something old, something new, something borrowed, something bleu

The 24 inches of snow is finally starting to melt from our recent deluge here in Denver.  Unfortunately, I was unable to burrow down and hibernate; the outside world’s demands forced me to wake up, shovel, and brave the roads.  My view of the back porch is a stark contrast to my cozy, warm perch here on the floor, beside my coffee table.

My usual resting spot to catch the last rays of sunshine…not so much today!

Two days before the snowstorm, I drove to my plot at Ellis Elementary School’s community garden.  This garden is sponsored by Denver Urban Gardens and hosts roughly 15 plots for those without adequate gardening space at their homes.  I have been living in an apartment for the past year and have thoroughly missed having fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs within a short walk’s reach.  Purchasing a plot here was one of the most rewarding and inexpensive things that I have recently done.

Two of the dormant plots at Ellis Elementary School’s community garden.

So, why the title?  The aspect of something “new” is this blog, which documents  my garden activities, what I do in the kitchen with the harvested goodness, and what I am creating artistically.  As far as the aspect of something “old” goes, I spent about an hour tilling up the remaining skeletons of summer’s formerly thriving plants.  I incorporated this dead, yet nutrient-rich, matter, along with compost from the other gardeners, into the soil.

My recently tilled plot, ready for spring planting.

The aspect of something “borrowed” is the ability to use this small, 3’x12′ garden plot, alongside other gardeners.   My garden neighbors came from myriad walks of life, represented several different nationalities, and provided me a richer understanding of this process called, gardening.  I often found myself engaging with someone I’d never have met under normal circumstances, swapping different vegetables with them, and leaving that day with a new friend.  Needless to say, even if I purchase a home with a yard this year, I am still going to keep my plot here.

My latest indulgence, Verde Capra, Italian Bleu Goat Cheese…

And the part about something “bleu”?  Circumstantially, at this very moment, I am enjoying a lovely bleu cheese, Verde Capra, which is inspiring me to write this first entry; it is also effectively distracting me!  It is quite uncommon to find a bleu cheese made from goat’s milk.  Verde Capra hails from Lombardia, Italy, is aged 90 days, and is smoky and has a creamy texture.  …off to finish the cheese!

Jayme Henderson

Occupationally speaking, I am a sommelier and mixologist at a busy, upscale Denver restaurant. I am lucky enough to spend most days tasting, pairing, and creating, alongside my cherished guests. I am also a contributor at the Kitchn, where I write about wine and gardening, tour cooks' kitchens, and interview innovative growers and makers. When I am not wearing those shoes, you can find me in my garden, preserving, painting, designing, and documenting my experiences along the way. I'm currently learning calligraphy and trying my best at home brewing. And I am seriously obsessed with my cats. And rosé.

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