Friday, June 30, 2006

Borage diary


2001: My borage always self-sows, so I was watching for it this spring (which BTW was cold and WET) but I thought, when it didn't appear, that it was not coming back. However, it did start to sprout seedlings in mid-July, which was droughty and hot, and is doing nicely once more in a terrible droughty and record-setting hot August.
September 2001: it is doing beautifully.

Disappeared 2002.
Planted 2003.

May 30, 2006: My borage volunteers started blooming yesterday, tasted one last night.
I am an obsessive weeder. I think the years that I lose my borage are the same as the years when I get around to all my weeding early.

I've dedicated two spots to borage - one in the back of the herb garden where it can go nuts - an eastern exposure. And the second in and around the cold frame, near the back door, to pick for topping salads, when I pick lettuce.

Borage is for cheerfulness and courage. Here's something interesting I've read, that i'm going to try: the leaves contain the same chemical as the saltpeter that is added to incense to help it burn. You can burn the dried leaves and they will throw off sparks. Mother Nature's Fireworks? Sounds like fun!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

a few more lavender photos

The weather is not cooperating with me. When I have to be somewhere other than my yard, the skys are blue and sunny. but when I'm home for yardwork, we get another rainy patch.
Here are a few more lavender photos, a 'Provence' and my 'Jean Davis.' In case you don't know, you can click on the photo and get a better size for your viewing. At least on my 'puter I do.
I already harvested the nicest stems from these plants, and as you can see, the 'Provence' has passed picking stage. Lavender should be picked before the flowers open... I wait to see a few lower flowers open, and get picking then.
All that is left on the 'Jean Davis' are the smaller flower heads, so I'll just leave both of these plants alone, to be "landscape" features, with an occasional raid for culinary purposes or little bouquets.



Wednesday, June 28, 2006

garden humor, Irises and cottonwoods


The photo was taken on our short vacation trek to Traverse City, we caught the Iris Farm on a good day. Serendipity. It was lovely, I ordered irises to be dug and sent at the proper time, and there were artists working everywhere.

Anyway, here's the garden humor...

Albuquerque had a fascinating ordinance passed recently that followed along the same lines of one passed in Tucson a number of years ago. They have banned the planting and sale of five plant genera because of their pollen: Cupressis; Ulmus; Morus; Populus; and Juniperus. The last two seem most amazing, what with the quaking aspen groves in the mountains, the cottonwoods in the desert watering holes, and the millions of Juniperus monosperma in the desert surrounding Albuquerque.
On the horticultural tour, noticing several elm seedlings near a commercial planting, a Kansas agent quipped, "Look out - organized crime."

Ba da bum.

Actually, to me, Cottonwood trees are noxious weeds. If I was Queen of the World, there would be a law against them.
Early June is the time for inviting folks to your yard for tag sales, graduation parties, outdoor weddings... or even to enjoy the height of your yard's floral display, but my yard looks like it's been sitting right under a dryer vent.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Skunk recipe


Luckily, I haven't had to deal with skunk spray, but it's good to have the recipe for a remedy at hand:

Skunk odor neutralizer
(From Jenny Burrows)

1 quart 3% H2O2
1/2 cup baking soda
2 T. liquid soap

Spray, let sit 15 min., rinse.

The photo is from this link:
http://chrisinorl.home.att.net/home.html

Monday, June 26, 2006

In the Garden of My Life


Copied from a garden bulletin board about 5 years ago. If you know more about the source, let me know:

In the Garden of My Life
by Jeanne P. Maack


I ponder my existence in the garden of my life. I reflect upon the purpose for which I came to be. I commune with my Creator as I experience the wonders of His creation. The birds overhead surround me with their simple symphony. The bees buzz to and fro adding their voices to the birds' sweet melodies and suddenly there is a harmony of voices surpassed only by the choir of angels in the heavens above.

The flowers fill my garden with their colorful splendor and sweet fragrances. Even the rich black soil serves its purpose by providing a neutral background to all these gorgeous colors and shapes. The butterflies flit from flower to flower; their wings so colorful that the flowers seem jealous and at times pale in comparison.

The herbs add variety to a dull menu and the many varieties are so different just as humans are. No two flowers, no two plants, are exactly identical, similar but different as we are. I love to watch the wind rustle through my plants. They seem to dance to their own tune. The swing back and forth and sometimes even bow in honor of their Creator.

A popular little saying in the sixties told us to "take time to smell the roses"... a simple reminder to enjoy life; enjoy the beauty of nature around us. Another sixties slogan told us "bloom where you are planted"... reminding us to use what has been given to us and do our very best in the gardens of our lives. There is a harmony in nature that shows us how to live in peace and enjoy the simpler things in life.

My garden is a kaleidoscope of colors and textures, shapes and forms. Even the green stems and leaves are a multitude of hues and shades adding to its richness. If I had my way, I would sit for hours and hours just drinking in its beauty but alas, I only have a limited amount of free time to contemplate and meditate upon its rich diversity. It has been said that "one who plants is close to the heart of God".

We reap what we sow. If we sow love, we reap love. If we sow the seeds of neglect and apathy, we are alone and bitter. I am in awe that we simply take a dead seed and with proper nurturing give it new life which returns to us one hundred-fold. We cannot forget the sunshine in our garden which warms our earth and helps bring the seeds to life and helps them develop as they were meant to. We, too, need the "sunshine" of our family and friends to enrich our lives.

Take two minutes each day and go into your garden. Put all your troubles on hold. Use one minute to thank God for allowing us to experience the garden of our lives. Use the other minute to simply take it all in.


Friday, June 23, 2006

Lavender and roses



Everything is blooming its heart out this year. I wanted to try to photograph the subtle pastel pink of the 'Jean Davis' lavender, but can't seem to get it to show up in the picture. So I brought some indoors and put a sprig on top of a bundle of L. angustifolia. At least you can see the contrast.

And the roses are so loveable. I grow a dozen or so old garden roses, having had my fill long ago of the high maintenance ladies.


My rose list:
Rosa eglanteria (the eglantine rose)
r. rubra (or is it r. glauca?)
'The Fairy'
R. rugosa alba
R. rugosa rubra
R. canina (the dog rose)
'Konigen von Danemark'
'Madam Hardy'
'La Reine Victoria'
'Reine des Violettes'
'Mme Isaac Perriere'
R. gallica versicolor 'Rosa Mundi'
'Salet' (moss rose)
'Tuscany' (a gallica)

I like to bring favorites indoors to put on my bedside table and at the kitchen sink in small vases. Don't mind the dust... I've been in the garden!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Recipe: Purple Lavender Punch


Breathe deeply. Put on a hat. Time to harvest the lavender.
This was a pretty good winter, not too wet. I grow lavender with varying degrees of success. The plants in my front yard do better than the plants in my herb garden, a testament to the "right plant in the right place" philosophy. In short form: the front yard is sunnier, and the plants are hybrids. The herb garden has it's own advantages for other herbs, but I have to admit, there is less sun there. And the plants were grown from seed: to save money I played the "vera" roulette. Angustifolias are the tastiest and sweetest smelling of the Lavandulas, in my opinion, but the hybrids in the front yard look impressive with their long stems and fat buds.
(The photo is from the state of Washington.)

Here is an unusual punch recipe. Most of the time, lavender punches rely on lemonade as a base. Of course, decorate pitcher with a little beribboned bundle of lavender sprigs.

LAVENDER PUNCH

1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp whole cloves
3 T fresh lavender flowers (OR 1 T dried lavender)
1 (6 oz.) can frozen limeade concentrate
2 cups Concord purple grape juice

1 lime, sliced
1 liter bottle club soda, seven-up, or ginger ale, chilled

In covered 1 quart saucepan, heat water, cinnamon, and cloves to boiling.
Simmer over low heat 5 minutes; remove from heat.
Add lavender flowers. Cover and let stand 10 minutes to steep.
Strain the brew into a bowl and discard the particles.
Stir frozen limeade concentrate into the brew until melted and add
grape juice. Cover and refrigerate.
Just before serving, pour into large pitcher.
Add lime slices and ice.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

blessed to be boring

Being Boring
by Wendy Cope

"May you live in interesting times."
-ancient Chinese curse

If you ask me "What's new?", I have nothing to say
Except that the garden is growing.
I had a slight cold but it's better today.
I'm content with the way things are going.
Yes, he is the same as he usually is,
Still eating and sleeping and snoring.
I get on with my work. He gets on with his.
I know this is all very boring.

There was drama enough in my turbulent past:
Tears and passion—I've used up a tankful.
No news is good news, and long may it last,
If nothing much happens, I'm thankful.
A happier cabbage you never did see,
My vegetable spirits are soaring.
If you're after excitement, steer well clear of me.
I want to go on being boring.

I don't go to parties. Well, what are they for,
If you don't need to find a new lover?
You drink and you listen and drink a bit more
And you take the next day to recover.
Someone to stay home with was all my desire
And, now that I've found a safe mooring,
I've just one ambition in life: I aspire
To go on and on being boring.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Tina James does her thing


I don't claim to take good photos, but the 'Tina James' primrose is worth sharing...
It's an Oenothera, and the interesting part is that several blossoms will suddenly but predictably open every evening beginning in midsummer. June 17th began the show this year, although some volunteer seedlings I have transplanted to another location in the yard have been doing their thing for a few days already.








The third picture is of the blossoms after the show, you can see the light conditions have changed from twilight to dusk. She'll bloom all night for the night flying insect pollinators, and into the next day, but by the time noon rolls around the blossoms are drooping.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Hummingbirds

Here are some odds and ends of information about hummingbirds that I collected over the years from various bulletin boards and mailing lists...
(March 2002 From Liz on the Front Porch @ Yahoo)
Put a banana peel out to attract flies and other insect near feeders. Hummers need protein as well as nectar. Especially when they have young to feed. The rotting banana peel gives them a wonderful source of insects. I don't put all the peel out at one time. I cut it up into pieces which we keep in the freezer till a new one is needed.
Sounds gross but works.
Also do not take down any spider webs next to your feeders. The mommy hummers get tiny gnats for their young from the webs.

So far as attracting migrating hummers, use wide red ribbon on branches of trees near feeders. You can also put the ribbons on poles around the feeders. The fluttering of the ribbons helps attract them. Did not believe this till we tried it, wow, we got hummers. Had moved into this house and felt the hummers would not know where the feeders were. We put red ribbon streamers about 2 feet long from the branches of the pine tree. They found that one first. Also tied it to clothes line where one feeder was hanging, also the satellite dish. The next year we put out more feeders with the ribbon near the new feeder. The old hummers came to the unmarked feeders and new hummers came to the new feeders with ribbon. We have as many as 10-12 feeders on the half acre of land.

Some people use "surveyor's tape" available in hardware stores. Supposedly the hummers like ultraviolet light, which the tape reflects.

Check migration charts on hummingbirds. This can be done on:
www.hummingbird.net
This site also has interesting information on hummingbird moths.

My recommendation is not to buy nectar either in dry or wet form. It is so simple to make your own. There is no need to make the nectar red to attract hummers. DO NOT USE FOOD COLORING IN NECTAR!!! Also do not make the home made nectar strong than 1 part sugar to 4 parts water - it is not healthy for the hummers.

Another hint is not to put much nectar in each feeder. This will not waste as much and there will be less cleaning with the liquid not going as high into the feeder. We generally do not go through more than about 2 oz. per changing.

My personal favorite hummer feeder is No. 203-CP of Perky Pet: it is 8 oz. glass feeder with bee guards and perches. We also use the little plastic tube feeders that have no perch and one feeder. We use about 8 of these during the summer. They are easier to clean the the perky glass feeders. We use a nylon scrubber with handle that has a scouring pad on the end to clean the little tubes. Some people use them to clean glasses or glass coffee pots.

Under no circumstance is detergent or soap to be used. If there is a great deal of mold use a weak solution of bleach, let sit over night, but rinse thoroughly.

Remember to clean feeders twice a week no matter of cool temperatures. Sometimes as often as ever other day in very hot weather. When the nectar begins looking weird, a thin film inside feeder, clean feeder.
Have never seen a drunk hummer so don't know if it ferments till the alcohol level goes up or just till it spoils.

The hummers like feeding in cool areas during the summer. They prefer shade because they can spot other hummers and can give chase quickly. Looking into the sun does not aid them in watching for intruding hummers. Also nectar gets much too warm during the summer. Having the feeder in the shade, there will not be the expansion and contraction which causes the nectar to leak.

To ward off ants that will invade the feeders use ant traps with bakers non stick spray on inside of trap. Or put water in ant trap. The water can be drunk by other birds so the spray is more preferred. When it rains the spray causes a film on the top of the water. The ant trap needs to be kept clean of dead bugs and debris.

Always put the feeders out at least two weeks before they arrive. Many of them travel through and are not seen feeding while going further north. They eat and run.

You can tell the fledgelings from the mature birds. The young ones do not know how to perch. Usually be the end of summer they are beginning to learn.

Hummers also like to eat from the Oriole feeders. They do not weigh enough to make the bracket go down, but they still can get they tongue in there to sip.

Here is a list of some of the flowers that will help provide hummers with natural nectar.

Annuals:
Beard Tongue (and other penstemons)
Fire Spike
Fuchsia
Impatiens
Jacobiana
Jewelweed
Petunia
Red Salvia
Scarlet Sage
Shrimp Plant

Perennials:
Bee Balm (Monarda)
Canna
Cardinal Flower
Columbine
Four-O-Clocks
Hosta
Little Cigar
Lupine
Penstemon
Yucca
(Betsy's Note: Hummingbirds always show up here when the coral bells first bloom, also crabapple trees.)

Trees or Shrubs:
Azalea
Flowering Quince
Lantana
Manzanita
Mimosa
Red Buckeye (these are large trees, and feed dozens of birds at once in
the early spring.)
Turk's Cap
Weigela

Vines:
Coral Honeysuckle
Cypress Vine
Morning Glory
Trumpet Creeper

Remember that hummers can not smell so they are drawn by the flower color.
Also wild flowers not hybrids produce the most nectar.

Here is the site for the hummers: wwww.hummers.net
Over on the right hand side of the home page is the migration map site. Click on it and this year's site will come up. You can also pick another year to compare when they arrived previous years.

Last year they were a week earlier. I put my feeders out a couple weeks before they are supposed to arrive here because some are going north who need to feed. Once in a while they will get them north of here before we get ours that stay all summer. So we get the visitors who just "eat and run". This is also why during the first couple of weeks when your hummers come back there seem to be so many of them. There are travelers who will stay just long enough to gather so fat to go further north. The males ALWAYS come north first. They have to find food sources before the females arrive.
Then all summer long it is a constant battle of those possessive males to keep the females away from the feeders. This year we are putting some of the feeders down by the front window below where the male can spot the female. She goes below the front window inbetween the shrubs and window and flies slowly over to the feeder. When she sees him off chasing another male she pops up and drinks. This year there are going
to be so many feeders all over that he is going to be doing nothing but chasing. Ha! If I put the feeders at least twenty feet apart and about eight of them he is not going to be able to protect them all. He sits on this one bare branch. He thinks he can see both feeders on the front side of the house. On the backside of the tree where he can't watch we have another small feeder. Behind the pine tree is another. Across the street at the mail box is another. The yucca plant by the blossom stem
is one. At the telephone poll another. Oh we have his goose cooked.
There is only one dominate male in the front. There are at least five in the back yard. There are always more females than males around. Since they like having a harem. Nothing like having your fun and driving the female off to raise the young. Nasty self absorbed males.

- I usually don't see many hummers at the same feeder at one time. They are constantly battling. It is a male domination thing. There is one male per feeder usually. I try to put them far enough apart that the male does not want to travel too far between feeders. That way he will only protect the one. After the females arrive they gang up on the male. They take turns in having the male chase them while the other feeds. The young ones learn this also. In one day there can be as many
as 24 hummers from about a 3 acre space. One female came from the backyard across the highway. Kept wondering when she was going to get hit by a semi. She always flies low to avoid the male spotting her.
The old male out front must be loosing his hearing. Not only do they watch by sight for other hummers they listen. He does not seem to be able to hear them sneaking to his feeders.

(September 2002, Liz)

Where does the time go? Have finally figured out the little tiny hummers left around here are the females and the last fledglings. The heavy males who have been at the feeders and have their traveling weight have taken off already for the south. Those little stinkers. They arrive down south earlier than the rest to take over the feeders down there. Of course I've been told they don't fight down south because there is no breeding going on, they get along just fine. Here's what it says on the hummer site:
"The southward migration is much more diffuse and extended than the northward, with some adult male Ruby-throats heading south as early as July 1, while the juveniles may not leave until November (depending on latitude)."
Thank heavens mine did not leave as early as July 1. I would have missed them like crazy. I get the hummingbird blues when they all fly south.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

another reason to grow your own lettuce

I'm really gung-ho about growing our own lettuce in the cold frame. But, we still haven't fine-tuned the technique for getting a steady supply. Sometimes a seed failure or inattention of one kind or another causes a gap in the production. But we do like a salad with dinner.
I really like the convenience of bagged salad greens to fill in the gaps, but here is a frightening bit of information: after ground beef, most e-coli infections are caused by tainted bagged lettuce.

Over the last five years or so, food safety experts have noticed a real increase in the number of outbreaks that were traced back to fresh produce. Outbreaks of E. coli 0H157 are always a serious public health issue. E.coli can debilitate, it can kill.

The Food and Drug administration says there have been at least 19 food borne illness outbreaks linked to leafy greens, including raw spinach, since 1995 — 425 people have become seriously ill, and two have died.

E.coli comes from animal or, sometimes, human feces and is usually associated with undercooked ground beef. E.coli in beef is usually killed by thorough cooking, but if fresh lettuce is contaminated by E. coli, the person eating it is likely to get very sick.

Finding how E.coli is contaminating lettuce is a lot like trying to find a needle in a haystack. There are millions of acres of lettuce, and thousands of workers, processors and shippers involved in bringing salads to American tables.

Because unlike ground beef or unlike some other products, there is no heating step, so there are opportunities for contamination all the way from before the product is even planted, right up unto the consumer’s table. It could be something as simple as a deer walking through the field that contaminated a few heads or it could be from a flooding. Or it could have been an ill food worker.

How to protect yourself from E. coli in purchased lettuce

— Be sure you wash your hands before handling lettuce or any raw produce...especially if you have been in contact with any raw meat.
— Even though most of these bag salads are pre-washed and labeled “Ready to eat,” experts say it doesn’t hurt to wash it again.
— Keep that salad refrigerated.
— Check the expiration date before you eat it. Even if the lettuce looks good, you should know E.coli can grow quickly in greens that are deteriorating.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12536902

Thursday, June 08, 2006

June is a Vision

"What is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days."

-- The Vision of Sir Launfal, by James Russell Lowell

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A Short History of Medicine


2000 BC - Here, eat this root.
1000 AD - That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer.
1850 AD - That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion.
1940 AD - That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.
1985 AD - That pill is ineffective. Here, take this antibiotic.
2000 AD - That antibiotic doesn't work anymore. Here, eat this root!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Hardy herb containers part 2


Took pics of these two pots this afternoon, a bit overcast and the definition is better with my little OLD camera. the first is set on the decaying stump that once was a Norway maple in what is now the center of my four-square herb garden. I planted a small mail-order French tarragon from Bluestone's Nursery in with the rosemary, santolina and tricolor sage. It'll all fill in by July, I'm betting.

The third pot, below, is filled with (a better) rosemary that I've already cut back for stuffing in a grilled chicken (I think the difference between the two rosemaries is the watering I gave them), parsley, the dandelion, and lemon and English thyme.

hardy herb combination pots


I wrote in April about overwintering some pots in my attached, unheated, garage last winter. They look pretty good! So, I thought today I'd list what was in these pots that survived.

A note about conditions: the pots are about 14+ " across, and they are lightweight plastic and/or whatever that stuff is that's popular in the fake pots they're selling these days.
The garage temperature depends on what it's doing outdoors - the two older cats sleep out there except during the very worst weather. If their water starts freezing over, they stay indoors. The cat water froze several nights and even froze solidly a few nights, so I know the temps went pretty low in an on and off pattern.
I watered sparingly about once a month. I heard a good idea that I'll use next year, ice cubes.
There is a shop light on the ceiling we have on many days, but the main light is a low northeastern sunlight from a small window.

So here is what survived (or not):

SURVIVED
thyme
lemon thyme
rosemary
parsley (I know, a biennial, but before it bolts, the second year, it's still good)
a volunteer dandelion
tricolor sage
purple leafed sage
bronze fennel
green santolina

NOT
of course the tender stuff: basils, pansies, ornamental peppers, stevia.

The herbs look good and they are ahead of plants that were in the ground, but I'm not sure of how dependable it is to try to overwinter potted herbs for more than a few seasons. They will need repotting as the soil breaks down and loses its quality, I'm sure, just like houseplants.

Along the same lines, I've successfully overwintered other plants in the garage this way that were borderline hardy - a zone 6 rose (the poor dear, finally died from neglect, I think it needed repotting), a Japanese tree peony that is now planted in the ground, a boxwood, doing well, and several clematis that were waiting for the right spot, and some alpine strawberries in a glazed strawberry pot, which has cracked.
Cannas however, turned to mush, and clay pots need to be kept bone dry if frozen, otherwise, I've found, they unfortunately weaken and "shale."
The photo shows one with purple sage, thyme, lemon thyme and bronze fennel. I didn't "groom" it for the shot - the fuzzy white stuff isn't some strange fungus, it's cottonwood fluff from my neighbor's tree.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Michigan vineyard salad


Soon Herb and I will be walking around everyone's favorite summer memory - making place, Mackinaw Island, for the 'Lilac Run'. Hope the weather is good!
After a few days there, it's on to the Mission Peninsula - where we'll be visiting the tasting rooms and 'soaking in the scenery' for a few days. We'll be staying at a B&B for the first time, so I'll report back on that when we get home. Herb doesn't mind camping, but he is reacting oddly to the idea of sharing a bathroom in a B&B. Go figure.
The photo is looking out to Bowers Harbor from Bowers Harbor Vineyard's tasting room early last September.

I clipped this recipe from one of the websites I visited while learning more about Michigan wineries.

MICHIGAN VINEYARDS SALAD- Sandhill Crane Vineyards

Salads are traditionally difficult to pair with wines because of the acidity of the vinaigrette. By substituting some of the vinegar with reduced wine, you are able to soften the acidity and create a special vinaigrette that teams well with the same wine.

Mixed greens
Dried cherries
Sliced pears
Blue cheese, crumbled
Pecans, toasted
Blushing Crane vinaigrette:
½ cup Blushing Crane wine
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup olive oil

Reduce wine over medium heat to one-half volume. Whisk together mustard, reduced wine, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Dribble oil into the bowl in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly, until dressing is creamy and thickened and all the oil has been incorporated. Yield: about 1 ¼ cups

Toss together ingredients and serve immediately.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

June bees


A swarm of bees in May
Is worth a load of hay;
A swarm of bees in June
Is worth a silver spoon;
A swarm of bees in July
Is not worth a fly.
- Rhyme from England

Saturday, June 03, 2006

salad days



Springtime Herb and Flower Salad (Scottish, Medieval)
Yield: 6 Servings

(British Measurements)
2 bn Watercress
1 pk Mustard greens & cress
2 oz Fresh parsley sprigs
1 Leek; finely sliced
6 Spring onions; chopped
1 oz Sorrel leaves; chopped
1 oz Dandelion leaves; chopped
1 Fennel bulb; sliced into matchsticks
1 oz Daisy leaves; chopped
Red sage leaves
Mint leaves
1 Fresh rosemary sprig; chopped
1 cl Garlic
1 tb Wine vinegar

Salt & pepper to taste

6 tb Olive oil

Violets, primrose, daisies, blue
borage flowers, dandelions & alexander
buds to decorate

Wash and dry all the salad greens and prepare it.

Mix together in a large bowl, which has been rubbed
well with a garlic clove, reserving the flowers.

Place the wine vinegar, seasonings and olive oil
into a screw-topped jar and shake well to blend.

Pour over the salad just before serving and mix
again carefully.

Decorate with the flowers as you wish and serve
immediately.

Makes about 6 servings.

Historical note:
This is the earliest salad recipe in English.
Mixed herb and flower salads proved so popular
that they continued in fashion through to the
17th century. The salad would change according
to the season and what grew in each cook's herb
garden, so adapt and experiment with the basic
recipe as you wish, as long as the result is
colourful.

** A Book of Historical Recipes **
by Sara Paston-Williams
The National Trust of Scotland, 1995
ISBN = 0-7078-0240-7

ORIGINAL RECIPE:
Salat (dated from 1390 AD)

"Take persel (parsley), sawge, grene garlec,
chibolles (spring onions), oynouns, leek,
borage, myntes, porrettes (a type of leek),
fennel, and town cressis, rew, rosemaye,
purslayne; lave and wasche hem clene.

Pike hem.

Pluk hem small with thyme hande, and mingle
hem wel with rawe oile; lay on vynegar and
salt, and serve it forth."

Friday, June 02, 2006

HOUSE BLESSING


Your house is Love's house.
It is a sanctuary,
a garden,
a safe haven.
May it be delightful.
May it be a home that encourages
creativity and peace,
togetherness and private time.
May it be an environment
that celebrates life,
untidy and ever flowing.
May simplicity be honored in your house,
valuing love above all else.
May your house be a place
where daily chores and small moments
are all approached with reverence and with love.
Where mistakes are seen as lessons learned.
Where kindness, forgiveness, laughter, joy,
and calm enthusiasm
nourish all who enter through its doors.
May all who visit leave refreshed.
May all who live in your house
live in contentment and harmony,
finding nothing lacking,
rejoicing in the way things are.
Good Mother, Welcome.

-- Ingrid Goff-Maidoff

Thursday, June 01, 2006

a little Florist humor

Our flower show attending friends might like this one:

Two old men were sitting on a park bench outside the local town hall when a flower show was in progress.
One leaned over to the other and said, "Cripes! Life is boring, we never have any fun these days. For $5.00 I'd take my clothes off and streak through the flower show!"
"You're on!" said the other old fellow, holding up five dollars.
As fast as he could, the first old man fumbled his way out of his clothes and completely naked, streaked through the front door of the town hall, followed by loud applause.
The streaker burst out through the door surrounded by a cheering crowd.
"Wow, what happened?" asked his friend.
"It was great!" he said, "I won first prize for The Best Dried Arrangement!"