It has been a rainy few days around here, but spring is still chugging along and things are growing faster than I can keep up with them. The ideal is to start all your seeds at once, but I've been doing mine in stages. (Ok really I've been starting what I can while I watch old episodes of LOST)
Luckily this means you can see all the different steps in starting seeds at once. So, here's what's been going on in the basement:
Everybody starts in a long tray that gets covered first by a plastic lid and then with something to keep it warm. This step is called germination, and it needs warmth but not light. I keep germinating seeds on top of my dryer.
You can see in that photo that some of the seeds have opened up into little sprouts. Once they sprout, they go onto the shelf under a light that it very close to the seedlings, almost touching them.
On the right you can see the smallest seedling with just two or three leaves, and on the left you can see the tomato leaves starting to take on their distinct shape (and smell!). Not long after they reach the stage on the left, seedlings must be moved into bigger pots. I move them into pots that are made of coconut fiber and can be planted directly in the ground. I've got kale and tomatoes going here, along with just a few pepper plants.
(The plant on the far left isn't doing very well. It has shot up too quickly and its stem isn't straight. I moved the light up a bit but it might be too late. This is why you should always start more than you need.)
On to the food! The hubs and I finally bought a charcoal grill because we were feeling all summery, and we've been making great use of it ever since.
Last spring, I shared how I make a burger and fries, including big slabs of cheese on top.
I decided to lighten it up a bit by using slightly leaner beef and replacing the fries with grilled vegetables. The spread:
To begin, I crushed a bunch of dried thyme into the bottom of that big white bowl, then mixed it with some of my favorite mustard, a little red wine vinegar, some olive oil, and lots of salt and pepper. I let them hang out for a long time, then throw them on skewers. I use squash, peppers, onions, and crimini, which you might see labeled as baby 'bellas.
I also used some shredded cheese instead. On a whole wheat bun with tons of vegetables, it was delicious, indulgent, but still lean enough to be eaten more often.
If it's sunny where you are, get out there and grill some vegetables!