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April 2012

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Dans Ma Jardin

Written by , Posted in Gardening, Thoughts

I discovered a love for gardening about 4 years ago. I find it fun, enjoyable, therapeutic, stress-relieving, rewarding. I’ve had many successes, and many failures. I’m not an expert. I don’t even know that I have a green thumb. I just try things, and sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. Apparently my philosophy when it comes to cooking translates to the garden too.

Dans Ma Jardin, means In My Garden

I love to spend time there. I grow a few flowers, but most of my time is spent trying to coax things to grow in my apartment garden. This year I have: mint, basil, rosemary, chives, oregano, parsley, tomatoes, green beans, potatoes, carrots, kale, and spinach. I had success with some of these last year, so thought I’d give them a try again this year. I’ve also tried: squash, watermelon, red peppers, lettuce, sage, and a few other things, without success. I don’t know why.

We used to live in a house, and had room for a real garden. Not anymore. That’s OK. It just takes a little more planning and patience to grow things on the patio. A few years ago, Husband built me some garden boxes (with the help of my brother and sister-in-law). I love them. When we moved, we couldn’t bring all 5, so we just brought one. I miss the others, but am so happy to have a space for a garden at all here in L.A., so I’m not complaining. :)

I’ve harvested a few beans (and eaten them all pretty much out of the garden – I think they taste best this way), some kale, spinach, and a bit of each kind of herb. With the mint, I’ve made mint tea (the way my mom used to make it).

With things like basil, parsley, chives, rosemary, and oregano, I add them to Tomato Sauce, Lasagna, Ham and Corn Chowder… and many other things. These are some of my favorite herbs.

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The tomatoes (if they produce – they didn’t last year) will go to Tomato Sauce (if there are lots), BLT Pizza, Sugar-Snap Pea Pasta, Tomato-Corn Salsa… this list could go on and on. 

The kale and spinach are great for Steak Salad, Wilted Spinach and Radicchio Salad, Lasagna,  a Mushroom Frittata

The carrots, besides being great raw, will be yummy in Pasta in a Pinch, or a Lentil, Quinoa and Carrot Supper!

Mint Iced Tea

Last modified on 2012-05-23 01:37:00 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Mint Iced Tea
Recipe Type: Drink
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
A refreshing drink that tastes like summer.
Ingredients
  • approx. 1/2 to 1 C fresh mint, stems removed, bruised or chopped
  • approx. 6-8 C boiling water
Instructions
  1. Bruise mint using a mortar and pestle, the handle of a wooden spoon, or the back of a knife blade. Just smash it a little. You can also chop it if you’d like. If you’re in a rush, you can leave them whole.
  2. Place mint in a heat proof jug or tea kettle. Pour boiling water over.
  3. Let it cool.
  4. Place in the refrigerator, covered, so it doesn’t absorb refrigerator smells. (You can either strain leaves, or leave them, then strain when pouring into a glass.)
Notes

The quantities are not exact. I basically just take some mint and pour boiling water over it. If you like it strong, use more, for weaker tea, use less.
I don’t usually sweeten, but you could if you wanted, with honey or sugar. Just dissolve it when the water is still hot.
This tastes great with burgers and oven roasted fries. Mom used to make this all the time in the summer (without sweetening it). It tastes like my childhood.

 

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