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A Winter Favorite

March 13th, 2017

In the winter we eat vegetable from the freezer, but I still crave lettuce and greens. My favorite winter salad combines stored root vegetables, nuts, and greens. Some of the lettuce I grow under lights, the rest I get at the store.

This is my all-time favorite winter salad consists of greens topped with radicchio, celery, dulse, beets, toasted walnuts, Bulgarian sheep milk feta, and dried cranberries topped with a mustard maple vinaigrette. I can eat this salad every day and I have to admit that sometimes I do and never tire of it. It’s even better when accompanied by a new book on my Kindle.

What’s your favorite salad combination at the moment?

Friday Favorite: Rice

March 27th, 2015

I love rice, really, really LOVE it. Since I grew up in South America, rice was a staple. As a result it’s kind of like a comfort food for me, rice and beans. I could eat a big bowl of plain rice for dinner. Delicious fragrant rice cooked with sweet browned onions and coconut oil. Cilantro lime rice is another one of my favorites.
I find my enameled cast iron pan to be the perfect pot to cook rice in. Many years ago I had a rice cooker and it worked well, but it quit working and I started using this pot. It cooks rice to perfection every time.

What are some of your comfort foods?

In My Library

January 19th, 2013

Many of you are avid readers, like me, you are probably interested in what other people have on their bookshelves. While I was looking for a book the other day, the thought hit me that you might be interested in seeing what books I have gracing the shelves in my home.
on My Bookshelf 11
This will be a series, every now and then I’ll feature a few of the books on my shelf and tell you about them, where I got them, if I love them, etc. First off, here’s a section of my gardening books (yes my books are categorized by topic).
perennial combinations
We’ll kick it off with Perennial Combinations which transitioned from my mom’s library to mine about 10 years ago. She purchased this book about 20 years ago when they built a new home.  It’s a fantastic resource, especially if you’re planning on expanding your gardens. Inside you’ll find many stunning combinations of perennials that work together, they’re even categorized by zone and soil type. You don’t have to worry whether all the plants will do well together, if they’re grouped in this book they will. This book was a valuable resource when I gardened in Ohio, it gave me so many great ideas of plant combinations for all the soil zones in my garden: clay, sandy, dry, etc. If you enjoy perennials or have problem areas in your garden, this is a valuable book to have in your library!

carrots love tomatoes
This companion planting book also came to me by way of my mom. I’m not sure if it alway works in every garden, but it can’t hurt! Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening is a fascinating read and will give you some great ideas on companion planting options for you garden.
soil mates
If you want to learn more about companion planting but don’t want the in depth read of the book above, Soil Mates is the book for you. In this sweet little book, you’ll find companion planting simplified and portrayed beautifully. This book would be especially fitting for that younger gardener in your life, they’ll be drawn in with the beautiful layout and captivated by the writing.
companion planting
I won’t talk too in depth about Companion Planting: Successful Gardening the Organic Way, since I have a blog post dedicated to this book. If permaculture is something you’re interested in, this book is for you. Gertrude Franck was way ahead of her time. The garden planting philosophy she puts forth in this book is fascinating. This spring I might plant a garden using her unique methods because I think she was on to something!
elements of garden design
Elements of Garden Design is the book for you if design is as important as plants in your garden. This book leans towards garden geekery, but in a very understandable way. I love Joe’s writing style, so this was the garden design book I chose when I wanted to read up on the subject. It’s on my reread list as I plan out the overall design to my new garden. If you struggle with design and want to understand more about it, this is the book for you!  You’ll find a lot of valuable information in this book.
garden in your house
I found this obscure old gardening book while reading Onward and Upward in the Garden. There’s not much I can say about it, as I haven’t read it yet. Paperback Swap was the source of this book, so I didn’t pay a dime for it. One of these nights I’ll have time to crack it open and see if it’s good.
start with the soil
If you’ve been reading here long, you know I’m an advocate of soil building. I believe that gardeners grow soil and not plants. Start with the Soil is the book for you if you’d like to learn more about building the soil in your garden. Even with it’s slim size, it’s packed with tons of information. I was lucky enough to score this book for a few dollars at a used bookstore in Virginia on our way to visit Monticello.
the cottage garden
Classic cottage gardens are among the things I love, especially those that include vegetables, herbs and fruit.  Naturally, I LOVE  Cottage Garden (DK Living). This book made it’s way into my library many years ago, in fact it was one of the first books I purchased when I fell in love with edible gardening. There’s something captivating about traditional cottage gardens. This book is filled with beautiful imaged and wonderful ideas on how to make your garden like the stunning cottage gardens of England. I love pulling this book out on cold winter evenings and dreaming of my future cottage garden!
our life in gardens
My favorite garden book of all time is Living Seasonally: The Kitchen Garden and the Table at North Hill by Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd. Naturally their other books also hold places of honor on my bookshelf and Our Life in Gardens is among them. This is a small book filled with short chapters, perfect for a few minutes of peaceful reading before bed. If you love the personal side of gardening you will certainly enjoy this book.
on My Bookshelf 2
There’s a look into a small portion of books in my library. Stay tuned, I’ll keep adding to this series whenever I have time.

Have you read any of the books mentioned above? Any recommendations on books I should add to my library?

The Series:
In My Library – part 1
In My Library – part 2
In My Library – Part 3
In My Library – Birding Books
In My Library: the Edible Garden Edition

If you do want to purchase any of these books or anything else from Amazon, use my Amazon Link, I’ll earn a few pennies to help pay for my now outrageous hosting bill for this blog!

In the Limelight

August 22nd, 2008

One of my favorite plants is the ‘Limelight’ hydrangea. I’ve confessed my love of all flowers green before. I bought this shrub as a tiny stick from a mail order nursery several years ago. It’s now taller than I am and blooms beautifully every year. One great thing about this hydrangea is that it blooms late summer through the fall, which is nice since many other flowers are fading at this time.

The blooms on ‘Limelight’ hydrangeas come out green then slowly change to white then to pink in the fall. I leave the blooms on mine till the following spring, they add some interest to garden in winter.

If you’re looking for dried hydrangea blooms, this plant makes the prettiest one. I’m not one to have dried flowers in the house, but I’ve dried some for friends. Depending on when you pick them they dry green or pink.

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.