccoli is bright dark green, then lightly dredge with about 2-3 T of flour. Lightly brown, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Turn off heat. When it has stopped sizzling add about a quarter cup of the scalded, still hot milk; it will form a thick paste. Turn the heat back on low, and continue adding the rest of the milk, stirring it smooth each time. Add the stock about a cup at a time until the soup is the desired consistency (your call- thin or thick).

For vegan, obviously, leave out the milk.

Serve with baguettes and lots of butter.

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