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Goodbye Garden; Lesson 1: Ice Baths are for more than Sore Muscles

11 Jul

tiny Swiss Chard seedling

 The first few times we harvested lettuce from our garden we simply rinsed it under running water and then let it dry for a short while before eating.  We had a great time enjoying our early summer salads, but no matter how well we rinsed the lettuce, we still got tiny bits of sand and silt in our teeth as we ate.

tiny purple lettuce seedling

This wasn’t a big deal, but I knew there had to be a way to get the lettuce free of dirt.  After speaking with some friends, they suggested we soak the lettuce in a bowl of ice water for about a half-hour or more, periodically swirling the lettuce to allow the dirt to fall off the leaves to the bottom of the bowl.  Not only does the ice bath loosen the dirt from the leaves, it makes the freshly picked lettuce become cool and crisp as it soaks.  Then it’s just another quick rinse under the faucet, shake to dry (or spin if you’ve got a salad spinner), and you’re ready for a yummy dish of freshly picked lettuce, chard, arugula, spinach, and whatever other leafy greens your garden might be pumping out.  

I passed the ice bath trick on to my mom when we visited her in Colorado and enjoyed the delicious lettuce and Kale (pictured in the center row) growing in her garden.  It was fantastic!