Simply Spinach

I am linking Tuesday’s post with Dayle’s Simple Pleasures series. Go see her wonderful photos and visit the other bloggers… and see whether your day, like mine, gets a relaxing breath of fresh air.

Malabar Spinach!

A dear friend on staff at UT Arlington gave me the first plants last year. He thinned a few from the clump in his garden and planted them in a used Cool Whip tub for me. “It’s called Malabar Spinach,” he told me. “It’s a summer spinach.”

My eyes lit up as I imagined myself picking fresh spinach for salad in July. No more would I have to wait until Thanksgiving to have any greens from my garden! I planted the young sprouts next to the 2-foot-high chicken-wire (and supposedly dog-proof) fencing around my little veggie patch, watered them in, and waited. Sure enough, they soon took hold and began to climb all over the fence.

I later learned that Malabar is not a true spinach; either way, I think this is the Perfect Plant. The thick leaves are delicious — similar to spinach but without that gritty taste — and smooth, so they’re easy to wash. They’re pretty, too, a nice glossy green with a maroon shadow underneath. (I have a cultivated variety called “Rubra.”) The vine has striking dark purple-red stems, and seems to bloom all the time: little pink spheres that mature to shiny black berries. As the older flowers mature, the stalk keeps growing and putting out new blooms at the end. I recently discovered that the last couple of inches of flower stalk is just as tasty as the leaves, and makes a pretty salad garnish.

I find a Simple Pleasure in being outside, soaking in the quiet sunlight and admiring my “spinach.” Then, I also enjoy the “oomph” it adds to salads. There’s just something wonderful about picking and eating food I have grown for myself. It makes me feel connected to both nature and its Creator.

Thanks for reading!
Jan
PS: Save some of the berries to plant the next spring.

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About Janice C. Johnson

Welcome! If you like food, reading, laughing over life's little disasters, and maybe thinking about the bigger things of life, you have come to the right place. Besides blogging, I write humorous fiction, though real life tends to leave fictional humor in the shade. But I'm not a total goofball. No, really. I'm also working on a biography project. I live in North Texas with my husband, Brent. We enjoy bicycling, Mexican food, and traveling to visit our kids and grandkids.
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9 Responses to Simply Spinach

  1. Karen says:

    What a treat! Yes, it is wonderful watching things grow, enjoying the beauty and then getting to have it on the table.

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  2. Dayle says:

    Jan, you are so right about being in the outdoors … whether growing food of flowers is one of the greatest simple pleasures in life. I feel closest to God outdoors than anywhere else. Beautiful post. Your spinach plant is so pretty.

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  3. gnee says:

    I’ve never heard of this and it is just beautiful. The fact that you can eat it and that it’s good…win, win win!

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  4. Trish says:

    I love spinach! Your Malabar spinach is so pretty, I can well understand you enjoying your garden being graced with this lovely plant! Simple, pretty and delicious. What a pleasure 🙂 blessings..Trish

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  5. Sue says:

    I love spinach, the shape, the colours and the taste. Yours is a very pretty colour.

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  6. Sarah says:

    love the outdoors and watching plants and vegies grow and then getting to eat them…there’s something so amazing about that.

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  7. Tammy says:

    Wonder if it would grow in a pot here. An Australian friend grew all kinds of greens in pots for salads. Definitely need something that would just take over and grow like crazy. I do have a tomato plant that gets bigger by the day. And mint will be grown when the weather gets cooler. Hope you are having a terrific Thursday! 🙂 Tammy

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  8. Debbie says:

    I agree! After years of not gardening vegetables, we put in some this past year, and it was a true pleasure. The first to come up was spinach. I was delighted!

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  9. Jan says:

    I appreciate all of you ladies stopping by, and enjoyed what you brought to the “party” too.

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