Who wants to take a ride in the Way Back Machine?
Growing up, we had gardens for days. A flower garden in the side yard, vegetable garden in the back yard, fruit trees (and strawberries) in the front yard. Every year my brother and I got to help pick out what we wanted to plant (I always picked watermelon, pumpkins, and lilies). And in the summer, before dinner, my mom would send me out to harvest fresh salad ingredients.
I have fond memories of our garden, and looked forward to one day having one with my kids. Apartment life was not conducive to gardens. Even the herbs I tried to grow just didn't thrive. Of course, it didn't help I stripped them bare pretty quickly. (I use lots of herbs when cooking).
When we moved to our current house, I really wanted a garden, but there's a reason we nicknamed our home "the Gopher House." It just didn't seem in the cards.
But then L&O planted a raised bed garden in her backyard a couple years ago. And it's been VERY successful. And I've been VERY jealous. I want her green thumb so badly! We were chatting last week and I told this to her and she gave me a couple ideas. Including the fact that her neighbor has a garden in a galvanized steel water trough in his front yard. Then she sent me pictures.
I took them to Thatboy and he....immediately shot it down. No room, where would we put it, not on his precious grass. I showed him the area I had planned out for it - not on his precious grass - and he still wasn't convinced. But a trip to the local feed store and he started seeing my vision.
We also had been talking about a getting a lemon tree for years and years now - since the apartment time. So as long as we were picking up gardening equipment, a lemon tree made its way into our car too. Yippee!!!! The boys helped us transplant it into a pot - so it can come with us wherever we end up.
Then we got to work on the real garden. It was a multi-day project. Perfect for the long weekend. Thatboy drilled holes in the bottom of the trough one day, and the next we filled it! I gridded it out during naptime, and after the boys came out and each got to take a square. Thatbaby's pick was carrots, so he got two little squares for those. He also got to plant our mint (Thatboy's pick - so we could have mojitos this summer). Thatkid picked "pickles" and tomatoes - both cherry and heirloom. So he got 3 squares. Thatboy also picked tomatoes, so we're going to be very tomato heavy if all works out. The final square went to my pick - lemon cucumbers. I don't even know what they'll be like, but it sounds interesting!
I'll keep you updated on our little garden's progress. If all goes well I might be able to convince Thatboy into expanding next year!
The other creation from the holiday weekend is the easiest fudge you will ever make. If you microwave something, does it even count as cooking? Microwave chocolate, microwave peanut butter, and let the fridge do the rest of the work. Gives you more time for outside pursuits!
Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Fudge (From Cooking Light)
1 can fat free sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp unsweetened dark cocoa
1/4 tsp instant coffee
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup peanut butter chips
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1/4 cup salted, dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- Line an 8 inch square glass or ceramic baking dish with wax paper. Place 9 Tbsp milk in a microwaveable bowl.
- Add chocolate chips, cocoa, and coffee granules. Microwave 1 minute or until melted.
- Stir in 1/2 tsp vanilla. Spread into prepared pan.
- Combine remaining milk, peanut butter chips, and peanut butter in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 1 minute or until melted.
- Stir in 1/2 tsp vanilla.
- Spread evenly over chocolate layer.
- Sprinkle with peanuts. Cover and chill 2 hours. Cut into 25 squares.