Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Flowers




Last week we were in Athens Georgia with my daughter and her husband.  We took  a walk through the atrium at the University of Georgia Botanical Gardens.


The Christmas flowers were in full bloom and they bring us joy, at a time when our gardens are asleep and we search for blooms.

Perhaps this will get us through, until the catalogs arrive for us to plan the Spring gardens.  



May joy, love, hope, and peace....like candles.... Light your Holidays- and every day of the New Year! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Salad burnet














Tonight I am attending our monthly Master Gardening Meeting and need to bring a snack. For inspiration I turn to the garden. As I walked through my December garden, I noticed how tasty the Salad burnet still looked and I immediately thought of one of my favorite recipes. (Salad burnet dip)



I love this herb for its appearance as well as its taste. The young tender leaves have a cucumber taste,without the burping problems! The crinkle cut leaves stay green well into the winter and pop back up early in the Spring. The plants form a mound of tenderness, especially when the young leaves are continually picked and used.



Salad burnet does best when it receives at least 6 hours of sunshine. The stalk blossoms, are best cut down, but can be used to make a wonderful Rosy colored herb vinegar. If left to bloom salad burnet may reseed,which is not such a bad thing. However, the plant on which the stalks are left on can become tough and lack flavor.









The Recipe I use for the dip is as follows:



1 Pkg Cream Cheese



4TBL Burnet Leaves, chopped or cut fine



2TBL Garlic Chives chopped



add to a bit of chopped lettuce



1teaspoon salt and pepper



Blend with 1/4 cup dry white wine (I often use sour cream, mayo, or Greek yogurt)



Let the flavors mix together by sitting in the refrigerator for a couple hours. From here I have stuffed this in to Cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, served on crackers or as a dip for veggies!!

Enjoy!!























Blooms in December



Look what are blooming in my garden today. I love Violas, also known as Johnny jump ups or Heart's ease. No matter what you call them, they steal my heart everytime. I love them!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Decorating

 The sun was shinning today so I attempted to finish up the last of my Christmas decorating.  The reason I wait for at least a decent December day, is that all the makings for my wreaths, swags, and garlands come from my gardens.

It requires a full day of cutting, wiring, and arranging, but the results are well worth the efforts.  I use different plant material  every year, depending on which plants have had the best growing season. There is nothing logical about my choices, except what strikes my fancy. 




Nandina, Evergreens, Holly, Magnolia, Boxwood and Plumes from grasses are  a few of the many candidates.  Results to be published  later this week!

Sunday, December 4, 2011




With the nights now consistently dipping down into the 30’s, I journeyed out to the potager garden hoping to find some lingering vegetables. I was in luck, enough bits of kale to harvest and make into a fresh kale salad. Plus a bonus, some small but tasty globes of Brussels sprouts. These young tender bits of deliciousness I will roast in the oven for a great snack! Also one tiny rose bud yearning to come inside and open up!
I think that is what I love the most about my potager garden, vegetables, fruit, flowers and herbs. It is one stop shopping.


Recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
I prepare the Brussels sprouts by cutting off the brown ends and remove any of outer leaves that are brown. I then spread them out on the roasting pan and sprinkle liberally with about 3 tablespoons of good olive oil. I season them with some sea salt and some freshly ground pepper. Sometimes, I will use an Italian herb mix or Bragg Organic Sprinkle.
I roast about 40 minutes. Often times I will shred some fresh Parmesan cheese on top of the sprouts.
 


Recipe for Kale Salad
I take the leafy part of the kale off the stem. From here I add a little bit of the dressing making sure in gets into the kale leaves. You may add any ingredients that you have on hand to this salad. Sunflower seeds, fresh peppers, celery, cherry tomatoes are some good suggestions.
For the dressing I mix together 1 lemon juiced, 2 teaspoons agave nectar, ¼ cup virgin olive oil and some fresh cracked pepper. I use a whisk to slowly stream in the olive oil till it is the consistency I enjoy!




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