Saturday, February 6, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ready for a Hot Chocolate Party?  We are expecting snow until noon tomorrow.  We already have about 8 inches. 

Just little lumps of snow

My poor Thuja!!  You can see a couple just barely peaking out above the 20 inches of snow we got in the last 24 hours.  I just hope they are not crushed under it all.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Gold Medal Plant

Remember when I planted my Thuja?   They were chosen as a Gold Medal Plant by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in 1998.  My plants are all doing well in their first winter.  Only lost that one due to a mystery fungus?  If you are planning to put in some landscaping plants, you may wish to consult the PHS site to see what is native or would do well in Pennsylvania.  They even tell you where you can buy the plant and see them.  Good information. 
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1827.   PHS provides great events, activities and publications for novice gardeners, experienced horticulturists, and flower lovers of all ages.
Our Mission: The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society motivates people to improve the quality of life and create a sense of community through horticulture.

Gold Medal Plant
Common Name:
Arborvitae, Green Giant
Botanical Name:
Cultivar Name:
‘Green Giant’
Plant Type:
Evergreen Tree
Thuja ‘Green Giant’ (Green Giant Arborvitae) has a wonderful habit for use as an evergreen screen or specimen plant. Reaching an ultimate height of 75’ with a spread of 12’-20’, this tree has a graceful texture and no pest or disease problems. It’s a vigorous grower in any soil condition. Hardy in zones 5 to 7.
Hardiness Zones:
5 to 7
Sun/Shade Preference:
Soil Condition Preference:
Special Attributes:
Disease Resistant
Pest Resistant
Deer Resistant
North American Native

Plant Height:
50+ feet
Bloom Time:
Flower Color:
Foliage Color:
Fall Color:
Plant Uses:
Urban Park
Screen / Hedge

Year Won:

Monday, January 18, 2010


I met the people who have Spring Time Maple Syrup at our farmer's market a couple years ago.  It is great to see that our grocery store carries their products now.  I made Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh by cook, Jude Blereau.  I served it over Quinoi, which I forgot to take a picture of, so you only get the leftovers shot.  Good ole Worker Bee is being quite tolerant, (almost enthusiastic) about my vegetarianism.  I had to laugh today when I read the New York Times article about therapists reporting a rise in Green disputes between partners.  Ours are minor...mostly because I get my way.  You may wish to go to this site to learn about Tempeh.  Good stuff.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Birdhouse Gourds

Peeling, peeling away.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lemon Show

Hmmm...I wonder if they are worthy?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Homemade Spaghetti

Making homemade spaghetti has been something I have wanted to try for a while. I remember my grandmother making dough for chicken noodles. She would mix the flour and eggs, roll the dough into a log, then slice the log onto noodles. The noodles were cooked in a creamy chicken sauce. I was fascinated by the process...mainly because of being able to get messy in the dough.

The recipe I used was two farm fresh eggs (a gift from the McDonald family - very nice!) with about 1 1/4 cups flour. That's it. Start a pan of water to boil right away, as this is so easy and fast, the strands will be done before the water boils.

Don't the eggs look grand? They are!

Mix the eggs into a gooey mess.

Mix the flour in slowly about 1/3 cup at at time, until it is just this side of sticky.

Roll out on a floured surface much thinner than what I did. Who knew the noodles would expand?!?

Now roll up the dough into a log shape using a pastry scraper, which I do not have, but will soon. It helps get the sticky dough off the surface.

Slice into thin spiral rolls, and immediately straighten out. You may hang them or just collect them on the cutting board if you are using them right away.

I used a coat hanger hung from my kitchen lamp to hang them. Boy were they fat and uneven!

Some I left on the cutting board as the water had just started to boil.

Boil for three to five minutes, depending how thin you were able to make your strands. My fat noodles took five. I didn't realize they would get so much bigger while being cooked! They were more like my grandmother's noodles and less like spaghetti strands.

The secret to loads of flavor is to mix 1 t of garlic powder and 1/2 t of onion powder with 1/4 cup melted butter and add to the cooked spaghetti. Toss gently. If you like more flavoring, just add more.

Add your sauce and a bit of Parmesan cheese and you are set. Fresh basil would have been nice as well. Worker Bee went nuts! It was good.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Meyer Lemon Preserved in Salt

After slicing the lemons into quarters, you place them into the jar, adding Kosher salt to each layer.  Cover them with lemon juice and shake a couple times a day for two weeks.  Be sure to not refrigerate during this time.  Then place in the refrigerator and use for the next six months.  You may rinse the lemons before use if the recipe does not call for salt.  Good with many Mediterranean recipes, fish and desserts.  Hope this works!  You can see the juice just after I shook the jars. 

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Meyer Lemon Marmalade

Finding a wonderful list from the LA Times titled 100 Things to do with a Meyer Lemon was fun. I decided making Meyer Lemon Marmalade would be great for consumption on these horribly frigid days. I found a recipe from the now defunct Gourmet Magazine. You may find it here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Meyer Lemons

One of the dilemmas I have with buying local is that some things are just not grown in our zone 5 area. I don't have a Meyer Lemon tree...yet, so I decided that instead of buying a couple lemons each week at the grocery store, I would buy a box from a small organic farmer. I found the the Birch-Hill Organics farm in Atascadero, California. Richard Burchiel, aka the "organic farmer" wrote the nicest note. They will accommodate special requests with regard to size and ripeness if they can. They were quite prompt with shipping and communication. You can just imagine the smell when I opened up this box of sunshine!

Click on the picture to read the letter from Richard, organic farmer.

I used a recipe for preserved lemons from The Mediterranean Pantry recipe book. I then had a lot of the rinds leftover. I candied them using a simple syrup and organic sugar.

They may last up to 3 weeks...yeah, right! I am also going to make a Lemon Marmalade.