Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Book Review - Hot House Flower and the 9 Plants of Desire

I recently was given the opportunity to review a book thanks to Mr. Brown Thumb. I received a free copy of "Hot House Flower and the 9 Plants of Desire" written by Margot Berwin. I promptly read the book and then donated my copy to The Seagoville Public Library. The Library says "Thank You."

I was expecting to hate this book. It had the look of a bodice ripper to me. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised. While this is not the great American novel, it certainly was a lot of fun to read. The characters were awful - Either manipulative or easily manipulated. This was just fine as the plot would not have worked if they had been otherwise. Even little kids took advantage of the main character, Lila, when they saved her from a serpent only to steal from her.

The Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico is one of my very favorite places on earth. I felt like the author described it beautifully. As a plant person, I really enjoyed reading about Lila discovering her affinity for plants. When she was able to propagate a rare fern cutting in water, it took me back to my first sprig of ivy rooted in a little glass of water when I was just a child.

I would recommend this book as a fun light read.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Two Bowls of Basil

Two large bowls of basil made three batches of pesto. I processed the basil with garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Then I put the partial pesto in quart sized freezer bags and laid them flat in the freezer. It is partial pesto because it does not have the cheese in it yet. The flat bags fit perfectly in the freezer basket. When it is time to use the pesto, it will be defrosted and parmesian cheese will be added. This will be very yummy this winter when fresh basil is not available.
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Aunt Debbi's 2010 Fall Garden Plan

I love my fall garden. Here in north Texas, the fall garden is easier and a lot less crispy than the summer garden. There are also a fewer bugs. DIE MOSQUITOES DIE. Sorry, I got distracted.

All the newby gardeners contact me in the spring. I really wish they would start in the fall. They would probably be more successful and more likely to stick with it in the future. Of course, there is the problem of finding the plants and seeds at this time of year. It does seem like the larger companies are getting a little better about carrying the correct plants for the fall season. There are also some fantastic mail order and online sources.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was completely burned out (literally) on gardening. The cooler weather and a little more rain have made all the difference. Today I bought broccoli, cabbage, and collard plants along with 16 packets of seeds. I also purchased a few more tomatoes. I usually get a great big bonus crop of green tomatoes in the fall just before it freezes. Then I beg for recipes on the internet. This year, with any lucky, will be no different. These purchases along with the seeds I have saved and the seeds that my internet gardening friends have shared will help me create a pretty impressive fall garden.

Yesterday, I made the Monkeys, AKA Manimals, help me clean out the garden. There was a bunch of complaining, a little bit of wandering off and a fake heat stroke. Any bets on wether or they will be bellyaching when they are chowing down on sweet fresh broccoli? Well, if they eat too much, there might be an actual bellyache or some smelly fumes.

Here is the veggie roster
1. Tomtoes - yellow pear, Turk's mutt, Early Girl, Roma, Better Bush, and six Celebrity plants. If there is an early freeze, I will cry.
2. Broccoli
3. Collards
4. Cabbage
5. Swiss Chard
6. Redbor Kale
7. Six kinds of lettuce
8. Garlic
9. Onions
10. Cilantro
11. Scarlet Nantes Carrots
12. Spinach
13. Radishs
14. Beets
15. Snow and Sugar Snap Peas
16. One more round of cucumbers. Again, if we have an early freeze I will cry.
17. Nasturtium.
18. Fall potatoes if the seed potatoes put out sprouts. If not, I'll wait until spring.
19. Mustard
20. Leeks

If you live in north, east, or central Texas and want to start gardening, now is the time.