We start planning our garden when the first seed catalog arrives in the mail in January! When it's freezing cold outside, and it's been below zero for days, going to mailbox and finding a seed catalog is as good as any session with a therapist. The colors are vibrant and each page is filled with hope! These catalogs are one of my favorite parts of gardening.

Notice I said 'one' of the favorite parts. I think anyone who gardens will say that the best part of gardening is being able to eat and enjoy the fruits of your labors! Today I reached to the back of my tupperware cupboard and pulled out the salad spinner. I was so excited to be able to use it for the first time this gardening season. Richard came in with fresh arugala, leaf lettuce, green onions, and radishes from the garden. Some of the things are just not growing very well but the 'salad makings' are doing great.

I added some sliced red onion, cucumber, toasted sunflower seeds, shaved parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes (frozen from last years garden), radishes, and a squeeze of lemon juice, a bit of olive oil and a sprinkling of kosher salt! Simply delicious! It's one of our favorite dressings for a salad fresh from the garden. The green onions, arugal, and radishes all had a pleasant peppery kick that complimented each other.

I had some enchilada casserole frozen in the freezer from a week ago,so we each had a small side dish of that to go with the salad. A very quick and tasty meal!

The green beans in the picture are canned from our 2010 garden. They're spicy pickled beans. I'll be making more of them this year. It was a new recipe and we all liked them and every time we go visit our son out of town he wants us to bring more!

Normally, the pea pod plants are high up the pea fence and may be blossomed by now. We got a late start for them so they are quite behind. That is the other favorite garden item in the spring. A simple garden salad, sauteed garlic pea pods, and some brown rice...such a satisfying summer meal!

The edible peas aren't ready, but another favorite of mine-sweet peas- are blossoming and brightening up the house.

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