Thursday, April 10, 2008

Garden Is Pretty

Unexpected glint of esthetics in my onion patch.
I have no idea how they got there, but what a sweet surprise.
They are molto miniature, these little pansies. I wouldn't have discovered them if I hadn't been weeding. And luckily I didn't pluck them out of the ground along with the other interlopers.
So, question: If a weed you didn't plant in your garden is unwelcome, what about a pansy you didn't plant?
I'm leaving it in. I doubt it's going to cause much mayhem.
For something wonderful to eat when life gives you too many onions (and damn, I thought we'd be harvesting these onions back when it was onion soup weather), go check out this vague, tenuous how-to on onion toast. To clarify, if needed: butter bread and cram it into a baking dish. Distribute onions that have been sauteed with seasonings (salt, pepper, bay leaves) over the bread. Sprinkle loosely grated cheese (grating cheese, please) over the top, Not Mushed Down! Bake at ohgod, I don't know, 350? for half an hour. It's awesome.
Also, read the comments on that old post for a fun comments game we had going there for a while. Ah, the good old days.


Miss Karen said...

I think that there is what my mom used to call a johnny jump-up, which is a perennial and does grow like a may see even more next year. What a happy surprise!

cookiecrumb said...

Miss Karen: I am grateful for the horticultural enlightenment! Johnny jump-up, indeed. That sort of explains how it got there. It just jumped up.
Isn't nature great?

El said...

Yummy recipe: starch plus alliums plus heat? Mmm.

Weeds have a pretty squirrelly definition (kind of like WMD or a lot of other things redefined by this administration, come to think of it). I let nice greenery like this stand: what a cute find! But if they take over your garden? Weeds they are.

Wish I could say that for other things in our life.

peter said...

Now that I have nettles, dandelions, burdock, garlic chives, plantain, and purslane all over the place, "weeds" covers a smaller group of plants than it used to.

cookiecrumb said...

El: It's a good recipe. Cranky called it "onion soup, hold the soup."
As for the decorative weeds, I'll give them as long as they want. Well, you know... until they harm the tomatoes.
Happy chicks to you. Sigh, so cute. And then... ;)

Peter: Jeepers, I didn't know your burdock was wild! Cool! And your plantain??? Enlighten me.
This cute little Johnny jump-up jumped up almost exactly where the wild purslane grew last year. Lucky plot, I think.

Anita said...

Karen beat me to it -- I saw the photo and thought "oh, johhny jump-ups!" we planted them in our garden when we were kids. :)

So you're making solid soups again, eh? I still remember that lunch last summer... yum.

Jim said...

Enjoy the johnny-jump-up. They're edible (like pansies) and I always put a few on the cakes I bake for Mother's day.

kudzu said...

I'm sure Peter's plantains aren't what you're thinking (as in green bananas). It's a common weed. My ex's Italian grandmother used to slap a plantain leaf on a kid's scratch or small cut. I've never known why since I've never read anything anywhere (in herbal med lit) about that.

Zoomie said...

Yep, Johnny Jump-Ups, for sure. My grandmother had them in her garden and would carefully dig one up and pot it for me to take home each time I visited. I like flowering weeds - I call them "volunteers" and leave them be.

Lannae said...

Oh, so sweet! Pansy's are never a weed whether planted or not planted by you. They are just sweet.

Margo said...

Whoa. Pansies are edible? Cool!!! I knew about dandelion leaves & nasturtiums, but... that's pretty great. Thanks!

dancingmorganmouse said...

We call them Heartsease, and the really cool thing is they are hermaphrodite, can self-fertilise or make use of the pollination services of bees. They pop up all over the garden at my place, I always leave them be, such happy wee faces.

Foodninja said...

Damn we still got snow here

Stacie said...

a weed by any other name is just a plant. We have tons of viola (probably a little cousin to your pansie) that grow all over our yard. They have creeped into the garden, but I let them. They get green foliage before anything else and then get the sweetest little purple flowers... awww, too cute to kill!

Mary Coleman said...

Johnny Jump Ups grow wild in my mother's woods. We candied them for many years. I love those little guys!!

cookiecrumb said...

Anita: Ha ha! Yep, solid soup! This one is tasty; I'll make it for you. Decorated with Johnny jump-up petals. Damn, life is good.

Jim: Thanks for that info. I wouldn't have known, but as you can see from my comment to Anita above, I'm already planning on eating them. Sigh. XXX

Kudzu: Aha. I'll have to look it up. (Wouldn't you love a great-grandmother slapping wild leaves on your wounds? Hee hee.)

Zoomie: What a sweet story. Of course, she was just potting weeds for you. But sweet.

Lannae: I have never seen a cuter "weed." And I do try to like most weeds, to my garden's detriment.

Margo: Hold yer horses; Jim says Johnny jump-ups are edible; not necessarily pansies. Don't want you making a fatal error. (But what do I know?)

Morgan: Ah!! I've heard of heartsease. Little hermos. I'll leave them be, too.

FoodNinja: Wow. In my pampered world, I wonder how people like you can live with the snow. I wish you warmth soon.

Stacie: Yep, your approach to weeding is a lot like mine. Call it pretty and live with it.

Mary Coleman: Wow, candied? I have got to experiment. So cute!!! Also, maybe they'd be adorable frozen in ice cubes. Hmmm. :)

Mary Coleman said...

I'll get the recipe from Mother this weekend for candied violets and get it to you! love the idea of them frozen in ice cubes..maybe white wine..then use in a spritzer or something?

Jim said...

Just for the record -

Johnny-jump-ups are a wild variety of viola, and both are edible. Pansies are a near cousin of the viola, and are also edible. When the blooms die back on volas and pansies, then I head to my neighbor's backyard and pick violets - another edible flower! (The neighbors don't mind, and they don't use fertilizers!)


katiez said...

Half the flowers in my garden are weeds.
Half the weeds are flowers.
It all works out... and it's less work if I just declare them flowers and let them be.

KathyF said...

Those are violas. We never called them anything more interesting than viola. They are edible, but much prettier to look at.

You wouldn't believe the flowers I saw in Holland. They put puny little things like violas to shame.

I need to post them, as soon as I get round to it.