Saturday, April 21, 2012


This morning I cleared out a little corner of the yard and edged it with broken bits of brick and stone.  Then I filed the nasturtium seeds a little (forgot to soak them overnight) and planted them.  I want to have pretty flower salads this summer!  And decorate desserts!

The children and their friends were in the background.  Yarn, binoculars, sidewalk chalk, and construction cones were involved.  And pirates.

I also managed to fill a planter with soil for a front-porch planting of nasturtiums.  However, the bike lock I purchased to chain it to the porch was broken.  In the afternoon, I walked back to the bike shop to get another one and wrassled the big container to the porch.  Over dinner, my husband pointed out that I had planted climbing nasturtiums and I thought I had planted bush variety.  Oh.

And dinner.  Genevieve wanted to go on a picnic in the park, but I told her a back yard picnic was what I could manage.

It was lovely.  We watched the black clouds build while we were eating.  (Salmon cakes with tartar sauce, orange asparagus pasta salad with mint)  Now it's raining on the seeds, on the cracked dusty gardens, on the thirsty new trees down the street and I am so grateful. 

Orange Asparagus Pasta Salad with Mint (from a magazine clipping I've had for several years in my file - also mentioned here)

Cook half-pound chunky pasta in boiling salted water in a large pot for 5 minutes.  Add 2-3 cups chopped asparagus.  Boil 2 more minutes.  Pour into a strainer in sink.  Run cold water over pasta and asparagus until cool.  Allow to drain.

In salad bowl, combine:

juice and zest of one orange
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Add and stir:
1/3 cup chopped spring onions
handful of fresh mint, chopped
2 oranges, peeled and chopped
1 cup minced or crumbled cheese - feta is lovely, so is Swiss or a mild cheddar

Add the drained, cooled pasta and asparagus.  Stir gently to combine.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.  As the salad sits, the pasta soaks up the dressing - I like to have a little dressing reserved to put on it at this point, but you may like your pasta salad on the dry side.


Hazel said...

I love nasturtiums!
The last couple of years I've made pickled nasturtium seeds as a caper substitute, which have worked really well.

Jodi Ann said...

What a wonderful day! I have been in the gardening mood lately too. :)

Rebecca said...

Praise the Lord for the rain! I feel like all nature has its head back and tongue out.

Beth said...

All sounds just delightful...a deep breath in the springtime...

All that work in the dirt; kids playing; a fresh supper and a backyard picnic. Lovely!

And I love it that you said "wrassled." Awesome.

(using lotsa your recipes lately...passing many along to others! :-)

Christian - Modobject@Home said...

What a lovely, lovely day. I find that when me move slowly and deliberately at home rather than flying about from there to here, life is so much more enjoyable. Give me a simple, backyard picnic any day.

Polly said...

What a great food combination! I love salmon cakes. I do think that's the only way I ever ate salmon until I was about 22 years old--my mom and grandmother both made them frequently!