Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Garden Party 2014

Garden Party, September 2014, Friendship Gardens

A few years ago one of the gardeners, Greg, proposed having an end of summer party at the community garden.  It has become a nice tradition and the food is fabulous.  Here are pictures from the party on Sunday.  Thank goodness it was postponed.  Saturday's weather was hot and sticky while Sunday turned out to be lovely.  We all gathered under the old mulberry tree.  Peter brought two growlers of his home brewed beer.  He grew hops in his garden this year and watching the plants grow so high in the sky was lots of fun.  For the record, I contributed potato salad.  I know many people do not like potlucks but I love them.  All the different food to try.   Delicious.  Kate and Drew are the resident bee keepers and they brought honey to share.  I was chatting with Richard who told me how gregarious I am - I have always thought as myself as an introvert but when I am with a group of people I know, it's easy to talk.  Being a reference librarian makes for good practice in getting people to talk about themselves.  Everyone had fun and the evening ended with a beautiful sunset.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Welcome back!

It's been a while since I have blogged.  I've had friends tell me recently how much they liked reading my bog so I am going to try and get it going again.

Today is my community garden's potluck dinner.  We all gather under the old mulberry tree and bring food made from the garden vegetables.  The past couple of years, one gardener has been growing hops so there should be home brewed beer tonight.

I am making potato salad with mustard vinaigrette.  I planted fingerling potatoes this year as in years past and the plants did very well.  Knock on wood, the potatoes have never had a problem with beetles.

This is going to be a very simple salad.  Potatoes, chives and vinaigrette.  The chives are from the front yard.  The herbal vinegar is something I made early this summer.   My garden friend Edouard gave me some purple basil plants.  They taste very strong and would not make a good pesto so I tried steeping the basil in red wine vinegar, along with other herbs from the garden - thyme, marjoram, oregano, chives.  It's a pretty red color.

The tomatoes are still producing.  I went out to West Virginia one day and helped on farmer Allan's  land.  In return, he gave me two 5 gallon buckets of tomatoes.  Here is what I did with them

The canning shelf!  11 quarts of tomato sauce, bread and butter pickles, dilly beans, pickle relish, strawberry jam, strawberry syrup, honey from my mom's bees.  The one disappointment this year is there are no figs therefore no fig jam.  All the fig trees in the city were killed off by the harsh winter.  Luckily the large fig tree at the community garden is re-sprouting from the ground.  In the long run, this is a good thing because it had grown too large for anyone to pick the figs from the top of the tree.

Here are just a few tomatoes picked from my garden this week,  I am going to dehydrate most of them to make tomato powder.

The potato salad!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Marc Simont

Marc Simont died in July.  He was 97 years old.  He was the illustrator of one of Emma's favorite picture books (mine too!).

This is a wonderful book.  The orchestra players are getting ready for a Friday evening performance and the story takes the reader through the dressing routine.  The illustrations are just fabulous.

A lovely video!

When I read the news that Simont had died, I ran upstairs to the bookcase in my room, the one where I moved all the picture books because I just can not get rid of them, and started to find other books illustrated by him.

Caldecott Medal winner, 1957

I ordered through the library the Happy Day, by Ruth Krauss.  She also wrote The Carrot Seed among many other stories but Simont illustrated Happy Day.  He was a runner-up for the Caldecott in 1950 for this book.  I didn't know this book and did not know until the last page what was going to happen!

This title we read one year for our mother daughter book group

I've enjoyed going back into the book shelves and pulling out everything.  I miss acquiring picture books for the kids!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tourism, canning and cooking

Sean and I decided to go down to the Mall yesterday - not the end where the 50th anniversary March celebration was but the other end - the National Archives and National Building Museum.

At the Archives, there is an exhibit called DOCUAMERICA- a series of photographs taken by photographers for the EPA in the 1970's.

After that we strolled through the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden and sat by the fountain.  My favorite piece is the Typewriter Eraser by Claes Oldenburg.

Then headed to the National Building Museum to play mini golf and to see an exhibit on the

Palaces for the People: Guastavino and America’s Great Public Spaces

It's about a Spanish father and son who built some of the amazing structures with domes in the early 20th century, such as the Boston Public Library.

Exhausted coming home but a Garden Goddess's job is never done (thank you Kathryn for my new name).  So while Sean relaxed (ok, he did some pruning in the yard) I made zucchini relish.  A new recipe from Food in Jars.  Most of the recipes I've tried in this book have worked - a few exceptions didn't turn out quite right - I have strawberry syrup instead of jam but who cares!

Zucchini, peppers

Vinegar, red pepper, mustard seeds, celery seeds, sea salt, sugar

Grate zucchini and onion, chop pepper.  Cook down with vinegar.  Drain, add more vinegar, spices and sugar.

Put in jars.  Process in water bath


A little leftover goes into pretty jar and back into the fridge

All done

Add to the canning shelf in basement.  Running out of room!

While the jars were processing, I decided to use up the last of the fresh peaches and make peach-blackberry cobbler.  Curtesy of King Arthur Baking Book.  Most cobblers are cooked fruit with a biscuit topping but this had a pie topping.  Delicious.

Ready to go in the oven

Out of the oven

Friday, August 16, 2013

The tree comes down

Today was the day!  The Silver Maple was taken down.  The guys were awesome.  The head of the group was also very cute!  (He's in the white hardhat)

Here are the pictures of it being cut down, logs transported over the fence and stump ground.