Saturday, November 10, 2012

Maybe the Last Harvest

It got into the upper 70s today, but was very windy, and we are expecting cold temps to arrive tonight.  We spent quite a bit of time outdoors with our grandsons, but I forgot to go pick the lettuce.  We did get the back yard rain barrel emptied.  We got the front yard one emptied last week.  I went out after supper in the dark and picked lettuce, kale, and a few radishes and carrots.  The grandsons would have enjoyed helping with these if I would have remembered.

I want to share a recipe that I made last night, using some of the tomatoes that were green when I brought them in to protect them from the freezing temps.  I made it last night, and this piece is actually one of the leftover pieces that I ate for lunch today.  Even though the toppings slid a bit, it was still good.

This is from the winter 2007 Weight Watchers five ingredient 15 minute cookbook.  (I don't know why the first letters of the words are not capitalized.  I just noticed that.)

Pesto and Goat Cheese Pizza

1 10 oz. Italian cheese-flavored thin pizza crust (such as Boboli)
3 T. commercial pesto
3 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
3/4 cup (3 oz.) crumbled goat cheese or crumbled feta cheese  (I used the already crumbled feta cheese Larry picked up for me.)
1/4 t. crushed red pepper 

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Place pizza crust on a baking sheet.  Spread pesto over crust, leaving a 1/2 inch border.  Top with tomatoes and cheese; sprinkle with crushed red pepper.
3. Bake at 450 for 13 minutes or until crust is golden.  Cut into 8 wedges.  Yield: 4 servings (2 wedges)

I collect cookbooks, and have been having fun getting out of a rut I had been in, and am actually using the books.  Still, I seem to rarely follow a recipe word for word.  Here are the changes I made to this one:

1. I got either a 16 or 19 oz. package of two whole wheat crusts, with no cheese in them, so mine was a bit smaller than the 10 oz.  I made up a mushroom pizza on the other crust.  They did not take the whole 13 minutes to get done.
2. I did not use commercial pesto.  I used some basil blended with olive oil that I had spread flat in a freezer bag this summer.  I broke some off without measuring it or thawing it out, and you can see that I just placed some here and there, rather than spreading it on, which probably would have been preferable, but this worked for us.
3. Two of the tomatoes I had were a roma type, but one was not, and it worked just fine in the recipe.
4.  I didn't measure the crushed red pepper, but just sprinkled some on.  I am not a big fan of hot and spicy food, but I loved this!  I was aware of it when I took my first bite, but it did not burn my tongue.

I'm glad it's raining.  I hope your weekend is going well.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Garden Window, Blog Anniversary

I started blogging October 1, 2008, and this is my 670th post.  Wow, it's been four years!  I have noticed I don't post as often as I used to, partly because a former student talked me into starting a Facebook account so I could see her photos.  Little did I know that I would end up there almost every day.  It is fun, though, and it is cool when both local and blogging friends end up interacting and liking each others' statuses.

All of the plants in the garden window spend the summers outside. 

Not too long after coming inside for the winter, the holiday cactus plants start blooming. 

I looked at some past posts, and am pretty sure this is the 'Caribbean Dance' I got two years ago.

This looks to be the 'Dark Marie' I got three years ago.

I have been having pretty good success overwintering rosemary in the garden window.  I think I usually put the aloe vera on the shelf in the toy room, where a number of other house plants are.  The poor parsley plants should have been put into a larger pot, but I kept forgetting to.  Maybe I will get that done one of these days. 

Can you see the moving van in the street, and the bird feeder on the window?  We've heard that the guy who owns the house across the street where I attempt to have a second vegetable garden may have a buyer for the property.  Some neighbors said the renter had moved.  I never saw anything going into or coming out of it, so I don't know what was going on with it.

I've had the bay plant a number of years.  It had some problems this summer, but is looking better now.  I've used a couple leaves for cooking the past couple of weeks.  That's a third rosemary next to it.  I dump any unfinished water, coffee, or tea onto the plants each day.  The best way to keep rosemary alive through the winter is to keep it from drying out.

 It's always a fun surprise to me to see those buds forming on the holiday cacti.  I love it!  This one is 'Naomi', and I've had it longer than the first two.  When I looked at the past posts, I saw that this has bloomed earlier than this before.

Here's a sparrow eating the safflower seeds in the feeder.  When we had sunflower seeds in it a few years ago, the squirrels somehow got to it and knocked it down so the seeds would spill onto the ground for them to eat.  Later in the season, we should see house finches, juncos, and I can't remember what else right now.

I am so glad the election is over, and the ads are finished!  I think politicians should consider only posting about themselves and not their opponent, or at least don't have the same ads multiple times a day, day after day.  This is a garden blog, and I don't talk about politics here normally, but the ads, and some of the things I've seen on Facebook lately have bothered me.

I like what Obama said in his acceptance speech about us having the right to disagree and argue with each other, because in some countries they don't have that right.  Still, it is not useful or helpful to call someone names because they disagree with you.  The word that bothers me the most is, "hater".  It seems to me that someone who uses that word is being hateful. People, let's agree to disagree agreeably!

I really hope the politicians start working together for the good of the country.  We need to be more loyal to the country than our political party.  Let's forgive each other for having ideas or opinions we don't like.  Larry and I disagree about a multitude of things, but don't hold it against each other.  I've mentioned that there probably is not a person who thinks exactly like anyone else on all there is to have opinions about.

OK, I better quit.  Folks affected by Sandy, I am still thinking of you and praying for you.  I see on the news that some of you are getting snow now.  I am so sorry you are having to go through all of that!  I hope you are finding safe, warm places to be.

Friday, November 2, 2012

November Blooms

We've had a number of evenings in the upper 20s or lower 30s, so most of the annuals are finished.  Most of the perennials are also done blooming for the season, but I've noticed a few have sent up a bloom or two, even with brown stems.  The fall bloomers are still producing blooms.  After work yesterday, Heidi and I went out to do a yard walk.  I wanted to document the blooms, and it was fun to discover some I hadn't noticed yet.

The bargain rose has a few blooms.

The tall sedums have some new blooms on them.

Most of the goldenrods are finished, but some have a few blooms on them.

There are some new lavender blooms.

Oops! A couple photos of butterfly milkweed seed pods got into this post.

Here's a lone perennial geranium bloom.

The rose verbena bloomed most of the summer, and still has lots of flowers on it.

There are a few new coneflower blooms here and there.

I'm not sure what mums these are.  I added them to the garden a couple years ago when Larry requested them.  They haven't spread as much as the 'Debonairs' that have been here longer.

The New England ex asters are almost finished blooming, but still have some color.

'Debonair' mums

These asters are a hybrid, that I may have named somewhere else on the blog.

Here's a liatris that has a new stem joining the brown finished ones.

This is Riddell's Goldenrod.

The Mexican hats I planted this spring have done well.  I hope they have self sown some seeds that come up in the spring.

I didn't notice this lone black eyed Susan bloom before it got raggedy.

I noticed the sweet alyssum plant while looking for blooms.

The good old gray headed coneflowers are pretty, even as they are fading.

The new flower head on the yarrow, 'Paprika' surprised me.

I think the biggest surprise was the blooms on the honeysuckle.  A neighbor lady gave me a start from her yard when we first moved here 15 years ago, and I don't recall it blooming this late in the season.  Maybe it did when I wasn't looking for photos to put in my blog.  :o)

I'm not sure if I remember the berries, either.  I wonder if birds eat them.

I planted this helenium at least 10 years ago.  I don't remember if it is the native autumnale, but am hoping it is.  I have it in two spots now, and they both have added some new blooms, even though the dried up ones from summer are still hanging onto the roots.

The annual salvias still have some color.

The previous blooms are from the front yard.  The next ones are in the side yard.  This goldenrod is 'Wichita Mountains'.  I didn't see bees on it this day, but there was a fly.

There is a lone bloom on a catmint.

The rudbeckia 'Goldquelle' has been finished blooming awhile, except for this lone one.

I was surprised to see rudbeckia 'Herbstonne' blooms.

I'm glad to have some self sown asters in this area.

This is the 'Black Jack' sedum I got from Judy at Through my Garden Window a few years ago.  I moved it to the area in front of the vegetable garden in the spring, an am glad it is doing well.

This liatris has been in this spot a number of years, and I don't recall it blooming more than once like it is doing this year.

I'm thinking this tall sedum is 'Indian Chief'.  It wasn't doing well in the curb area out front.  Maybe it was because there was too much shade.

The leaves on this clematis get brown in the summer, so I'm surprised to see it blooming again.

I was pleased to see some sweet pea blooms this late in the season.

The butter and eggs toadflax has blooms most of the season.  I'm glad it has lived in this tub for a number of years.  It is too much of a spreader for me to try to grow in the ground.

I almost missed this geranium in my quest for flowers.  It's hard to get a decent photo of red flowers, but I think this one is passable.

I have been watching much of the coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  I have been praying for the people affected by it.  My heart goes out to you.