Monday, June 15, 2009

The Mustard Seed: Planted and Grown

...If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. (Matthew 17:20)

Someone gave us a few mustard seeds in an effort to illustrate a point of Scripture. We took them home and I grew them into seedlings, and then they matured into this:

This weekend I cut and cooked them using this recipe. I feared they would taste bitter like collards, but they are actually quite tasty and more closely resemble spinach. You can't imagine how pleasantly surprised the seed giver was when I told them what happened to the two seeds they gave us.

This past weekend we celebrated our niece's third birthday. There was much food (barbecued pork, macaroni and cheese, salads) and a cupcake tower instead of a cake. It was amusing to watch my niece Katie eat the icing tops off of two and a half cup cakes while her mother tried to negotiate with her to eat the cake part. Each time, Katie would agree that she would, and then abandon the cupcake after eating the icing. Also, I'd really appreciate it if someone could explain to me why the greeting card industry insists on making cards for the four and under crowd. And why parents insist that they be bought for their children? Every year I watch toddlers throw the unopened cards, forgotten, on to the floor before tearing in to the wrapped gifts.

It also seems every year I nearly miss the strawberry season. This is partially why we have started growing our own. This year I found it almost impossible to get any within the narrow time frame because the crop has not been very good. Some of the produce stands are bringing them in from elsewhere, and all of the U-picks are closed. At the last minute, someone told me of one stand that might have them for one more day. I went and actually had to wait in line to pay close to five dollars a quart. Of course, I gladly did because it's the only way to taste a true strawberry anymore, unless you've made peace with those hard things shipped in from California, which I hope I never do.

Yesterday when we were taking a walk around my husband's parent's property I saw all of these wild blackberry bushes, thorny messes of them with green and ripening berries. We wouldn't pick them- they are far too bitter and seedy. I ate one last year and it crunched in my mouth. But it brought back many memories of the bushes that grew along the wooded area where we lived when I was a child. All of the children loved eating the fresh berries off of those branches, and they tasted so good. Looking back on it, I have to wonder whether they were really that good. Considering we also thought honeysuckle was a treat, we really weren't all that picky.

On the Table: Barbecued sausage and hamburgers, grilled asparagus and mustard greens, and pistachio pudding pie (which was quick, easy, and made with what I had on hand.)

In the Garden: Peas and spinach are done, and pole beans have been planted. Last night we had a hilarious conversation when I informed the Mister that the packet of bean seeds advised startlingly tall twelve foot stakes for the beans. The Mister's stance was one of having grown "every sort" of pole bean and never having seen one grow twelve feet high. My stance was, well do you think they wrote that on the packet just because? Also, we're already getting some jalapeno peppers. It's a little early for them yet. I like to get the peppers at the same time as tomatoes to can salsa.

As Promised: I love summer and on Monday June 22 I'll have my summer giveaway up! So check back!


  1. My children must me strange, even the youngest. They like to look at and carry those cards around. Yeah, after a while they forget them, but then the cards go into their "special boxes".

    Hmm... I've only eaten store bought strawberries. You know we did plant some this year, so next we should have a few.

    Word verification: shness

  2. Your children are indeed strange. It does not seem like children under the age of six or so are very interested in the "birthday card" part of the gift unless their parents force them.

  3. I got to show my oldest girls honeysuckle this summer, it brought back great memories. We don't have qany strawberry patches down here so sad. And I totally agree about the cards. I think the adults do it to know they have 'properly' acknowledge the child. haha!!

  4. I printed out the mustard greens recipe for my husband. I love the flavor sesame oil adds to things because it is go-od, so I may even have to try the greens myself. Not a big fan usually of other greens. I think my husband cooks turnip greens maybe? I don't know which ones they are but mustard greens don't ring a bell so I don't think that's what they are. I like spinach though, so we'll see!

    You know what's funny about cards - remember getting cards in the mail when you were little and maybe an aunt or someone would put like $5 in there? To this day, I still secretly hope something's going to fall out of the card when I open it!! And what they charge for cards now!!?? That's a gift by itself! Thank goodness for dollar stores, although I do like to splurge if it's a "special" b-day or something.


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