Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Arts & Crafts Chair

The chair was another Craig's List find.  I plan to recover the seat with the left over recycled leather I used for the last oak Arts & Crafts chair I did.  The chair has a board covering the missing webbing and foam cushioning so this project should be very similar to the last one.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More Flowers


Tiger Lilies: The bulbs have been past down from my great grandmother's garden.
Yellow Loosestrife

Raspberry Ice Opera Supreme Petunias


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Yellow Pea Pod will be ready to pick tonight!

Yesterday I was working in the garden planting my second row of beans, more beet and rutabaga when I notice that my yellow pea pods will be ready tonight.  There were a few that could be sampled last night and I could not resist eating some of them raw.

Golden Sweet Pea
 My Dwarf Gray Sugar Peas are not far behind.

Since Saturday the broccoli has doubled in size.

Strawberries and Spinach

After Farmers Market on Saturday, I went strawberry picking at one of the local farmers U-pick fields.  The weather was warm but the breeze was cool making it a perfect day for picking.  I only planned on pick one tray but ended up with two trays (12 x 18 inches).  I managed to wash and clean one tray Saturday evening before going to bed.

Sunday morning I woke up early and made a strawberry pie which I put in the freezer.  I like to make pies and freeze them so I just defrost and cook them when family comes.  I found time to slice a large bowl of strawberries so have them for this salad or just by themselves.

Friday evening I harvested all my spinach and cleaned them.  After finishing the one tray of strawberries I save a gallon sized bag of spinach and blanched the rest for the freezer.  I still have the second strawberry tray to clean and process today.

The first time I had this salad was at a Mad City Quilters Picnic held every May and several of the ladies asked for this recipe.  The salad is easy to make just added spinach and strawberry until it looks right to you and then add the poppy seed dressing.  The next time I make it I going to just some thinly sliced onions to it.  I think the onion will balance well with the sweetness of the strawberries and dressing. 

Poppy Seed Dressing

1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds (I use blue poppy seeds but any will do)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/3 cup white vinegar

Add onion and garlic powder to taste.  Shake well and pour on salad.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Blooming Garden

Perennial garden on 6/14/2011


Serveral types of bearded Irises.

American Columbine

Seberian Iris

Bleeding Hearts
Jack In the Pulpit

Sage Flower

Creeping Phlox

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Spinach Tart

Every spring when the spinach in the garden is ready I must make this tart.  The spinach is doing well in the garden since we have had a cold spring this year.  I have a second planting just ready to harvent too.

A spinach and strawberry salad sounds good for this batch.  The local farm where I pick strawberries sent a fryer saying their strawberries will be ready to pick this week.

The recipe below I try to reduce the fat and calories by using fat-free milk and olive oil for the pastry.  The filling I replaced cream with fat-free evaporated milk, used olive oil instead of butter, and I substituted 2 egg white for one whole egg. 

I served green beans I frozen from my garden last year, a fresh salad with radishes, chives, and fresh oregano (from the garden) and red grapes.

Spinach Tart

1 Pastry Tart, see recipe below
1 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
2 (12 oz.) bunches spinach
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 green onions, chopped
2 eggs
2 egg white (I use powder egg whites and use a hand blender to break up the powder into the whole eggs)
½ cup fat-free evaporated milk
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese (can use chèvre)
6 cherry tomatoes cut in half
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Tart Pastry:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached, all-purpose white flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
½ cup olive oil
5 to 6 tablespoons fat-free milk

Mix together pastry, until crumbly and transfer into tart pan. Spread the dough out, press it in place then put it in the refrigerator until filling is ready. Preheat the oven to 400F. Wash the fresh spinach well and remove tough stem and bruised leaves. Dry spinach and chop it. Start heating a skillet and when hot add olive oil, green onions and spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted. Let spinach cool. Add eggs and egg whites in a medium bowl and beat until light. Mix in evaporated milk, nutmeg, salt, pepper, parsley, and the feta cheese. Squeeze out any excess water in the spinach; add to cheese mixture and mix. Pour mixture into the chilled tart pastry. Place the halved cherry tomatoes in a circle around the top of the tart. Grate the Parmesan cheese over tart. Place tart in oven and cook for 10 minutes than turn down oven to 350F. Continue baking for another 25 minutes or until a toothpick come out clean. Serve warm.
Makes 8 servings.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Wednesday night we have 4-6 inches of rain in one hour.  Here is what it looked like outside my three-season porch.  I just hope all the seeds I planted in my herb garden did not wash out.

Two years ago I saw a bigger water fall with water over flowing the road to the tree on the another side of the creek.  I see this kind of flooding over the road at least 2 to 3 times a year.

I hope to find more time doing updates now since most of the hard work putting in to garden is finished and I harvested my first planting of spinach.  I plan to make a tart from it.