The seeds are finally in the ground and the garden smells of coffee.
I took advantage of the few days without rain yielding dry earth and planted the rest of the flower seeds that have been sitting among the garden supplies since April. It’s not out of lack of desire. It just the amazing amount of rain we have received has prevented me from being able to do much productive by way of planting. It is raining again now as I write this entry.
I grow mostly to supplement my restaurant, with a little thrown in to make homebrewing more fun. The Cascade hops would probably reach 20 feet in the air if I could build a trellis high enough to support it. It is currently loaded with pale green bracts that resemble miniature pine cones which produce that yellow powdery substance called lupulin, and smells a cross between something of the evergreen family and a citrus fruit. I hope to do a fresh hop ale in the coming weeks, and dry the remaining for fall and winter use.
The herbs I use include sweet basil. I plant an entire flat that I start from seed indoors. I started way too early, and then add the rain delay, that they got a little pot bound. But you could never tell it now by the way they filled out. I also like growing lemongrass, which is very vigorous in our hot summers, but must be treated as an annual. I put it in our gazpacho, which will show up on our menu as soon as local tomatoes start arriving. This cold soup was so popular last year, I kept it on the menu everyday for about 2 months straight, until the cherry tomatoes stopped.
With all the coffee and fresh eggs I use in our kitchen, I figure its only right to make good use of the grounds and shells. My garden has been amended so many times that it tills in with little more than a simple hoe. My neighbor inquired of the strong scent of coffee wafting from the backyard.
A magic flavor combination you will find this week at bread&cup is the pairing of fresh watermelon and gorgonzola cheese in one of our summer salads. Toss these two ingredients together with some mesclun, and your favorite nuts, and dress it with a simple vinaigrette of equal parts honey, red wine vinegar and canola or light olive oil. We will be featuring this pleasurable salad this week.
I count myself a fortunate man to do the work I do, but am even more fortunate that I am able to enjoy it.