Sunday, July 26, 2020

Kitchen and Karma...

Things are starting to ripen.  I've been harvesting raspberries, service berries, currents, garlic, and carrots.  It was pretty cool today, so I made some lemon poppyseed and lemon almond biscotti.  While the biscotti was baking, I made a big batch of raspberry jam.  The raspberries have been plentiful this year.

This is the best carrots I've ever had.  I sliced them.  Melted some butter added parsley, basil, salt, pepper, Parmesan Cheese , and  minced garlic then stirred in the carrots.  We grilled them.  I think next time I will bake them at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.   They were a little crunchy.  I don't think the grill was hot enough.  They tasted great.
 My bird house was suddenly spackeled with yellow.  I wasn't sure what it was, so I tapped the birdhouse.  Lo and behold a honeybee flew out.  I'm sure it got kicked out of the hives due to sloppy housekeeping.

 I've been getting lots of herbs from the garden.  I'm also starting to get lots of tomatoes.  Even though the greenhouse got a late start, things are looking good. 
 Now comes the karma part of the story.  A friend of mine recently got some bad news.  I put together a spa box for her.  It included: a salt soak, bubble bath, sugar scrub, honey/coconut shaving butter, soap, a lavender sachet, and a hair towel.  I made everything with lavender scent.  The towel I got through Amazon.  I had fun spray painting jar lids and using my homemade paper for labels.

Here is where the karma comes in, when I went to mail her spa  box.  I received one.  My friend from Denmark sent the coolest Danish gift box.  Isn't the artwork beautiful?  It had tons, note cards, Christmas ornaments, and two notebooks.
That is all the excitement for this week.  Do you send gift boxes?  What do you put in them?  What are you harvesting in your garden?  

Monday, July 20, 2020


I've had a busy week.  Nothing to write about.  I will just share some photos.

We had a nice morning of rain showers, thus the red sky.  Hope flowers are fabulous in your neck of the woods.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Slowly summer slips...

Summer is slowly slipping by.  The rose bed is in it's glory.  Ella accidently ran over what we think was a baby pine martin.  There was quite a ruckus. He seemed ok and went on his way.  At first we thought it was a baby ermine, but the next day we say a pine martin in front of the cabin.  A closer look at baby pine martin photos on the internet, shows that is probably what he was.  You never know what will happen around here.  The roses are really doing well. We've been getting about an inch or rain a week and somehow lucky enough to miss the hail that has pelted the hills.  The saying, "the hum of bees is the voice of the garden" has been very true.  The catmint in my front beds are in full bloom and loaded with every type of bee you could imagine.  The same goes for my lambs ear.  Meanwhile, the bumble bees are in love with my delphiniums.  

Morden Sunrise above and below is Hansa below. 

Below is the ever dependable Champlain Rose.
My last iris bloomed about the time the first of the pink roses started blooming.

I love how the windmill looks in the rain.  Below is the strangest mushroom I've ever seen.  I was out picking wild strawberries when a thunderstorm blew in out of nowhere.  I was racing through the woods to the cabin before the rain hit, but had to stop when I saw this beautiful sight.  It was so perfect.  Despite the short photo shoot, I did make it home before the storm hit. 

I found quite a few of these little beauties.  Not enough for jam, which is too bad as it makes the most amazing vibrant jam you have ever tasted.  I've only found one batch big enough about 15 years ago.  My dog, Ezra, found them.  I picked a hatful.  The taste was forever summer.  What taste to you equate with summer?  Corn on the cob? Jam? Lemonade?  Hope you have found time to hold on to the summer days and enjoy them while they last.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

The Tomato Taj Mahal...

Here is my new Tomato Taj Mahal.  I love it.  This weekend I finished the patio and most of the retaining wall on the right.  This one is much taller and the bench is along the side instead of at the back.  The bench will be great next year because I grow most of my peppers in wash tubs.  I think I will even have room to grow some tomatoes in tubs.  Here in the hills it is almost impossible to grow tomatoes and peppers without a greenhouse.  The season is too short and it never gets super hot.  Below is the bench with my tubs and little garden potting bench kit.  I was pretty worried about transplanting my tomatoes from the tubs to the ground of the greenhouse.  Turns out they did great and didn't miss a beat.  

My chamomile has been blooming like crazy.  It is contained in a water tank.  If you aren't careful it will take over the garden.  I use the flowers for tea, an amazing hair detangler, and facial toner.  Because it is so plentiful I am going to try making a wine with it.  It will be an interesting endeavor.  Who would have thought dandelions would make a good wine?  It never hurts to try.  The rest of my outdoor vegetable beds are making progress.  My first round of sweet corn is knee high by the Fourth of July.  The green beans are also doing fabulous.   

My roses are doing great.  One of my favorite quotes is by Richard Sheridan, "Won't you come into my garden?  I want my roses to see you."

                                                For the first time ever my poppies are plentiful.

The butterfly bed is beautiful.  It has been too dry to use the fire pit.  With the tomatoes in transplanted in the greenhouse, the tub was open for a different use.  Leftover flowers are on sale and it was easy to find some to make a mobile hummingbird heaven. 

If you have a smoker this is the perfect summer recipe:  Smoked S'mores Ice Cream
2 cups of milk
2 cups of cream
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 Tablespoon of vanilla
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Mix well in an oven proof bowl.  Put the bowl in the smoker.  Spread 1 jar of marshmallow cream on an aluminum pan place it in the smoker.  Place 1/2 bag of chocolate chips in an oven proof pan and in the smoker.  While everything is smoking, crush one sleeve of graham crackers.  Smoke the ice cream mix, marshmallow cream, and chocolate at 150 degrees.  After an hour remove the ice cream mix and put it in the ice cream maker.  Let it do its thing.  Leave the chocolate and marshmallow cream in the smoker at 150 degrees until the ice cream is done.  Swirl in the chocolate, marshmallow cream, and graham crackers.  Freeze over night.  Then enjoy.

Do you make homemade ice cream?  Are the fireflies out where you are?  I've been watching them every night.  I hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July.