We have a lot of luxuries in the South, you know? Long, lazy evenings for nearly 8 months out of the year. We have lightning bugs (nobody but us calls them this, everywhere else they are fireflies), cicadas, locust-like grasshoppers and, oh yes, crickets. We can hear the crickets most all the year especially when they get in the house and keep us up all night in their lonely chirping for their long lost… well, whatever it is that crickets lose. Some say they are good luck. Some people swear you can tell the temperature on a cold night by the number of chirps in a minute. I forget but you can google (or bing) it.

But I digress.

The luxury I indulge in during those short, cold winter days is my winter garden. I just put mine out. Swiss chard, kale, spinach, collards, chives and some parsley. The real luxury? Weeds are mostly dormant. Not so many bugs. The tender plants have a much better chance of survival, especially if you spray “Critter Ridder(r)” on them which is just a glorified pepper spray. Cayenne & black pepper. No self-respecting rabbit or deer would dare eat anything with all that mess on it. So I am hoping for an abundant harvest.

Did you know that you can drizzle olive oil over kale leaves, pop them on a cookie sheet in a hot oven and make kale chips? I will have to try this.

Maybe next year I will put out some winter squash, if I am feeling ambitious.