I’m picking all the spinach and a bunch of lettuce this weekend. I will hoard the spinach, but I’m happy to give away lettuce (like Kelly and Meg, though not quite as desperate yet). But I just had an offer to a coworker turned down, and I’m perplexed. Not that it was turned down; it’s lettuce, after all, not strawberries or tomatoes. (Did I mention the day last year when I had an excess of tomatoes so I brought some to work and left them by the microwave? And watched the pile dwindle throughout the day so that I was left with a salutary no-one-wanted-to-take-the-last-one by the close of business?) It’s the reason. “I do eat salads, but I typically cheat and buy the already-mixed bag. So no, but thanks for asking.” What goes into bagged salads other than lettuce, and maybe a little shredded carrot and cabbage? And wouldn’t free mostly-salad be worth grating a carrot or two over the top of it? I guess not.

I had my first mostly-from-the-garden dinner last night, if you don’t count the night I had salad for dinner because I spoiled my appetite with ice cream. (It’s really good ice cream, okay?) I intended to have sauteed broad beans, snap peas, and garlic scapes (I have garlic scapes!), but it turns out that the broad beans need to get much bigger before they’re ready to shell. They have an amazing velvety interior, though. So I picked some Red Russian kale and added that, then sprinkled a little lemon juice over it all and had it with leftover rice.

I read up on garlic scapes before cooking them and was pleased to note in this article that they have a much milder flavor raw (in pesto!) than garlic cloves, and that you can eat them and “still kiss your kitchen mate.” This was a terrible lie. I bit into one and yelped, and Eric moved rapidly out of reach as the scent reached him. But cooked they did become mild, with a great texture, very asparagus-like. I’d love to try cooking them as I would asparagus, once the remaining ones get longer. Maybe in risotto. Or pasta. Or pizza. Or alone.

Eric has also told me that he’ll eat more salad if I simply walk indoors with it and tell him that it’s what we’re having for dinner. I had thought being able to see the lush, close-packed lettuce patch from the window, and hearing my frequent suggestions of “salad with dinner?”, would have encouraged him to consider eating salad more often. But if all I’ve got is his essential laziness when faced with a dinner fait accompli, I’ll take it. I’m planning my attacks in green bean, corn, and zucchini season already.

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