Tuesday, March 4, 2008

immune from my black thumb

I am not a gardener.

I wish things could have been different.

But most things I try to grow do not do well.

Probably because I tend to plant things and then just hope for the best.

I don't do the work of looking after them and nurturing them.

Flowers, herbs, veggies... They don't do well in my yard.

Except that is for the lemons and rosemary.

The lemon tree was already here when I moved in about 12 years ago.

I think it was planted sometime in the 60s.

It produces beautiful lemons all year long.

They used to be too big and pulpy, with very little juice.

But the past few years they have been perfect.

No longer the size of grapefruit, they fit in the palm of my hand.

They used to have thick, mealy skin which was barely good for making lemon zest.

Now the skin is bright and yellow and slightly slick from lemon oil when I run the microplane over it.

I use lemon a lot, so I love this tree. I do nothing to it. It just continues to bear fruit.

The rosemary I did plant.

About 4 years ago I bought three, 1-gallon pots of rosemary and just stuck them in the back of the flower bed.

They get tons of sun all day and pretty much just get water when it rains.

Those three small rosemary pots eventually merged into a larger rosemary bush which has since turned into a giant rosemary monster that is the size of a VW bug.

The pictures here were taken last week and you can just start to see the shoots of my daffodils popping up through the ground in front of the flower bed.

The daffodils are now in full bloom, their full, bright yellow heads nodding in the breeze. They are such happy little flowers.

I trim it the rosemary monster occasion, when it starts to grow taller than the block wall behind it and threatens to head into the neighbors' yard.

It flowers much of the year. The delicate blossoms are a lovely purple-blue and attract passing bees.

And the smell.

On a warm day just standing near it makes me think of roasted chicken and red potatoes with rosemary. It can be enough to make my mouth water.

Sometimes I cut off a few sprigs and put them in a vase just to give the house that smell.

I find it especially nice if it has been a while since I cooked a proper meal.

It just makes the kitchen smell amazing.

But it has been a while since I cooked anything with that rosemary.

So that will be one of my things for the coming weekend.
I have made lots of things with rosemary, including a polenta and rosemary cake served with strawberries and whipped cream. That was quite tasty.
Maybe I need to make that again. I remember really liking the dry, crumbly texture and the fact that it was not overly sweet.

And I want to find a couple of new recipes using rosemary and do some experimenting.

And I may throw in some of that lemon, too.

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