Saturday, May 12, 2018

Mother's Day 2018

Once again, a special day is upon us and it brings back memories of the wonderful Mother that we once had--a Mother that always cared for us and always loved us.  We treasure that memory.  Always

Once upon a memory
Someone wiped away a tear
Held me close and loved me,
Thank you, Mother dear.

On this special day, we want to honor all the Mothers today and every day. 
They take care of their children, our grand children, a future generation. 
Thank you for all that you do.

Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

My May Vegetales

While I was busy blogging away at the A to Z April Challenge, the vegetables in my garden were busy blooming and growing.  April is gone and it is time for the May harvest.

I loved going out to the garden and eating the Oregon Sweet Peas in their pods but they matured faster than I could eat.  Consequently, I had to pick them, shell them, blanch them, cool them under running tap water, bag and label them, and put them into the freezer for use at a later time.

The green beans, the snap beans, the Haricot Verts or any other name for the most common, most liked, and most easy to grow vegetable matured shortly after the peas were harvested and the vines were pulled.  I picked the beans but they are still blooming and producing enough to pick for dinner.  I have better keep a watchful eye on the beans or they'll grow too large if I should blink.

The versatile, nutritious, and simple to prepare for cooking is the zucchini. I have two plants with tall and green growth and with large yellow flowers tucked into the foliage.  I was admiring the plants that were free from disease and rot when I caught sight of one giant zucchini which I carefully removed and brought into the kitchen.

I grated two heaping cups of zucchini for baking bread later but it will have to wait in the freezer for the baking time.

I proceeded to cut up the zucchini into bite size chunks to saute with minced onions and a few cloves of minced garlic.  I left the skin on and the seeds in.  I used both margarine and oil for sauteing the zucchini.  Simple and tasty.

It did not take long for these surprisingly sweet chunks to become slightly translucent for a side dish at lunch today and tomorrow.

It is a lot of work to participate in your own food production but it is most satisfactory to bring your own vegetables to your table.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Zen Moments

I wouldn't call it a New Year's resolution but more of a temporary habit:  I decided to take pictures of the morning sun from the Back Forty.  A blazing orange sky is a Zen moment.  A rainy day is a Zen moment.  A Zen Moment gives me pause, a time for reflection.

Everybody has their own personal definition of Zen and it's all right. What is right for me isn't necessary right for you.

The other morning, I went out to the yard to take a picture of the sun. When I turned around to go inside, I saw the moon setting. The sky was pink and rosy.  A beautiful Zen moment.

They were moments of stillness, of peace and harmony, moments of gratitude-- Zen moments for me. They were fleeting moments when I felt connected with nature and a higher power.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Yellow Mellow Corn Soup

In he heat of the summer, corn is plentiful and inexpensive.  We found it easier to buy fresh corn at a Farmer's Market than to grow the pale Silver Queen in he garden that takes up a lot of space and a lot of effort.  For the best color for this soup, use yellow corn.

Here is a Yellow Mellow Cool Corn Soup recipe for the summer and any other time for that matter:

3 ears of fresh corn, shucked
2 tbs (un)salted butter
1/2 cup minced yellow onion
1 tsp minced garlic (two cloves)
2 cups of broth, more or less
1/4  tsp Kosher salt or regular salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 tbs oil
1 tbs white vinegar

Directions:  Mix onions and garlic with butter in a pot and let it cook until they are somewhat soft.  Add the broth.  Add the corn.  It doesn't take long for the corn to cook.  Let it cool and when it is cool, puree in  a blender, a little at a time depending on how coarse you want it.

The soup may be served cool/cold garnished with a few leaves of sweet basil, bits of bacon, green or red peppers.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Thursday, April 26, 2018


According to a dictionary, Xanadu is a place of great beauty, luxury, and contentment.  From time to time, we all need a place like Xanadu to escape to and collect our thoughts, rest, and meditate.  Perhaps a place in the garden will suffice.  

In my Xanadu, the weather is warm;  the sun is shining; and tropical philodendron growing; and there is always a gentle breeze bringing rain from the ocean to my garden.

Enjoy the first part of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem Kubla Khan:

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles under of fertile ground
And there were gardens right with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

Thank you for visiting my Xanadu on Back Forty

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Support the Wildlife

You've heard it:  let's support the wildlife, let's throw a party!  Maybe you have even attended one or two.  But on a more serious note, there are a few simple things that we can do to support the wildlife in our own backyards.

To sign up for the Certified Wildlife Habitat sign by National Wildlife Federation, I agreed to provide water for the wildlife. 

We have two bird baths strategically placed on the Back Forty.  We also have a small pond.

It is also important to provide water for our winged pollinators by setting out a shallow bowl with rocks for them to land on.  Bees, for example, are not good swimmers.

I also agreed to provide food for the wildlife.  There are so many blooming plants bushes, and trees providing nectars.  In addition, there are seeds in the garden from vegetable plants that I let go to seeds.  There are small insets and even rodents available for birds of prey and snakes.

Another  provision is cover to hide under and to raise the young.  This may consist of a pile of branches and leaves.  A designated area in the yard may also suffice, an area that does not get mowed.

Some supporters of wildlife may even put up birdhouses.  I have found that the birds make better bird houses than I.

Finally, ban pesticide from your yard.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A Simple Vinaigrette

Is there such a thing as a simple vinaigrette?   It seems to me that I may add herbs and spices that I have available and like to jazz up the vinaigrette. The herbs may be fresh and finely chopped but dry herbs will also do well.

I am so happy that I finally am able to make a simple vinaigrette and dress it up to my liking.  I may have been intimidated by the name.  I am glad that I no longer have to buy dressings for my salads.

I use what I have avaible in my herb garden or spice rack.

My vinaigrette:

1 tsp mustard (Dijon, if I want to be fancy)
1 tsp finely minced (fresh) garlic or finely minced scallion or onion
3 tbs champagne vinegar ( if I feel extravagant) or rice vinegar or any available vinegar in the fridge
1/2 cup cup canola oil (my choice)
Kosher salt or Sea salt and pepper to taste
To add fire to the vinaigrette, I add about 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
You know how it is:  now I need a pretty bottle or jar to store my vinaigrette.

Thank you for visiting my blog.