A collection of essays, outdoor adventure stories, ruminations, wordplay, parental angst, and blatant omphaloskepsis, generated in all seasons and for many reasons at 64.8 degrees north latitude

Monday, September 7, 2020

Delicious Seasonal Family Dinner Ideas Using the Produce from Your COVID Victory Garden


Spring Garden Salad with Radishes:
Toss together spring lettuce, young mixed greens, and a generous complement of thinly sliced radishes.  Enjoy with the salad dressing of your choice.

More Radishes:
Take a photo of all the additional radishes.  Share it on Instagram.  Make a comment about the vibrant color and abundance of your prolific early-season crop.  Slice up all the additional radishes.  Serve as a garnish for pasta, potatoes, or lemon meringue pie.


Sweet Pea Excitement:
Carefully cut the first snap pea of the season into five equal parts.  Share it among family members.  Fail to notice the rabbit burrow that has just appeared beneath your garden fence.  That single pea sure was tasty, wasn’t it?

Totally Normal Beef Stew:
Cut 40-50 white radishes into quarters and add to hearty beef stew.  Simmer.  Tell everyone the chunks are potatoes.  Serve with wine.


Tomato Surprise:
The surprise is that the kids have eaten every sweet, ripe, perfect cherry tomato straight from the greenhouse before you had a chance to pick any.  Not even one.  You’ve been tending those seedlings since the lockdown began, which was on March 12th, but who’s counting? 

Vegetable Stir-Fry:
Chop vegetables into bite-size pieces, sauté lightly in olive oil, season with soy sauce, garlic, and herbs to taste, and serve over rice.  By “vegetables” we mean “all eighteen zucchini that you’ve harvested since Tuesday”.


Carrot-Top Pesto:
Did you know that carrot tops are actually edible? Prepare using a standard pesto recipe, but replace basil leaves with carrot tops.  Serve over tortellini.  Spend dinnertime insisting to your family that carrot tops are actually edible.

Zucchini Subterfuge:
Finely grate four cups of zucchini and add to a cake mix that includes various forms of sugar as the second, fourth, and fifth ingredients.  Follow package directions.  When your children poke suspiciously at the green flecks, spray the entire cake with canned whipped cream.


Maybe It’s Borscht:
Slice carrots, beets, potatoes, and turnips.  Yes, we know that borscht doesn’t contain turnips, but we somehow ended up with a lot of turnips, okay?  The beets will make them look purple anyhow.  Just simmer it a for a long time, and add plenty of salt, pepper, and garlic.  And maybe a few more turnips.

The Last Salad:
Toss together crisp leaf lettuce, cucumber, bell peppers, and tender spinach leaves.  Garnish with sprigs of parsley and your own hot tears as you feel the autumnal equinox slip past, leaving you to descend into darkness.


Zucchini Boat:
Hollow out the terrifying, long-forgotten, late-season marrow found lurking beneath half-dead leaves in the darkest reaches of the garden.  Fill it to the gunwales with smaller zucchinis.  Push it downriver in the dead of night.

Roasted Turnips:
That’s it.  That’s what they are.  From the root cellar.  Roasted turnips.


Pumpkin Soup:
It was a smiling, happy jack-o-lantern, but now it’s dinner!  Stop crying, Tyler.

Turnips, Turnips, OMFG Turnips:
The root cellar may be haunted.


Snackin’ Seasonal Shapes:
Using a sharp cleaver, slice turnips no thicker than ¼ inch.  Hide the cleaver from the kids.  Hide the cleaver from yourself.  Give the kids cookie cutters and encourage them to form creative fun shapes from the slices.  Throw the extra turnip fragments into the cauldron that is now fermenting in the corner.  Throw the fun shapes in there, too.

Festive Holiday Extravaganza:
Drink the sour, fetid, pale-yellow alcohol you made from fermented turnips. Stumble down the stairs into the eerie, moaning darkness of the root cellar.  Lie for a few moments on the cool earthen floor.  Hallucinate quietly until you feel ready for the return journey. 


Unspeakable Horrors Through Endless Unmarked Days:
Mostly involving parsnips.

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