This article from Russ Parsons in the LA Times today is a perfect explanation about how to cook from your garden. I have learned that it can be really difficult to plan meals from one’s own garden in real life, as opposed to how they say it can be in books. Unless you have lots of time to plan and to put the effort into arranging your garden just so, there is not necessarily the correct amount of specific ingredients at any one time. But this passage describes how we often have to cook from our own gardens, though he is talking about what he picked up at the farmers’ market that day:
It was on mixed vegetable stews, free-form affairs based on what you have on hand and what you feel like cooking, or as Olney so much more eloquently put it, their composition “depends on the season and on whim and, insofar as they are never twice identical, one must, each time, more or less ‘feel’ one’s way through the preparation.”
I have really learned to appreciate a number of classic dishes such as rattatouille, realizing that these dishes did not originate in a brilliant insight of what would taste good together, but rather what was available to fill a hungry farmer’s stomach!