Friday, July 15, 2011


My front yard is hilariously overgrown right now. The first cucumbers will be coming out soon because they're looking a little mildewed, and some of the herbs that are going to seed will be trimmed back and look a little less unruly, but the corn will be there for a while; it's popcorn that needs to stay on the stalk to dry for several weeks after maturing.

Right now, the sweet potatoes, just left/front of the corn in the photo below, are looking very healthy, and in another week or two, they are going to really sprawl all over the place. Their area will look less and less tidy as the summer progresses (but it will be glorious!).

My harvests are still heavily skewed toward cucumbers.

As a result, we've been eating a lot of a modified version of "Israeli salad," something I learned to make a long time ago, from a friend of a friend's grandmother.

The version I learned is approximately equal parts finely chopped cucumber and tomato, about a half part finely diced onion, the same for parsley, a little salt, then lemon juice and olive oil as dressing. This should sit for a few hours in the fridge before being served. I never wrote down exact proportions for all the ingredients because I watched it being made and figured out how to just "eyeball it."

However, for anyone interested in giving this a try, there is a more precise version of the recipe at

The salads we've been making over the last few weeks have zero tomatoes because we've had so many cucumbers and so few (or zero!) tomatoes. I've been using lots of parsley, too, because the swallowtail butterflies haven't found my parsley yet. When they do, and their little caterpillars start to grow, it will be all over for my parsley.

Lately, I've been going light on the onion, partly because I've been taking it in my lunchbox to work, and partly because I'm running low on onions grown in my own yard. I find myself balking at the thought of actually buying onions before August.

Soon we'll have more tomato to add to the salad. My first-crop tomato plants are loaded with green fruits, and each plant has a few tomatoes that are beginning to show the pink blush that signals the beginning of ripening. It's been a long wait, but we are almost there . . .


  1. Israeli salad, never had that before. I'll have to try it!

  2. meemsnyc -- It's an especially great summer salad when the tomatoes and cucumbers are piling up on the kitchen counters. I've been taking this to work for lunch pretty much every day since the cucumbers kicked in.

    It's lucky that the lemons have been selling for a lower price recently, too. I did buy several mesh bags full to squeeze; the juice was frozen in ice cube trays for later, when lemons go back up in price.

    Hope your gardening is going well!


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