My Happy Place

We have now lived in our house for 5 summers and with each summer, my gardening skills have gotten progressively better – not great…just better. It’s been one of those things that I keep wanting more of, more garden space, more plants, different plants. It’s a fun project that I look forward to starting in spring and seeing the fruits of the labor right about this time of the year. I have a modest set-up, with a 3 x 8 garden box and a few pots. The best part of this venture is that my kids, mostly my son at this point, have an interest in the garden. He’s been my right-hand-man through it all. I try to get him involved as much as possible, sifting dirt, digging holes, planting seedlings, watering and now the best part of all – picking the veggies!

Along with the perks of having the kids learn about the growing life cycle for plants and food, after a long summer day, I can sneak away and spend some time by myself, picking weeds, mixing my compost or just taking in some breathes of the night air. Gardening reminds me a lot of my grandma, she always grew tomato bushes and cucumbers to pickling. The lasting smell from the tomato bushes and remnant powder on my hands reminds me of her and adds to the contentment of my happy place. A place that I can reconnect and think and reminisce. Although a quick growing season in our Wisconsin climate, it will be something that I will continue to appreciate and look forward to and hopefully my kids will as well.

Tomato Hand

Since jalapenos have been one of the most producing and successful plants for me over the years, I have learned to utilize them the best way I know how – Spice-a-rita anyone?? It’s a take on the standard and beloved margarita – but not for the spice-wusses.

Spice-a-ritas – Makes 4 Pint Glasses

4-5 Jalapenos, chopped without stems (put them on the grill for a nice char)
½ Cup of Fresh Lime Juice
½ Cup Water
¼ Cup White Sugar
White Tequila
Triple Sec

Directions: Make your syrup by boiling the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves, remove from heat. Stir in fresh lime juice. Add chopped jalapenos to lime mix. Fill pint glasses full with ice. Pour in tequila 2/3 of the way up. Top with triple sec about ⅘ of the way. Top it off with lime mix. Garnish with jalapenos and a salted rim!

Steeping in my Happy Place,

Megan

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