Saturday, May 17, 2014

Mom.....Guess What is Blooming Today !

I garden for many reasons but the # 1 reason is because it brings me close to family near and far and most of all to my wonderful parents, grandparents and relatives that have moved on to the next chapter in their lives.

I use to call Mom everyday when I was working out in the garden and tell her what was blooming, she loved it and would ask me many questions. Most of the flowers I grow are connected with someone or a story.

I have been really missing Mom so I am going to blog to her and everyone else when her favorite flowers are in bloom. I know she will be smiling and loving it as I pass on her wisdom and love of flowers.

So we just returned from a wonderful trip to Disney with Jake and Megan and our precious grand-babies. Callum and Thatcher were great and enjoyed visiting Mickey's house but I think they enjoyed the pool and splash area the most!!!!

But pulling into our driveway I was thrilled because the Iris were popping out. I remember helping Mom compose special bouquets of iris as she got them ready for competitions. She showed me how to arrange them in small vases, pick off the dead buds and leaves. Mom had such a good sense of what looked together and she always
won....well at least that is how I remember it! (These are the Bearded Iris)

Then in late July Mom and I would divide her iris that were crowded. We dug the rhizomes up, disregarded any soft ones , divided when needed but not before giving them a quick bath in a weak bleach water bath. I hated the slimy bores that were sometimes hidden inside.

Then we would replant. Mom told me never to crowd the iris, and that they really like their own space !! She would instruct me on how to plant them just under the surface and not to mulch because that would make them too deep.

My Mom, Virginia liked the old fashion iris... Not all the new varieties. She really loved the deep purple ones. So that is what I grow. I remember taking vases of iris up to Grandma Goldie and I continued the tradition of taking vases to mom when every I made the journey to Columbus.

So the tradition continues as I took some to my daughter Kalee on our way to Florida. The iris have such a sweet innocent smell. I love it.

















I know Mom is smiling ....this is how I will keep Mom's love in my heart, mind and soul forever.

Stay tuned for the next favorite to bloom!!!!!

Location:Becky's Garden

Friday, May 2, 2014

Cast Iron Love


With warmer weather forecasted, I was excited to grill out!!  I pulled a flank steak out of the refrigerator to defrost and rushed off to work. Returning home after a long day, I was confronted with several major obstacles. #1 I have not used flank steak very often and did not realize 90% of the recipes called for at least 8 hours of marinating.  #2  It was very windy and cold!!

So thanks to my trusty I pad I searched out recipes and found one that sounded interested and included two of my favorite things....my cast iron skillet and herbs.

So I gave it a shot, and it was delicious.  Here is the recipe, I adapted it a bit (as usual)

Roasted Flank Steak with Olive Oil-Herb Rub

I preheated the oven to 400, then went outside to pick my fresh herbs. I combined  1small bunch Greek oregano, 1 small bunch Italian Flat leaf parsley, and a couple sprigs of French thyme.  I chopped the parsley and oregano ending up with about 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs. I just laid the thyme sprigs on top. ( It is very tenuous to pull the little leaves off the stem, so I simply put the whole stems in and the leaves fall off naturally. Just make sure to pick out the stems after it has cooked.)

To the herbs, I added 2 teaspoons plus Olive Oil, fresh grated lemon rind, and 1 clove garlic minced.

Then I liberally salted and peppered the flank steak, which I had brought to room temperature and seared it on both sides in my cast iron skillet. I used a combination of saved bacon grease and coconut oil. ( I have been eating Paleo style...no preservatives, with great success....down 20lbs)

To  this I added a liberal 1/4 cup red wine and 1/4  cup beef broth and let this simmer for about 2 minutes. I then placed my herb combination on top of the seared flank steak and placed in the oven.
I baked it for 12 minutes and then let it rest with a foil cover for 10 minutes.

We sliced it very thin and diagonally across the grain and put the sliced beef back in the pan sauce.

This was delicious and very tender!!   I will defiantly make this again!!  So my cast iron skillet saved the day!





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