A small feast

Arkansas Little Leafs, sweet and crisp

Arkansas Little Leafs, sweet and crisp

Tomorrow I’m leaving on a research trip to England, so the goal for tonight’s dinner was to use up everything in the fridge. And everything that was ready in the garden. Collard greens and escarole, pulled to make room for more eggplant, went into a brothy, garlicky parmesan soup. Tofu and (leftover, canned) tomatoes were combined into something sweet that reminded me of Vietnam. Diced beets and new potatoes, tossed with dill, made some sort of salad. My boyfriend liked the tofu dish best, but the guest of honor — my friend Carol, who will be babysitting the garden this week — was most excited about the tray of plain cucumbers that I had snipped earlier in the afternoon. Yup, they are ready.

Every time I go away this summer, I get actually sad about missing phases in my garden’s development. Novice obsessiveness. But then it’s also incredible to come back and discover how much everything has grown in just a week or whatever it is — squash vines creeping practically into the next lot, eggplants in bloom, tomatoes gone wild.

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