Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Blueberry scones - courtesy of A Growing Tradition

I don't know why I have this insane desire to bake lately.  It isn't particularly cold or grey here.  I just feel like having some baked goods around.

I read about Thomas's blueberry scones earlier this summer, and immediately threw some blueberries in the freezer in anticipation of the day we would bake this.


Finished scones cooling - before I was forced to break off a piece

The recipe was simple, easy to follow and the smell is heavenly.  I just took the scones out the oven and I can hardly wait for them to cool. My almost 2 year old couldn't wait ,  I had to break off a piece for him. (Ok, I snuck a bite since I had to get him a sample). Even without the lemon glaze.... delicious. And the glaze with the scone ---- to die for.  I will definitely be making this again! The texture is light and crumbly and the outside has a satisfying crunch without being at all tough or hard. Slightly sweet and perfect with a hot cup of tea.

Now the question is, do I have enough self restraint to stop at one piece?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Harvest Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Monday!  Fall is in the air and I can't wait to bake our first batch of pumpkin muffins. Unfortunately they will not be from our home grown pumpkins, since we have absolutely none set..... But the vine is still out there for my oldest, just in case something happens. You never know.

This week we had a nice harvest, not a lot of variety, but the fall garden is too immature for much and the summer garden is winding down.  We had our first Yellow Brandywine tomato harvest!

We have a total of 6 on our plant and 3 were amazingly ready this past weekend. All together we had 1 pound 15 1/2 oz of Brandywine goodness.  My mother-in-law was impressed when we showed her our bounty via skype.

We had one very simply with dinner in a tomato and heart of palm salad. It was very yummy.

And pretty!

There are some jalapenos and habeneros out there I need to pick, but I got side tracked with other garden chores.  I'm pretty sure I went out to pick the peppers and ended up cutting back my neighbors encroaching shrubbery, the gladiolas that have started to die back, the roses, and pulled plants that have needed to go for a while.  I ended up with 4 containers ready to plant and my yard looks much more trim now. Maybe today the scraggly cucumber vines will be cleared away and the spot made ready for some seed starts.

Harvest Monday is a chance to see what gardeners around the world are growing. Pop on over to our host's site, daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com and see everyone's gardens!

Happy gardening all.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Harvest Monday, Sept 19, 2011

It's hard to believe that gardens around the US are wrapping up for the season. The boys and I are extremely fortunate to live in SoCal, earthquakes and all. Our harvest this week? Basil, Super Sweet 100 tomatoes, Jalapenos and Black Beauty Eggplants.

We have been neglectful in photographing our harvests, but here are the  ones we have.

We had 2 come from the garden the past 2 weeks. One was 13 oz and the other was 1 pound 3 1/2 oz. Not to shabby. And no pictures of tomatoes, jalapenos or basil. Ah well.

We also found some tomato hornworms.....

I will admit, I screamed like a frightened girl when I found this one, and I wasn't much better with the rest (my camera is acting up and I can't download the pictures of the rest). They creep me out when they are this big, they remind me of the aliens from the movie... well.... "Alien"....     I really need to be more diligent about checking the plants.  I glanced at the Yellow Brandywine plant that has toppled over it's 5 foot tall tower.... and I am afraid of what I might find in there.... I look, and we get the little guys.... but some always escape... and I always scream like a girl....

I'll think good gardening thoughts, but I really need to go take a peek at the Brandywine. And I'm nervous....

Pop on over to Daphne's site and see what others are getting from their gardens.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Oh what a night!

Well, I don't know if anyone heard about this, but SoCal, parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico lost power yesterday.  It was surprising to say the least. And amazingly enough, most of my info came from friends on Facebook in other parts of the country who were updating to let us SoCal folks know what was going on.

We had a grand time. The portable blue-ray player wasn't charged, which was unfortunate, because entertaining two boys in the dark is hard.  But the IPOD had just enough charge for the boys to watch a show while I ate dinner, by candle light.  It would have been romantic, except the hubs was still at the office. Our seldom used camping equipment came in handy though!  I went digging in the garage storage bins and unearthed our camping lantern.  They boys thought it was fantastic. And showering by lantern was a novel experience for them.  Ryle kept getting confused when he would walk into a dark room and try to turn on a light though.

The lights came on in our neighborhood right before bedtime. Everything that needed charging was quickly plugged in incase it didn't last. Most places did not get electricity restored until the wee hours of the morning. So we were extremely fortunate.


It is finally a cool day again, so I will venture out to the garden and see what's been going on. Happy gardening!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hot and humid

I had forgotten how yucky humid weather can be. We have lived in California for 8 years and I avoid traveling to the East coast during spring and summer months because I have become thoroughly wussified about the heat. Yesterday was rainy and hot, never a favorite of mine.

Phew, the East Coast came to Cali! We have A/C, but I try to avoid using it, I may relent today as it is supposed to be hotter than yesterday. I went out to the garden to check up on the garden, pick what was ready and plant out a few things that were outgrowing their starter pots. Within 10 minutes I had sweat dripping off of me.

Let's hope the plants love it though! We planted out the Tatsoi and Kale for our fall garden and more peas and fava beans. I am pleased to announce that as of today, no peas or favas were consumed by any rodents. Maybe it was a one-off incident....

Monday, September 5, 2011

Harvest Monday, September 5, 2011 and rodent update

Happy Monday!

We've been a little MIA on Harvest Mondays lately, but we had intended to post.... I swear. (And I actually think I'm using the Royal we here.... since I'm the only one in the family to post... ah well.).

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne and is a wonderful chance to see what home gardeners are growing around the world. Or attempting to grow.

We had a few harvests that did not get photographed or weighed, but we've been munching on garden cucumbers and beans for a bit, and of course, cherry tomatoes. We are still waiting on our Yellow Brandywines to plump up and change color.

2 pounds 3 1/2 oz of tomatoes

Some very ugly corn.
That's it for the harvests.


We've been having some gardening woes lately. We have been "enjoying" a nocturnal visitor to the garden. He's been snacking on newly planted pea seeds, Fava beans, and corn.

Rat chewed corn

Disappearing peas

A hole that used to contain a Fava bean that had just started unfurling

Leftover Fava shoots after the beans were consumed

Well, what's a city gardener to do? We hustled over to Lowes, bought some rat traps and hustled over to the nursery to purchase some seeds to replant. Grrr.... Just when I thought I had a good timeline for planting.

So the first day I put out a trap next to the planter with the peas, with his second favorite garden food, cherry tomatoes (I've been picking them as they start to change color just the slightest so the rat doesn't eat them). The next morning I ventured out to find the peas eaten and the trap still set with the tomato. Arg.... But laziness prevailed and day 2 was trap with tomato again.... but IN the planter... Morning brought more missing peas and a missing tomato with an unsprung trap. Darn it!  Day 3, trip to Lowes for a more sensitive trap... And peanut butter as a lure. Day 4.... new traps that I worried about getting my fingers smashed into were still unsprung and the peanut butter was gone. Old trap, next to our Fava bed, was moved.

Gotcha you big rat! (I'll admit it, it scared the crud out of me when I walked outside and actually saw the darn thing.) I know, I know, I bought a trap, I should be prepared for it to actually work, especially when I was mad when they didn't work. But Ugh, that's harsh. I made the hubby toss this poor smooshed rodent in the trash. Gross.... and now I actually have to dodge some rain to try and replant today.

Happy wet gardening. And sorry for grossing you out.