I haven’t been hitting the blog with due dilligence of late, I know. First, I had an article due, but now it’s done. Second, I have been outside. A lot. The garden expansion is coming up on finished, and will result in a big increase in bed space. That post should be up next week. In related news, I have a major farmer’s tan, only with flip-flop lines on top of my feet. It’s been seriously hot. Now after last summer I am just about the last person you’ll find who will go on record complaining about this, the most perfect spring ever. But the raging heat has fucked up my salads in a big way. “How?” You may ask–and well you may–and here I am, helpfully, to share with you a heartbreaking tale of the ravages of climate change. (I’m not as fat as Al Gore, so you should listen to me).
Normally I succession-plant my salady-type things up until about the solstice, then relent for a bit until mid-august or so. This year, all our favorite greens shot pretty much straight up after about May 15. Keep in mind that our normal average frost-free date is a couple of weeks after that. So the salad bed is full of raging, verdant sun-boners, and we’re moving on perforce to other things, except the other things aren’t fully (or at all) ready. Basically, this should be primo salad time, but we’re puréeing all the greens to make bitter mash and pesto, which we love, but which are not the same as big, squeaky-fresh bowls of leaves.
There’s no question that I have a bunch to learn as a gardener. But it would be a lot easier if we weren’t being whipsawed by such meteorological extremes. Having said that, the nightshades and cucurbits are going crazy, and we’ve got fat carrots and beets. And peas, though my half-assed trellis needs a major stimulus package right about now (the Democratic kind, involving infrastructure–not the Republican kind, involving rented cock).
So the other day was the farm market, and we went over to scare up some protein for dinner. It manifested itself as a couple of pounds of bone-in goat meat, cut up for stew. I browned the cubes in a bit of fat in the pressure cooker, then removed them and tossed in onion, carrot, and herbs to color, and then returned the meat with enough of the chicken-beef stock from before to cover it all. Sealed up and hissing contentedly, I left it for about 45 minutes. Once cooled and opened, I added in the rest of the lovely fuchsia soup from a few posts ago, plus a fat handful of minced herbs, and served it all on brown rice. Looks kinda drab, especially given my plaintive whining about how hot and summery the spring has been. But sometimes you need goat stew to set everything right, and the taste was far from drab.