Sunday, June 22, 2014

Oh My Yum!

I found these beautiful baby eggplants at the Asian market this morning. Inspired by this recipe on Real Simple, I cut two to three slices in each (but didn't cut through the stem so they stayed intact) and stuffed a lemon slice in each eggplant. Then I wandered out to the garden and picked a big handful of oregano. I mashed it up with garlic, salt and olive oil and then smeared that in the slits in the eggplant. I baked them off at 450F until they were soft. By the time I got around to eating them, they were room temp. And they were delicious! I can't wait until I can get eggplant from my garden to replicate this tasty treat!

Sunday, June 08, 2014

A Glorious Day for a Walk

It's a Hoot Auction Quilt

My sister is a first grade teacher and the school she teaches at needs a new playground. They put on a great fundraiser where they raised almost $10,000 for new playground equipment. She asked me if I'd be willing to make and donate a quilt for the cause. And who doesn't love a good cause!

My dear sister had given me the tumbler block AccuQuilt die for Christmas, and it seemed like a great time to try it out - I don't mind cutting fabric strips, but cutting shapes with a rotary cutter and mat always makes me dread the process of making a quilt! Worked like a charm! I used the entire line of Momo's "It's a Hoot" - all 37 fat quarters in this quilt.

(If you look really carefully, you'll see that the binding isn't quite finished in these pictures. I was under a time crunch and knew the quilt had to be finished by the next day. It had been raining for days, and more was in the forecast for the next day, so there was no way I was going to get an outside picture of the quilt. I brought it into work because the atrium is all windows and figured that even if it was cloudy, there would be enough light for a decent picture.)

As you can see from the little blue marker spots, the quilt was unfinished and  unwashed in these photos.

I love the way it turned out. And I hear it went to a good home!

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Proof of Life

Every spring I wait patiently for the hardy hibiscus to show signs of life. As spring creeps into summer, I become more and more convinced that they have succumbed to the previous winter's challenges and have died on me once and for all. And then one day (usually in June!), they start popping through! It's an exciting day!

I planted four new hardy hibiscus last year in front of the house (behind some rose bushes as you can see in my terrible photo). Three of the four have made an appearance. There's really no reason to believe the fourth won't appear, but I'm a little anxious as I bought these at Linder's and they're no longer around to guarantee their perennials. The fact that Linder's doesn't exist anymore still really bums me out!

I've got a few other plants that seem to be in their early glory. This geum was also a new addition last year.

It's kind of sweet. It's well covered in small orange flowers. It could definitely benefit from some companion plants, but I haven't decided what those should be. It's planted next to the Hope for Humanity rose bush, but that's not quite in bloom.

Hoku likes to pee on the irises, so I don't have many left in the yard, but this bunch seems to be thriving despite their horrible treatment by the beast!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

One Down!

I had four raised beds delivered last fall just before the snow started to fly. I managed to get them in place with many layers of cardboard/paper on the ground, and a thin layer of peat (it was all I had time for!).  And now it's spring and I still find myself short of time.

I got one bed planted this weekend with kohlrabi, lettuce, carrots, kale, chard, radish, etc. I really wanted to plant cabbage, but couldn't find any seed in my stash! If you could see my seed stash, you'd find that nearly as impossible as I do. I usually have 3 different seed packets of everything under the sun. Guess I'll have to make another trip to the garden center - like I need another excuse!

It might be the only bed I get planted this year.

I also managed to get a dozen other things planted up (see the milk cartons between the beds). There are some flowers in those jugs - mostly annuals - and a few others. Honestly, I can't remember what I planted - but I did remember to write it on the jugs in paint pen, so I should be OK! Moon flower, lemon grass, echinacea, rudbeckia ...

It's currently 37F, so I probably have a little more time than I thought to get things in the ground. Tomatoes, peppers, and beans would certainly not be happy with this weather!