Independence Days Update

My Independence Days Update.

You can find Sharon’s update here with other updates in the comment section.

1.Plant something – More cucumbers and tomatoes have been placed in the garden. I planted Henderson Limas and the zucchini to feed the nation. The limas have sprouted and I love the little lima children.
lima babies

The potato, corn and green beans are up.
Some of our peppers are blooming.
pepper bloom
2. Harvest something – We harvested all sort of lettuce, green onion, radishes and herbs

3. Preserve something – I dried several herbs this past week.

4. Prep something– I got information on growing upside down tomatoes which I am going to try. You can see what a great idea by going to Eclectic Edibles

5. Cook something – Always cooking but have been a bit lame on the subject since getting my new high speed. I can’t even explain the freedom I feel without being bound with dialup.

6. Manage your reserves– Spent much time with newspapers and checking local sales since I always stock up sale items when taking my shopping trips. When it takes an hour to drive to stock up we make the trip as little as possible. I am bad about just circling things on the flyers and carry them with me and not making lists. My organization skills could use some tips and patience on this. We weeded the flour beds and gardens.

7. Work on local food systems – Afraid not this week. I intend to look into a local stand that supplies local fresh eggs and take a visit to a local working meal for flour (correction I meant to say working mill not working meal here…do I have food on the brain or what!). Not enough time in my days.

I’ll leave this post with some beautiful flowers blooming at my home right now.



Birthday Party Theme

My grandchildrens birthday party was May 25th at a local park.

Their mom Tina wanted a theme, so when she asked me to do the cakes I was stumped at first.As I thought on it, I asked what she thought about a jungle theme with monkeys.

I was thinking about that game, Barrel Of Monkeys, and how I could do cakes with
palm trees and place a monkey from the game on the cakes to look like monkeys were
hanging from palm trees.

Tina agreed it was a good idea.

We had a centerpiece of pineapple, banana, and coconut with balloons.

I did each grandchild a separate cake. Fraternal twins are double the fun you know.

I also did a large cake for everyone else. I am not a professional cake baker
but everyone felt they turned out very good. Tasted great too.
jungle theme
To carry the theme farther I dipped pineapple pieces in chocolate and sprinkled them with coconut.
We split a coconut to use as a dip bowl for chips and nestled it in flaked coconut so it would
sit straight.

Of course, one of the games had to be Barrel Of Monkeys to see which child could link the most monkeys.

It is funny how different each twin is.

Xavier being the most outgoing twin dug right into his cake.
dig in
Kingston took his time and seemed to be admiring his cake, but finally dug in also.

It was a wonderful time! What a privilege to be able to bake my grandchildren their first birthday cake. It will be a happy memory in my mind for life.

If you are ever stumped for a birthday theme, why not use a Barrel Of Monkeys?

Salad Spinner

Oh my gosh…Before I leave for a while I had to show what a beautiful salad I harvested from my mesclun mix this morning.

It has been raining a couple of days so I look this morning and it had taken off growing like crazy! I have always grown black seeded simpson but this is my first year growing a mixture.

I also got to use my new salad spinner.

I love to just take the basket out and fill it straight from the garden, then come in, wash and spin away. I don’t know how I did without it all these years. If you don’t have one it is a great gadget to have and invest in.

So much for my show off, I am so excited!

Independence Days Challenge

Sharon’s Independence Days Challenge update can be found here. Link

Here are my weeks challenge results, to the best I can remember. I didn’t get much done because my grandkids were sick and couldn’t go to daycare a couple of days. I always keep them when they are sick. Poor little guys.

1. Plant something.
Since we can not grow lemon trees in our area, I planted lemon balm.

Outside of a fence our dogs will trample, lay on, or devour anything around. I had to place tomato cages over the lemon balm plants to ward off the dogs. I also planted more peppers.

I transplanted some cilantro that had sprung up on its own from seed last year.

I have been trying to start cilantro from seed I harvested and they just recently formed their second leaves,

so I am glad some took the notion to jump start and grow itself!
Some flat leaf parsley seems to be doing the same thing (grow itself), and dill.

2. Harvest something.
I harvested some cilantro, oregano, thyme and dill and cooked by using them in recipes this week.

3. Preserve something.
I preserved more dried oregano.

4. Prep something.
I did prep by collecting some lemon balm recipes from the web and got instructions on starting and maintaining a compost bin.

5. Cook something.
I am always cooking something..anything new this week? No.

6. Manage your reserves.
I managed my reserves by inventory of my home canned goods. Did I dread doing that one. I threw out some older I figured we wouldn’t eat in time so the jars would be available for this season. I also used up some stuff, like the last of my canned tomatoes.

Whatever you do, if canning, don’t store the jars with the rims on like I often do. You are supposed to store the cans rimless.

7. Work on local food systems
No local Food work this week, unless you count feeding sick grandchildren to grow into local citizens someday.

I might be scarce the next few weeks. Grandkids birthday for me to work on and I am getting a new computer and high speed.

Hopefully by the time any webbies see me again I will be zipping around cyberspace on my new system.

God Bless!

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day to any mom reading this today.

My son took his wife and me and papa out to eat at a local restaurant with the grandbabies.

Tina, Xavier, Me, Kingston, Paul

It is hard to believe that my honeybunnies (grandkids) will be one year old on the 25th of this month.


KingstonI will be baking their birthday cakes so you can be sure I will be blogging on that one.


And I got red roses from hubby today. He is so sweet.

Like I said “Happy Mothers Day”.

Independence Days To You!

Sharon is running a Independence Days Challenge Independence Day Challenge
which is very inspiring to me. It entails to each day try to do one of the following

1. Plant something.
2. Harvest something.
3. Preserve something.
4. Prep something.
5. Cook something.
6. Manage your reserves.
7. Work on local food systems.

While I have not officially joined the challenge I feel I may participate as my time allows, since I have been trying to evolve as such anyway.
Her declaration follows –

quote –
United Food Sovereign People of the World. It is so desperately needed that we do declare our independence from the globalizing, totalitarian, destructive, toxic, dangerous agriculture that destroys our future and our power and pays to destroy democracy. And so, when in the course of human events it becomes necessary for people to divorce themselves from a system that has become destructive, and thus:

We the people, in order to form a more perfect union of human and nature, establish justice and ensure food sovreignty, provide for the common nutrition, promote the general welfare and ensure the blessings of liberty, for ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this constitution for the United Food Sovereign People of the World.

So for last week we planted rhubarb and lavender, a few Big Boy tomato and hot banana pepper. ( I don’t want to plant too many tomato or pepper yet because I have a hard time covering in frost events)

I lovingly looked at our smaller salad garden taking off.

That is black seeded simpson lettuce, jersy wakefield cabbage, english breakfast radish, some sort of shorter carrot and some yellow and white onion sets growing. I have some mesclun mix growing in the end of the herb garden because the smaller garden didn’t have the room now. Isn’t it funny that “mesclun ” means mixture? So we are basically saying “mixture mix” when speaking of mesclun mix. Sort of redundant huh?

I also have head lettuce seed but that will have to wait until fall because I am running out of space.

We planted summer squash seed and transplanted some winter squash plants to the larger garden.

To ensure local food systems hubby bought 6 zucchini plants! I thought, my gosh we will have zucchini to feed the town! What was he thinking?

I cook and prep all the time, but I did dry some oregano to preserve. I also harvested green onion and some dandelion greens for salad on Monday and have been using them all week.

To manage my reserves I took a long hike in our woods. I figure I need to manage and reserve my stress levels too.

I ran upon this beautiful wild azalea.

Look at the stark difference between the wild lone azalea in the woods and the tame ones lining my garage.

I also ran upon these tiny yellow daisy looking weed although I have no idea what it is.

Maybe wild daisy?

I feel my Independence Days abounding and look forward to making further updates.
And Independence Days to you too, my child.

Food in My Hair , As Opposed to Hair in My Food

As a teen, I loved the look of frosted hair. You know the light streaks against a darker hair shade.

As time is no longer my friend and I look at the years and naturally frosting hair, graying, I decided I might like to do something about it.

Being the evolving organic nauralist that I am slowly but surely becoming, I felt there must be some way to color hair without all the store bought chemicals.

I have even taken to house cleaning with baking soda or vinegar solutions of late.

Something food or herbal related to hair dye should be out there. Foodstuff and hair..they match, especially when finding hair in foodstuff.

Like the doggie waterbowl I saw that said.
“A dog rules this kitchen and all recipes taste better with a pinch of dog hair.”

Can you imagine? Pinch of dog hair… uggg!

I thought of beet juice hair dying but figured hubby might not take to coming home and finding my head pickled one day, with a combination of beet juice and cheap red wine.

I did an online search.

I could find henna for dark hair.

For info about henna go to… Link.
This is a tattoo artists henna page, but it does tell about henna and how the products labled henna will have other chemicals and how henna does not come in a slew of color.

Then I found Indian gooseberry and coconut oil.

I needed something dark.

I did find some other interesting “facts”..oh gosh from the internet.
I should say I found a barrage of maybe true, maybe mindless, information.

Then a natural dye for lighter hair
which I might try to see if it helps the gray a bit.

Quote from above link

1 tsp ground ginger, i tsp dry mustard, 1 tsp curry powder and a pinch of tumeric. (be careful with tumeric, hair can turn clown yellow if you use too much. all of these ingredients are spices that can be bought in any grocery store. i put the spices in a bowl, pour one cup of boiling water over them, cover tightly and let cool. next strain saving the liquid. pour over washed and dried hair about 5-6 times. i use a basin in the sink or tub to catch the mixture then pour back into the cup and repeat 5-6 times. don’t rinse,squeeze out excess water cover with shower cap and leave on about 30 minutes. rinse with cool water lastly i add a dash of vinegar to cup of cool water and pour over and leave in. acts like a conditioner and keeps the color in better. the mixture doesn’t stain my skin,sink or hands. there is some dripping under the shower cap so have a towel handy. this gives me a natural light golden blonde hair color, and my darker hair blends in washes out with each shampoo so has to be done each time. the gray is comletely covered using this method, even better than hair dye which often won’t cover the temples or the sides. the spices and the vinegar condition it and idon’t have to use a’s recommended to a patch test with herbs and spices first.”

On going without shampoo – not sure I could handle that one.

Some natural shampoo recipes where we are also told to use eggwhite as a facial.

Food in my hair …….and on my face!

Just Open a Can of Pimentos

Have you ever gotten a can that would not completely open with a can opener?

What do you do with the thing?

You have a can that the opener only put a dent in the top. Sort of like a crease along the edge with maybe an opening of an inch.

What to do?

1 – Take your expensive chefs knife and pry that baby open! Risk loosing a finger.
2 – Try to wedge a spoon into the inch and spoon out what you can. Throw away the rest.
3 – Just toss it all and open another can.
4 – Complain to the manufacturer of the opener.
5 – Complain to the manufacturer of the can.
6 – Complain to your blog.
7- Figure you didn’t need the stuff anyway and do without.
8- Substitute another can of stuff. Like the recipe calls for tomato sauce….Just open a can of pimentos because they are red too, (A food processor works wonders, sort of like magical).

Shrimp with Feta and Orzo

I have featured this before but it is so good I must again.

It was a Cooking Light recipe but I added the oregano. I have too much oregano on hand not to add it. The addition made it even better in my opinion.

feta shrimp
Shrimp with Feta and Orzo – 4 servings 363 calories each

1 cup orzo — uncooked
1 each tomato — diced
2 each green onion — sliced thin
4 ounces feta cheese — crumbled
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper — to taste
1 pound shrimp — cleaned and deveined
1/4 cup fresh basil — chopped
1/4 cup fresh oregano — chopped
olive oil spray

4 servings 363 calories each.

Preheat oven to 450.

Spray a 9×11 pan with olive oil cooking spray.

Boil the orzo for 5 minutes and drain well. Mix the orzo with the tomato, onion, feta, lemon juice and zest. Salt and pepper to taste and then spread the mixture in the baking pan.

Spread the shrimp on top of the orzo mixture and then sperad the fresh herbs on top of the shrimp.

Spray the top of the mixture with olive oil cooking spray and cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the shrimp are done.

Per serving: 363 Calories (kcal); 9g Total Fat; (22% calories from fat); 33g Protein; 36g Carbohydrate; 198mg Cholesterol; 492mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 4 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates