Hello July: First Hot Peppers, Lemon Verbena Sun Tea, and Coconut Daal

When I was out herb picking for dinner last night, I spied the first of our hot Cuban peppers on the pepper plants!

Lemon verbena, one of my favs for summer sun tea, is coming in like crazy now.

Our thyme is also happy. Although I don’t much cook with thyme, I love its fragrance. It reminds me of my unforgettable semester at Cambridge University in England, and it’s a beautiful herb in the garden.

It’s that sad time of the season when the lettuce bed has to be pulled up. June’s heat spike did to lettuce what it does: prompts it to bolt and go to seed, and even though there were still plenty of lettuce leaves on the plants, they all went bitter. I’m really going to miss all those super fresh, homegrown salads we’ve been eating. My husband pulled it all up and composted it last night.

But the garden keeps giving. The lettuce has gone away, but other vegetables are gearing up. We walked the garden last night and found green peppers that are now the size of large eggs. Soon, they’ll be huge. There are all sorts of tiny veggies appearing all over the place.

Last night’s dinner was and today’s lunch is an amazing brown lentil and coconut daal, dressed up with our garden basil, parsley, and arugula. When I was out herb picking for dinner, I spied the first of our hot Cuban peppers on the pepper plants! This means that as soon as tomatoes and green peppers are in, I’ll be jarring salsa and making spicy daal.

This weekend, for the July 4 holiday, we’re barbequing. For me, corn on the cob, vegan potato salad, arugula-mint salad, and grilled seitan. For my husband, burgers, corn on the cob, and potato salad. It can be a challenge to coordinate meals for two humans when the two involved don’t always eat the same. But it’s manageable. A little extra effort, and everyone is happy. It works.

I’m all registered and ready for the Buddhist retreat in July. Totally psyched for that weekend. Korean culture is gorgeous, and this will be my first visit to the Korean Buddhist temple in New Hartford. I love fellowshipping with the wide variety of Buddhist traditions, while keeping my practice focused on my Tibetan/Mahayana duality. There’s always something to learn and love when you step out of your familiar places. It fosters understanding, solidarity, knowledge, compassion, patience, peace, and love. You can’t go wrong.

Today is the last day of June. Sad face. June has always been my favorite month. Everything good begins and happens in June. Now, we get into the serious business of food and flower gardening. A month from now, I hope to be happily inundated in garden veggies.

Live in peace.

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