Spring Cleaning

Every now and then, I get this great idea that we're going to clean out our freezer and pantry and side door of the fridge, eating nothing that we don't have in the house for a week or two. Poor Mr Leaven kindly plays along and only makes 1 or 2 snarky comments about the freezer burn on the chicken breasts and the source of the tanginess in that mystery liquid used as a base for the broccoli sauce. We (meaning I) decided that April was the perfect time to both do a bit of spring cleaning and try out the eating local thing. This month, we're going to use only what we have plus what we can glean from our CSA (first pickup this Tuesday, hooray!), farmer's market (first weekend of the season was yesterday, hooray!), and our own harvest. It will be a good opportunity to accustom ourselves to a healthier, more organic life, one which we can hopefully maintain for some undisclosed amount of time.

We will so very soon be able to reap the firstfruits of our very own garden as well. Ohhhh, our garden. It's beautiful. Small, yes, but it should be plenty for the 2 of us, especially with the aforementioned CSA and farmer's market nearby. It's 3' x 20' and busting at the seams with lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, onions, beans, herbs, squash.

We've already harvested one goodly-sized cucumber, who was being tormented by some small toothy animal, and a bunch of arugula which suffered at the hands of our adorable dog, who had not yet learned that that huge patch of cool earth was not the place to bury rawhides. We've also made generous use of the parsley, cilantro, sage, and mint already.

The squash are growing like half-vampires in Breaking Dawn (I know - I thought I'd make a Being Human reference, but decided it was too obscure). We have adorable little tomatoes gestating away. The romaine and arugula are growing as fast as we can pick them. It's really amazing to watch things grow. I'd love to do this with kids some day.

Last week, the Rawhide Incident led to a pizza covered with arugula, plus a bit of sage in the mix. I made whole wheat pizza dough using my hand-me-down bread machine (thanks a million, Mom!), covered it with acorn squash puree as the sauce, then crumbled some blue cheese on top, along with some chopped sage and caramelized onions (well, crispy burnt onions - they're so good that way, and I'm not so good at turning off the heat as early as I should). That got cooked for 15 minutes or so at 500F, then we piled the arugula on top.

I liked it. I think Mr Leaven did too, although he is not as obsessed with gourds as I am and does not go nutso for anything involving squash puree.

The pizza was pre-Spring Cleaning but introduced the concept. We did some last-minute shopping for essentials  that are not accessible through the farmer's market (milk, salt, bread flour) on April 1, and don't plan on returning until May. Hopefully I'll be good about updating the blog this month, and we'll all see how it goes. Don't hold your breath...

Parsley and cilantro in their own pot, so they don't take over the place. We did the same thing for the mint and basil.


  1. I want gourd pizza! Ah, Joe, how lucky you are! Sounds delish, I wish I could be as creative!


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