Remember that garden I told you about a few months ago. The one that made my heart burst (in a good way)? That looked out to the gorgeous city skyline? That was a mere, dirt-filled twinkle in my eye?
Yep, that’s the garden.
Well, only a few months later, our little plot is full to the brim.
With squash, eggplant, budding asparagus,
walking stick kale, monsterous amounts of collard greens, a splash of herbs, and you guessed it, tons of rainbow chard.
But a funny thing happened. Not funny haha, but funny as in we had maggots crawling out of our compost bin. Pretty hilarious as you can imagine. Slash, my worst nightmare.
While we were attempting to consume our DIY veggies as fast as they were growing, some other little buggers were chowing down on them too. These guys were digging into the middle cells of the leaves, turning them brown. And the only way to stop them from ruining the whole crop was to either eat them (which we did for a bit, extra protein) or, in true Alice in Wonderland style, lop off their heads. The chard, not the bugs. Who has a guillotine that small. Really.
So there we were, a plot full of topless stalks. Beautiful stalks. In shades, colors, and neons that shouldn’t be natural. And I just couldn’t let them go to waste.
With a quick chop, I cut the stalks into perfect bite-sized chunks.
And after mixing up some salt-free pickling spices (2 teaspoons turmeric, 1 teaspoon black pepper corns, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed, 1 to 2 teaspoons dried dill, 4 cloves of garlic, and a sprinkling of whole cloves) and heating up some salt-free brining liquid (1 cup water, 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, and a splash of orange juice), I turned my chard stems into rainbow pickles.
And that’s how my headless garden was saved. And that’s how I am not eating any more bugs. And that’s why my breath smells like vinegar.
Happy weekend to you all and as always, chow on.