Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Black Bean Soup

Here is a good recipe for garden goodies. Feel free to extemporize.

1 T (or less) olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T fresh oregano (or 1 t dried)
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
2 c. diced tomatoes
1 15-oz. can black beans
1 c. corn kernels
1 c. cooked rice
Salt and black pepper to taste
In a 2-3 quart sauce pan, saute onions and peppers in the olive oil until almost tender. Add garlic and oregano and saute another 30-60 seconds. Add the rest of the ingredients (and optionally a little water, as this soup is not very soupy) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, long enough that tomatoes and corn are cooked to desired state.

I like to eat this with crushed Doritos (nacho cheese flavor).

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fall Clean Up

Yesterday I forced myself outside to do something about the leaves. Last spring I bought a leaf blower, so I tried using that first. The reason I purchased it was to try to get at the leaves that cover the cotoneaster, but yesterday I discovered that the brambly nature of cotoneaster renders the leaf blower virtually useless. So then I tried blowing the other leaves around, but either my technique sucks or the leaves were too damp or something - it just was not as effective as a plain ol' rake. So I raked a bit around the front of the house, just enough to make it look I was executing due diligence. And my neighbors were not.

I also disassembled the Topsy Turvy, destroying one of the bags in the process. I'm not convinced this is the contraption for me, as my success has been mediocre. I may try it one more time, with something like grape tomatoes and cascading petunias. Or it may become a bird feeder support.

I also wrestled the tomato cages away from the dying vines, gathered a few other plastic odds and ends, and in general sighed a lot. This growing season was too long, with too many tomatoes and not enough zucchini (if you can believe that!) Sometimes I think the yard is just too much, but I keep reminding myself that it's not the yard, it's the job; if I didn't have to spend 40 hours a week in a cube, I'd have plenty of time for gardening.