The Vegetable Garden

When I opened Redenta’s 25 years ago, most of my personal gardening had been vegetables. As a child, back in Ontario, Canada, we spent May to September out in the large vegetable garden planted by my Mum and Dad.

Potatoes, onions, beets, carrots, and turnips were harvested and kept in the root cellar under the front porch. Beans, peas and broccoli ended up in the freezer. Tomatoes were canned, some made into sauce. Cucumbers and some beets were pickled. Every evening before dinner my Mum would go down to the garden and pick fresh lettuce – her salads were amazing. Raspberries were made into jam, as were peaches we bought from the Niagara peninsula each Labor Day weekend.

When we bought our first home in Texas we planted the same large vegetable garden. There was no large root cellar, but I did continue my

My dad with my boys

Mum’s example of preserving as much as I could. It was difficult for me in the early years of the business as there was very little interest in the part of gardening that I loved the most. It has come back and I am thrilled!

Now back to my Mum’s salad, so simple and easy:

Ingredients usually consist of fresh leaf lettuce, a little chopped red onion, maybe some cucumber and a bit of tomato. Olive oil, only enough to coat the leaves – toss gently. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper, red wine or balsamic vinegar and salt, tossing gently after each addition. After many years of making salad just like my Mum, I do not even think about proportions, it just seems natural and I think of her each time I make it.