Friday, August 14, 2009

I Cheated on My Garden Yesterday

We have been eating vegetables from the garden every night for months. We have had some great dinners, and the flavors have been amazing. I'm ashamed to admit that despite the bounty of our garden, we cheated last night. David brought home asparagus from Costco, only $2.25/pound. How could we say no? We had a cream of asparagus soup, and a side of roasted asparagus and potatoes. Despite my feelings of guilt, I enjoyed both tremendously.

I'm sure Alice Waters is cringing, but I have really missed asparagus this summer. Having a vegetable garden has forced us to follow Waters' doctrine of eating with the seasons. Luckily, we have a lot of variety in the garden so it has not been difficult to have amazing vegetable dishes each night without tiring of our home-grown produce. But seasonal eating is not without its limitations since many vegetables cannot be grown in Houston until the fall. This has forced me to experiment with vegetables with which I was previously unfamiliar such as senposai and malabar spinach, and to come up with millions of uses for our yellow pear tomatoes. We are happy to have discovered these vegetables, and will definitely grow them again next summer. Although they are good substitutes, I do wish we had real lettuce and spinach growing in the garden instead of having to wait for several more months.

I don't plan to grow asparagus because it's not recommended for our zone 9 garden. This eases my guilt a bit about last night's dinner. But I do feel like we broke a long streak of eating only our own vegetables. Tonight we're going back on the wagon, with yardlong beans, "Contender" snap beans, and senposai on the menu. But I have to admit that if asparagus stays cheap, we'll have to buy it again soon. It's a guilty pleasure that's just too good to pass up.

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