If I had to pick a favorite room (besides my kitchen) it would have to be my garden shed. It's not really a room at all, it's a, well, it's a shed. In my back yard and I love it.
The best husband in the world built it for me. That's reason enough to love it. He built it for me. With his own hands. I painted it so it would bloom year round. He spotted the pot hangers on a old barn he was driving past and stopped and bought some for me because he knew I'd like them. Hence the pots on the front. House wrens make their home in the bird houses. I can see the shed from my kitchen window so I am always reminded of the flowers, vegetables and other plants that this shed helps bring forth every spring.
From these double doors with a leaf shaped handle spring forth the hope and promise of red ripe tomatoes, purple sun warmed eggplants, crazy, boat sized zucchinis, crooked necked yellow squashes, cool green cucumbers, zesty mint, red, yellow, green and hot, hot, hot peppers, a menagerie of herbs, big outrageous orange pumpkins, ornamental gourds that will one day become bird houses, and anything else that the seed catalogs enticed me into spending hard cash on in late January.
The shed houses all my garden stuff. Rakes and shovels, extra soaker hoses, a pitch fork that's about a 100 years old that TBHITW brought home one day. A small rototiller that I can handle on my own. Compost starter. Fencing, trellises, tomato cages waiting for their next plants to imprison. There are some empty pots waiting for flowers and seed trays sleeping until next year when I will sow a new crop of summer harvest dreams. There is garden twine and potting soil. But the best thing the shed houses is hope.
Hope. Inside those double doors is the hope of future plants and the promise of plants now putting down their roots in fertile soil that I tended. Hope for vegetables fresh from the garden to the table. Flowers with blooms the size of dinner plates. Herbs that are so aromatic they make you want to cry for want of them. Life growing in front of my very eyes.
That's why my garden shed is one of my favorite rooms. It offers me hope that all things can grow and prosper with a little nurturing. A garden, a family, a community, a world.
Mixed Baby Greens with Lemon Vinaigrette ( the last of them from my spring garden) - serves 4 - this is the stuff of romance.
6 cups mixed greens, washed and spun dry
Sauce Vinaigrette: 1 1/2 cups
The classic ratio for a basic vinaigrette is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. This ratio can vary according to your taste. Always taste your dressing with a bit of green.
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup red or white wine vinegar
Juice of one lemon
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup tasteless salad oil (canola, safflower, corn - your preference)
Whisk together the mustard, salt, pepper, lemon juice and vinegar. Beat in the olive oil. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if necessary. Store in the refrigerator like any other "store" bought dressing.
Variations: (store for one week)
Garlic: crush and mix with the slat to make a paste and whisk in
Mustard: for extra zing in the salad blend 1 teaspoon or more to taste
Fresh Herbs: Tarragon is especially nice. Chop or leave whole and mix with the salad as you toss it.
Serve with a loaf of crusty bread, some soft, ripe cheese and a cool, crisp wine. Use the wine pairing tool on my blog, then fall in love while you're at it.