Friday, July 2, 2010

Yaya's Garden

Dennis' grandmother has played a huge role in my growth as a foodie.  I remembered the first time she prepared pesto pasta for me.  She went to her garden and brought in a basket full of basil, oregano, thyme, parsley and garlic.  We watched her methodically work through all the fresh ingredients while we drank gingko tea made from her ginggo tree.  While the pasta boils, she sauted little smelt fishes that she caught herself earlier that day.  For the meal, she served some red wine she made in the cellar (they are not very good, but still!) All the leftovers went into her compost bin.

If our world fell into anarchy, she would still be eating like a queen.  She would be a hardcore foodie if she knew what foodie was.  However, she is getting old now and she is having her garden pulled out.  I went over and snapped a few pictures of her once-glorious garden.   The roses and the grape vines that covered the deck have already been removed.

This is one of three types of mints Yaya keeps.  (Did you know there were three types of mints? I didn't).  She does not actually harvest these for food.  She places these around the house and in the washroom for their scent. (Does she spend money on anything? Not if she doesn't have to.) She also ruffles it once in a while to make the house's entrance and the garden smell nice.

This is oregano.  The leaves are huge!! Apparently, these grows uncontrollably in her garden.  She lets her neighbors to come keep them for free and thank them for helping her "weed it". Think about that next time you pay for oregano at Whole Foods.  According to Yaya, once oregano finds root on open soil, they just don't stop growing.

This is the gingko tree from second floor.  All you have to do is snap off the leaves and simmer it in hot water.  Gingko improves brain function and memories.

Three foot tall parsley.  And you can see the shoots for garlic on the bottom corner.  Yaya has both flat leaves and curly leaf parsley. 

There are also grapevines, more mints, dandelion, roses, basil, thyme, etc etc etc...

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