Po's Spinach

During these glorious summer months, I could just talk about food forever. When it is bursting from the earth, it is so easy to come up with simple, delicious meals. yum. Tonight, I just had a salad, but it was so good it is worthy of mentioning on this post.

This past weekend, I saw my parents briefly when we stopped in at my brother's house on our way back from northern Illinois back home. Dad gave us a huge bag of lettuce and spinach from his garden. For some reason this year, he decided to plant a ton of it and it is still going strong. Leah and I are so impressed with the size of his spinach leaves. It is clearly a different variety from what we grew this year. I am always amazed at how the same food can come in so many different forms. These are the things grocery stores don't teach me. 

Tonight I had a big bowl of Po's (aka Titus and MJ's name for my dad) spinach (and lettuce) for supper. I love when veggies extend into other seasons. It feels like a bonus. 

Since I did not blog on father's day, let me just give a big shout out to Sanford. It's been really great being able to talk to him about my garden. Since this is my first year to really go for it, it's been nice to know that I have a garden hotline I can call. Looking back, I am annoyed at myself for not going out back to our garden on 202 Elm Circle and helping Dad. Back then, I did not like gardening because it mostly meant weeding. I missed out on such a great hands on learning experience then. I guess my constant garden reports with my father are my way of making up for it now. 

Dad and me back in the summer of 09 with his Mennonite tomatoes (which was the actual name of the variety)

Back to the salad. Eating spinach once again makes me think of this wonderful balsamic vinaigrette I make. It's so basic that it will keep you away from the bottled stuff. 

Balsamic Vinaigrette

3/4 c olive oil
1/2 c balsamic vinegar 
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 t dried oregano 
2 t Dijon mustard
1 pinch of salt and pepper

Shake together. 

Adapted from Allrecipes.com "Mama's Balsamic Vinaigrette"

Speaking of garden reports, minus the new zucchini I added to our collection today, I made some great discoveries. My eggplant is finally blooming! 

I was worried about it for awhile since it appeared to be making every effort to literally crawl out of the ground, despite how much dirt I kept putting back on its roots. Eggplants are weird, like zucchini, and will probably get more than I could ever possibly need. I will deal with that, though, when it happens. 

Also, this is the best news of the day. I have a little baby watermelon! My little Antonia! I am so pumped. It is so cute. All my hope lives in this baby fruit right now. 

hello beautiful!
Thanks Po, for teaching me your love for gardening, even if I was really late in discovering it.