Sunday, April 14, 2013


My husband, Tom, is the epitome of optimism.  It is one of the traits I love about him the most.  He never questions whether he should start seedlings for our vegetable garden.  He simply does it.  Here are photos of the nearly 1000 vegetables he seeded last month.  Winter squash, summer squash, heirloom tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, leeks, onions, and herbs all germinated and have been growing abundantly, side-by-side with his optimism.  Pzazzed possibility!

To be a gardener, one has to have a sense of optimism.  To be a gardener in Duluth, one has to have a deluded sense of optimism.  Hmmmmm.....maybe any person who lives in Duluth where we received 13" of snow in the past two days is called a  "Deludian".  Why would we live here, you might ask.  The awesome raw beauty of Lake Superior, the variety of outdoor activities available in all seasons, the generous and resilient people, the quality of fresh air, and the magnificent wooded trails and park systems all outweigh the dramatic weather in my opinion. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Asparagus Zucchini Soup

ARGGG!   In Duluth today, we had 60 mph gusts of wind in Canal Park  prior to the arrival of nearly 6" of snow. Yes, snow!  After a treacherous drive up the steep hills of Duluth where I witnessed and avoided numerous cars sliding backwards down the hill, I breathed a sigh of relief as I pulled into the garage. Then I tromped through the snowdrifts to the door, and took off my parka, (who needs a parka on April 11???) and snuggled up in a warm blanket in my big chair that I had turned last week to face the spring sunlight.  As I stared out the window at the white-out created by the frenzied snow, I wondered:  Where is spring?   Where is the sunshine?   Is it anywhere in sight?   After I comforted myself by reading a novel for awhile, I decided I needed to declare spring in some small way.   Asparagus sings spring to me, so I had purchased some last week and have made this soup about 4 times since then, varying what fresh herb I put in it.  Today definitely needed a soulful dose of hope.  Asparagus soup.   Hopeful Pzazz.    

2 tsp coconut oil
4 scallions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small zucchini, chopped  (about 1 cup chopped)
about 8 stalks asparagus, chopped (creates about 1/2 cup chopped stems and 1/4 cup chopped tips)
about 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or other fresh herbs of choice)
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Simmering the asparagus and zucchini 

Saute scallions and garlic in coconut oil.  Add chopped zucchini and thicker parts of the chopped asparagus stalks. (Save the tips and more tender pieces to add after the zucchini and thicker pieces of the asparagus are nearly tender.)  Add the asparagus tips and saute a couple of minutes more. Add the chopped parsley or other fresh herbs you like. Add the broth and simmer on medium heat until the vegetables are tender. Puree to desired consistency.  I put the soup into a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup and pureed it with my immersion blender stick.

Servings per recipe: 1
Serving Size: 1 1/2 cup
Calories: 188
Total Fat: 10 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 92 mg
Total Carbs: 21 g
Dietary Fiber: 8 g
Protein: 8 g