There’s something pleasurable about drying lettuce the old-fashioned way -with vintage French tea towels. No whirr of the salad spinner, no washing and drying and putting the spinner away, just the gentle pat-pat with the towel, as you delicately dry the leaves. La Vie Rustic is happy to offer a limited supply of these cotton-linen towels, just in from Provence.
There’s also something pleasurable about going out to your garden, no matter how small, and gathering lettuce that you’ve grown yourself. It’s a process that connects your actions from earth to kitchen and plate.
These vintage French tea towels, made of cotton and linen, measure a generous 20 inches wide and 26 inches long.
They are sold in sets of 2.
Some sets are pre-washed (not pre-used) and are softened. Other sets have not been washed and are stiffer, but will soften with washing.
TIME TO PLANT NOW FOR FALL HARVEST
Although it’s high summer now, it is time to be planting lettuce and chicories for fall and early winter harvest. Planted in late July through mid to late August, the emerging seedlings will have the benefit of the warm days and cooling nights of declining summer to grow and mature, and be ready to harvest in late September. If you’d like a fall garden of heirloom lettuces and chicories like escarole, frisee, and radicchio, order La Vie Rustic’s Seed Collections to plant in the coming weeks.
A personal note~
I’ve made the mistake of planting my fall garden in – fall. It’s too late then because the shorter, cooler days aren’t enough to produce the heads of lettuce, radicchio, and escarole for fall and winter harvest, Instead, the plants get a little growth, then stand nearly dormant until the lenghting and warming days of spring bring on a spurt of growth. And, instead of the pleasure of a daily garden harvest, I’m shopping at the market instead.
RED POPPY FIELDS -Get ready to plant soon
Late summer and early fall is the time to plant red poppy seed for a blanket of color in spring and early summer. In mid-July, the wheat fields of southern France still had remnants of the blaze of spring time poppies scattered among the edges of the blooming lavender and sunflower fields.
Recette du Jour – Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Stuffed Squash Blossoms
If you have squash growing in your garden, you’ll find male blossoms on long stems. Pick these. You’ll also find female blossoms attached to small fruit. Pick these too. Gently remove the stamen. If you wash the blossoms, do so very gently and allow them to dry on a tea towel or paper towel.
Make a mixture of soft goat cheese, finely chopped chives, shallots, or onions, a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Then add enough milk or cream to make a spreadable consistency.
Fill each blossom with about 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture, and twist the petals to seal it in. The petals will unfold a bit, but don’t worry. This can be done an hour or two ahead, and the stuffed blossoms refrigerated.
When you are ready to cook them, heat a thin film of olive oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot, carefully add the stuffed blossoms and saute them over medium high heat, turning once or twice. Cook until the stems turn bright green and the petals begin to lightly brown. Remove to paper towels to drain, then to a platter. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and eat with your fingers as an appetizer. Goes well with chilled French-style rose wine.