It's in my roots

My mom and dad both went to vocational school while they were in high school -- mom studied horticulture, and my dad studied culinary arts. Dad wanted to go to a culinary arts school, but he married mom and had a job at Kent State, so he stayed put. He is still an excellent cook, when he makes the time. Maybe that's where I get my love for food?

Mom went on to work at Ravenna Floral and Kent Floral before deciding to go to college, where she eventually earned bachelor's and master's degrees in elementary education. She's been teaching for 15 years, but is an avid gardener and, along with my dad, works hard to keep the yard looking good. She always had gardens when I was growing up, and tried to get my sister and I in on the fun. We were as tolerant as we could be and still keep her happy, but I surely was not committing much to memory.

Now that I'm out on my own, I miss having fresh vegetables in the summer and I'd love to have fresh herbs to cook with. Unfortunately, I walked into Home Depot and was so lost I had to call my mom and have her walk me through what to look for and what would grow on my balcony. But despite living in an apartment that isn't the best environment for a garden and my lack of a green thumb, I've managed to do pretty well!

I bought a pot of tomato/cherry tomato/green pepper plants, a jalapeno pepper plant and planted a box of cilantro, basil, parsley and mint. Today, I picked our first cherry tomatoes and last week I picked some cilantro and made guac in my authentic Mexican molcajete. I can't wait for the jalapeno to start making some peppers as I have discovered a delicious way to make healthy jalapeno poppers at home.

Hopefully the rest of the summer is just as fruitful -- or, vegetableful!

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