Archive | July, 2012

Photos of My Garden – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

26 Jul My Cherry Tomatoes

This is my “mystery” tomato plant. I now know why the tomato seedlings were on sale at the beginning of the season. All the other seedlings were cherry tomatoes. This one is a Bush tomato plant. How do I know? I know because I planted Bush tomatoes a few summers ago. They are beautiful to look at, juicy, and totally tasteless. You can see my cherry tomatoes in the background.

On the right are my onion chives (or scallions). See the round bulb at the top? It’s ready to flower and go to seed. I’ve got onion chives growing all over my garden. I allow it because they are a pest deterrent and it keeps me “rich” in onions.

I must say, knock on wood, everything in the garden is healthy. So far, I don’t see any pests. They probably all died of thirst or heat stroke. I did find a snake in my garden once. It was a green garden snake and it was dead. That wasn’t in my present garden though, it was when I lived in Lexington, KY.  However, if you want to read a story I wrote about a rattlesnake, click here.

After I watered the garden today, a butterfly flew up to me as if to say “thank you.” ; – )

This is the final installment (IV) of My Vegetable Garden, unless something pops up that I think you might enjoy. I want to try growing artichokes in the future because I am a big fan of them. I need to order them in the mail I think since it’s probably too late to find seeds in the supermarket. Hope you all enjoyed my garden as much as I do.

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The Sunshine Award

24 Jul sunshine-blog-award

As I was going to blogger’s blogs to get their address so I could link to them after nominating them for the Inspiring Blogger Award, imagine my surprise as I got to claudiagiulia‘s blog. She had been busy making nominations for the Sunshine Award. And there I was, on her list of nominations. Great minds think alike Claudia! Thank you!

The Rules of the Sunshine Blog Award are 1) Accept the award; 2) post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link; 3) answer the questions below; 4) pass the award to 10 other blogs providing links to their blogs; and 5) contacting them to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Questions:

1.  favorite color? – greens: forest green, moss green, kelly green

2. favorite animal? – the big cats: lions, Bengal tigers, cheetah, lynx, etc. Why? Check this out.

3. favorite number? – 2

4. favorite drink? – lemonade. Alcoholic: Lambrusco. But I drink ice water all day.

5. Facebook or Twitter? – Twitter. I think FB is going downhill. Tweets are fun to do and fun to say: Tweet, tweet! Compare that to saying Facebook, Facebook. Nah, not the same.

6. what is your passion? – Cooking, baking, gardening, eating, writing, watching independent films, PBS, blogging. There’s more but I don’t have all day!

7. giving or getting presents? – It seems to me that people give presents to give what they would like to get or would get something out of themselves. Case in point, I had a boyfriend who gave me a box of chocolate pecan clusters. They were HIS favorite candy! I had another boyfriend who bought me a red skirt. It was too short, too tight, and had a belt that was too wide. In other words, I looked like a hooker. Therefore, I would rather give a present.

8. favorite pattern – herringbone. It sounds like a fish and the thought of a bone being in a pattern……well, it all just works for me. Plus, it’s a nice pattern.

9. favorite day of the week? – any day that I wake up and can get on an elliptical trainer or strength training machine.

10. favorite flower? – Any flower that is blue. I’ve got a thing for blue in the garden as I’ve mentioned in my blog before. I’ve got blue flowers around my yard and I also mentioned that I have Blue Columbine flowers. I checked on them today and I am glad to say they are coming back. (My neighbor’s landscaper mowed them down.) I watered them too as a reward for being so determined. The flowers, not the landscaper. Although I would like to take a fire hose to him.

Wow! I’m so happy! Two awards in two days.  This is me singing:  Shine on me sunshine walk with me world it’s a zippity doo-da day. I’m the happiest gurl, in the whole USAyyyy.Free Clipart Image of a 16th Note for Written Music, Black. Click Here to Get Free Images at Clipart Guide.com

Blogger Nominations:

1. tjsgarden.com

2. thethankfulheart

3. gardenbooyah

4. catdigsdirt

5. kayleebakes

6. hilaryscott.co.uk

7. tableflipvineyard

8.  survivalfarm

9. thegoodieplate

10. hesaidonlyyouknow

Congratulations to all. If you see your blog here, don’t wait for me to contact you. You can get started displaying the award logo on your blog and following the directions posted in this post. Just leave me a comment so I know that you’ve already started so I don’t have to contact you and we end up doing double duty. Enjoy your award!

***If anyone doesn’t know how to set up their award, let me know and I will help you figure it out.

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Rewards for Doing Everything Right in Your Vegetable Garden

23 Jul sxc.hu/bury-osiol Paweł Zawistowski-raspberries

When you’ve done everything right in your vegetable garden, and when the stars and the moon are in the right position, and the weather has cooperated, and you’ve been lucky to boot, you can sometimes end up with too many vegetables! What? Too many? Yes, it’s happened to me. Let me tell you about it.

I had a surplus of tomatoes one summer. Here’s what I did with them and with other notorious over-producers in the vegetable garden. Click here to learn more.

I am not fortunate enough to be growing fruit in my backyard but boy, I am so itching to do so. Here is a recipe I made with store-bought fruit of which I had an over-abundance. This recipe has a terrible name: Raspberry Grunt. The name comes from the New England states as I understand it. They call it a Slump in Rhode Island and a Grunt in Massachusetts. I think it should be called a Plump.

I purchased a small box of raspberries at my local Meijer because they looked so fresh and plump and the price was right. I had no idea what I was going to make with them. I did what I usually do, checked my cookbooks, looked online, etc. I found the Raspberry Grunt on Martha Stewart’s website. Well, I didn’t have enough raspberries and her recipe also called for blackberries. I didn’t have any of those. But I did have some nectarines and some plums on hand so that is what I used.

The reason I was drawn to this particular recipe is because I didn’t have to turn on the oven. It cooks on the stove top. We’re probably going to hit 100 degrees again today and I don’t want to make my air conditioner run anymore than it has to!

First, I tasted one of the raspberries. Wow! Talk about tart! I would have rather bitten into a lemon. So, I made sure I added more sugar than the recipe called for. That is the opposite of what I usually do in a recipe. Here is what the fruit looked like when everything was rinsed, peeled, and cut into slices.

My Recipe

1  1/4 Cup sugar

1/4 teasp. plus pinch cinnamon

3/4 Cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teasp. ground ginger

1/3 Cup milk, room temperature

3 Tablesp. unsalted butter, melted

2 Cups raspberries

2 nectarines, pitted and peeled

2 plums, pitted and peeled

2 Tablesp. lemon juice or orange marmalade

3/4 teasp. baking powder

salt

Directions

Mix 2 Tablsp. sugar and 1/4 teasp. cinnamon and set aside. Wisk flour, 2 Tablesp. of the sugar, baking powder, pinch salt, and ginger in a bowl and set aside.  Stir milk and melted butter in small bowl. Mix the milk/butter into the flour mixture and set aside.

Put the fruit into a skillet and add 2 Tablsp water. Add the remaining pinch of cinnamon. Add the lemon juice or marmalade and the remaining sugar. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat stirring occasionally.

Drop 8 large dollops of batter on top of the fruit mixture. Using two spoons to do this helps. Space them evenly apart. Sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the top of the batter dumplings. Cover and reduce the heat to medium or lower depending on your stove. Cook until the dumplings are cooked through and the juices are bubbling, about 12-15 minutes. You can serve it warm as is or with cream drizzled on top or ice cream.  I also like it served cold.

Here is a photo of the results.

My take on the taste and texture.

Even though I added 1/4 cup more sugar than the original Martha Stewart recipe, my fruit was still too tart. I didn’t add lemon juice as was required in the original recipe either; I used my homemade orange marmalade instead which was very sweet. Yet I still wanted to pucker because it was tart! True, I didn’t drizzle cream or serve it with ice cream which would have helped a lot. So, if you use berries, especially raspberries in your recipe, you may want to add more sugar, especially if you don’t serve it with cream or ice cream.

The dumplings. Now this is what made it worthwhile. These dumplings were out of this world. They were fluffy, big, tender, and delicious. I ate two but I wanted to eat four. This was my breakfast today. I’m going to have some for dessert after dinner too! It may not taste as tart when it’s cold.

Extra Tip. The other thing I did differently was that I used powdered milk. So, I mixed 1/3 cup water with 3 tablespoons powdered milk. The box directions say use 5 tablespoons powdered milk to an 8 oz glass of water to get 8 oz of milk. I added a lot more than was needed. Why? We need our calcium for good health. I add powdered milk to a lot of recipes. You can’t tell the difference.

I will definitely make this again using different fruits. I might even use frozen fruit to make it easier and quicker.

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Very Inspiring Blog Award

22 Jul Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I was delighted and surprised to receive a nomination for a Very Inspiring Blog Award from P.C. Zick. I enjoy reading her blog as we have similar interests.

Here are the requirements for this award:

1)      Display the award logo on your blog.

2)      Link back to the person who nominated you.

3)      State 7 things about yourself.

4)      Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.

5)      Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

Seven things about myself

1. I used to take flying lessons. I have 27 1/2 flight hours logged in a Cessna.

2. I have a strong belief in the healing powers of exercise.

3. The more butter I slather on bread, the better it tastes.

4. I was in the color guard in junior high school.

5. Housework is for the birds.

6. I like to sing.

7. I’m a good listener.

My nominations for the Very Inspiring Blog Award –This is going to be a challenge because I’m still new here but I have come across some very worthy blogs. I like some of them for their writing style or their photographs. I like some because their interests are very different from mine and I want to learn more from them. I like some because we have a lot in common and I can relate, and I like some because I admire their creativity. There is one who is an employer and writes an employee blog. It’s very notable. He may not accept my nomination but you win some, you lose some. Nothing ventured, nothing gained I always say.

1. claudiagiulia

2. clotildajamcracker

3. seamistandmagnolias

4. thesugarlump

5. musingsoncountryliving

6. tbnranch

7. silverbells2012

8.  gardensandgarlic

9. floraseasons

10. blog.palletone

11. soulsbyfar

12. salmonfishingqueen

13. thefishermanswife

14. thehourofsoftlight

15. gardenpath

So many blogs, so little time!

If you see your blog here, don’t wait for me to contact you. You can get started displaying the award logo on your blog and following the directions posted in this post. Just leave me a comment so I know that you’ve already started so I don’t have to contact you and we end up doing double duty. Enjoy your award!

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Photos of My Garden – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme

21 Jul sxc.hu/ lockstockb

On the right is my parsley plant. It is three years old.  It comes back every year even though they say it isn’t supposed to (It’s a biennial). I find that when I leave things alone and let them go to seed, they reward me by continuing to appear every year.

My rosemary, below, sits next to my sage plant. You can see some of the leaves of the sage plant on the lower left of the photo. I do tend to cram everything together. Fresh rosemary is the bomb. As long as I have fresh, I will never use the dried stuff again.  

To Be Continued…….

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Photos of My Garden – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

19 Jul sxc.hu/ pat61nl Patrizia Schiozzi http://fotografie.patriziaschiozzi.nl

This is a very robust sage plant above. I pick the leaves and it comes back threefold. It not only makes food taste good, but it’s a beautiful, full plant and a lovely greenish-blue color that matches my Colorado Blue Spruce and my “White” pine.

I’ve neglected watering my thyme on the right, because it was taking over my vegetable garden.  It is also very hardy and very fragrant. You can see how brown my grass is in the lower part of the photo  due to the drought we are having in Indianapolis and surrounding areas. Yesterday we actually had some rain! Phew! What a relief! I never thought I’d be worried about rainfall!   Continued……

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Photos of My Garden – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

19 Jul My Harvest - Marcella Rousseau

Above is my potted cherry tomato plant. There are no tomatoes on it because I picked them all. It’s so convenient to pick and to water. I just slide open the patio doors and dump a glass of water on it!
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On the right are my garlic chives.  Would you have guessed that garlic chives could have such pretty flowers? 
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Continued…….
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Teaching Kids to Like Vegetables

12 Jul sxc.hu Lousam httpwww.naturallyhealthylifestyles.co ..sugar snap peas

MIKE EATING “CANDY” FOR BREAKFAST

It does your heart good when your child wakes up in the morning wanting to eat Sugar Snap Peas for breakfast. It just makes all the work in the garden worthwhile, you know?

He wolfed down those sugar snaps. I didn’t think I would have any left over to serve with a meal!

Not that I’m complaining. He still loves vegetables to this day and in fact loves to cook Thai dishes. If you’ve got little ones at home, you don’t have to force them to eat vegetables. There is a much easier way. Read on….

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Making Blender Compost for the Garden

11 Jul WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY GARDEN KITTY?  I SEE YOU!!!

ARE YOU CONTEMPLATING DIGGING UP MY PLANT KITTY?

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. I guess I was in an inventive mood when I created a way to make composting that didn’t involve a bin or the effort of turning over the compost at intervals. 

I didn’t have to build anything and I didn’t have to buy anything. So, how did I do it?

After you’ve enjoyed looking at these kitties, click here to learn how I did it.

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How to Deter Cats from Your Vegetable Garden

9 Jul Planter cats starting at a young age.

Two summers ago, I had a heck of a time with neighbor’s cats and stray cats. They seemed to be everywhere, mostly in my backyard.  It was getting to be a battle of wits and I was losing mine.

In these photos, the cats and kittens look so cute. But they can really be a nuisance not to mention a hazard to your health if they leave their “presents” behind in your garden where you tend your plants.

Here is how I fought the battle and eventually won!

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