"...salt flavors and preserves. G.K. Chesterton offers a lovely thought on our role as salt: Salt seasons and preserves beef, not because it is like beef; but because it is very unlike it. Christ did not tell his apostles that they were only the excellent people, or the only excellent people, but that they were the exceptional people; the permanently incongruous and incompatible people; and the text about the salt of the earth is really as sharp and shrewd and tart as the taste of salt."
At Agway they had so many plants on sale as gardening season was moving along, and I couldn't resist buying a few strawberry plants. And a pot to put them in. What I didn't expect was a few blooms, and the possibility of a strawberry or two. How exciting!
I was pretty sure that today was the day this little fellow would be ready to pick. Apparently, I was correct. Because, when I went out today to water, that little fellow was gone. Disappeared, without a trace.
ahhh. I hope whoever it was, well - I hope they really enjoyed it.
I've got it in my "recipes to try" board - only three ingredients: bananas, peanut butter and cocoa. Basically, you take four very ripe bananas, slice them and put 'em in the freezer for two hours. Then they go into your food processor - sorry, but the blender is not powerful enough, according to the originators. Whiz it till it's entirely pureed, then add two tablespoons of peanut butter and a spoonful or so of cocoa powder and whiz again. Eat as is, or freeze for a bit. No dairy, so that will be good news for some.
I'm not a big banana lover - I may eat a whole banana twice a year, at most! I prefer my fruit to have some juice in it, and bananas are awfully sweet. But my brother always has some around, and it just so happened that there were four overripe ones he wasn't going to eat! Well, I had to try the recipe.
Now, the surprise - it doesn't make very much. Those bananas puree up into a fraction of their former selves. Would you eat four bananas in one sitting? Not I. (aside from the time in my twenties when I ate two Banana Royals at Friendly's, but that was a long time ago) Well, I can tell
you that it was easy to finish off this whole dessert by myself. Oh, dear. That's a lot of sugar, I think. But I've got eight bananas on the shopping list, because I want my brother to try it. Try it yourself!
"The cool evening air was heavy with dew when they started. The winds were folded among the shadowy glens. The spice ferns were fragrant in the corners of the upland pastures. It was so calm and still you could hear all kinds of far-away sounds... She heard the distant bark of a fox...the sound of tiny feet in the fern...she saw the pale glimmer of night moths and took friendly counsel with the stars. Almost they sang, as if one star called to another in infinite harmony." L.M. Montgomery, Jane of Lantern Hill
I didn't take a picture, but I had some corn yesterday and thought I'd try this for a change. It was a great disappointment. The corn was starchy, and the kernels didn't have the juiciness you get from boiling. I won't do that again, although wrapping them in foil may bring a better result from the oven.
The parable of the weeds and the wheat captures the tangled ambiguities of the human heart. The word translated as "weeds" actually refers specifically to darnel, also called "false wheat".
Darnel, poisonous to human beings, is easily mistaken for true wheat until the ear, the fruit, appears. Jesus counsels patience; the true will be sorted from the false when the time comes, even within our own souls.
- from Magnificat, July 2014
"By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Just so every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them."
I have a Pinterest board which is just appealing photos of food - it may be my favorite. But I thought I could try some of these rather than just enjoy their appearance. So I decided to make the Cheese, Olive and Buttermilk Herb Bread, recipe here.
So delicious! Theirs, of course, looks better than mine. (That's why I collect these pictures, isn't it?) It's very moist, even with just two and a half tablespoons of olive oil - almost like a savory cottage pudding. Do try it!
Yes, that's my garden - just three feet by nine, and some things which haven't even surfaced yet. I bought my greenhouse rather late, and some things from older seeds didn't sprout in the house, so I replanted them outside. I don't mind; I'm learning. And there's time.
Last year I bought a metal raised bed with interlocking sections. It was a nice idea, but because it didn't stick into the ground, it shifted over the winter and the rectangle went askew. It was a mass of weeds, and looked terrible to me. Then I went to Debra's and saw her oh-so-orderly oh-so-beautiful garden. She got her ideas from the Square Foot method, and that's what I resolved to do.
I removed one or two sections at a time, weeded just that square foot area and planted in that spot. Bamboo skewers are stuck in here and there to delineate the 12-inch areas. It's still a raised bed, just without borders. But it looks so much neater. And weeding a square patch is so easy, so fast - it's nothing!
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.
There's a very small flower bed next to the front steps - it's about three by four feet. And a number of years ago I bought some perennial hollyhocks and put them in this bed. They grew to eight feet tall! A medley of colors - yellow, pink, white and deep maroon. They were fabulous at first, but soon their leaves got chewed-looking, which wasn't so good, and after a few years of this I thought maybe they weren't suited for this area and decided to pull them up. But they came back the next year.
My brother even got into that small space once, with a shovel, and dug them out (I can see him in my mind's eye even now). They still returned the next year.
I tried again one year by layering newspaper all over the bed, knowing it would also kill my daffodils, but I had to get rid of those hollyhocks. Still, they were there again the following spring.
I know their leaves by now - I know a hollyhock leaf in a second!
You may think I dislike them. I assure you, I love them. What anglophile doesn't dream of a cottage-style garden? And what cottage garden doesn't include hollyhocks? Did I say they were at least six feet tall? Usually seven, sometimes eight? I loved them. But they would look so buggy and awful.
Anyway, what I'm getting at is this - these are not old pictures. They want to stay? Okay - stay! It's yes to hollyhocks from now on.
I guess after this, I'll have no reason to forget that fritters are a nice thing for supper once in a while.
I made this recipe (from Country Living magazine) for my midsummer party, and it not only looks good, but is good, and very simple. Unlike so very many recipes, it went along just as they said it would, except I ended up with ten cakes rather than twelve. If you've got a bag of frozen corn kernels, you've probably got all the other ingredients you'd need for this. I'm going to make it again, maybe on Friday.
I sing the mighty power of God, that made the mountains rise, that spread the flowing seas abroad, and built the lofty skies. I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day; the moon shines full at His command, and all the stars obey. I sing the goodness of the Lord, Who filled the earth with food, Who formed the creatures through the Word, and then pronounced them good. Lord, how thy wonders are displayed, where'ever I turn my eye, if I survey the ground I tread, or gaze upon the sky. There's not a plant or flower below, but makes Thy glories known, and clouds arise, and tempests blow, by order from Thy throne; while all that borrows life from thee is ever in thy care; and everywhere that we can be, Thou, God, art present there. - from Magnificat, June 2014
"It is you, O Lord, you are the only one; you made the heavens, the highest heavens and all their host, the earth and all that is upon it, the seas and all that is in them. To all of them you give life, and the heavenly hosts bow down before you."
I tried Anna's Schoolhouse Baked Beans. The reason being that it seemed very like something my mother used to make, and I never knew her method. So, I tried Anna's.
It has a nice flavor, but it got a little thick - I won't cook it so long next time. My mother didn't use any bacon, but had cut-up hot dogs in hers. And plenty of onion, which may have been sauteed with the hot dogs, but I'm not sure. Anyway, this is good and now I've got a starting point.
This morning a man came into the library with a photo of a bear he'd seen at a lake in our town. It was standing near a tree, and looked pretty big - he said it was a young bear; he came in to make copies of the photo. He says there's a mountain lion living three towns away.
I've seen him in the library before; he has a German accent and is willing to talk. Somehow the subject of birds came up. "Do you know", he said, "that it's illegal in Europe to feed the birds in summer?" Well, I know they say it makes them dependent on you and that isn't good, but he said one reason is that if they're eating your seed, they aren't eating bugs - esp. mosquitoes. That makes sense, doesn't it? But he also told me that the birds bring the hard-shelled seeds to their young, and the babies die because they can't digest the hard seed shells. Is this true? Two good reasons to stop feeding birds except in winter, when they need the help.
Yesterday morning my brother took a short walk and came upon a little sparrow who'd been injured - bounced off a car, maybe? One eye was gone and the head injured; but it tried to sit up when he took it, so he placed the birdie under a bush. When he got home he drove with a box to get it. He put the box with birdie on a cloth in my greenhouse, for a warm place, and tried giving it water with a dropper.
I continued after he went to work. But the poor little thing wasn't opening his mouth for me; there was blood under his head, and he didn't last too long. I thought my brother'd want to bury him, but he said he doesn't bury birds - it doesn't seem right since they aren't earthbound creatures. So his little body was placed inside a dense arbor vitae for a natural resting-place. Good night, little prince.
This used to be a forsythia. It got taken over by these wild roses. I look around the yard at the brook's edge and they are everywhere, blooming, blooming. I guess they're invasive, if roses can really be called invasive. I remember once, years ago, pruning some of it - before blooming began - and I threw it toward the brook in an area where we tended to throw clippings. When June came, they bloomed. They were just cut branches, and they bloomed! I tell the truth.
That would be scary if it was anything but roses.
And right now, the air is sweet with them. So, I pruned some up-sticking canes from this big weed-bush and now it's nice and neat. Bloom on!
"The life of God is lived within us, within the deepest center of our being. Man becomes truly himself precisely at the point where he recognizes that the highest and brightest Being dwells within him. Moreover, he will rediscover himself and his own identity, as well as his faith in his own individual value, mission, and life options, to the degree that he comprehends human life as streaming forth out of the mystery of God. Then all that is negative and threatening is surmounted, its futility is exposed from within and simultaneously disempowered."
- Father Alfred Delp, a German Jesuit priest condemned to death by the Nazis. from Magnificat, June 2014
Don't ask me why I still have this thing, made by me when I was very young. But I do, and it's actually still useful to me.
A sit-upon. Done in kindergarten? in Brownies? And I can hardly say I made it myself because the pieces were all pre-cut and the holes punched. My task was to whipstitch it together with the shoelace. I discovered it among some old stuff a couple of years ago; I just sat on it outside - to read a bit in the cool evening. I like it! I like the "oldness" of it, and I like the fact that I can sort of actually remember making it.
here it is, wrinkled! It's extremely basic. Four panels, with the hand top stitching only on the front and back center seams. Elastic at the waist in a turn-over style casing, and no hem needed. Next time I'll probably do some sort of embellishment.