Swimming in lettuce

Went out to the garden Sunday morning and was met with what appeared to be a total disaster. It was supposed to get cold last night but not cold, cold. No use of the dreaded “F” word by the forecasters. At 8:30AM the ground and garden were covered with “F”. All the plants that I hadn’t covered – that would be everything but a few very young transplants – were coated with white and wilted badly. I thought if maybe I could get the sprinklers on quickly, that would warm things up in a hurry – the well water is about 72 degrees. The water in the hoses had frozen solid, so no watering possible. Should I do a Tebow? nah, he bombed out last night and that may be a bad political move. Time to start thinking about summer plants but I really started thinking about hanging up my farmer duds totally. Had those numbskull forecasters on the tube suggested frost or freezing, I would have covered the garden just as I did last week. I went back out at 9:00 and the frost had melted off and all the wimpy looking plants had returned to full on perky. The ice in the hoses had melted and I got all the sprinklers going. It’ll be a day or so before I know fully how things made out, but as of right now I think everything survived with maybe a few burned edges.

I’m thinking of doing carrot pasta next time since that crop is coming in big time. I’ve grown carrots a few times but they never really did well until this year. In the past the ones that made it were tasty but misshaped – twisted, double legs, runty etc. We ate them but they were too ugly to show. This year they actually look like real carrots. It doesn’t have anything to do with the particular variety since I’ve used this same seed packet for a couple of years. Has to be totally based on the soil improvements and the absence of nematodes. They’re doing so good I’m going to pop in another batch so we’ll have carrots into late spring. I honestly don’t know how late in the season I can still have carrots.

One of the key ingredients in a dish of linguine and clams is the parsley. It really has to be the right kind of parsley – exactly the kind I grow of course. What I’m wondering is if I use parsley as an ingredient in making the pasta, in place of spinach, would the overall meal be even better? I personally would jump all over it but Nancy is a bit of a traditionalist on some things and I have a feeling linguine and clams would fit into that category. Assuming I just took the leap into the unknown, there is another decision to be made. I make the dough in the food processor and can either just pitch a handful of fresh out of the garden parsley into the processor along with the other ingredients or wilt the parsley first by popping it into sizzling water for a few seconds. The difference is that without the wilting process, the parsley will appear as little flecks of green in the white pasta whereas if I wilt it, the pasta turns green – no flecks. No way Nancy would miss the fact that I doctored the pasta if it’s a bright green but if it just has flecks throughout, she might miss the subtle tone. Yeah, that’s the way I’m going.

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