Harvey in the kitchen

Harvey was a great help with making dinner tonight. He held the basket for me while I picked the herbs and then helped chop them, he squeezed some of the tomatoes, he stirred the sauce, and he helped taste both the sauce and the spaghetti. Tasted and tasted, in fact: my little assistant wasn't much good for stirring once he realized that tasting might be part of the process. He was pretty cute, standing on his high-chair for the necessary altitude to reach the counter, missing only an apron to be the perfect picture of the budding chef. Not that we tend to wear aprons around here; I just noticed the tomato stains on my shirt from when he splashed me with a little over-enthusiastic stirring.

As impressive as it is to have a 15-month-old who's that good in the kitchen, I think you should be even more in awe of us for growing almost all the ingredients for the spaghetti sauce. Admittedly, animals keep eating the roma tomatoes out of the garden just as they turn ripe, so even though it ought to be prime tomato season with us busy canning for the winter and making fresh sauce with the spares, I had to break open a can of California tomatoes. But the onion, I grew that! Not to mention the parsley, basil, oregano, and rosemary that I threw in. Why those four herbs? Um, because those are four of the five that we grow around here! (not counting chives, naturally). I only left out the sage because I didn't think it would go.

Alright, so the dinner production isn't actually that exciting. Still, it's nice to realize that even though I count this gardening year as yet another failure thanks to the drought and predation from small animals and under-fertilization, we still managed to produce plenty of edibles. If I'd thought of it, I could have grated some carrots for the sauce: there's still plenty of them left in the ground, of varying sizes and degrees of edibility. I just can't wait until next season when, in addition to doing all the cooking, Harvey is going to be able to do some of the grunt work in the garden. Time he pulled his own weight around here! I make a pretty good overseer, I think.