Tag Archives: pan con timate

In the Garden

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I should have read more carefully: the first stated requirement for membership in the FCHS choir was “ability to sing.”

Whether a good singing voice is a nature or nurture hand-me-down, I didn’t get one from my parents.  My nerve-wracking try-out for my FCHS’s wonderful a cappella choir was soundly rejected, much to my embarrassment and disappointment, since my Besties had all been granted admittance to that tight and fun – and very talented – group.

My dad’s family were all musical and they credited their Welsh heritage for that. Family get-togethers always involved time around the piano with my aunt playing and singing and the rest of the Hills joining in.  One of the favorite songs of my granddad was “In the Garden” and my dad and he could belt it out in a beautiful duet.

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A typical song-fest – but this time with Edna Griffin on the piano, joined by Hill family and friends

Little did I know that years later that song would be recorded by many singers whom I held near and dear – Tennessee Ernie Ford, Perry Como, Rosemary Clooney, Doris Day, Willie Nelson, Glen Campbell, and Johnny Cash.  But the rendition that reminds me most of my family’s is the duet by Jo Stafford and Gordon MacCrae, recorded in 1962.

Andy may not have happy memories of his family singing that song, but he does have happy memories of Oakley, our Aussie, being in the garden.  See today’s Andy’s Corner.

As for me, hearing “In the Garden” still reminds me that our garden is often an almost spiritual place – butterflies flitting around, hummingbirds searching for nectar, bumblebees checking out the blossoms, a whiff of the sweet salvia, the hint of licorice from the agastache, the gorgeous glimmering iridescent orange in the echinacea ‘Julia’ – and the intriguing scent of the foliage of the coleonema and variegated mint bush when you brush by them.

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But just as often our garden is beastly: gopher mounds, aphid attacks, tomato hornworms, voles uncovered and carried into the house by our sweet kitties, drip system malfunctions, rampaging yellow jackets, eucalyptus tree roots sucking up the moisture.  You name it, we’ve had it happen.

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Our vegetable garden is even more problematic.  Tomatoes, of course, are notorious for having issues.  Even zucchini plants, which notoriously over-produce for normal gardeners, are annoyingly sparse in producing for us for us.  Cucumbers often wither on the bush.  So each little healthy tomato or bean or zucchini or cucumber we find in our garden is an unbounded joy to us.

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Today’s garden bounty

Once you’ve picked these precious veggies you don’t really want to cover up their just-picked flavor with a complex, ingredient-heavy recipe, so here are three minimalist ideas for your tomatoes, string beans and summer squash. Continue reading

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