Here we are December 25 and yet to see much snow or cold temperatures. While we always enjoy a white Christmas I can’t say I mind this mild weather. I’ve actually been doing a bit of yard work that I didn’t quite get to earlier. Somehow I think we’ll pay for this lovely weather later but for now, not bad.
Poking around the garden today I found plenty of things to add to Christmas dinner. The most delicious being fresh carrots, also baby beets, ‘walking garlic’, which someone gave me, and which I think may be the same thing as ramps, fresh rosemary, sage, kale and English thyme. The ramps taste like a cross between garlic and onions. They have a tendency to take over in the garden so good to pull some now to thin. The woody plants behind the rosemary in this picture are a cold tolerant fig (supposedly) and hydrangea ‘Pinky Winky’.
I took the whole lot of it and presented it to hubby, ‘the chef’. I don’t think he got the picture at firs tseeingf these dirt covered roots and half dead leaves, but cleaned up and roasted they made mighty fine fare. After cleaning, peeling and cutting up the carrots, beets and ramps, I slathered a good layer of olive oil over the whole thing.The kale turned kind of crispy so I just crunched it up on top and mixed it all with a little more olive oil,German mustard, balsamic vinegar and burdock vinegar. One of my students, Lisa, always brings some delicious roasted vegetable salad iconcotion to all out potlucks so I’m trying to follow her style.
My dear husband is making roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and this roast vegetable salad will probably be my favorite part of the meal. I also made some kick A– horseradish sauce to go with roast beef and salad.
I am also quite enamored of this Alnus glutionosa. Italian or black alder in the off seasons of early spring and winter. The plant is monoecious and the male flowers hang like purpley earrings dangling from fine,thin stems at this time of year. Notice the tiny females above always leaning in to the male flower. In spring the male will open and dust the world with pollen. The receptive female above develops into attractive cone-like structures or fruit called ‘strobile’.The males will turn bright yellow in spring wafting with pollen against grey stems and grey skies, about the same time as pussy willow. I have three trees in my yard which helps produce the most flowers and fruit. You have to see up close to appreciate this tree.
Sweety cooking, eating, watching football, putting up with me and being a great hubby all around. I Am blessed this Christmas with family , good health. good food, prosperity and happiness. I can only hope you find these simple gifts true for your holiday and the year ahead.