We would like to introduce you to Sarah Leitzel, Taste 412’s newest, talented online blogger. With a life degree in gardening, Sarah will give us tips, stories, recipes, and more. Learn how to grow healthy food right in your back yard. Happy gardening!
I come from a long line of gardeners, my father and my grandmother and my great-grandparents before me. My great-grandparents grew strawberries, their eastern Pennsylvania field full of sweet, juicy berries picked to sell. My grandmother grew flowers, spending hours pruning roses and weeding between baby’s breath, marigolds, and the daffodils on the bank in front of her house. My father, a “ back-to-the-land” sort, always nurturing a vegetable garden full of squash, peppers, tomatoes, and kale, fighting off groundhogs and rabbits in his and my mother’s woodland oasis.
I have built a grand total of seven vegetable gardens from scratch, in two very different states, in three different counties. My garden in Southern Oregon was the most difficult, its soil so unlike that of Pennsylvania, so shallow and rocky compared to the thick, rich topsoil I am used to. It’s wonderful to be home, even during this hot and dry time of year.
Spring is for planning and summer is for harvesting and worrying. My tomatoes and peppers are just beginning to ripen, onions too. It’s time for salsa. The perfect snack late in the evening, washed down with a cold beer or cool glass of sweet white wine (visit the family-owned Narcisi Winery in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, just north of Pittsburgh, for a delicious Moscato) or maybe a tall, sweet iced tea. Just three ripe plum tomatoes diced, a diced jalapeño relieved of its seeds (wear gloves) and a small,sweet onion chopped will do the trick. Toss in a bowl with a glug of white vinegar or a good squeeze of lime juice, a dash of salt and pepper, and if you like, a sprig of cilantro chopped. Enjoy immediately or the next day after the flavors have marinated, with a handful or two of tortilla chips or even on your morning scramble of eggs, cheesy or not.
Visit my blog at simplysarahliving.wordpress.com for additional thoughts, short stories, and poetry.