Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ozark Vinaigrette, Tomatoes

Yesterday was the day to plant tomatoes come what may! I was partly successful before stopping for lunch and the drizzle that began.

I planted 28 total, Heinz Classic, Granny Cantrell and OTV Brandyvine. I still have Ananas Noire (Black Pineapple and Druzba to go plus egg plant and peppers (starting to bloom in pots). I may end up planting them in mud if the rain keeps up for a week like predicted.

The rains began seriously around 3 AM this morning but at least the temperature has warmed to 61°. Actually my garden needed a good soaking.

I am happy to report we harvested our first salad of the 2011 Gardening Season!

This was a simple salad of Asian Red lettuce, sliced green onions (Super Star), sliced red and white radishes served with what I decided to call Ozark Vinaigrette.
Any Ozark cook worth her salt saves bacon drippings (I call it grease)in a container by the Mom, I use a canning jar and lid. Melt the grease in a small pan, add vinegar and a little water to cut the tartness, a bit of sugar and salt and bring to boil. Pour over the salad and toss. If you want it very wilted add more and keep tossing.

I think I finally spied a few dwarf blue kale coming up! I just wanted enough for a test so I am happy.

The sweet corn and cucumbers are up.

I have a new garden plan.......I am going to try to cram everything into the Kitchen Garden and then get it all under mulch so I don't have to hoe and there won't be enough room to till. I will still till the new space and turn under the growth but won't be under pressure to get it done now.

Random Picture

Last year I had one single lavender poppy in the Dining Room Bed; this year I will have several and this is the first.....not even close to the one last year. They cross more than any garden plant that I have.

From gardening Spring 2011


  1. That dressing is a favorite..we'll eat it on any greens :)

  2. Oh, yeah, I know that dressing well! Mom used to make what she called "wilted lettuce" every spring, using the leaf lettuce that she grew. It was great when served right away, not so great as a left-over. I think it would've been better if she had used a lettuce that stood up to it. My lettuce didn't do so good this year. I barely have enough to pick off a few leaves every few days.

  3. The Asian red I grew from your gift seeds is dark and colorful now and is a nice contrast to the bright green black seeded Simpson. Your dressing sounds delish.

    Seems like a good plan for the veg garden. I plant thickly, then mulch for the season. Very few weeds that way, if any. Less watering too. Looking forward to progress reports there.

    Over 6" of rain so far this month. We rarely gets days without it. So much NOT getting done outside this year. The grass will need a baler pretty soon... The gloom is pervasive -- and depressing. Saturday may be dry, then days and days of more rain forecasted after that. Hope you get your peppers et al in.

  4. I love that dressing. I make what we call wilted lettuce and it's alway a spring time treat. We're still getting rain every day. Not all day, just enough to keep the ground soggy. Good luck with your garden plans.

  5. Us too...rain in the forecast everyday. I did see the sun yesterday for a few short hours and it is still there! Love your Ozark salad, we eat like cows this time of year- lots of greens! Finally got some plants put out yesterday and bought more seeds... bush beans, squash, cucumber, cantalope and watermemon to replace the ones that never came up. I'd be griping more if they weren't the 20 cent seeds!

  6. Your salad looks delish. Like Ilene, I remember eating a lot of wilted lettuce growing up. Since we were a large family she made it in a dish pan. Just lettuce, green onion, salt and hot bacon grease (no vinegar) with radishes on the side. I have never been able to make it that tastes as good as I remember!

    Pretty poppy-love the doubles.

  7. Same here, lots of greens and bacon grease, from an Amish grandmother who was raised in your beautiful state in the Ozarks.
    We are swimming here, and to be honest, I'm not sure about the gardening this year! It may be a weird year like last year.
    Everything looks so good.
    Take care, and hugs

  8. I've not tried that dressing. I have some bacon grease in a mason jar in the fridge, I'll have to give that recipe a try.

    Love your first harvest. I've got tomatoes with buds forming, I hope we will get some fruit to eat before the critters get to it. I need to screen the plants off to keep them out. Most likely racoons and possums.

    Your poppy is lovely.

    Hugs ~ FlowerLady

  9. Yum! Love wilted lettuce! I always save bacon grease and use it to season green beans or navy beans, etc. If I have a lot, I'll freeze it and then cut it into cubes and put in a zip lock freezer bag. Can't wait for my lettuce to get big enough to pick. Sounds like rain for the next several days here in mid MO, too. I still have a few things that haven't gotten planted.

  10. Glenda, first of all about how much bacon grease should I melt? Second, I love that Poppy...:)JP

  11. Hi Glenda,
    It's a good feeling to get those tomatoes in, isn't it? I have all of mine in except for the 3 patio type ones I was thinking about planting in the front yard. (Don't tell Larry.) I haven't planted any beans or cucumbers yet. We had lots of rain the last few days, too.

    I love that poppy bloom! I have some seeds for a double type, that I thought I had forgotten to plant, but there are a few little plants coming up that look like they may be poppies. I have some huge orange ones that I had dug out a few years ago because they weren't doing much, but they didn't stay dug out, and now are up to my waist!

  12. The foxglove is a yellow bloomer. I'm not sure the name of it, but the foliage is a bit different than the others I have, too.