I was never one to think about gardening, to be honest. Last year, all we grew were some radishes and onions, but that was because Nolan's dad told us to and then planted them himself anyways. What I liked, as is what I like about Nolan and the dogs and the chickens, is that I feel needed. That something relied on me. That there was a benefit to tending to something outside of myself.
And so, I had it in mind that this year would be the year that we create more than small dishes. That we would harvest things in terracotta pots and large plots of tilled soil and that it would be a reason to stick around the house a little bit longer. This thought nagged at my mind. I looked up farm pictures of Daylesford and others. I looked up the cost of a farmer's market booth. I did everything I could to grow something beautiful in my mind and, like always, I read all that I could on the topic in the months that followed.
And we waited until the snow stopped, all the way into late May. And then another week for the grass to die. And then we planted. In pots on our deck and in small holes in the soil, we planted everything we could: herbs and flowers and vegetables. And while we wait for the soil to create its magic, I look out the kitchen window at the herb garden and see every touch of beauty one can imagine: peppers dangling from the stem and boastful herbs relaxed in the sunlight.
And I am proud of the magic I have created myself. I'm proud to share it all with you in the upcoming weeks. This is the first of many recipes from our garden, all thanks to Tractor Supply Co. Expect recipes using jalapenos, dill, parsley, basil, lemon balm, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, arugula, kale, and much more in the upcoming months.
Blueberry Chèvre Cheesecake Parfait
Topped with basil picked from my Bonnie Plants herb garden
- 4 graham crackers, pulverized with a rolling pin or food processor
- 6 oz goat cheese (I used Vermont Creamery's blueberry and lemon chevre, but you could also use regular goat cheese and 2 TB smashed blueberries)
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 5 oz jar of Oui vanilla yogurt (sub with greek if you can't find Oui)
- 1 brick cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 TB vanilla extract
- 3 TB confectioner's sugar
- 1 TB lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup whipped cream
- Basil for garnish
- Sprinkle in about a 1/2 inch into your Oui yogurt jars (or any small jar you may have on hand)
- In a stand mixer, beat together all remaining ingredients (except whipped cream and basil)
- Transfer to piping bag and pipe into jars over your graham cracker crumbs
- Rest in fridge for 1 hour to firm up
- Top with whipped cream and basil and enjoy!
Author's Notes: Really, you can't mess this recipe up and it's pretty variable for that reason. You can make it sweeter, add more extracts, add a different fruit, exclude the yogurt, add sour cream, sweeten with honey. It's more just about having a little treat than an exact science with this one!