Thursday, April 28, 2011

How does your garden grow?

Our spring garden is doing very well so far. I have taken extreme measures against the birds this year but despite all of that, I found two green tomatoes with what appeared to be a pecked hole in it. I have such a love/hate relationship with these winged creatures! That's why you will see rubber snakes draped over my prize crop of tomatoes!  
Here is our Patio Garden (if you click on the picture, it will open up larger)



here is our Pioneer Garden (if you click on the picture, it will open up larger)




Pioneer Garden - Green beans making good use of our homemade lattice






Behind the bunny you will see the beginnings of Purple Hull beans -
the purple beans magically turn green in hot water!


Our patio tomatoes and sugar cherry tomatoes are producing a nice crop!


The sugar cherry tomatoes produce fruit like a grape cluster and are just as sweet
 
Beautiful and fragrant basil


Cabbages are doing wonderfully. I had to pick some very fat and hungry worms off of them. No chemicals please.


the tomato cages do double duty as green bean poles


trying some carrots this year


Can't wait for these guys to get ripe! You can see my bird deterring rubber snake coiled amongst the fruit.


we will have a bumper crop of Louisiana satsumas this year. Here is a baby one.


first baby bellpepper


Patio tomatoes are producing! Snake to keep the birds away. You can also see a christmas ornament tucked in to fool the birds.

 
banana peppers producing



Already eating jalapenos


looking forward to a huge crop of squash this year


our first cucumber (still in pickle stage)

 

Warning: Don't ever make these delicious homemade buns!

I'm totally messing with you people! These are great! The only downside is that now your family will be "hamburger bun snobs" and you will never EVER again be allowed to purchase store bought buns. Seriously, when I announce that we are having hamburgers, my boys ask "is it the homemade ones or store bought ones?". Store bought = groan. Homemade = Cheer. I'm warning you! OK, you were warned. 

"Hamburger Bun Snob" Buns
Makes 12 buns

1 cup milk
1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sugar (I use Sugar in the Raw)
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 envelope active dry yeast

Combine the milk and water and heat in microwave safe dish for 60 seconds (or until warm).
Add everything to your bread maker (liquids first). Set your bread maker to dough.

When the maker finishes its dough cycle, punch down the dough and divide into 12 portions They should be a little larger than a golf ball. Make tight balls out of the dough by pulling the dough tightly around and pinching it at the bottom. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. After the rolls sit for a minute and relax, flatten each ball with the palm of your hand until it is 3 to 4 inches wide. You may want to oil your palm first. Set rolls aside and cover them until they double in size, about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400
Bake for 14 minutes in a 400 degree oven or until nicely browned on the top and bottom. When they cool a bit, cut in half with a bread knife. They freeze beautifully. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Easter Tablescape

I do love bunnies (just not real ones eating my garden). Here is my salute to them in my tablescape and Easter decorations.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Returning Crystallized Honey to its Original State

We purchase a delicious local, raw honey for medicinal use in our family. A teaspoon a day during allergy season works wonders! Sometimes, however, we get some crystallization at the bottom of the jar. Soaking it in warm/hot water never worked for me. An easy fix is to stick the jar (with a tight lid) in the dishwasher and let it run through a cycle. Works like magic!

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