I don’t know about everyone else, but for me, whenever my in laws are visiting, I tend to have an above average number of kitchen mishaps. Take for example, the day a kitchen shelf “leapt” from the wall. It smashed my precious mortar and pestle received as a gift from Bjorn as well as a jar of balsamic reduction which spattered most of the kitchen with a thin layer of sticky brown goo. There were also those blueberry muffins that turned out like hockey pucks the day I invited Val for breakfast a few years back. Most recently, I attempted to make deviled eggs out of some lovely, fresh, farmer’s market eggs, and –the eggs would not peel. When the world hands you eggs that are locally grown, fresh, organic and lovely that —will not peel– make Disheveled Eggs! Disheveled Eggs start by following your favorite approach to making Deviled Eggs, mine being a stiff, simple egg yolk mixture with a little mayo, minced celery or shallot, salt, pepper and a bit of mustard to taste. The key to Disheveled Eggs is to pile on eye-catching, creative and tasty garnishes to disguise and distract from your less-than-perfect peeling and filling of the egg halves. Among my great garnish ideas either used or imagined are thinly sliced radishes, finely chopped chives, sprigs of dill and parsley, thinly sliced baby dill pickles, a tiny spoonful of capers, some flaky tuna or a little smoked salmon, a tiny bubble-tower of salty of caviar, a squirt of Sriracha “Rooster Sauce,” tiny olives, a heavy shake of smoked paprika, or a tiny pile of thinly sliced prosciutto. No matter how much you are sweating it in the kitchen, if you bring this platter of fancifully garnished eggs to table you will receive reactions of awe and delight–trust me. My quick-fix to classic deviled eggs was inspired by James Beard Award winning Canal House Cooks Every Day cookbook by Melissa Hamilton & Christopher Hirsheimer not only did this lovely tome inspire many of my imaginative garnishes, but they finally gave me instructions to cook eggs from soft to medium to hard with reliable results. For the ambitious who prefer to follow a recipe, here is a deviled egg recipe using homemade mayo piped into the egg halves recently posted on Amateur Gourmet. Bon Appetit!
I love the heat, energy and fireworks explosion of people out enjoying life in every possible way that takes place in July; but to me, August is the heart of summer. I savor August days when the pace of life slows down, the garden booms and I can pause to soak in warmth, the natural wonders, brilliant flavors and the easy pace that life settles into at this time of year. I enjoy being able to base my seasons on what is happening outside, instead of on the school year or the sport’s calendar. It helps me keep the summer feeling alive to the last second when the fall chill genuinely takes hold. I understand that for many people, the first sign of a cooler evening, a fallen leaf or the school year looming close marks a change. Even so, it is too early to shift to autumn-cooking mode while the garden and farmer’s market is overflowing with beautiful summer vegetables and fruits. If you have a potluck, picnic or BBQ left on the agenda, trotting out the classic potato salad is probably starting to seem a little dull and repetitive. This is when it is time to turn the traditional potato salad on its heel–add some veggies to the ingredient list, subtract the typical mayo-based dressing. With a few tweaks, you have a bright, fresh twist on a classic potato salad that capitalizes on August abundance and tastes and looks so different, you will forget the creamy classic potato salad recipe you wore out in June and July.
Dijon and Herb Potato Salad– Yield: 6 generous servings, 20 minutes hands-on, 50 minutes total time.
- 2 pounds small Yukon Gold or Red potatoes scrubbed
- 6 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and halved or quartered
- 1 cup Fresh Peas or String Beans, or a combination of both
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons chicken or vegetable stock
- 3 tablespoons Tarragon vinegar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons Grainy Dijon mustard
- 8-10 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 minced shallot
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons basil leaves, chopped, plus small, whole basil leaves for garnish
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Drop the potatoes into a large pot of boiling, lightly salted water and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until they are just cooked through. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place them in a large bowl with the fresh peas or string beans on top and cover with a clean towel. This allows the beans or peas to steam along with the potatoes for 10 minutes more. Note, this approach worked for me, though if you are nervous about the peas or beans being cooked, add, them to the pot of boiling potatoes for the last few minutes, or steam them separately. Cut the potatoes in half or quarters if they are large. If you used Yukon Gold potatoes, you can slip off the skins right off at this point if you like. Toss the potatoes gently with chicken stock. Allow the liquid to soak into the warm potatoes before proceeding.
Combine the vinegar, mustard, olive oil with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously to make an emulsion. Add the vinaigrette to the potatoes. Add the shallot, dill, parsley, basil, salt and pepper and gently toss. Just before serving, toss in the halved tomatoes and top the salad with halved hard-boiled eggs, fresh cracked pepper and small basil leaves. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- 3 cloves of garlic – crushed in the garlic press, or smashed and finely minced;
- 2-3 inches of fresh ginger – peeled and grated;
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into “chickpea size” chunks;
- 2 stalks of celery, rinsed, peeled and chopped into “chickpea size” chunks;
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced;
- 1 cup of red lentils – picked over;
- 1 14 ounce tin can of Eden Organic garbanzo beans- rinsed and drained;
- 1 teaspoon turmeric;
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala;
- 1 pinch saffron threads – chopped, or crushed and rolled between index finger and thumb;
- 1 teaspoon cumin;
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper;
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom;
- 4-5 cups Vegetable Broth;
- Optional additions: One 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes or 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste– we are both needing a rest from acidic canned tomatoes in every soup and sauce we make, so I left them out, no matter how ill-advised that was; 1 diced winter squash or a couple of Yukon Gold potatoes chopped into “chickpea sized” chunks.
- Toppings, optional, but highly recommended– a squeeze of lime juice 5 minutes before serving and one handful of chopped flat leaf parsley or cilantro. More optional–a dollop of Greek Yogurt, Sour Cream or a tiny dash of saffron-infused heavy cream. I have never tried saffron-infused cream, but it sounds good, doesn’t it?
- For serving – cooked rice, or a slice of grainy bread with butter, also optional.
Method: chop the vegetables and measure the spices on Sunday, or whatever day is right before your most tiring and hectic day of the week, and put everything into the liner of the crock pot, cover it, and placed it in the fridge.
Next morning, add the vegetable broth, give it a gentle stir and place the liner in the crock with the heat on low. This should cook 8-10 hours on low. If you want to give the broth a little body, you can blend a few cups of the finished soup with an immersion blender. Or you can use my trick, and mash some of the soup solids with a potato masher.* The soup goes well with a nice chunk of bread and butter or a little scoop of rice. It reheats beautifully. It is Monday. This is all I have to offer.
*Still haven’t gotten an immersion blender… it is at the top of my kitchen wish list. Accepting trade offers.
It is a good indication that we are getting pretty low on groceries and fresh produce when I decide what is for dinner by googling the few ingredients we have left to find an idea. Tonight, I poked around the kitchen and found a can of white beans, a potato, and a half a bag of frozen corn to work with. Those three ingredients sounded like a good base for a soup. I wasn’t feeling like a chunky Tuscan White Bean Stew, or a creamy Rosemary White Bean Soup even though they looked tasty. We didn’t have half the ingredients for this luscious looking Corn Chowder with Chilies by Pioneer Woman and we wanted something lighter. As far as I can remember, I don’t think I’ve ever combined white beans, corn and potato in one pot, but it seemed like these 3 pale, starchy comforters had to go together. I thought “there must be a recipe for this white bean, corn and potato chowder!” I immediately found two, fairly similar recipes that sounded tasty, [here and here]. I took cues from both recipes, made a few adjustments of my own and ended up with a soup that was healthy and warming that we both enjoyed. First, I assembled my ingredients.
I think it is a good sign about a recipe when the ingredient list is short. For one thing, in a simple recipe each ingredient plays a vital role in the dish as a whole. There is also a better chance that your pantry and fridge will contain what you need so you don’t have to run to the store. Most importantly you won’t have to pull out your hair trying to follow a complicated recipe or spend your evening chopping and measuring a zillion ingredients. My White Bean, Corn and Potato Chowder contained:
- One cup of Frozen Corn.
- 1 16 ounce can of Cannellini Beans. — I happened to have a large can of beans so I used it, but you’d be fine with a 14 ounce can. If you are up for preparing dry beans, which sadly, I am not, you should use about 1 cup of dry beans, soaked and cooked in water until tender.
- 1 Yukon Gold Potato washed and chopped.
- 1/2 of a yellow onion, diced.
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced — I ended up using only one carrot, even though my photo contains two.
- 1 stalk of celery, chopped. –I didn’t have any celery, but normally, I would include it. Diced Onions, Carrots and Celery, or a mirepoix if you are cooking in French, makes a solid aromatic base for almost any soup or sauce.
- 1 four cup carton of Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth.
- For Garnish: 1 thinly sliced green onion and coarsely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley are both optional, but good.
- About 1/2 a teaspoon each of crushed dried Rosemary, and dry Thyme.
- A splash of skim milk, or half and half, or heavy cream, depending what fits into your diet.
- A small amount of Olive Oil for sautéing the veggies.
- Salt and Pepper to taste.
We have 2 people eating in our house most nights, so I try to cut soup recipes down to 4 portions, so that we each get to have a hearty bowl for supper and a smaller bowl for lunch the next day. It took me two years to figure out that I need to cut down most recipes. Having a few frozen portions is great for lunches at work or an easy supper, but a freezer can fill up fast in the winter when I feel like making a new pot of soup a few times per week. If you have a bigger head count, or feel like stockpiling soup for lunches and lazy days, you can easily double or triple this recipe.
Once I had all of the veggies for the chowder chopped, I began by sautéing the onion and carrots. I rinsed the cannellini beans, and mashed about half of them on a cutting board with a potato masher. I did this for several reasons. Since I wanted the chowder to be light and healthy I decided not to use half and half or cream in my chowder which are traditional chowder ingredients. Mashed white beans added velvety texture to the soup liquid that it would otherwise lack without cream. I used a potato masher because I don’t have an immersion blender* and lugging out the blender or food processor to puree half of the soup is far too much effort for me on a Tuesday night. The potato masher works quite well to create a rustic creaminess and it cuts down on dish washing which is also a plus. When the carrots and onions began to get soft in my enamel dutch oven, I added the rest of the ingredients except the milk and garnishes. I let the soup simmer for a good half hour to 40 minutes. This gave me time to set the table, check Facebook and chop up some grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and leaves of romaine lettuce for a small salad, along the lines of a caprese, minus basil. I dressed the salad with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salut herb mixture. Once the chowder was hot and all the flavors combined, I removed the pot from the heat. I mashed the entire mixture of veggies little a more with the potato masher right in the soup pot to allow the carrots, corn and potatoes to add body to the liquid in the chowder. Right before serving the chowder I stirred in a splash of milk. I served the chowder in a small bowl with the salad on the side of the plate.
On top of Bjorn’s salad I added a few this slices of Sopprasetta, a dried, cured Italian salami.
We loved this chowder. It was warm and satisfying, but still light and healthy. It will reheat well for our lunch, and we will able to eat the whole pot in two meals. This meal made good use of the last few vegetables in the house. Even if my fridge is fully stocked, I’d make it again.
* An immersion blender might be a good gift idea, hint, hint.
Do not adjust your monitor! This cauliflower purchased at the St. Paul Farmer’s Market is an interesting orange-y gold! I’ve been seeing more and more varieties of vegetables in unique colours lately. Cauliflower that is orange, purple or bright green; purple potatoes; golden beets; and bright yellow carrots and tomatoes are becoming commonplace at the Farmer’s Market and grocery store. I don’t remember seeing these varieties much, just a year ago. I attribute this influx of vegetables in a new rainbow of colors to the masses becoming interested in growing and eating heirloom vegetable varieties and the local food movement gathering broader appeal. With all of the chatter among thoughtful eaters, people are becoming less suspicious of oddly shaped and uniquely coloured foods. We as eaters are learning that these characteristics often are accompanied by flavors that exceed those of red tomatoes of uniform colour and size; massive white turkey breasts, and eggs with white shells and pale yellow egg yolks in by immeasurable amounts. With a special-looking specimen like this golden cauliflower, I wanted it to play a starring role in what we made for our supper. At home, I have never done anything with cauliflower other that roast it, steam it or eat it raw. Recently, I sampled a truly delicious creamy, cheesy cauliflower soup at Heartland Restaurant in Saint Paul, and so for a weeknight meal my goal was to make a soup that was warming and delicious, but a little lower in calories and fat than the creamy-cheesy bowl of love from Heartland that I could never duplicate anyway. I followed some direction from Martha Stewart found in a recipe for Curried Roasted Cauliflower Soup on her website.* The results were good, but as expected, it was no match for the Heartland Cauliflower soup which elevated all expectations for what a cauliflower soup could be from the first spoonful. I am not a James Beard winning chef though, and I’m striving to be health conscious, so I’ll cut my soup some slack. It was a tasty and healthy meal.
I started the soup by roasting the cauliflower. Martha Stewart’s recipe called for the cauliflower to be drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. I used some cooking spray so that the cauliflower wouldn’t stick, but skipped the oil and salt. The roasted cauliflower came out the oven with a similar colour and texture to macaroni and cheese.** Next, I added the roasted cauliflower to a pan of sautéed onions. Again, I used cooking spray instead of the butter suggested by Martha, but followed her lead on adding curry powder and low sodium vegetable broth, water and chopped fresh parsley.
I reserved a few of the best looking florets to top the soup, and gave the entire concoction a whirl in the blender to make it into a uniformly smooth consistency.
We enjoyed this soup with some grainy brown bread toasted with tomato slices, 21 Seasoning Salute** and a little melted mozzarella cheese. The curry added some kick, and helped to emphasize the golden colour of the cauliflower. It was a light but satisfying supper and there was enough for both of us to have a bowl re-warmed for lunch the next day. I’m sure we’ll make this soup again.
*Say what you want about Martha. She’s got her name on books, magazines, a website and a TV show that have been downright influential to my wedding planning, home keeping, cooking and entertaining and her website is by far the most comprehensive, well-organized resource on these subjects out there.
**Mmmm. Macaroni and Cheese.
***21 Seasoning Salute is a salt free assortment of dried herbs and spices from Trader Joe’s that is indispensable in our kitchen.
I like making a foods that are a concept more than a recipe. A concept dish has a central idea to it, that you can run with in any direction that you please. Dishes in this category include pizza, many pasta dishes, a stir fry, a sandwich, many soups and stews, pasta salad, or any salad for that matter. The structure of a concept dish is based on a few central and necessary components. For a pizza, this would include a crust and toppings. It can go anywhere from a traditional tomato sauce/cheese/pepperoni to topping a gluten free pizza crust, vegan “renotta*” and roasted red peppers. Foods like these accommodate my cooking style. They allow for imprecision, experimentation, and using whatever is fresh from the garden or farmer’s market. A conceptual recipe can be influenced by a certain cuisine, or an ingredient in the fridge that needs to get used up. They can even have multiple influences, such as the salad I’m about to share; one of the most enjoyed meals of the summer which had no less than 3 sources of inspiration. The first inspiration is the Cobb Salad at Salut in Saint Paul. I ate this salad several times a week in the count-down days leading up to our wedding when our nightly meal had an agenda and was a business meeting more than a relaxing al fresco dinner at a bustling brassiere across the street from my apartment. The Salut Cobb salad was a great supper for me in the days leading up to our wedding. It was a salad, but it was hearty, and it was huge. I ordered the Cobb with the chicken and bacon on the side, which we took home and added to Bjorn’s lunch the next day. I also had enough salad left over for my own lunch at work even after being totally satisfied by my supper**. The Salut Cobb is was a pretty standard Cobb, ingredients-wise: romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, avocado, hard-cooked egg, blue cheese and garnished with toasted parmesan crisps. The salad comes dressed, but the dressing is light. Still, the salad is rich because of the avocado, blue cheese and eggs. The salad I made contained the tomato, avocado and egg elements, but the Salut’s main influence on my salad was the fact that I made a salad for supper. After living on the salad for 2 meals a day for the months of May and June 2009, I became a believer that a salad can be supper. The second source of inspiration for my salad was a traditional Salad Niçoise. I don’t eat tuna and anchovy which are central elements of this salad, but I planned to use green beans, eggs, and potatoes (in addition to the already mentioned tomato) and the Niçoise is a salad that says “yes you can” to these ingredients in a cold salad. The third and most influential inspiration for my salad was the Ensalada Mixta pictured in Summer Made Easy Special Issue of Everyday Food Magazine in an article called Bask Country with food prepared by Aran Goyoaga. I have already mentioned, this article inspired me to return to blogging after 3 month hiatus earlier this summer. Aran Goyoaga prepared an Ensalada Mixta for a tapas party featured in the article. An Ensalada Mixta is a traditional Spanish salad. Aran Goyoaga served hers stylishly deconstructed, and allured me with its casual elegance and its peeled, soft cooked eggs with their tops cut off. A behind the scenes photo-journal appears on Aran’s blog, and the salad is pictured, in the center of the first photo, and then again, larger, toward the end of article. With elements of all of these salads in mind, I made a salad supper we loved with veggies from our backyard square foot garden and the Saint Paul Farmer’s Market which were fresh and lovely and crying to be a part of an uncomplicated summer meal.
I arranged all of the elements of the of Cobb/Niçoise/Ensalada Mixta-influenced salad deconstructed, on a large platter that we were given as a wedding present. The preparation was extremely simple. I boiled and then roasted fingerling potatoes from the farmer’s market with olive oil, crushed garlic and chopped rosemary from our garden and sprinkled a little champagne vinegar at the end to make their flavor bright***. I boiled and peeled eggs, but didn’t manage to get them off of heat in time to make the lovely soft-cooked eggs from the Ensalada Mixta. I picked and rinsed green and Bibb lettuces and frisée from the garden, and sliced garden tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. I sprinkled a little salt and fresh-ground pepper to the potatoes, eggs and tomatoes.
I blanched green beans from our garden and corn from the farmer’s market corn and cut it off the cob.
For a dressing, I blended avocado with parsley, salt and pepper and light mayonnaise in the food processor.
I was aiming for a Green Goddess-type dressing. The avocado concoction began with great ingredients, but turned out heavy with too much mayo, and missed the mark. I put Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, salt and pepper on the table to allow us to dress our salads to taste on our plates.
There are great salads that contain a set list of vegetables and proteins that are dressed in a particular way, such as a Cobb, a Niçoise, or a Caesar. My salad was a concept; a sum of it parts –the ideas and ingredients that influenced its creation. In spite of a less than exceptional dressing, and hard, instead of soft-boiled eggs, it worked out. We enjoyed its simplicity, and were satisfied by it because so many of its elements were hearty. Bjorn commented that the meal had a European feel to it, which makes sense in light of elements being inspired by salads native to France and Spain, both cuisines that prize great ingredients, and prepare them without excess complication. It has its American note to it also, in the Cobb ingredients, avocado and square foot garden-raised vegetables. I am slowly learning that great ingredients, prepared without unnecessary complication and served simply have such a refreshing and satisfying result.
*I don’t think I can be convinced that a pizza is a Pizza without cheese. I guess if it became medically necessary for me to eat pizza without cheese due to sudden, extreme lactose intolerance, a pizza like the one I recently read about on the Food in my Beard could perhaps, fill the sad, cheeseless void in my belly.
**I won’t lie. I always ate the salad with a hunk of Salut’s bread and some cold salty butter that they bring out to start your meal. This was totally justified, by my choice of a salad as entree, right? I’m sure the chewy bread and butter helped make a salad so satisfying.
***Thank you to our friends Jenny and Ben for introducing us to this wonderful way to prepare potatoes, based on a recipe by Jamie Oliver.
Eggs and toast are a common weekend breakfast at our house. During the work week we both end up eating a granola bar in the car or when we arrive to our desks most days. A hot breakfast at home welcomes the weekend. Eggs and toast is still a quick meal, and the very slight effort it takes to make it yields the satisfying nourishment to remind you it is Saturday and give you the energy to have great day. Making eggs and toast for breakfast is about as simple as it gets, except if you are me. I am going through the process of re-learning how to scramble an egg. I have been scrambling eggs since I was 5 years old, and I thought I had it mastered. I cracked eggs into a bowl, and mixed them up with chunks of cheese, and cooked them in a frying pan with oil or butter, stirring them occasionally until solid. I lived under the illusion that cheesy eggs was the only way to eat scrambled eggs until I ate the Simply Scrambled breakfast at the Birchwood Cafe. In Birchwoods’ Simply Scrambled breakfast, there is no cheese in the eggs! The eggs are super fresh and a lot creamier and less solid than the eggs I’ve been scrambling for over 25 years. And they are so good! I could tell that this is partly due to using extremely fresh eggs which is something I’ve already been using for several years. These delicious, creamy, plain eggs were a mysterious new experience for me. I asked a foodie friend for his thoughts about the Birchwood’s egg scrambling technique over a year ago, and he suggested something about only having the eggs on heat for a while, then taking the pan off of the heat letting them cook themselves. I tried it, and the result was plain, unevenly cooked, verging-on-runny eggs. Next, I watched Gordon Ramsey do a demo. When Gordon Ramsey says “every time we get a new cook in the kitchen, we always asked them to make scrambled egg. If they know how to make perfect scrambled egg, you know they know how to cook properly” I am sure he is right. I don’t know how to cook properly. Since watching this demo, I’ve been undercooking eggs left and right, but using butter and a little milk or sour cream* and finishing them with fresh chives to make them “sexy.” It might be a patience issue. I’m not sure. The good news for us is, Bjorn has not had an existential crisis about scrambled egg preparation. As in most areas requiring confidence and skill, if I can do it well, Bjorn can do it better; and with a lot less effort. So we are still eating delicious eggs, scrambled by Bjorn, while I limp along re-learning out how to Properly cook something I’ve been cooking and happily eating since I was a very little kid.
There are parts of the egg and toast breakfast that I prepare that have not been called on to the carpet for re-evaluation. I have discovered that eggs and toast is another meal that a slice of tomato makes better. If you have a decent grocery store tomato, all you have to do is throw a few slices in the frying pan toward the end of cooking the eggs. The tomato gets a little softer and sweeter and picks up just enough butter or oil from the pan to make it extra luscious. All it needs is a little pepper and salt. At the height of tomato and basil season, there is always fresh mozzarella in our fridge, and so fresh, just-sliced garden tomatoes inevitably are paired with fresh mozzarella and basil, a touch of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and the usual salt and pepper. A caprese is tomato’s perfect foil. I have mentioned my love of a caprese salad and the fact that I could happily eat them as a part of three meals a day at this time of year. I wasn’t kidding. Even for breakfast. How can I resist with tomatoes like this:
It is our second year with a Square Foot Garden. Last year we planted 6 tomato plants , and enjoyed tomatoes from our garden into December. This year we expanded the garden and planted 12 different varieties. We are luxuriating in an abundance of tomatoes of all shapes, colours and sizes**. We also have 4 square feet devoted to basil. I am serious when I say I love this flavour/texture combination. It is truly a luxury to be able to walk out the back door and pick a medley of herbs to season our breakfast. This morning I picked Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, Chives, and a little dill in addition to basil.
As a nod to Gordon Ramsey and the Birchwood’s perfect eggs, today our eggs are plain, but ready to be dressed up to taste with a little grated manchego cheese and garden herbs waiting on the side of the plate***. Having both manchego and fresh mozzarella on the same plate tips the scales towards indulgence, but after a pious week of granola bar breakfasts, perfect scrambled eggs, toast, fresh herbs and a caprese with basil and tomatoes from the garden is an indulgence we can afford.
Then, there is of course, the toast. The bread today is a dense Italian loaf from the bakery at Cosetta’s Italian Market in Saint Paul.
*Sorry Gordon; we don’t stock crème fraiche in our kitchen.
**Grey squirrels have also been picking our tomatoes and eating just a few bites, much to our frustration and disgust. We’ve resorted to garden warfare. Each of the raised beds is surrounded by chicken wire. We’re using smelly garlic and peppermint squirrel deterrent sprays, and we’re both pretty good aim when we throw a shoe, but we don’t seem to be able to get the squirrels under control. If there is some kind of a secret weapon against these greedy creatures, I’d love to know about it.
***Maybe I’m not so convinced about the perfection of cheese-less scrambled eggs?!?