Spring means it is time to hit the garden

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

It seems like spring is trying to peek through a little more each day. I have been picking bunches of daffodils, hyacinth and a few tulips. Ralph has been out in the garden getting it ready and we've (pretty much Ralph) already planted lettuce and spinach. We're going to try planting a garden again in our back yard and see if our new dog Macky, who is a McNabe and Border Collie mix, can keep the deer and the quail at bay. We're keeping our fingers crossed.

I'm pretty sure with the announcement of the forthcoming White House garden we are going to see a renewed interest in gardening. The National Garden Association predicts that interest in home gardens will grow almost 20 percent this year. The economy also is playing a major role that makes growing your own food a wise choice.

You don't need a big plot of land to grow fresh vegetables. Almost any vegetable can be adapted to growing in a pot. Vegetables that take up little space, such as carrots, radishes and lettuce, or crops that bear over a long period of time, such as tomatoes and peppers are perfect for container vegetable gardens.

Containers for your vegetable garden can be almost anything: Flower pots, pails, buckets, baskets, wooden boxes, window planters, large food cans. Look in your garage, shed and yard to see what you might already have. If you have kids, get them involved in the planting, watering, picking and cooking, too. Getting them to incorporate into their diet fresh veggies that they had a hand in growing might be easier than you think.

Try a summer salad container. Plant tomatoes, cucumbers and some parsley or chives all in one container. They grow well together and all have the same water and sun requirements. By late summer they might not look very pretty, but they'll keep producing into the fall.

I've been busy organizing and getting ready for another great Saturday morning Farmers Market on the corner of Third and Curry streets, just in case you aren't so inclined to plant all your veggies and want to supplement what you've got going. Once again we'll have some great stone fruit and berries. I'll keep you posted.

With Easter coming up here are two recipes that would be a great addition for your brunch. I adapted this first one a little from Bon Appetit.

- Linda Marrone has been a Carson City resident since 1973 and together with her husband, Ralph, formerly operated Marrone's Restaurant in Carson City and Somethin's Cookin' Catering.鄃

1 1/2 cups flour

1/3 cup yellow cornmeal

3/4 cup sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1/4 cup olive oil (I used Calolea Meyer Lemon, from our Farmers Market)

1 teaspoon lemon oil or vanilla

- Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan with 2 inch high sides and line bottom with parchment paper.

- Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, lemon peel, and flavoring in small bowl. Whisk together butter and olive oil. Pour buttermilk and butter mixture into flour. Using rubber spatula, gently fold flour mixture until just blended. Do not stir. Scrape batter into pan and spread evenly. Bake about 30 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out clean.

- Before cake is finished baking, in a sauce pan combine 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice over low heat to make a syrup. Cook to thicken for a couple of minutes. Spoon syrup over cake after it comes out of the oven while it is still warm. Remove from pan.

1 lb. bulk breakfast sausage

2 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups milk (not low-fat or nonfat)

1-lb package of frozen shredded hash brown potatoes (or you can make your own using about 4 potatoes boiled and shredded)

4 green onions, finely chopped

1 1/4 cup grated sharp cheese (or your choice)

- Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 8x8x2 glass baking dish. Cook sausage in pan over medium-high heat until brown, breaking into small pieces with back of spoon. Drain off any excess fat and mix in flour then milk. Cook until mixture thickens and comes to a boil.

- Arrange potatoes in prepared dish. Top with a third of the green onions, 1 cup of cheese, another third of the onions, sausage mixture and remaining 1/4 cup of cheese. Bake until potatoes are tender, about 30-40 minutes and sprinkle with remaining green onions and serve.

Serves about 6.


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