It keeps getting better and better in the gardens. Hmmmm, I sure do a lot of garden posts in the spring and early summer. The new readers I acquired when “Lovely Irises & More” was Freshly Pressed are going to be disappointed when they stop.
Anyway, have a little wander through the back border, where more and more flowers pop up every day.
And finally, the small child is displaying good literary taste at an early age. Don’t you think?
I am on a mission to create a vast repertoire of crockpot recipes that we truly enjoy. Trying to cook something from scratch every night hasn’t been working for us for a long, long time. Probably since the middle of my pregnancy. There have been too many nights of frozen pizza, meager leftovers, and fend-for-yourself. Sparks works hard and deserves some food at the end of the day. The crockpot, which cooks enough of anything to feed us for three meals, is the answer.
Here is today’s experiment. Chicken, sausage, and white bean chili. It’s the first hit when you google for those words and I don’t see how it could fail–it’s flavored with onion, garlic, cumin, chili, and tomatoes. Sounds like a slam-dunk. We also really liked chicken breasts with onion, salsa, and taco seasoning. That made great tacos. We were less excited about crockpot chicken curry (curry just needs to be fried in a pan, end of story) and crockpot beef stroganoff (the beef fell apart, leaving us with a tasty but nasty-looking brown mess).
Do you have any suggestions?
And to bring a smile to your face, here’s some footage of our walking monkey. I give her credit for walking at 14 months because she was taking a couple of steps at a time. Now she’ll go all the way across the room. Go Mimi!
Enough with the pastel quilts and lemon ice cream. This post is real, yo.
There are ALL KINDS of things that nobody will tell you before you have kids. Or after. Things you have to find out by yourself. Things even Vicki Iovine won’t tell you. And this week, I’ve learned one of them.
They start to go to daycare or playgroup or preschool or kindergarten, right? You’ve heard about how they’re going to be sick a lot for a year or two, right? You imagine coughs and sniffles and maybe even (snicker snicker) some explosive diarrhea.
Your imagination is limited.
It turns out there is a whole host of viruses that “everybody” gets as a small child and never thinks about again, and yeah a lot of them are just fevers and sniffles, that’s it, la de da. But there are some mean ones. Some different ones. Some gross ones. Some that you feel embarrassed about and feel sure your mother wouldn’t want you talking about on the internet. Some that you apparently didn’t get as a small child, and aren’t immune to.
I’m trying to say that I’m in the throes of Hand Foot & Mouth Disease and am feeling Under The Weather and also Mad As A Hornet. This is worse than chicken pox.
All those slobbery open-mouthed baby kisses? They’re so cute, right? No, you can’t resist them. That’s why they’re the world’s greatest untapped biological weapon.
As my mother in law would say, “too much TMI.” You’re welcome.
Sparks loves anything lemon, and while I’m partial to anything lemon I especially love lemon ice cream. My mother made some from a Martha Stewart recipe in 1997, back in the old days when Martha was ten times as wonderful as she is now and everything else was ten times less wonderful than it is now (apologies all round), and the lemon ice cream was an absolute revelation. So now, when the internet has made everything pretty great, I still make lemon ice cream sometimes and I still think it’s greater than most things on the internet.
Did that make any sense? Never mind. Just eat this while watching The X-Files on Netflix Streaming, and pretend it’s still 1997.
Sparks and I had both had double helpings before I could photograph it, sorry. It’s that nice. I have tweaked an internet recipe to make it just right for us, so here goes.
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 T lemon zest
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups cream
Put all ingredients except the cream in a saucepan and heat over medium-low until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat, pour through a strainer, and refrigerate until cold.
When cold, whisk in the cream and put in your ice cream maker of choice. When the ice cream maker is done transfer it to a storage container and put in the freezer for at least a couple of hours before eating.
It’s only June 11 but it is truly summer in my flower gardens… even the chrysanthemums are blooming, and I can’t pinch buds fast enough to stop them.
Here is one of the fancy coneflower hybrids. In real life it is much pink-orangier.
And another–a hot pink double decker.
And finally a bright orange one. If I had tons of cash, I’d do a big coneflower hybrid bed, with lots of colors all together.
This potentillia went in last year, and I’m happy that its flowers are every bit as gorgeous as I’d hoped. Like geum it makes many small flowers on tall gangly stalks. It would look best tucked in among bushier things, like coneflowers and mums.
The palest of my pink bee balm is blooming. It bloomed much earlier than the rest last summer, too, though it’s about a foot taller than it was last summer also.
And THE HOLLYHOCKS. This venerable tree of a hollyhock is in its fifth summer with me now. It is the sole survivor of my hollyhocks from the other house. The last two summers here the deer have nipped it so badly that it barely bloomed. This summer we moved it to a more sheltered spot and without deer pruning it, it has gone crazy.
Two plants that I started from seed two summers ago are now big enough to bloom also! This lovely peach double..
And this dreamy white one. I have half a dozen more seedlings coming up in the same bed, so here’s to oodles of hollyhocks in the coming years!!!
Our house officially has 2.5 bathrooms again, hooray! Sparks renovated the powder room piecemeal on his weekends, and today he hung the mirror so it is officially finished. Woot woot! Great job Sparks!