Monday, May 23, 2011

More Planting and Some Blooms

Yesterday, we planted 9 zucchini and 63 tomatoes. Jeff helped with this big job this year. It is good to have those tomatoes in! Next up, we need to stake them and plant out the eggplants, peppers and cucumbers. There are some greens to plant out as well. I also need to direct sow some seeds for things like beans.

I have a little shade bed along the barn foundation. It is densely planted and shaded by the Japanese maple. With all the rain we've had, there are lots of bits of tree stuck all over the plants, so they don't look quite as nice as they could. There is a Jack in the Pulpit, Solomon Seal, lily of the vally, sweet woodruff, bluebells and bleeding heart.

Here is a detail of the bluebells (and pink bells) and some lily of the valley and Sweet Woodruff shows as well.

Some lupine is just beginning to bloom out in the full sun, butterfly garden.

Friday, May 20, 2011

FO: Bunny

Bunny is from Baby Cashmerino 2 by Debbie Bliss. I made the little vest to match the jacket shown in my previous post.

The hard part of knitting toys is the face! I wanted something more than the little x stitches shown in the book. I used some (vintage!) crewel yarn from my grandmother's craft things and just went with the colors I had, otherwise I might have picked a softer pink for the nose. But, I do think the bright colors made it cheerful looking! Hopefully the lopsided bits will just be considered 'charm'.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

FO: Garter Stitch Matinee Jacket

This tiny jacket is from Baby Cashmerino 2 by Debbie Bliss.

This is the 3-6 month size and I would advise buying an extra ball of yarn as I used one more than the pattern called for.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Garden Things

The weather has been so cool that I haven't done much planting or even been able to introduce indoor plants to the outdoors. We usually get a spell of chilly weather this time of year, I think it's a coastal thing.

Last week, we got an Amish built picnic table for the backyard. I think we will paint it dark green at some point. It will be nice for dinners, but also will be a good work surface for potting or whatever, close by the garden.

Also last week, I planted 100 strawberry crowns. They were a surprise gift from a neighbor as thanks for homemade pickles. They should produce a year from June. I think we'll buy some straw to mulch them with. They don't look like much in the picture, in fact, you pretty much have to take my word that they are there!

Today, I mowed the lawn while Jeff burned the brush piles.

The apple blossoms are open now and the lilacs are about to open up.

I spotted this critter (a vole) tucked into a cranny in the stone wall, eating some blades of grass. It's a garden pest, so it had better find a new home!!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Nice Dinner and Some Evening Garden Work

I used some of last year's peas to make this yummy dish from Jamie's Dinners. It is Farfalle with Carbonara and Spring Peas. The recipe didn't say to, but I poured off ALL the fat after cooking the bacon. I don't think anybody would want that in the sauce! I used parsley instead of mint as I had it all washed and ready to go which was quicker than walking out to the yard to pick the mint this time.

After dinner, we worked it off with some gardening. We got 7 sheets of mulch in place. I am probably going to buy 3 more sheets. I'm still working on the layout in my head a little.

The robins were flitting along the stone wall, watching us and probably feeling disappointed to see so much soil getting covered up. They like to have an evening feeding session there. There is still a lot of dirt for them to poke around in though. And, in the summer when it gets hot, there will be rain puddles on the plastic that they will like to take baths in.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

We had a really special day which included a lunch of Pasta Peperonata that I made from Jamie Oliver's book titled Jamie's Dinners. It was so delicious! Definitely one to make again.

Jeff tilled the garden again, so it is ready to have the plastic mulch moved into place. The peas are looking good in the foreground. You can see it is already time to mow the lawn again!

This is just a pretty view of a bed with flowering lunaria/money plant. The scent is wonderful when you walk around the yard.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Saffy Videos

Here is another attempt to get a video of Saffy eating up her pills! I think this one came out a bit better.

Here's what she's getting...

Saffy only has one speed setting: full speed ahead. This is not always the best option when in the cone, like trying to go through doorways!! Given that she's been wearing it for a week now, I don't think she's ever going to get more graceful in it... (There is sound, so check your volume level.)

May 2nd Garden Pics


Bleeding Heart

Grape Hyacinth (planted around the base of the bleeding heart, which really looks nice as they flower at the same time)

Pigsqueak (possibly my favorite name for a plant!)

Plum tree (there is a steady buzz sound near this from all the visiting bees)


A sign of springtime--tiny eggshells dropped here and there around the yard.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Saffy Eats Her Pills

Saffy continues to be so enthusiastic about her pills that we don't have to hide them in treats. She just eats them plain! I wish I'd gotten a better video including a view of the large green antibiotic pill and the half of a small white one for pain relief, but she was too fast for me and I barely got any of it on the screen!

Recent Cooking

I have to catch up with posting some of the meals I've made recently! The first pictures show the Real Mushroom Soup from Jamie's Dinners.

It was really tasty and a bit of sourdough boule went with it perfectly.

This next concoction is the Tupperware Mexican Chorizo from the River Cottage Everyday book. It is ground pork with various seasonings including smoked paprika and red wine. It can sit in the fridge for several days and get used as needed. The possibilities are really endless with this.

I used it in a carbonara recipe also from the River Cottage Everyday book. I added the Kalamatas and parsley since it seemed like they would go nicely. I was a little short on ingredients for the sauce, but it was still yummy. Next time, I will try to have the right amounts of things.

It was a great addition to my own recipe made with gemelli, cannellini beans, spinach, Kalamatas and our homegrown tomato sauce. Here is the sauce before I tossed in the gemelli.

For Saturday brunch, I used it in a Spanish style tortilla (or fritatta) with potatoes and spinach (my own improvised recipe).

And, shown ready to eat. (If I was a food stylist, I'd have fussed that potato back into place, but I am more interested in getting to the eating part!)

This week, there will be some repeats, but new dishes I plan to try are Farfalle with Carbonara and Spring Peas and Pasta Peperonata which are both from Jamie's Dinners. I'll probably try a new sweet recipe as well.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Outside Sprouts Update

Happy May Day!

The weather is so springy this weekend and it was time for the first lawn mowing of the year yesterday. We have blooming primrose, rhododendron, bleeding heart, grape hyacinth, tulip, money plant and probably some more I'm not thinking of at the moment. Oh, one of the plum trees is in bloom!

Inside, everything is growing quickly. I potted on the rest of the peppers and the savory and some lettuce.

Outside, there are more sprouts than I can post pictures of, so this is just a sampling. There are sprouts in every jug--I love 100% success rates! They include: fennel





and mustard.

In the cold frame you can see the morning glories, nasturiums, cosmos, zinnias, zukes and the lettuce that has been moved out after being started under lights.