Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Here are some close-ups of the flowers we found on our walk.
This is a picture of our neighbors adjoining field. They have different things blooming, goldenrod and what looks like a deep purple butterfly plant. I don't think they keep their field mowed as much as we do ours. But since we don't have a big tractor, we have to keep up with it or else it is impossible to take care of. Although the meadow look has it's merits, and we may end up keeping it more meadow-like, with some paths cut through for walking.
Just yesterday, Gail put a name to this bug for me. Yes, it's the Milk Weed Bug, on a Milk Weed Seed pod.
One cosmos of just a few which have bloomed in my new wildflower area I was trying to establish this year. I'll work on it more next year.
Thanks for joining us on our walk. I hope you enjoyed it.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
I don't remember the last time it rained in my garden. It has to be going on four weeks now. Everything is suffering. I don't mind that the grass is brown, I think we've cut it twice since the beginning of July. At least we are saving on gas. I don't even mind that the vegetable garden is pretty much dust right now. The deer ate most everything before we went away for a week, and then they did a pretty good job finishing it off while we were gone. Raccoons or other varmints have been breaking open the pumpkins and winter squash and eating every bit, presumably for the moisture inside. There are just a few things that have survived all this, mainly some herbs, the eggplant, and one tomato plant. Given that we rely on a well for our water, there is no way we could keep a big vegetable garden watered properly in this lack of rain, so having just a few things to water has been a blessing. But all the perennials throughout the property, there is no way I can water them as they need to be. I try to give everything a good drink, twice a week. But even the coneflowers are curling up and dried. I may be starting with more of a clean slate than I anticipated next year. It just makes me want to cry.
This afternoon we watched the radar show rain coming across from Ohio, a nice line of green. But it now appears to be breaking up before it will get to us. We will be denied again. This lack of rain had me thinking about the history of rain dancing in this country. The Cherokee tribe would perform rain dances both to induce precipitation and to cleanse evil spirits from the earth.
Please enjoy this music and perhaps rain will be forthcoming.
Rain Dance Flute Song
Thursday, August 21, 2008
It's time for a Thursday Food Fest again, sponsored by A Way To Garden and Dinner Tonight. Today's star is the sweetest of the sweet corn, that yummy summertime treat.
Growing up on the farm, I never had store bought corn, probably until I went to college. We would feast on corn on the cob when it started coming in late July, and since my Dad and Grandfather stagger planted, (several rows every week or two) and planted a couple of varieties, we had it fresh for over a month. The first variety to come in was always the Butter and Sugar corn and the Silver Queen was always the last one, but was the favorite of many. With all this corn, we would spend several days freezing huge batches. We would freeze enough for us to have corn once a week for the entire year. With ten people to feed, that's a lot of corn.
One of the things my Mom would make with leftover corn on the cob was corn fritters. These were always a special treat and we could have eaten just this for dinner. I'll be making these later today, so I will post some pictures then. I hope you enjoy these. Please let me know how you like them.
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fresh cut corn
1 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
1 TBS melted bacon fat or melted butter
Mix egg, milk, and corn.
Sift dry ingredients and add to corn mixture.
Add bacon fat (or butter) and beat until well blended.
Coat pan (non-stick or cast iron would work best) with bacon fat or butter.
Drop by tablespoons into pan and cook until golden brown, turning once.
Drain on absorbent paper.
My Mom cooked them in a cast iron skillet and flipped them to cook on both sides.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Hello Everyone! It's good to be getting back into my normal routine after our trip to Delaware to spend time with my extended family. My parents rented a huge, gorgeous house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where they and all their children and their families gathered to spend time together. At one point there were twenty-three people staying in the six-bedroom house, with seven of those being six years old or younger!
I'll do another post with some beach pictures, but first I wanted to post some of the garden and plant photos I took throughout the week. I really didn't take that many photos at all, mainly because I didn't have my camera handy when I wanted it and keeping track of all the kids precluded leisurely picture taking. But here are a few nice ones from throughout the week.
These were taken in downtown Lewes, Delaware. This is a nice area to walk around with arty shops and pretty B&B's and sidewalk cafes. We really enjoyed the couple of hours we had here just strolling the streets and window shopping.
These next photos were taken at Cape Henlopen State Park. This was a very nice park, especially if you are a biker. They even have a bike shed where you can borrow a bike for a couple of hours, free of charge. They have a nice beach area which, although crowded, had very nice facilities, there were lots of paths and trails throughout the park, a frisbee golf course, and a WWII observation tower which you could climb. They also have lots of programs which you can find out about at the Nature Center which is where these photos were taken. You see, they had a very nice butterfly garden area just outside the center.
These last photos were taken at Nassau Valley Vineyard, the first winery in Delaware. They have a self-guided tour and then provided wine tastings. It was very interesting and they had some pretty landscaping in addition to all the grapes.
Well, that's all for now. I promise a future post with beach and family photos.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
It's Thursday and time for the weekly food fest hosted by A Way To Garden and Dinner Tonight. On the menu today is Green Beans, so if you are looking for a new recipe to use up those green beans or if you have one to share, check it out.
I have two bean salad recipes I'd like to share. The first one I made last week. I had some green beans that had to be used up and this made a great lunch. The second one is based off a recipe from a Southern Living cookbook (I think, that's where the original was from). I've adapted it to how I make it (much simpler). I haven't made it this yet this year though, so I'm sorry, there is no photo.
The great thing about both of these salads is that you can change them to fit your taste or what ingredients you have on hand. Some tasty additions that I can think of right now are corn kernels, using yellow and/or purple beans in addition to the green (which I've done with the second one many times), and changing up the herbs in the dressings to include dill or cilantro. Just use what you have and what you like, it's your lunch!
Marinated Bean Salad
2 cups green beans, cut in 1 inch pieces, steamed tender crisp, then shocked in cold water
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can butter beans, drained and rinsed
1 Large Tomato, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
Mix these ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons oregano, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
Whisk all dressing ingredients together. Pour over bean mixture and let marinate at least 30 minutes.
Green Bean and Tomato Salad
1 pound green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces, steamed until tender crisp, then shocked in cold water
2 cups red and/or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
2 large red and/or yellow sweet peppers, cut into bite-sized pieces
Mix these ingredients together in a large bowl.
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 Tablespoon chopped basil
1 Tablespoon snipped chives
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon snipped oregano
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt & Pepper
Mix all ingredients together in a jar. Pour over vegetables. Let marinate at least 30 minutes.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
This plant is one that my husband's Mom brought us from Florida several years ago. It's a Ruellia brittoniana Mexican Petunia. Ours is just starting to bloom this year, and I can see several buds forming. I really like the long, thin foliage, which is attractive without the blooms. The blooms seem to just last a day or so but it looks like there will be a steady stream of them once it starts blooming.
It's tag gives the following information: full sun, hardy to 32 degrees F., medium height, and flowers spring to fall. Care: Dark green foliage with attractive, funnel-shaped, petunia like flowers which bloom from spring to frost. A clump forming perennial to 18"-24" high. Heat tolerant and will tolerate heavy clay soils. Do not over water.
Friday, August 1, 2008
A Green Cornfield
by Christina Georgina Rossetti
The earth was green, the sky was blue:
I saw and heard one sunny morn
A skylark hang between the two,
A singing speck above the corn;
A stage below, in gay accord,
White butterflies danced on the wing,
And still the singing skylark soared,
And silent sank and soared to sing.
The cornfield stretched a tender green
To right and left beside my walks;
I knew he had a nest unseen
Somewhere among the million stalks.
And as I paused to hear his song
While swift the sunny moments slid,
Perhaps his mate sat listening long,
And listened longer than I did.
I chose this poem as a tribute to my Father who is a farmer and is still working hard growing crops like corn. I'm sure he could tell of many moments like that described in this poem.
The photo is from my parents property. You can just see the house to the right of the barn, hiding behind the trees. I took this photo in 1994 but it all looks pretty much the same today as it did then.
Thanks to Carolyn at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago for hosting Garden Bloggers' Muse Day. Be sure to stop by her site and check out all the other muses.