When Rocket sees the suitcase open on the bench in our bedroom, she climbs inside and furs up my underwear.
When Jada hears the suitcase rolling over the furnace (we have one in the floor because that's how old our house is, OK) she strolls over to the front door and blocks it with her body.
When the garden hears us shut the door behind us as we wheel our bags to the curb, it goes into full bloom and produces all of its fruit.
Because, apparently, the garden is a pet that's worried we won't come back or something and is trying to make a statement.
When we left for vacation this time (like all times) the garden was, like, almost there in the Ripe Tomato category. And the chard was *almost* under control due to a week of taming it with dinner's side dishes. And the melons were trying to make a valiant come back although I wasn't 100% convinced. And I had picked clean the cucumbers only to find a hundred new little yellow blooms 10 minutes before we left.
Basically, I knew I was going to come home to some pretty full plants.
Which isn't a bad thing given that there are some conditions that certain people suffer after 24+ hours of traveling that are best cured with garden vegetables especially if they are of the leafy green variety like all that chard just growing there like it's trying to be a tree. A nice fibrous tree with leaves that have magical Airplane Food curing powers.
Even if you're not saying so, I know YOU KNOW what I mean.
First though, for the harvest...
Vacation Cucumbers: (whoops. these are large)
And for the Magical Airplane Food Curing powers of chard, I made up a recipe. And because we had some bacon left from The Bacon Share, this made-up recipe included bacon. And because I can't be dainty about things for the sake of everyone's precious sensitivities, I call this recipe the Bacon Broom.
Because it's my basic Broom recipe, just with bacon mixed in because we have some and it makes the Broom taste better.
What is the broom? Oh, I think you know.
It's the chard and I think you know why we call it a broom even if you're not saying so. Aren't you just so polite and ladylike. You'll have to tell me what that's like some time.
About 8 big chard leaves, sliced into ribbons
3-4 strips of country bacon, chopped
Pepperoncino or cayenne, if you wish
Over medium-high heat, brown your chopped bacon with a little oil (yes, we're adding oil to bacon here folks, it's glorious) until it's toasty.
Then dump in your chard. It will cover the pan in a scary way, but that's OK. As it heats it will wilt and then you can turn it with your tongs.
Add salt, pepper and pepperoncino to taste and once the whole mess of chard is wilted (about 4 minutes), transfer to a plate and serve warm.
We like ours with The Best Tomato Sauce Ever. Yep. on farfalle pasta as seen in the photo above.
And in case you were wondering if the Bacon Broom is as effective and magical as the regular Broom, I can assure you that it is. Plus having a bite of bacon when you're sifting through a mountain of chard is a nice change and can help distract you from the true task at hand.
And now you know a lot more about me than I bet you ever wanted and isn't that just nice.