Monday, March 22, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes

Yesterday was snowy and cold. This morning the sun is out, it is cool, but not to cold to work outside. The ground is saturated. We have had way more rain and snow than this clay soil can hold.

I have been working on getting my garden weeded and ready for the later spring plantings. I spent about ten hours on it last week. It looks a lot better, but the compost piles are overflowing. All that is left to weed out are two long areas where I have flowers and perennials. Love that feeling of accomplishment. I am not going to think about what is going on in the other flower beds. That can wait until the vegetable garden is ready. Or a miracle happens and they weed themselves. (I can always dream).

It was really too wet to weed today, but I did tackle one bed anyway. It is an herb/perennial vegetable bed and was pretty soggy. The weeds came up easy, but a lot of soil cane up with the roots. I did find four Mexican Mint Marigolds (aka Texas Tarragon) ready to divide and pot up. These will go in our KCMGA plant sale at our Spring Seminar in April.

Mexican Mint Marigold is a perennial shrubby herb with small, marigold-like flowers in the fall. This herb can be grown in partial shade. It has the smell and flavor of tarragon. I gave a bit of it to my neighbor and it made her cry because it triggered a scent memory of her grandmother. It is a great substitute for tarragon, which is difficult to grown in our Texas heat.

Happy Spring Y'all.

You know you are in Texas when you can experience four seasons in one week - stolen from FB.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Deck This Morning

Posted by Picasa

This was our deck just before dawn this morning. I brought in the tomatoes, but left everything else out. I was really worried about the lemon trees, but after everything thawed out, they seem to be fine. Hopefully, this was winter's last hurray.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Noon Day Onions

A couple of days ago I mentioned Noon Day onions. They are a local product, grown no more than 10 miles outside of the town of Noon Day, Texas. They are smallish onions with super sweet flavor. The claim is that they are sweeter than Walla Walla or Vidala onions. I was able to get Noon Day onions last summer. We bought them at Mrs. Sides Pea Farm. Recently, I bought some Vidalia onions at the Dallas Farmers Market. They were great, but those Noon Day onions were better. Saying that, the onions I bought last summer were fresher and local. That probably makes all the difference in the taste. So this is really not about promoting my local onions, but encouraging you to go out and find locally grown produce. If you find a great onion, bonus!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Plant Shuffle One More Time.

There have been many days of beautiful weather here in North Texas. I have spent a lot of time in the garden. The local garden centers are bursting with flowers and veggies. I couldn't resist and bought a lot of peppers and tomatoes. For some reason, I resisted the urge to put them in the ground on St. Patrick's Day. Boy am I glad I did. Today it is beautiful and warm, but tonight a cold front is going to move in and they are forecasting snow tomorrow night. It looks like the plant shuffle will happen one more time this year. I'm going to keep quiet about it until the last minute. I don't want to tip off the Monkeys and have them make a run for it. I need them to move these plants for me. Shhhh...OK?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Manly is Home

We are home and Manly is doing well. I have to say that the VA hospital staff did a fantastic job. They let me know every time they moved him from one step to the next and the surgeon explained the procedure to me without insulting my intelligence. This may be my first hospital experience where I actually want to write them a thank you note for awesome communication skills. We are very grateful that our country is taking care of our veterans - particularly the veteran I love and live with. Thank you all for your well wishes. Gotta go now, he is demanding my mom's soup.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Salad Interupted

I really really intended to post some salad construction instructions every single day. Then life got in the way again. Manly has been scheduled for knee surgery early Monday morning. The monkeys, all of the sudden, needed to go fishing and bike riding and geocaching and wanted to buy their girlfriends gifts (yes, there is now a girlfriend).

Anyway, I may not have posted the salad instructions, but I did build them and eat them. There was tuna salad, tabouli, pickled beats, awesome garden grown raw broccoli and a complete sauerkraut failure.

Tomorrow, I will try to provide some recipes.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Word Verification

I'm really sorry, but I had to do it. Word verification is up. The comment that broke the camel's back was a link to a cigarette website. I just have had enough.

Thanks Y'all.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Salads #s 5 &6

It is a beautiful day. We are going to have a really good meal this evening. The menu includes ribs, German potato salad, grilled asparagus and a cucumber/vadalia onion salad.

The cucumber salad could not be easier. Slice a cucumber thin and a Vadalia onion super thin. Poor a little white vinegar over the cucumber and onion. Add a pinch of salt and a couple of tablespoons of sugar. Mix it all up and refrigerate for an hour or so. Drizzle some good olive oil over it just before eatin it up.

German potato salad is a little bit harder but so worth it. Boil and cube 5 potatoes (or about one per person). I leave the skins on the potatoes, but do whatever floats your boat. Then brown a four slices pieces of bacon and resist the urge to eat them. Crumble them instead and lick your fingers if you have to. Chop up about half a cup of onion (Vidalia or Noon Day are the best)and saute those in the bacon grease. Let the bacon grease cool off a little and whisk in 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar and two tablespoons mustard. Chop up about a quarter cup of dill pickles. Stir everything together. Be gentle - you do not want German mashed potatoes, which are yucky.

If the salad appears to dry, simply mix up some more vinegar, sugar, and mustard and add it. You may also add a boiled egg, but I don't like the way the yolks taste in this dish. I suppose you could omit the yolk.

I will try to post a picture of the meal later on today.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Salad #4 + Toddlers

I know it is late and this will most likely be a very disjointed post, but I have a very good excuse - TODDLERS. A few of my sisters are still making babies. As a matter of fact, a sister-in-law should present us with another one in June.

Today, I got up, delivered my Monkeys to school and went to watch E-man and Jack-Jack - the progeny of sisters #2&3. These are most excellent little people, however, little people take a whole different kind of concentration and I am major out of practice. We had a good day and my Mamala spent much of the morning with us. However, at the time of this post, I am completely wiped out.

Let's get to the salad. I did not make the salad today. I did show up with a grapefruit, but my most beautiful mother brought the salad.

She put together mixed greens (get them in a bag at the store) broccoli slaw, dried cranberries and sun flower seeds. We had to dig for dressing, but sister#2 had some decent Italian. Very good salad - savory and sweet.

Just a note about broccoli slaw: This stuff is awesome. It is the inside of a broccoli stalk shredded with some cabbage and carrots. You can put it in all sorts of stuff.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Salad #3

I didn't feel motivated this morning, so I just ate a grapefruit by itself. Still, fruit for breakfast is the point isn't it?

Manly made his chicken fajitas for us today. He slices chicken breasts very very thin and marinates them in Fiesta Chicken Fajita Seasoning mix and a little water for a few hours. He grills them or, if the weather is bad like today, cooks them on his griddle. They are served with warm tortillas, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, shredded Monterey Jack & cheddar cheeses, caramelized Vidalia onion, jalapeno peppers and sour cream. To make it a salad, just put a bunch of lettuce on a plate and stack the other ingredients.

I'm so full I can barely breath right now.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Salad #2

Salad #2 was romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, carrots, a handful of nuts with balsamic vinaigrette (balsamic vinegar, brown mustard, chopped garlic greens and olive oil)

Since I am so full of salad, I don't want dinner so salad #3 will be tomorrow.

Salad #1

The first salad of Salad Week is green apple, red pear and blue berries. Great breakfast in the library.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I Declare 3/6/10 The Official First Day of Salad Week

It was a beautiful day here in North Texas. Manly took me to eat lunch at Mama Mia's in downtown Dallas. That's some good eatin. Then we hit the Farmers Market where I bought romaine lettuce, valley grapefruit, red pears, cucumbers, asparagus and Vidalia onions. I just couldn't bring myself to buy tomatoes this early in the season, they just don't taste right.

Since it has warmed up, I am declaring it salad season. I have endive, leaf lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, collards, Swiss chard and bunching onions in my garden. Fresh stuff from my plot along with fresh stuff from the farmers market should make for some yummy salads this week. Now, I just need to tell Manly so that whatever he decides to cook can be used in a salad. (his chicken fajitas are perfect in a salad).

So salad week will begin tomorrow here at Aunt Debbi's garden. I plan to build a salad for each meal and post the evidence. If you would like to play along leave me a link in the comments.

Is there any such thing as a breakfast salad?

Happy Salad Season Y'all.