I am not the world’s greatest gardener. My thumb is brown. Two summers ago, I gave up and planted nothing. Last summer, my younger son planted the garden with his grandma and it flourished all summer. They planted tomatoes. Just tomatoes. And it was glorious.
My son got kind of tired of it though. There were just so many tomatoes to pick.
“I swear Mom, I am going to rip those plants out by the roots!” he said by the time September came and there were still tomatoes to pick.
This year, we planted again. Tomatoes, jalapeno, cucumbers, lettuce, sweet peas.
It was looking pretty good early on:
I was optimistic. We got a few cucumbers…
And then the cucumbers fizzled. I go four of them which is four more than I’ve ever gotten so I am still marking it as a success.
The lettuce was ok. Younger son would just go out and eat it straight from the garden so it didn’t last long.
The sweetpeas I planted never grew.
We got a lot of tomatoes again. But not as many as last year. Oh well.
The jalapeno grew but never produced any peppers. What’s the deal with that? I fertilized and watered and composted and nothing. It’s frustrating.
But we have lots of tomatoes.
Younger son (I need to come up with a name for him on this blog) has discovered the culinary ambrosia that is clam chowder. I decided to make him some in my crockpot as a special treat.
But here’s the thing, 3 out of 4 of us in this house are avoiding dairy. My husband has developed a definite allergy, my older son and I have a definite intolerance.
Dairy free clam chowder? Will that even work?
Well, yes, mostly. I started with some frozen chicken broth I made about a month ago. then I added celery, green onion and potatoes that arrived in our CSA box.
Then I decided to go really crazy and added some tomatoes from the garden.
I used two cans of whole clams from Trader Joes and let that all steep for a couple hours.
Then i added a can of coconut milk ad while digging through my pantry, I found a jar of Trader Joe’s green curry simmer sauce so I threw that in too and let it cook in the crock pot a few more hours.
I ended up not eating it the day I made it and reheated it the next night for dinner.
It turned out pretty nicely.
My older son said it was sweet and spicy. My younger son was disappointed because it was not a traditional chowder. But they liked it. My husband wouldn’t eat it because apparently, he doesn’t like clams. Married for 14 years, never knew that.
It’s difficult when you have spent a lifetime consuming dairy, to suddenly be without. Goat cheese (we only avoid cow milk) pizza is not the same as good old mozzarella. We’ve tried cheeseless pizza but it can be a bit depressing. Plus pizza with no cheese is messy. The toppings won’t stay put without the cheese to glue them down!
Don’t even get me started on how much I miss real cheese!
I liked the soup. It was not a true clam chowder but it was still good and very flavorful. I think sometimes you just have to play pretend when you are cutting out foods from your diet.
It was better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, regardless.
I would like to know what it is about certain people and their ability of inability to garden. I try but nothing grows well for me, but my child can grow anything! I think from now on, I am putting him in charge of the garden.