Dinner’s Ready

Sometimes you need dinner in 10 minutes.


Mix up some veggies – maybe corn, shredded zucchini, chopped spinach, or dried tomatoes? – black beans, and cheese.

Warm a bit of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.

Lay a flour tortilla in the pan.

Cover half the tortilla with veggies and cheese.

When the bottom of the tortilla begins to brown, fold it over like an omelet.

Turn down the heat and give everything a minute to warm through.

Top with salsa and/or sour cream.


Sage Advice

This year we added sage to the garden.


If you’re short on space but still want to grow some food, herbs are your best bet. Given their prices at the grocery store, growing them yourself will give you a great return on your investment, and there’s no easier way to elevate your dinner from pretty good to something special than to add a handful of homegrown herbs.

Flavor Saver

I like to make things easy for my future self.


I also like to feed her well and save her money when I can. So I chop a pile of jalapenos, grown in the garden or bought at the farm store at the year’s cheapest prices. Each one is diced and arranged in its own plastic-wrapped bundle, then they’re all laid flat in a big zip top bag. One less ingredient to buy or prep when it’s time for pizza or guacamole this year.

Serenity Now

This pumpkin is in a race with the calendar.


Will it have time to size and color up before the weather turns, be ready to fulfill its destiny as the main ingredient of a delicious pie? It’s completely out of my hands and there’s no pretending otherwise. Nothing will help a person learn acceptance faster than gardening.

Concentrate on Flavor

Tomatoes must be saved every which way, because I will not be eating what passes for tomatoes at the grocery store come winter.


One favorite method of preserving tomatoes is to dry them in the oven. Their flavor is concentrated, and cherry tomatoes in particular are sweet as candy.

Oven-Dried Tomatoes



Cut tomatoes into small chunks of approximately the same size. The smaller the pieces, the quicker they’ll cook, obviously. Cherry tomatoes can just be cut in half.

Lay the tomatoes on a lined cookie sheet.

Sprinkle with salt. I like kosher for these, but use what you’ve got.

Bake at 250 degrees for between 3 1/2 and 6 hours. Quite a range, I know, but it depends on the size and moisture content of the tomatoes. You’ll know they’re ready when they feel like raisins.

Store in freezer in airtight containers.

Grow Up

These look like perfectly lovely flowers, yes?


The truth is, I can’t stand them. They’re a perennial sunflower, given to me with the warning that they would spread, and oh, man, have they spread. They’ve snuck under a fence and appeared clear across the yard. That’s annoying, but if I keep on top of it it’s manageable. What’s not manageable is the falling over. They’re long and gangly and I’ve tried every which way to prop them up, but they’re determined to lie down, brought to earth by their own weight.

All of this might be worth dealing with if the flowers themselves were impressive, but at just a couple of inches across they’re really nothing to write home about, and because most of them are on the ground you don’t see them so much as their stems. Unfortunately there seems to be no getting rid of them; they’ve staked their claim. I ignore or cuss, depending on the day, and they go about their business, oblivious to my angst over their growing habits.

Green Eating

At some point every summer there are just too many greens.


When you can’t eat or cook one more leaf, save some for a snowy day when the color green is exciting again. Chard, kale, beet greens, whatever you’ve got. Dehydrate them, crumble them, and enjoy a vitamin-packed sprinkle of flavor on your pasta or in your soup year-round.