Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Maybe ?????

I get the same question over and over again.

When is the best time to come out to the garden to pick flowers?

My first response is mid to late June.

The lilies are in bloom ... there is color everywhere.

And then, August and September roll in.

A bucket I cut for a customer.

And suddenly .... the colors are deeper and brighter and richer.




 There are bold, beautiful, golden Black-eyed Susans.



Another everlasting .... see the white statice in the lower right corner?

There are everlastings, such as strawflowers and cockscomb that will last through out the winter.



There is the deep blue of the ageratum, the pink of the gomphrena and the rainbow of china asters, waiting to brighten the day.


Benary zinnias are so beautiful!!!



And the intense brightness of the zinnias.  Orange, red, pink, purple, and yellow.  They scream Summer!!!!


Champagne and pink picotee lizzies


It was a rough season for the lisianthus this year.  But the ones that survived ... have thrived and delight me with their rose-like beauty.

So when is the best time to pick???

Now.

Maybe now.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Some days ...........

Years ago, I asked a guy that I was dating why he had asked me out.  And I got this answer.

Some days, you just have to do things that scare the sh*t out of you.

(I was just a tad intense at the time!)

But he was brilliant ..... and that simple line impressed me.  Since I married him, I have been reminded of that line often.

Earlier this month, I was asked to do flower arrangements for a wedding reception.

I quickly responded with my usual answer .... I grow the flowers.  I don't do arrangements.  I don't drink that much.

Yea ... arrangements, brides, weddings .... scare the living daylights out of me.

(Obviously, I have seen one too many episodes of Bridezilla.  Actually, I have only seen part of one episode and that was too many for me!!!!)

But some how .... I pushed my fear aside and created these.



And I learned something.

I survived.

And again .... the lesson came back to me.

Fear of failure keeps us from soaring.

When I taught my first cooking class .... I was terrified!!  I was not a teacher.  I'm a good cook ... I'm fairly knowledgeable ... I'm funny and I like to include the class in the process.  But a teacher .. no way!!!  But I did it.

And I survived.

I was a bundle of nerves for my first sewing class.  Again ... sleepless nights, worried, worried, worried.

And now ...  sewing is one of my favorite things to teach.

I survived.

They say the world is full of nay-Sayers waiting to take you down.  And I know they are there. 

But the most powerful nay-Sayer lives in your own home.  Sleeps in your own bed.  And looks back at you in the mirror.

Honey is right ..... again.

Some days, you just have to do things that scare the sh*t out of you.








Sunday, August 17, 2014

We be cannin'

Finally, canning season is starting at the Lafrenz household.

I have done some green beans and a little peach pie filling.  I did some peach rum sauce for ice cream, some canned cole slaw, and canned a chicken along with  5 pints of chicken broth.  But the majority of my canning efforts are always focused on tomatoes.

Today, we harvested a couple of small buckets of tomatoes and this was the result.



I always use a mix of varieties and colors of tomatoes to get the maximum flavor.




Herb-infused tomatoes.  These are some of my favorite things to do with tomatoes.

Today's are Italian Tomatoes .... tomatoes with basil, thyme, sage, oregano, rosemary, garlic powder and hot pepper flakes.  This recipe is from Balls' Complete book of Home Preserving. 

If the house is on fire ..... I need to grab that book!  It is that awesome!!!

Seriously ... I love instant meals.  Saute mushrooms, summer squash, onions.... cook some pasta and pour this tomato mixture into the veggie combo.  Supper in less than 8 minutes. 

Takes longer to boil the water for the pasta.

Really.

I also do Cajun tomatoes and Mexican tomatoes with seasonings to blend with the cuisine. 

Now to pickle some banana peppers.

Boy, is it getting hot in the kitchen!

;)