Winter Gardening Blues and Greens

???????????????????????????????Usually by this time of year, hubby happily starts a multitude of seedlings and places them under grow lights in anticipation of planting time. It’s different this year. He’s planted a few seedlings–onions, greens–but nothing like in years past because this year our house and, of course, our garden are for sale. We don’t know if we’ll be here in the spring. We certainly hope we’re not here in the summer.

He couldn’t help himself though. When I asked him why he started the onion seedlings, he said he wanted to plant them, so the new owners would be able to enjoy them in the summer.  I’ve joked that we should sell him with the house. Not that I want to leave my sweetie behind, but he could maintain the garden and share half of the produce with the new owners. After all, after five seasons of living here, he has the soil just where he wants it. Besides, it would make finding our new smaller digs easier. Try finding flat and sunny plots of land in western Pennsylvania. It’s not an easy task. In fact, it’s one reason we bought this house much too large for two people. But we have a wonderful side yard–flat and sunny.

The seed catalogs arrive daily now, and I’m proud that he’s showing restraint. The magazines arrive, but so far no subsequent delivery of seed packets. Unless, he’s shipping to his work address.

I added a few recipes to my guide on gardening, From Seed to Tableand gave the book a face lift for spring. Here’s one of my favorites for a cold winter night.

Drunken Butternut Squash Bisque

1 butternut squash, roasted – cut into several pieces (seeded). Dribble olive oil and maple syrup over the top. Roast in 350 oven until done. Roasting times vary by squash, but it usually takes from 45 minutes to an hour.

1 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP butter

1 onion, chopped

¾ cup celery, chopped

½ tsp ginger (if you have freshly grated, it’s always better)

Cubed pieces of cooked butternut squash

½ cup Bourbon

2 TBSP maple syrup

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 ½ tsp vanilla

Salt and pepper to taste

Ground nutmeg to taste

½ cup heavy cream (optional – I rarely use it and the bisque is still wonderful!)

Heat oil and butter in large pot. Add onion, ginger, and celery and cook until onions and celery are soft. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the cream) and cook together for 15 minutes, until flavors are well blended.

In a food processor or blender, puree until smooth. Return to heat and stir in cream, if using. Heat thoroughly, but do not bring to boil. Serve hot.

Yummy.

Click on cover for Amazon page

Click on cover for Amazon page

 

8 thoughts on “Winter Gardening Blues and Greens

  1. You had me at “drunken.” Sounds great. Good luck on the house hunt. We had a great yard for gardening (when we lived in PA). Most of that area was ideal for it; I think every yard had a garden. But somehow I don’t think you want to move an hour from where you are now.

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  2. Can’t wait to try this soup – the title alone is delicious. I can only imagine what the soup will be like. Hope selling and moving goes smoothly and condolences to both you and your husband at losing your garden. Hopefully there will be many more seedlings and bedding plants and tomatoes in your future.

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    • Thank you – it’s not an easy task, but at least we’ll be in Florida for much of the winter. My husband has never lived there so he’s still a doubter when I say he’ll be able to garden in January and February!

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    • We’re staying in this area. . .for summers only beginning in 2016 or 2017, depending of hubby’s retirement. We have a home in Florida that is currently occupied by tenants but their lease is up one year from now. We are looking for something very small–cottage-like here. We’re thinking of building if we can find the right type of piece of land.

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