Dinner from the Garden

Dinner tonight was simple and came from my garden. San Marzano tomatoes tossed in warm olive oil infused with garlic and some chopped basil.  The tomatoes and basil were the fruits of my labor. Well, the basil was almost half-dead, but it still tasted fine!

Dinner from the garden

We’ve been in a race against some sort of garden critter with who can get to the ripe tomatoes first. I always lose because I think, “This tomatoes needs one more day on the vine,” but the next day, it’s 1/3 eaten.  The critter should be appreciative enough to eat the whole thing instead of wasting it!

California Cactus Center

I love cacti and succulents! But I probably don’t love them as much as the good people at California Cactus Center.  The people working there probably have phd’s in succulentology.  I went by one morning to pick out some specimens to build a centerpiece around and they were extremely helpful with my somewhat elementary questions like what plants can go into the same containers, how to water them, and if they’re okay indoors.

I wanted a more vertical plant to serve as a focal point and some lower, smaller green things to balance out the other side and this is what I came up with. It’s hard to see in this angle because the container is a circle, but the taller cactus is slightly off center, with some grape-like succulents draped around. I hope these guys live a long, happy life.

Cactus centerpiece

The California Cactus Center is great because they have all sorts of strange, exotic succluents and cacti as well as more everyday things.  I also have to give them two thumbs up because they’ll also transfer plants you buy from them into different pots (which they also sell) but the guy who does it has such a gentle touch that you can tell he really cares about the plants.  I described to him what I wanted and he executed it perfectly!

California Cactus Center
216 S. Rosemead Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91107
(626) 795-2788

Spring is here! So is green garlic

Spring vegetables are some things I look forward to most after winter.  Even though the mild winters of California are nothing to complain about, part of me is always glad when the days start getting longer and the days warmer.

Will’s co-worker gifted us with a bunch of green garlic from his garden. What a great guy!


Will made an omelette out of them the first night.


I made a simple topping out of chopped green garlic, portabella mushrooms, a dash of red pepper flakes, some salt, a squeeze of lemon, and pepper to taste.  I used a cup of pasta water to make it have more of a sauce consistency and then tossed it with some thin spaghetti.