June 8, 2010

Garden Work

Posted in Children, Cleaning, Family, Food, Garden, Home, Weather at 6:54 am by Liliana

My father working

My father working

My family and friends rallied together last Saturday. Our overgrown garden needed to be weeded, pruned and readied for the big graduation party at the end of June. Mulch had to be spread and flowers planted, dried tree branches cut, grass mowed, vegetable garden brought to life.

My father (77 years old) and stepmother (we all call her Nana) are visiting from Florida and they were up early. Equipped with old clothes and borrowed shoes, they were ready to battle. My sister made coffee and a huge breakfast (bagels, eggs, fruit, toast, meat, etc.)

The day was perfect for working outside, overcast, and not too hot. Nana and Nicole got the job of weeding the brick patio, one of the hardest jobs there. My father (with a bit of help from Sam and Mike) was pruning the dried branches, tackling the largest overgrowth and moving the old wood pile. The boys could hardly keep up with their grandfather.

Joe worked on pruning and removing the prickliest weeds, Branka was designing the side garden, digging, spreading mulch. Ann helped with everything, Nancy and Andrew got really dirty carrying bags of mulch and spreading it around. Jeff was the general supplier, running to the store to get us anything we needed, grocery shopping, helping with the cooking. I planted flowers in containers.

All day long, Mike’s girlfriend Karen cooked for us all. She made beef brisket (Texas style,) polenta, grilled fresh corn (rubbed with lime and feta cheese for flavor,) and an exotic mixed slaw. For dessert, she made blackberry squares.

By four in the afternoon, we were all sore and exhausted, and despite vigorous scrubbing, some of us had very dirty fingernails. The garden looked so much better, though, no one seemed to mind. People took showers and came down to dinner. Fourteen people sat around my sister’s dining table, and as the sky darkened, we ate the most delicious food imaginable. I ate slowly, savoring every bite. The sweet taste of corn gave away to tangy touch of lime.  The crunchiness of slaw complimented the smooth creaminess of polenta. And then the dessert – blackberries melting into brown sugar!

I hardly noticed the deluge outside.