Life is full of many simple pleasures: a dog’s ferociously wagging tail as you walk through the door; that well-timed text of “I love you,” or, spotting the first crocus after a dreadful winter. Then there is waiting for the seeds you have placed in small cups filled with nutrient soil that you have kept warm and moist. A sprouting of two nascent leaves brings a sense of satisfaction for a job well done, and thoughts of hope. Finally, after 4 to 6 weeks of nurturing a tray full of the future the time has come to let them loose – but still under a watchful eye.
It is amazing how a tiny seed can flourish and grow to heights beyond my arm’s reach, never failing to leave me awed. I spend the welcoming dawn these months in the garden – weeding, snipping, watering, and yes, harvesting. In the last week, I have been able to extract more than herbs and radishes from my yard -- the first haricot vert and over-achieving zucchini have already made it back to thekitchen. We have feasted on salads strewn with sweet, yellow kale flowers. Always exciting are the tomato plants, rife with flowers, and green, developing tomatoes that have started to weigh down the stems, and I am not sure if I can wait until they fully ripen – a plate of fried green ones may be in our very near future.
I don’t think I will ever get over the wonder of how the miniscule seed of the husk tomato grows into a bushy, prodigious supplier of my favorite summer treat. With each subsequent year I invest in tending a garden, I have gotten better at germinating seeds and preparing the earth for their arrival. I am now, so much more informed about how to recognize unwanted weed, and do my best not to allow them to force out the plants I really want.
The pleasure of the garden is the pleasure it gives to all – it is just that simple.
Green Goddess Dressing – yields approx. 3 cups
1-pound silken tofu
2-tablespoons olive oil
1-teaspoon lime zest
¼-cup fresh lime juice
2-tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1-tablespoon fresh summer savory leaves
¼-cup chopped chives
1-head spring garlic – roughly chopped
⅛-cup fresh tarragon leaves
1-packed cup sorrel leaves – center rib removed
¼-teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne
Place the tofu in a sieve sitting in a bowl, and let the tofu drain out its excessive water in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. Discard the water that the tofu has released.
Into the blender or food processor place all the ingredients, and blend until completely smooth.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.