Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Raspberries (and all other berries for that matter) are so expensive to buy. One of those itty bitty cartons cost $3.99. That little carton contains just about as many raspberries as what you see in my picture. Crazy!
They go great on your morning oatmeal or cereal!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Finally got a close up picture of my German Queen tomato that I have growing. They are squat, fat tomatoes, and supposed to be able to get up to be a pound. Let's see how far this one goes.
It rained all day yesterday, so I didn't have to water my garden - YAY! But today it's supposed to be the hottest day of the summer so far, with a small chance of rain in the afternoon. A hot and sticky day for sure!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
We had a little accident this weekend. The pot that my oregano was growing in, had broken. It's just too bad that the pot that is broken was my favorite. It had a very pretty flower painted on the side, and it had some interesting writing around the rim of the pot.
I immediately scooped up my oregano, and placed it into the big urn that contained my thyme. I hope my thyme likes to room with oregano. Actually, my oregano looks a lot happier in the urn than it did in the pot by itself. Time will tell if my thyme and oregano will get along!
Monday, June 23, 2008
My poblano plants are growing to their heart's content. See my little poblano's? I don't know what is with the produce stores lately. They either don't have poblano peppers or they are there, but are real old and wrinkled. I don't know how they can put those out on the shelf.
Poblano peppers are pretty mild, with a smoky kind of taste - if that makes sense. I use them chopped up in everything, including guacamole. I've even made a big dragon bite out of poblano peppers. Absolutely fantastic!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I have little tomatoes growing! It always makes me feel good to see that I'm doing something right. This bush is only a 12-16 inches tall but it's blooming and growing little tomatoes like crazy! You can see the little green globe in the picture on the right hand side.
This is the plant that my husband and I didn't put into our shopping cart, and we got home and said "what is this?". But it's looking like a little winner! The Sweet 100 Tomato plant can get up to 4 feet tall, and grow lots of cherry-sized tomatoes. Fun stuff!
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Magical properties: Money, peace, happiness, conscious mind
Thursday, June 19, 2008
My 2-inch jalapeño picture from my Mucho Nacho plant.
I took it at 5am today. I love to look at things first thing in the morning! Looks like I need to start fertilizing.
Did you know that jalapeños contain a substance called capsaicin that has shown to have anti-cancer effects? However, you would have to eat a LOT of jalapeños to get that effect.
I made home made ravioli stuffed with a mixture I made from my jalapeño poppers the other night. I threw those leftovers in my food processor and made the filling up good! The ravioli was delicious!
How do you stop the burning after eating jalapeño peppers? Eat a dairy product, like milk, yogurt, or ice cream. Dairy products contain a chemical called caisen that combats the effects of chile peppers' capsicum by stripping it from its receptor site on the skin. If it's on your hands, try a little rubbing alcohol (I've used tequila - I know - what a waste of good tequila) on your hands first to take off the oil, then dip in milk. It really helps!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Roses are such an elegant, feel-good flowers. The petals are used in many things, from aromatherapy to recipes.
I've been growing roses around my deck for many years. The smell is just wonderful! My roses tend to overload themselves. It's the perfect time to carefully pick some flowers and make sachets or my fabulous Rose Petal Jelly! The jelly is so delicately flavored, people think they are eating gourmet. You can eat it with peanut butter, but I prefer it on crackers, especially with a little brie cheese - just superb!
People use rose water in making frosting. It's been said that rose water can be drunk to help with diarrhea and the digestion of fatty foods. I've never tried it for that - but that's what they say.
Plus, of course roses are used in perfumes and aromatherapy. It helps ease stress, anxiety and emotional trauma. Like I said, roses are truly a feel-good flower!
Monday, June 16, 2008
Rosemary - just the smell is exhilarating! The flavor is wonderful. It's very strong, and recipes always call for just a pinch, because rosemary can overwhelm as a flavor. But I tend to like that taste. There is nothing better than fresh rosemary!
The smell of rosemary helps get rid of headaches. The smell is a natural "upper" - helps with getting you out of a little "funk". Rosemary is used in balms for aches and pains (pregnant women shouldn't use it). Even using a little water that has had rosemary steeped in it, helps with controlling dandruff. It's just an all round great herb!
Sunday, June 15, 2008
My tomato plants worry me. They are in an area that is really quite muddy. My husband (and wonderful father), had dug a trench, filled it with rock and PVC pipe, all the way through our yard to the back of the yard, which is a field. It's supposed to help draw the water out of the area. Too much, and we'll be drowning the tomatoes, like I did before! We placed the tomatoes in that area because of the direct sun. The tomato plants have some yellow leaves, but they haven't wilted, like I've seen before when they are ready to die. They do have some blossoms. Perhaps I should check out some tomato fertilizer. Yeah, that's what I'll do!
All you father's out there - have a happy Father's Day!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
While I weed the garden, The husband and son are going to re-paint the deck railings. Next week, they should be able to paint the deck. I love when things look new and fresh!
Speaking of jalapeños, I'll be putting some stuffed ones on the grill tonight for dinner! Instead of my usual dragon bites wrapped in bacon, I'll stuff these instead with my cheese/cream cheese/herb mixture and some cooked maple sausage. I can't wait to try that!
Friday, June 13, 2008
Did you know that the name "chive" is derived from the Latin cepa, which means onion.
You can constantly cut these grassy leaves and use them in recipes. They grow back nicely!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Did you know that in ancient Greece, that oregano was used as a remedy for narcotic poisons? The Romans believed it brought happiness at weddings, and was made into bridal wreaths. You learn something new everyday!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
A long slender banana-shaped pepper that is considered to be a sweet pepper, despite having a mild to moderate spicy heat. Ranging in color from green to yellow or red, this pepper has a glossy outer skin that is smooth and firm in texture. Also known as Italian frying pepper, this pepper is mildly hot and very similar to an Anaheim pepper. Cubanelle peppers are often used in casseroles, salads, pizzas, and as a pepper to be stuffed with a savory filling.
The plant tag said it's best stir fried with a little olive oil. I've made spaghetti sauce with these peppers and it just added a hint of heat. Wonderful!
Monday, June 9, 2008
I also bought a cubanelle pepper plant yesterday, but couldn't put it in, as we got some good-sized storms that rolled through out area!
Sunday, June 8, 2008
I found info on the Internet about Mucho Nacho jalapeños. It is a recent, jumbo-sized hybrid jalapeño with fruits longer, fatter, thicker and hotter than standard jalapeños. Its 4-inch length makes it at least an inch longer than other jalapeños. I believe these are the jalapeños that I've been buying from our local produce store, and I make the most wonderful dragon bites from these jalapeños!
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Today, my husband and I will be on the hunt at various stores to find "mint". Not peppermint. But mint. We have very good friends from India. They are always on the lookout for fresh mint. They make some kind of sauce or paste by grinding jalapeños and mint together. They said for some reason, they've never seen the fresh mint here that they had in India. So we'll see what we can find.
Friday, June 6, 2008
After I got home and planted them, I did a little research on what they were like. I guess they have 50% more lycopene, which is a good thing for fighting some cancers. Checking online, the taste got various reviews. Some said a robust taste, while others said "tangy". Not a juicy tomato, very meaty. Just what I want for making sauce! Though some say it has a "mealy" texture, I don't think that will matter in sauce.
Last year, I had made one batch of tomato sauce from a friend who had too many tomatoes. I cooked my sauce down very thick (like in the store), added fresh basil that my mother-in-law gave me from her garden, and a bit of garlic. That sauce turned out to be my kids favorite, and they are very picky! Hopefully I will do just as well this year with my own tomatoes!
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Okay, okay, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to grow shallots. You stick a bulb in the ground and let it grow. Supposedly easier to grow than regular onions. But the flavor of shallots are so wonderfully delicate. To buy them at the grocery store is expensive, as compared to regular onions. But I'm pretty proud of myself. Let's hope I don't kill these, like my first endeavor...
I find on the Internet that the best time to plant them is in the fall? You mulch them over the winter and you are supposed to harvest them the next fall? Well, we'll see how that goes. I planted in the spring, I'll harvest them in the fall, and probably try planting more at that time. You learn something new everyday!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
I learn quite a bit of information from our University Extensions - since I'm in Illinois, here is a link there: http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/veggies/tomato1.html - they have answers to just about everything!
My Mucho Nacho jalapenos already have flowers on them. I actually bought the Tomato and Blossom Set Spray from Burpee to see if I can yield more tomatoes and peppers, and applied it. Can't wait to see if it works.
I'm already dreaming of canning salsa and tomato sauce!
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
We had to go out and BUY my plants. We got German Queen, Better Bush, Sweet 100 and Health Kick tomatoes. We also got some shallots, basil, thyme, oregano, cilantro, jalapeno and Mucho Nacho jalapenos. We put them all in the ground and watered them. Oh, I forgot to mention that there were two tomato plants from my original drowned batch that I'm trying to save. We'll see what happens!
My husband was to cultivate a 6' x 20' area in my backyard for my new garden, on Mother's Day. What I got for Mother's Day instead was a new roof. Our old roof decided to leak big time, right over my staircase leading into the basement. Big time is actually putting it mildly. I had a nice river going down the stairs into my basement. Oh well.
Two weeks after that was my birthday. Then I got my garden! During this 2 week time frame of waiting for my garden, I had been taking my troughs outside during the day to toughen them up. That's when things went downhill for my lovely tomatoes and jalapenos. It seems that I didn't take out the plugs in the troughs when I placed them outside. Okay, I forgot. Since the plants got so dry outside so quickly, I gave them extra water. I couldn't understand why they wilted so fast - down to nothing. I found out pretty quickly that I DROWNED two months worth of time and effort, as well as money! WAHHHHH!