Zibby counted ten green baby tomatoes last night, and 2 baby bell peppers. The two tomato earthboxes are doing great. Growing very tall. My neighbor tried to tell me not to water them so much. There is a language barrier, but she just doesnt understand how the earthboxes work. She is very much a traditional gardener. The two tomato plants I just put in regular old pot containers dont look good. One had aphids all over it. I sprayed it with some insecticide soap (organic). The one lettuce box is still going ok, and the cuke box I planted looks good.

I also planted a golden zuke box, but there were a bunch of flowers that are now gone, and it looks kind of… bleh. Dont know if it will recover. Im not sure if zukes are supposed to grow up stakes or spread out laterally. ?

At any rate, Im learning a lot and Zibby is enjoying the garden too. She cuts all the lettuce. 🙂

Cherry Salsa

My new favorite salsa is Cherry Salsa. All the ingredients came from the farmers market or my CSA, so its local, seasonal and sustainable, as well as de-freaking-licious.

Equal parts sweet cherries, pitted and chopped, and grape tomatoes cut into similar size chunks as cherries
Add diced red onion and minced cilantro and a splash of lemon juice. (If you like heat, please, by all means, add hot peppers. I bet they would counter the sweetness of the cherries in a really great way. I dont do spicy, so I leave em out.)

Its great with corn chips, but I’ve been eating it on top of grilled chicken strips and butter lettuce in a tortilla.


Earthbox Lettuces

earthbox lettuce

My Earthboxes are producing lovely lettuces. Every week I harvest a really large bowl of red and green and mixed leaf lettuces and share them with some of my neighbors. They taste very tender and spicy and delicious.

However, I know they will “bolt” soon, so I need to have an idea of what to plant next in the boxes! Anyone have any ideas? I live in Chicago. What can one plant in July?

Frisee with bacon and Champagne viniagrette

None of this is from my CSA, but its one of my favorite recipes.
Get a huge plate of fresh, washed and chilled frisee.
Saute a couple of strips of bacon, cut up into a large dice.
When bacon is crispy, remove from pan to bed of frisee.
Pour some of your favorite vinegar into the pan and mix with rendered bacon grease. (I love Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne vinegar)
Add dressing to greens and devour.

frisee with bacon and orange champagne viniagrette

Summer Saute of Asparagus and Golden Zucchini

asparagus and squash

Fresh from the CSA garden came some golden zucchinis and tender aspargus. I decided to saute them with some of the summer butter I bought made with milk from grassfed cows. Wowza. Henry laid on the table and insisted I feed him bite after bite. He ate about half my plate!

Zucchini and Swiss Chard Bisque

A couple of weeks ago I had a bowl of soup at a restaurant that really blew me away. It was a creamy zucchini and swiss chard. My most recent CSA box had some of beautiful zukes and chards, so I attempted the soup.

zucchini and swiss chard soup, dairy free

I shredded the zucchini and de-stemmed the chard. Sauteed them together with some olive oil and then added chicken stock and simmered until everything looked very tender, about twenty minutes. Cooled it for a bit, then put it in the blender. Added salt, pepper and a smidge of nutmeg. It was really, really delicious. Mine was thicker than the restaurants, I could have thinned it out, but I liked it. It would even make a very interesting sauce for a pizza or even on noodles.

Mango Salsa

Our friend Bonnie introduced me to this salsa. I had it for the first time at a party at her house. I had never had anything like it, but I got her recipe and have been making it ever since. These flavors just go together so perfectly, and I love it best on El Milagro corn chips, which are thick and crunchy.


I think it tastes perfect when the amount of chopped mango equals the amount of all the other ingredients. This time I used 2 large mangos, which gave me around 2 cups diced fruit. Then you need about 1 1/4 cups diced cucumber and 3/4 cups diced red onion. Add a few squirts of lime juice and then as much jalapeno as you like. To be honest, sometimes I dont even put any jalapeno. But if I was making it for a party, I would. And, if you like cilantro you can put some in. Yum.