When my parents came to live with us in Utah, summer became my father's favorite time of the year and not just because he hated cold weather. He loved to grow food and I loved gardening with him. Papillo did the hard work and I helped. It has not been the same gardening on my own, and I'm not as dedicated to daily watering, etc, so I don't get quite the same results, but I feel him close anytime I'm out in the garden.
|Mamina among her beloved roses|
Her rose garden turned out to be the best spot in the yard, and after a while Papillo and I began to covet her prime garden spot, and tried to convince her to let us have it for growing vegetables. She was immune to our persuasive efforts, so I made do in a shady spot and he planted other gardens in our neighbors' yards. One year Papillo planted garlic among Mamina's roses. She was not happy but the roses loved it, and the garlic continued to come up for several years.
I have now planted raspberries that I got from Nina right among the roses and installed a small grow box right in the middle of the roses. It's crowded, random and a bit crazy, but quite effective.
|My garden now|
Here is a recipe I still look forward to making and eating each year. The only thing Cuban about it is that my father made it often, with herbs from our garden. He learned to make it from a Chilean friend of Italian ancestry. He usually left out the nuts, since he “didn’t think they agreed with him” and it was still delicious.
1 lb fresh parsley leaves (not stalks)
5-6 cloves garlic
2 cups nuts (pine nuts, walnuts or almonds)-OPTIONAL
2-3 teaspoons sea salt (to taste)
3 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil
This is great on pasta or even crackers. Pine nuts are traditionally used, but I actually like it better with walnuts or even almonds.
Store in a glass jar, and pour a thin layer of olive oil on the top, to keep from drying or oxidizing. It will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks or frozen for several months.