A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about the massacre of my edible plants by cute, furry, long-eared,twitchy-nosed, brown eyed gits. I solved the problem, for some of my edibles at least, by locking them away in a rabbit-proof cage next to my herb garden.
This has proved to be so effective that I’ve become a victim of my own success. I’m drowning in lettuce. Never one to eat a salad by choice when dining out I now have to find creative ways to munch through unbeleafable quantities of the stuff without turning into a rabbit myself. Fortunately my long-suffering other half likes a lettuce leaf or two and isn’t yet rebelling against the greenness of his dinner day after day.
I admit he raised his eyebrows at my raw garlic mushroom salad arranged in a retro lettuce-lined bowl, but who can complain when it’s been freshly picked? Me, actually – but not about the lettuce. I tried somebody’s recipe for the salad, and it was….unusual. Kinda slimy. Way too much garlic. But the lettuce was good.
A slightly more creative dinner was chilli wrapped in lettuce leaves served with a steaming bowl of rice.
Below is my collection of greenery for tonight’s dinner. Curly lettuce, flat-leaf lettuce, a bit of radicchio, some frilly little leaves (yes, I know all the correct names lol) and a random snip or two of french tarragon, lemon thyme, rosemary and chives. “What? No parsley?” I hear you ask. No……not until the ones now hiding in my cage have grown big enough to harvest. My garden ones got severely munched. My next door neighbour has also lost all his parsley, so I’ll give him a pot of mine if the plants do well.
I’ve made a dressing to go on tonight’s rabbit food, shaking together 2 Tbsp avocado oil, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp coarse salt and 1 crushed garlic clove. I mixed in 1 tsp fresh tarragon, 1 tsp lemon thyme, 1 tsp rosemary and a few chives, all finely chopped. No, that’s not the only thing we’re having…I’ll be knocking up a black bean, red pepper, corn, Italian veg-sausage and rice dish (no recipe, I’m currently on strike til I get my book back from my editor) to go with it.
The strange thing about eating all this lettuce is that other people can sense it, and feel the need to add greenery to my meals. On Saturday Alan and I popped downtown to the flea market and decided to grab lunch in a thai restaurant before heading home. “Which dishes can be made vegan?” I asked our server. She thought for a while. “The shrimp and mango salad can be made vegan, and I’ll ask the chef to add some lettuce instead of the shrimp.” I looked at Alan to check I’d heard correctly. He looked amused. “We can make the vegetarian vermicelli vegan by replacing the fish sauce with a peanut one. That dish already has lettuce in it, but we can add more if you like.” I swear, I’m not making this up! I have a witness who will confirm the offers of more lettuce. I’m still laughing.
Now that my bunny vs lettuce battle has been won I can turn my attention to other pressing matters. We have bird feeders in the garden, protected by a “squirrel baffler” to stop the feeders from being emptied by our resident long-tailed fluffy rodents within an hour of being filled. The baffler is a hollow tube which is too wide for a squirrel to hold on to, and blocked off at the top to stop them from climbing up inside. It worked great last year, but this year we have a huge black squirrel who refuses to be baffled. I don’t know how she does it, but she’s emptying our bird feeders at an amazing rate, tossing seeds down to her baffled family and while sitting on top of the squirrel-proof tube to eat her own lunch.
I’m not sure how we’re going to fix this problem, especially since I can’t put the feeders inside a cage, but she’s emptying them daily so something has to be done. Perhaps I could bribe her with some lettuce?
I’ve just looked out of the window and there’s a groundhog munching on the dandelions in my lawn. I hope she doesn’t like sweet things – I’ve just planted some stevia in the garden. I’ll keep you posted!