Thursday, December 12, 2013
This one is easy! If you are host to a gathering & find yourself with left-over wedges of lemons &/or limes, grab your honey pot & a tall clean jar.
Scoop some honey into the jar & then squeeze the citrus wedges into the jar (make sure you remove the seeds first so you don't have to deal with them later) & toss the wedges into the jar. I've put about 2 limes & probably 3 lemons into this large jar.
Top up with more honey & warm up in the microwave. Stir up the citrus juice with the melted honey, adding more to fill the jar up.
Label & date & then let it marinate anywhere from 5 days to 5 weeks. The fruit juice should keep the honey from crystallizing or returning to its creamy state. If you'd like, add a touch of salt or fresh grated ginger!
You can decant into smaller jars as gifts - make sure to include a few pieces of lemon & lime for presentation. You can still use the citrus in your cooking (think: roast chicken with some honey drizzled on top & a couple wedges of citrus tucked in around the bird).
I'm looking forward to using the honey in teas during the winter (I have a jar I made last winter that is absolutely perfect right now - it has lots of ginger, a touch of lavender salt & is rich in citrus zip & zing!)
Thursday, December 5, 2013
|~ road down to dock ~|
Today, it snowed. Actually, it is STILL snowing & I'm not sure what tomorrow will bring. The end of the world? A lock down in the community life? Crazy antics from people who should know better? I just might call in sick due to snow...
This was my journey home today from work. And yes, I left work early due to snow...
|~ dock where my boat is tied ~|
|~ commute across & down the harbour ~|
|~ the dock I tie my boat up at - this should NOT be covered in snow ~|
|~ the boardwalk leading to the path up the hill to my house ~|
|~ my house - behind my snow-encrusted deer fence ~|
|~ my gardens - 2 beds have plastic covers thankfully ~|
|~ my greenhouse & duck enclosure (I don't think they would have liked snow, but then again, ducks are strange that way)|
|~ Me - barely made it home alive! ~|
I'm not going to say anything more... Turn the heat up higher, hubby! I'm freezing!!
Monday, December 2, 2013
I enjoy poinsettias.
I prefer my poinsettias without sparkles or strange 'unnatural' colours.
I like that these plants are tropical & grow well in the ground in other parts of the world, but that I can treat them like an annual for just the Christmas season.
I have also admitted to myself that I am not one of those people with super powers who can have their poinsettia last til Valentine's Day or even til the next holiday season.
I kill each & every one of my poinsettias but I still love them & the sense of exotic flare that Mother Nature has at this time of year.
Monday, November 25, 2013
|~ winter lavender harvest ~|
When I go for walks, I find myself pruning or deadheading flowers & shrubs in my neighbour's yard.
Or there is a cutting I dearly would love to have & you never know when the right opportunity will come along to get that cutting.
Or you are walking through your own yard & come across your lavender shrubs that have flowered for you once again & you really want to quickly bring them in the house before darkness falls in 5 minutes & they freeze overnight.
Who knows what I'll do with these lavender bundles, but how wonderful to have fresh lavender at this time of year!
Friday, November 22, 2013
I volunteer with a few other green & brown thumbs in town to plant & maintain a collection of flower boxes along the boardwalk railing running down the west side of our town. This year, we tried a selection of perennials, herbs, succulents & 'extras' growing in our own gardens.
Come November, the boxes are generally pretty empty for forlorn looking for the winter season. Not so down by the Post Office!!
Our Post Mistress is starting to show off her green thumb in a few of the boxes that grow outside her office. On this late day in November, she still had a box full of flowers & in the sunshine, they really did make many people's day brighter.
I thought we would also try some flowering kale in the boxes for the winter. We'll have to check back towards Christmas to see how they are doing.
I think with the return of the rains & the continuing sunshine, the flowers decided they would show off for a while longer.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
|~ house mate's kale ~|
This year it seems to be quite different - sunshine & practically perfect in fact! Actually, it feels positively like January - which is disconcerting because we are still 2 months away from that... The days have been wonderful for working in the gardens & getting those last minute chores complete.
One of them is harvesting kale for the freezer to use in the winter, just in case your plants in the garden don't make it.
Our housemate grew kale this year - first time ever & he did such a great job! He's since moved on & has left me an abundance of kale for the winter. I don't mind... I foresee a lot of kale chips in the next few months...
|~ my kale ~|
|~ neighbour's kale ~|
I was visiting my neighbour (see house behind me) & noticed she had a HUGE crop of kale in her garden. Much more than over in my yard & I immediately had kale envy...
Now her's was all flat leaf kale (possibly Red Russian) & I personally prefer the curly leaf variety, but since I wasn't actually going to harvest her kale for ME to enjoy, I was more envious of her ability to grow such a quantity. She's a busy lady, so I hurried over & proceeded to do a 'good neighbourly' deed - I harvested half of it for her, removed the leaves from the stalks, washed, spun dry & bagged it up for her to put in the freezer for winter dishes.
|~ neighbour's kale packaged ~|
Soups are the easiest & I love soups in the winter. Beef barley, turkey rice, chicken noodle, curry lentil... How about stews? Stir fries? Breads, loaves & muffins? Or the traditional Dutch treat with mashed potatoes & smoked sausage? mmmm....
I think I'll have to head outside to harvest some of mine too, just so I don't forget to eat it this winter. Oh look - the sun is shining still!
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
|~ flowering in mid-November ~|
I planted it on the North East corner of the house. It has been 5 years now & I'm pretty sure the plant is well over 7 feet tall. I do nothing with it - no fertilizer, no mulching, no proper watering, no pruning.
I want to see what this thing can do!
What it's doing now, is flowering.
It flowered last year, but I think there are more flowers this year. I'm trying to figure out if they have scent, but at this time of year, there are lots of wonderful smells outside & I can't quite reach the blooms to get my nose right in there.
I'll have to keep track of these & work harder this year on proper identification. I get side-tracked when trying to identify something I've had for years & have been trying to id for years - it will eventually let me know what it is...
...but if you have a suggestion, I'd love to hear it!