Caption: Lettuce in editor Kevin Williams's garden. Lettuce of all types are ready to harvest in Gloria's garden and makes the foundation for a wonderful salad!
GLORIA SERVES UP SPRING SALAD!
THE AMISH COOK
By Gloria Yoder
Cheery spring greetings to each of you.
This spring weather is just awesome. I love it. There are so many joys from planting the garden and watching tiny plants push their way through the soil to being able to take my two little children outdoors and watching their cheeks turn a rosy pink from the sunshine. There's nothing quite like springtime!
We've been blessed with both sunshine and gentle rain showers, giving the garden needed boosts. Julia is very faithful in using her pink little umbrella that my parents gave to her as a birthday gift. You can imagine she uses it for every excuse possible whether it's really needed or not. She is also fascinated by the thunderstorms we've been having every now and then. To help her not be afraid of them we told her to think of the lightning as God flashing a big flashlight and the thunder as God knocking.
Julia also takes an interest in the garden and is very careful to not step onto the little plants. Strawberry season has been a highlight for her as well. She was totally thrilled when we discovered the first ripe strawberry and almost couldn't wait until Daniel came home from work to tell him about it. As the door swung open and he stepped inside she danced around the living room: "Daddy, Daddy, guess what! We have a surprised for you. We found a red strawberry that is ready to eat!"
I smiled. What a joy to see my little daughter all excited to share her good news with daddy!
Austin, who is 6 months old, thrives on being outdoors as well. He waves his arms with delight when I open the door to take him outside with me. He love sitting in the yard picking on blades of grass while I work in the garden. Unfortunately,though, he's usually finished playing before I've completed my hoeing! Julia likes to help pull weeds but as a 3-year-old you can imagine how long the novelty of pulling weeds lasts!
Gardening with little ones can be a challenge. I often remind myself that my children are so much more important than our garden. A beautiful weed-free garden doesn't compare with the hearts and lives of our dear little ones who are being shaped and molded not only for life but also for eternity.
So far our garden seems to be doing well. This year Daniel tilled another plot for a new garden. It is more than double the size of our old one. Hopefully we'll have an ample supply of garden goodies to eat fresh, put in the freezer and to can. Growing veggies and preserving them for my family to enjoy during the winter months gives me such a feeling of satisfaction.
Recently,Daniel came in the kitchen with a surprise for me. I was astonished! He found 3 shoots of fresh asparagus growing close to the pasture. I was totally impressed. I love asparagus but never had a patch of my own. As he handed it to me I promptly popped some in my mouth. Mmm, it tasted so delicious, healthy and green!
Talking about healthy greens: fresh tossed salads have been a tasty treat for us this spring. Right now I'm using my loose leaf lettuce. After snipping off several hand fulls it grows right back again ready for more salads or sandwiches.
We like loading our salads with all kinds of toppings. They always vary from one salad to the next, depending on what I may happen to have in the refrigerator. I'd love to give you an outline of what we like, then you can be free to make any changes to suit your taste buds. The amount of servings this recipe yields will depend largely on whether you are having it as a side dish or if you're like us and prefer jus eating a salad for dinner. This recipe has enough protein to keep you going without having another hot dish on a warm day.
GLORIA'S SPRING SALAD
2 cups chopped lettuce
1 hard boiled egg, diced
¼ cup each of the following:
Ham or chicken, diced
Pinto beans (cooked)
Raisins or dried cranberries
3/ 4 cup pecans or nuts of your choice
Cut veggies, ham and bacon, into chunks. Toss everything together. We prefer using chopped pecans and browning them lightly in a tablespoon of melted butter and sprinkling them with salt. This adds an outstanding flavor to the entire salad.
Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom who lives in Illinois. She is a writer, mother, wife and friend who loves to cook,bake and garden! Learn more at Amish365.com