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I'm never bored. If I'm not knitting or spinning, I'm gardening or reading. Always up to something!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Autumn Beauty

 My husband and I went to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, New York on Sunday. Rhinebeck is a couple of hours north of us but their foliage is prime and ours is disappointing this year.  Maybe it's the amount of rain we had this year compared to New York. Whatever the reason, the trees alone were worth the ride. 







 
My camera wants to do watercolors

 




                                                                                                                 

 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Garlicky Stuffed Shrimp Casserole

My local grocery store frequently runs specials on bags of cooked, veined and peeled medium shrimp.  I get two frozen one pound bags for the price of one.  I started looking around for recipes to use one of these bags without resorting to my old stand-by, Stir-fried shrimp with whatever vegetables are in the freezer or in the vegetable drawer.  I've never found a stir-fry sauce that my husband really cares for.  So after drastically altering some recipes I found on-line, here's what I came up with.  DH and I both really enjoyed it so you might like it, too.


Marinate first 4 ingredients together for at least an hour:

1 lb. peeled, cleaned and cooked shrimp, rinsed well, tails removed
1 T. olive oil
2 T. white wine
Salt and Pepper













Into 1 stick of softened butter, mash together:
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
3 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. rosemary, crushed
1/8 ts. crushed red pepper blakes
juice of 1 fresh lemon or lime
1 egg yoke
2/3 cup breadcrumbs

Place shrimp into gratin dish or 10 inch ceramic pie plate.  Cover with stuffing, then drizzle with the marinade drained from shrimp.  Bake at 425 degree F. oven for 15 - 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.  We enjoyed it served over Basmati brown rice to soak up all the garlicky juices - yum...




Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hello Little Joe!

Native to North America, Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium) was reportedly named for an Indian healer from New England.  Joe Pye weed was used for curing early colonists' fevers, healing kidney stones and urinary tract infections.  It is also know as "Queen of the Meadow", "Gravel Root" (for the kidney stones?), Kidney Root and Purple Boneset.  It's very cold hardy and favors moist, organically rich soil and full sun.  Can you count the bees on this little guy?  This is not the standard variety but a small descendant of the original plant.  It's been reported that one of the many suspected causes of honey bee hive collapse is the lack of native plants for a natural source of food for the bees.  I suspect this is true based on the number of bees that have made themselves to home on this little plant.  Suburban gardeners have abandoned native varieties of plants for newer, cultivated varieties of landscape shrubs, leaving this little guys hard-pressed to find nectar to sustain them through the coming winter.  Do your little bee friends a favor and plant a "Little Joe" in your home garden.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Landscape Plants

Autumn is a great time of year to add landscape plants you've been admiring all summer.  My centerpiece is a new baby Hydrangea Quercifolia "Snowflake".  I've left plenty of growing room around this little one so it can stretch out next spring and take her rightful place in my garden.
She has green oakleaf shaped leaves and will (hopefully) have large white bracts of small white flowers which will turn dark purple in the fall.


To the side of the front door I planted an evergreen with a fern-like welcoming shape, "Fernspray False Cypress).  It's described as having an Asian appearance.


So on the other side of the entrance, I planted an upright Japanese Plum Yew.
 
 

And on the opposite side of the Plum Yew I added a Weeping White Spruce.
 

I was looking for bergundy flowering shrubs that would stay compact without having to resort to barberries.
 

So I planted two "Little Devil Nine Bark" shrubs and a "Little Joe" Pyeweed.  I had to shoo two honey bees off the "Little Joe" to be able to get it into the car.


It all looks a little "new" right now.  We'll see how it all comes together in the spring.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Away from it all


My husband and I took a few days away last week.  Rockport, Massachusetts is a peaceful little village on Cape Ann, a little bit of the rocky land that extends into the Atlantic Ocean just north of Boston.  During the summer months it's crowded with tourists. In September, before New England foliage madness sets in, it's quiet and peaceful, as if the whole town is taking a breather before winding up for the next influx of visitors in October.

Motif #1 - so named as it is frequently the subject of local artists

 

Shops on Bearskin Neck closed early for lack of customers







Stately homes intermingled with fishing shacks




Faded summer dressed up for autumn



Peaceful water



Quiet little town on the bay