Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Harvest Monday - Tomato Season

I'm late with this post because my laptop was at the Apple store having the operating system reinstalled.  I hope that solves the problems I was having with it.

It is tomato season and they are coming in numbers that require freezing or sauce making which I did both this past week.  I have been picking them on the light green side but they ripen fast on the counter.
 Market Miracle has been the most prolific and in varying sizes, too.

 Here's an Amish paste of some size.
 Goldie's have had the most problem with bad spots but they're still delicious.
 This is an unknown that looks like a roma.
 Jalapenos with more Market Miracle.
 First Cherokee purple.



 Zucchini still producing and I'm avoiding the baseball bats so far.  More assorted peppers.


 This is the basket harvested on Monday morning.
 Green beans for dinner tonight along with a handful of blueberries and a strange shaped cucumber.
 Finally a Cherokee purple sliced that went on my BLT.  Yum!
See other harvests at Daphne's Dandelions.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Favorite

I have a new favorite daylily.  Besides being such a lovely color it just keeps blooming and blooming.  I think its been going for this whole month and is just now winding down.  Betsy at Joyful Reflections helped me identify these as possibly being Eye Yi Yi when she posted a photo of hers.  Of course the tag that came with them is long buried in the mulch maybe to be found when I divide these in the fall to share with a friend.

Here's is one of the last few buds waiting to open.  It has been such a nice constant in the garden this July.


A real favorite that I look forward to enjoying next season.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Scalloped Tomatoes

One of our favorite tomato recipes comes from the Joy of Cooking.  It's so good at this time of year with all the fresh tomatoes.
 Cut up the tomatoes into chunks and grate pepper on top.  This was two tomatoes, a Goldie and an unknown since this was just for two of us eating.

 Dice an onion and saute until soft in a good pat of butter.  When done turn off heat and add a tablespoon of brown sugar.
 Add bread crumbs to that and stir it all up to moisten the crumbs.
 Sprinkle the onion crumb mixture on top of the tomatoes and bake for 30 min at 350º.
 It comes out bubbly and browned up and is delicious.
Here's the official recipe from Joy of Cooking for 6 servings:
3 cups diced tomatoes
3 T butter
1/4 cup onion chopped finely
1 T brown sugar
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
grating of nutmeg (optional)
1 3/4 cup bread crumbs

Joining Robin for Thursday Kitchen Cupboard.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What Was That Volunteer Squash Thing?

We had the volunteer squash thing last night for dinner.  It was awful - no flavor despite butter and pepper and butter and cinnamon, I tried it both ways.

Cutting it in half was a task that required muscle.  The skin was very firm and I had to pound it with the knife in the cut to go through it.

I scooped out the seeds and baked it open side down for an hour. Then turned it over and sprinkled one half with pepper and one half with cinnamon.  It looked like an acorn squash.  But taste-wise was so bland.  Neither of us finished our serving and it went into the compost bin.

Lesson learned?  Don't nourish any volunteer squash types no matter how prolific they grow!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Harvest Monday

With the heat the tomatoes had a lull in their ripening schedule.  Then with rain and cooler temps color started to show on Sunday and I picked some only to discard one to ants and another to rot.  These I did pick to bring in each have their troubles.  Something is burrowing in leaving a hole.  It may still be in there and I'll find out once I cut these open.  What kind of bug does this?



Other harvests this week: basil.  Picked on a rainy Saturday, chopped with olive oil and frozen in my new Seal a Meal.

Peppers were picked for hot pepper jelly: green, cubanelle, and jalapenos.

Zucchini has been on the menu every night but last night.  We ate it all and I also made a zucchini lasagna to freeze.

Other harvests: cucumbers on multiple days (one pictured above) and beans at least once.


See other harvests at Daphne's Dandelions.

And I almost forgot.  I also harvested this unknown.  Is it a squash?  I think there's a bug in its stem because particles are coming out that way.  I'll open it soon to discover what it is, I hope.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bedraggled!

We had rain last night - up to a half inch.  That's a good thing because it has been incredibly hot here and we needed the moisture.  Hopefully more will come today and this coming weekend.

With a heavy downpour like we had some of the plants have that bedraggled look.  Others have it because the heat has got to them.  Here's a quick walk through for a peek at how things look.

In the perennial garden the black-eyed susans have taken the heat and rain very well.  One of the few plants that have coped.  The lilies behind are on their way to being done and the heat has pushed that date up fast.
 The hibiscus in this bed are just starting to bloom but the rain spreads the plant out and the weight of wet blossoms drags the branches lower.
 The rain collects on the red bud leaf.  This is a volunteer that one day will have to be moved out of the perennial bed.  It came with a bleeding heart plant from my mom's garden.
 Shasta daisies are really looking bedraggled.  Heat has hastened the browning of their blooms.  They need a good trim with the hope that new blossoms will set.
 The hostas' blooms in the glen garden are really looking straggly but I hate to clip them since the humming birds still visit.  They'll be gone before long.
 The Joe Pye weed at the pond garden is spread out even further after last night's rain.  After the derecho several weeks ago it looked the same and I discovered that rather than springing back it just changed the direction of the branch tips and most of them have 45º angles to head toward the heavens.  I guess after last night there will be another course correction.  Buds are set and blooms are not far off.
 This big grass whose name I have trouble remembering (miscanthus?) will right itself as it dries out. 
 For now it has a spread because the scupper from the roof sent a Niagra Falls onto it in the storm last night.  That water gets collected in the pond/rain garden.
 The hibiscus in the front garden also has the spread.  This one is loaded with buds and blooms and the weight of those will keep it spreading.
 By the front door a bright spot.  These susans have done so well this year.  No sign of the black spot that infested them last year.  They continue to fill out and I let them.
 My task for this morning is to weed the front garden.  Trimming the lavender will have to wait until tomorrow if it is dry then so I can hang it to dry.  I may have waited too long but the fragrance is still there even if the flowers are past their prime.  The weeds and volunteers need to go!  I hope I can show an after shot that shows off this front bed much better.



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