Indian Summer …

Indian Summer …

Indian Summer has arrived — it was 17 degrees on Saturday morning and 75 by afternoon.

Our first hard frost which, surprisingly, everything left in the garden survived quite well. There’s chard out there still, and a lot of endives and chicories, and even a few random lettuces that sprouted from seed I dropped. Oh, and arugula. I cut the arugula way back in August, after it bolted during the record-setting heat we had in July, and it’s grown back quite nicely.

I spent the weekend planting the last of the bulbs. My friend Nina called while I was in the middle of it all. “Next time I decide to buy 400 bulbs on sale,” I asked her. “Remind me how much I hate fall planting.” I do — by fall I’m done with the garden. I’m over it. I don’t want to deal anymore. And even though we’ve had a little bit of rain, the ground is still really dry and hard and I can never remember where I planted anything before and well, fall planting always seems to me like more hassle than it’s worth. “Do it my way,” Nina said. “Just dig a hole and throw a whole bunch of them in …” Which is exactly what I did. Whoever plants the fields of bulbs on the covers of those catalogs might lay out plans, the rest of us are fed up, busy, and over it. I got out the spade, dug a series of holes and into each one I threw a couple of King Alfred daffodils, some mixed tulips, some teeny red tulip bulbs I dug up from the weird place where they grow through the lawn, some scilla, some crocus, and some grape hyacinths. Oh, and there were some narcissus in there too. Like I said, I got a little carried away at Lowes. It’s either going to be gorgeous or I’m going to have weird clumps of flowers scattered all over in the spring.

But it is lovely having late fall greens. The other night I made some pasta with ham, a small red peperoncini that I managed to get out of the garden before the big frost, some arugula, and creme fraiche I made with the gorgeous cream that comes every week on the top of my gallon jar of good, fresh, local milk. It was one of those dinners that sort of evolve as you’re making it — I originally thought I’d do pasta with ham and peas, but the peas had been in the freezer for so long that they were awful and I threw them out. But I had arugula out there in the garden — so arugula it was — a lovely little dinner in a bowl on the couch, watching a movie with the dogs.

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