How the garden grows
Since I've already shown you the garden shed, its time to focus on the garden. Its too bad I don't have a "before" shot - there was nothing in my sister's backyard but an old maple tree (great for shade but the whirly-birds are sprouting everywhere!) The progress that has occurred in a year is astounding. First Stacey killed off the grass in those areas where she wanted her garden beds by putting down layers of newsprint covered with mulch last winter - and voila! - there was excellent compost in place of the grass come spring. Then methodically she planned...and planted. After just a year, I would say the results are impressive!
She planted a vegetable garden behind the shed to get maximum sun for strawberries, tomatoes, onions, peppers and melon. The cucumbers were in full force while I was visiting - so we had plenty to eat and I took plenty home to enjoy. We also made the cucumber salad (adding in some Walla Walla onions from the garden) that my mother always made each summer when we were kids.
After we were grown, my mother put together a booklet of favorite family recipes - she typed up the recipes, organized them by category, bound them in a small booklet and covered the front & back with fabric. She even added a fold-out piece of plastic to protect the recipe page from splatters while you were cooking. Each of my brothers and sisters received a copy, each with a different cover. The cover of my booklet is a hopsack print from one of my mom's favorite skirts.
For your enjoyment - here is the cucumber salad recipe...in my mom's own words.
Peel and thinly slice cucumbers. Put in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Cover bowl and let stand in refrigerator overnight. Take cucumbers out of bowl (next day) and wring out - use your hands. Put in another (smaller) bowl. Pour following dressing over, stir well. Add in some sliced onion and a dash of pepper. Let stand at least an hour before eating.
Dressing: Mix 4-1/2 T sugar, 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/3 cup oil. Stir well until sugar is dissolved.