Thanks so much for reading all about my gardening and cooking adventures. The response last week was overwhelming! I literally broke down crying in the airport because I was so genuinely humbled at the number of likes, comments, texts, and emails about Plots & Pans! Who knew my little garden could be this interesting. :)
I received a few questions so let's get the ball rolling!
What are you growing in your backyard?
This year I may have gotten a little carried away in my backyard. I have three plots and several separate planters.
Plot 1: Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Purple Basil, Sweet Basil, Roma Tomatoes, Big Boy Tomatoes, Chilis, & Bell Peppers
Plot 2: Arugula, Mesclun, Swish Chard, Collards, Kale
Plot 3: Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Green beans
Burlap: Sweet Potatoes
Planter 1: Yellow Tomatoes
Planter 2: Habanero & Cayenne Peppers
Planter 3: Okra
Planter 4: Italian Flat Parsley
Planter 5: Sage
Planter 6: Tarragon
Planter 7: Rosemary
Planter 8: Thyme
And a pear tree.
I know you're thinking, that's a lot. And after typing it all out, I'd agree. The good news is that I use everything except one herb, the tarragon. I wanted to try something different, but never fully embraced the licorice taste. Also, I don't use the basil as much as I have in other years, but it is a great companion plant to my tomatoes.
The sweet potatoes won't be ready until October, and the pears won't be ready for another year or two.
Partial garden view in early Spring 2017. Updated photos to come!
Do you plan on expanding your garden any further?
Considering I just bought three new plants this weekend (face palm), the answer is yes and no. I'd like to switch some plants out that aren't doing so well, or maybe that I wasn't too fond of, but I don't plan on adding too much more.
What are your tools of the trade for gardening and cooking?
In gardening, my favorite tools so far are a hand spade and a hand pruner, and of course, tomato cages. The only other tool I will likely purchase next year would be a large shovel. Sometimes you need that extra assistance when moving dirt and compost.
In the kitchen, I have a cabinet full of pots and pans and probably only use three. I mainly use a 10 inch Lodge Cast Iron skillet, a dutch oven and small nonstick skillet. My preferred utensils are silicone, but I'll be honest as say I often use regular spoons and forks in addition to these.
What is your go to dish?
My absolute favorite thing to make is crawfish etouffee. It's love in a bowl. I've developed it over the course of several years, and am genuinely happy to serve this at any point in time. I especially love making it when I use veggies from my garden in it.
Do you like experimenting in the kitchen?
I do! Because I work full time, I don't experiment as often as I'd like to. When work is intense, it limits the amount of trial and error time I have, so I end up cooking my rotation of dishes that aren't always super exciting. However, I love going to new restaurants and recreating dishes that I found really memorable.
This past weekend, a friend and I experimented with making chicken sausages.... so come back soon to check out the recipes and what we liked, didn't like, and will most definitley make again!