Lasagna: more of an art than a science

This isn’t quite a recipe, just some directions, for putting together lasagna. Basically, you have sauce, into which you might add ground beef or sausage. I always use sausage if I put any in at all. And you have your creamy cheese and your other cheese, and your noodles. But you need to know what to use, so those parts are in bold color. Options are italicized.

I hope this doesn't just seem too hard to understand. I wanted to go through the process as though you're here. And I think if you read it over, then go back to what you need, it will be easy to do.

SAUCE AND SAUCE ACCESSORIES:

Obviously you can use a good jar sauce, or you can make a full-on simmering sauce from top to bottom. Usually I take a middle path. For meat sauce, I use a pound of sausage without the casing/casing removed, cook it on medium in a little olive oil with some onions and peppers if I have those, then I add three or four garlic cloves (depending on size,) which I like to thinly slice, but you can mince, and 2 ounces of tomato paste,* stir it around for a minute, splash in a half cup of wine if I have that, or chicken or beef broth or water if I don’t, and then two large cans of tomatoes, squished by hand. This is enough to do a 9x13 pan. Obviously, you can just do half. Try to get tomatoes grown in Italy if you can. There is a difference.

In these photos, note that I first softened the onions and peppers in olive oil , then let them cook more while browning and attacking the sausage. When the sausage was nearly done, I stirred it together, then made room for the tomato paste. Choppedstuff
Choppedcups
Drygoods
Oliveoil
Sausagewithsoftstuff
Incorporated
Tomatopaste
Addedwine
Squishing
Tomatosauceif you are adding 1/2 cup water instead of wine or broth, put it in the can, swish around, then add.

*The tomato paste makes it all richer. Toasting it before adding liquid makes it nicer.

After you squish in the tomatoes, add a little oregano; crumble a couple of teaspoons with your fingers, or a couple of teaspoons of mixed Italian seasonings, and salt and pepper as you like. You could put in mushrooms once that’s all accomplished; 1/2-1 cup chopped, but not too finely. This makes a plain sauce good for baked pasta. Add a couple of pinches of dried red pepper if you like.

If you are using ground beef instead of sausage, you need to cook it first, seasoning it well with two teaspoons dried seasonings and s and p, drain and remove it, then cook the peppers, onions and garlic (add that after the other two have cooked til softening,) in the same pan with just a little olive oil, then add the meat back in and proceed.

If you are using jar sauce and you don’t want extra peppers and onions, cook your meat, season if it’s ground beef rather than sausage, add in your mushrooms if you wish, splash in a little wine, then add the sauce and simmer it while you do the rest. If you do want extra peppers and onions, follow the first set of instructions, and add the sauce when you’d add the canned tomatoes.

If you want directions for longer-cooking sauce, okay, but otherwise, I will address that on meatballs day.


I think you need three-four cups of sauce for an 8x8 pan, about six-eight for a 9x13. If you included meat, you’ll want more, if not, you’ll want less. We like it to be pretty darned saucy here at our house.


FILLING:

While that is simmering on low (you might need to put on a lid,) cook your lasagna noodles if they are the cooking kind, for two minutes less than done. Make sure the water is pretty salty. And while that is happening, mix your ricotta. Now, no one asks for as much of this as I like, unless they are correct. So for an 8x8 pan, use a 15 ounce container, to which you add an egg, or for 9x13, 30-32 ounces to which you add two eggs, and then add 3/4 or 1.5 cup of parmesan or romano cheese or both if you want.* Sprinkle in a little salt and pepper. Some people also add a tiny bit of nutmeg, like 1/4 teaspoon. It’s nice to do, but don’t add more than that. Add a half cup of fresh chopped parsley, or a couple of tablespoons of dried parsley. You can also do a combination of basil and parsley. Add half as much for 8x8 pan. I'll be honest here; I mix this by hand. I just like to. You can use a spatula, though, and then divide the mixture in the bowl into two or three equal parts, depending on your layers. See below.

If you are going to be using spinach, there are two ways to add it. First, loosely chop a pound (or half) as you like, cook it for a couple minutes in salted boiling water, drain it really well, squeezing out the moisture, then add some pepper and a dash of nutmeg (instead of putting that in the ricotta.) Then you’ll either layer it with the other ingredients, or you can mix it into the ricotta, but I wouldn’t. Just layer it.

Then you want shredded mozzarella, and many Italian-American ladies will use provolone, either instead of or in addition to the mozzarella. I made it yesterday with one pound shredded mozzarella**, and a half pound sliced provolone. For the top you want another half cup of the parmesan or romano. I think it’s four ounces per cup. Cheeses
*I like romano (pecorino) for this better. Somehow I usually end up using some combination. I buy wedges and grate it myself, but for this trial, I bought it pre-shredded. It was on sale.

**If I see whole milk mozzarella at the store, I will buy that instead of shredded, and shred it myself. Sadly, that’s not easy to get around here. If you are not using provolone, use 1.5 lbs of mozzarella for a 9x13 pan.


ASSEMBLY:

How many layers of noodles do we want? Three is easiest. You have a little sauce in the bottom, noodles, stuff, noodles, stuff, noodles, topping. If you are using spinach, stick with that, I think. But you can do four otherwise, which I like to do.

Don’t, for the love of Raphael, rinse your noodles, even though they’ll stick a little.

Put a little sauce on the bottom of the pan, just enough to cover it. Fit a layer of noodles in, overlapping them a little. Spread, if making three layers, 1/2 of ricotta mixture, then 1/3 of the mozzarella with 1/2 of the provolone, then 1/3 of the remaining sauce. If you are adding spinach, put 1/2 of it between the cheese layers. Repeat the process. Put a final layer of noodles on top, the remaining sauce, the remaining mozzarella, a little more parmesan, and then you can add a little crushed oregano over it to look nice. Put it on a flat cookie sheet or pizza pan, or put one beneath it in the oven to catch drippings. Stations
Globsofcheese
Spreadcheese

Mozzarella
Provolone

Sauce
Readytobake
If you are doing four layers of noodles, you’ll divide the ricotta and provolone in thirds, and the mozzarella and sauce in fourths. In the above picture, you can see I used three noodles on my bottom layer, but my pan can handle four. You can decide that for yourself. Setup
In my oven, it cooks for 40 minutes at 375º, covered in foil. Then it takes another 15 minutes to brown. That’s for the 9x13. For an 8x8 pan, figure more like 35 minutes and 10 minutes. Then it must rest for at least half an hour; an hour is better, before cutting.

You’ll have some noodles left if you cooked the whole box. I always do because they can be eaten a day or two later with other food; you can roll things in them or chop them and cook them with leftover food and put eggs on top. Baked


Double wedding ring quilt re-re-revisited

My great-grandmother was making this for me when she died in 1968. At least, that is what my mother told me 15 or so years later. It was kept in an old box all that time, and after she gave it to me, I’d take it out and look at it now and then, then return it to the box. It has survived countless moves, a few attempted repairs by a sweet young daughter, and my own sense of what ought and ought not to be done with it, which changes every year. 20170706_102707

Last year I cut away the most damaged parts on the back, attached a lightweight interfacing, and pinned some muslin to it. And shockingly to those who restore for posterity, I LEFT IT PINNED THAT WAY. 20170706_102851

I know, I do. Horror. I didn’t mean to; my brain flips over sometimes. I was going to attempt hand quilting first, but even at her rather casual eight stitches per inch, my own sewing (though I'm decent at embroidery) looked awful by comparison, plus I have things to do. I tested a bit of machine stitching using invisible thread on top so there’d be a stitch gap, but it still didn’t look right. And then I got busy with baby quilts.

Looking at it today, I thought, this is just enough. Something has to be done, and no, not for heirloom restoration; that is just not me. It needs to be finished and whole, and see how it lays over my bed nicely? It could keep doing that, and I’d just be gentle folding it back at night.

So my daughter’s blue stitching. Why not carry on with that? I can hand stitch all the white sections with blue floss, and run the machine over the patches in off white. 20170706_102742

20170706_102731

It will look cute.

But as to the repairs, that’s a tougher matter. There are several patches to replace; I will find an old piece of clothing to cut up and insert, carefully. 20170706_103740
I will start quilting with the new piece of backing in place, then add an additional layer; no batting. And then that leaves the unfinished scalloped edges. I might turn and stitch them before attempting any binding. Got to still think on that.

I wish I knew her; my dad's grandma. I had just turned three when she died. Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 10.58.46 AM


perfectly natural

I'm going to do a lot more gardening posts this year, along with just a few sewing and cooking ones, and hopefully an occasional poem.

But for an unofficial official start to the season, I just had to share this. Last Friday I planted some pepper seeds in little starter pods. They were in this plastic container, Pepperboxand today I noticed they were retaining too much moisture in it, so I moved them out.

Look what was left behind! Isn't it just the most? TinypepperbabyIn the first photo, it's along the back wall very slightly left of center.

Here is baby lettuce. Mesclun
I also have baby spring onions and some wee little chardlings. They got late starts, but they'll be just fine.


Experimenting with a dessert no one likes but me

And writing this as I go.

I chopped five challah hamburger buns (I know, what a thing, but they were marked down,) and divided them; there were maybe six cups challah bread total. I don't know. I mixed each half with a couple tablespoons of melted butter and put them in 9 inch cake pans. So, as much as will fit in two of those. Whichever of these you try, just double everything for a 9x13 pan.

To one I added a generous amount (@2 tsp) of cinnamon and half a cup of brown sugar, and to the other, about a half cup of sliced almonds and a half cup of white sugar. 20170215_123748
Over each of them I poured two eggs and an egg yolk, whisked, and milk added to that to make two full cups of liquid. The brown sugar one got a splash (let's say 2 tsp) of vanilla extract, and the white sugar one got almond extract. I am going to use the extra egg whites along with their shells to clarify some soup stock which is reducing on the stove.

I forgot to add a little salt, but I think the salted butter will help with that. Also, and this is before I am tasting it, a half cup of sugar might be too much; it looked like a lot as I was sprinking it on, and might want only a third. 20170215_124824
They are in the oven at 350º for 35 minutes, and I am expecting them to need at least five more.

Before I finish, I want to point out that the longer the bread cubes soak in the liquid, the more puddingy they will be. Personally, I like them only half-puddingy, suspended in the custard around them, and with a tiny bit of crunch on top, so I don’t let it soak long before baking. That sounds super gross, doesn’t it? But it is delicious. I just adore bread pudding, as long as it doesn’t have raisins in it. It can have chocolate chips in it, if you like to do that*. I don't, but it occurs to me you could add some shaved chocolate and grated orange peel, and that might be really nice. Maybe with a splash of orange liqueur.

Also, sometimes people make a hard sauce to go over it. I do like that, however, as I need to reduce and have no business eating bread pudding in the first place, I’m going to skip it.

 

*I wish I could remember the name of the book in which an old lady is staying with some kids and they make chocolate chip stale bread pudding. The concept utterly fascinated me, but my mother refused to make bread pudding. Sigh. Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 1.13.06 PM
In the end, these small pans baked for 39 minutes. The brown sugar one puffed up more, but settled down to the same level as the other. 20170215_132959
When you get bread pudding at a restaurant, it's much more dense, because they use a deeper pan, pack in the bread, and also start the custard process before pouring it over the bread cubes, by warming the milk and other ingredients first. I like my way better, and it's simpler to do. And so far, I like both versions, though I might favor the almond one slightly more, because I really love almond-flavored desserts. I'm going to taste them both again later to see if I feel the same way.  They would be divine with a little cream poured over the top, or with ice cream, if you really like ice cream. The brown sugar cinnamon one would be good with a chopped apple added to it; if you use a green apple, maybe toss the pieces with a spoonful or two of sugar first, and a squinch of lemon juice. The half cup of sugar was just right otherwise, for a lightly sweet dessert.

 


It ought not to be…

Hi there. This is my domestic arts blog and newer poetry and tiny story spot, now rolled into one. I needed to simplify, and it occurred to me that the name of this blog is sort of perfect for all my various doings, season by season. Today I have the garden on my mind.

Currently, during what is generally the coldest week of the year here, it is 60º in southeast Cincinnati at noon o’clock. That is just about 15º for those of you playing the C game. Here is some attractive info from Weatherspark about what it’s typically like here, or was. If you are now just fascinated by my climate, click here and scroll down to see what a cloudy cloudy spot this is. I’m not adapting well to that.

But the rest of it is a guessing game at this point, and these pictures demonstrate the result of that. Liliesindistress
Liliesindistress
Liliesindistress
The second photo is garlic shoots. There tend to be a few which appear a few weeks after planting in autumn, then they die back til spring. But they are in a different kind of limbo this year.

None of this should be growing or green right now. We had a warm winter in 2013, when the lemon balm came up early. This past autumn it never even fully died back, nor did many of the other perennials, and the ones which start greening in spring began doing so in December, instead. The years between 2013 and 2017 have each had their own set of extremes, as well.Frontstuff
Frontstuff
Since December we’ve had several actually frigid days (below 15ºF/-9.44ºC,) but they’re mostly just punctuating weather more typically seen in early March. So even my late season pansy plants never died. They aren’t blooming, of course, but are behaving like perennials instead of annuals. I think maybe it feels like this in winter in the south of England, or South Carolina; I don’t know. I’m not well-traveled.

I super hate cold weather. Not because I’m particularly cold-natured, though cold is pretty bad for the asthma. I hate having to wear coats and shoes and not getting to sit in the yard and grow things, and I hate the bitter evening wind when I’m out trying my best to keep from doing nothing but hibernating until April. So I felt pretty darned good out there this morning wearing jeans, a sleeveless top, and my garden clogs, taking these pictures and checking things out. But it’s unsettling, and I am worried for my grandchildren, rather than maybe just for theirs, as I was in the past.  

What we see now are more extremes. Wild temperature swings, tons of rain followed by no rain at all, and a sharp beginning and end to summer, with the rest of the seasons all just drifting into each other. Here along the middle-middle latitude, gardening recommendations keep changing and there are more microclimates; tiny pockets with more heat than surrounding areas, than there were a couple decades ago.

Your superficially labeled binary politics aren’t that interesting to me, as an aside. I’m just reporting here: what I see, what I’ve known, and what I fear might now be the way of things, which, in the span of a single human lifetime, seem like they ought not to be. If this season looks to continue as it has been, though, I guess I'll take advantage of it and plant some lettuce, and put a few things in the plastic greenhouse next month instead of in March.

I already did plant a butter lettuce stump yesterday and put it under the plant lights. To end this with a photo, which is nice to do. Lettuce


Occasionally crafty, and tasty, too

I made a gingerbread house. I’d never made one before, except from a pre-baked kit my daughter found at a yard sale or something one time. And I think that’s all. Housefront
First I bought some candy, and then I went looking for templates, recipes, etc. I didn’t like any of the kits, and also, whenever you buy an all parts included kit of something, what you make never looks like the picture on the box. That’s not good for the psyche. But I found a different kind of kit that I did like! And I am recommending it to you if you want to try this, for a couple reasons. Bakeset
It contains just the frame pieces and a set of good instructions, which is all you really want. It even has recipes for the gingerbread and the icing. I compared them to some online, and decided their gingerbread recipe made very good sense. I am glad I used it. It has a very small amount of baking powder; recipes I saw at websites either had none, or too much. Well, I guess those ones either shrink or spread, or I might be wrong about that, but I’m not taking the chance since this one didn’t. Housepieces
I didn’t use molasses, though, and that might have been a good thing in terms of how it baked, or it might not have mattered at all. I used dark corn syrup I already had, because I was trying to make this house for an amount of money I could recommend without guilt. You might already have dark corn syrup for some other purpose, as well, but if you don’t, it’ll be less expensive than molasses. Royalicing
People were discussing whether it would taste as good or better, and worried the dough would be too light in color. This seemed odd to me, as all I was concerned about was the physical and chemical properties; would it have the same viscosity, and would it change how the dough rose? It turned out very well, barely changed size at all, and set up perfectly. Also, still brown. Spreadingtray
I used some candy from Big Lots and some my son brought me from the store he works at. And I took my time. Baked one day, assembled and decorated another day, decorated some more the next day. I might add a little more to the back. I’m a very “less is more” kind of person regarding this sort of thing, so I had to try to see it another way.  "Finish," go back, add more, repeat. Housebase
It still wasn’t super cheap. The kit was $12 and the candy also came to around $12. It could be done for less, though, if you make your own templates and follow the recipes I am sharing below. And it could be done for a lot more if you buy a fancier kit and/or fancier/more candy. Completehouse
Frontleftcorner
Leftside
Backleftcorner
Backhouse
Rightsideblur
Shame to end on a blur, as phone decided to focus on background instead, but I didn't feel like going down to take another photo. So there we are. And here are the recipes. I used salted butter. Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 11.40.20 AM
Roll the dough 1/4 inch thick and place on parchment-covered baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350º F. The edges will look crisp. Set your cutters or templates over the warm dough to see if the pieces need squaring. Let them cool completely before handling.

To make Royal Icing: 3 egg whites, 1 lb confectioner's sugar, 1/2 tsp cream of tartar, 1/2 tsp almond extract (go ahead and use vanilla if you don't have almond,) beaten on high for ten minutes. If you want to dye it, spoon some into individual bowls and add gel colors. It will harden quickly, so keep it sealed airtight or covered with a damp cloth.

If you do it yourself without a kit, just take your time, spreading icing over a foil-covered cardboard or tray (which I did only in the center first, adding more later when it was time to arrange the trees, etc.,) setting the completely cooled bottom pieces in and sealing them together with more icing, and be sure to let the base dry before adding the roof pieces with yet more icing; holding each section in place until it will stay on its own. Then wait until that's all dry before pasting on the decor. In the meantime, seal away the icing, and also keep a damp cloth over it while you work.

One other thing—when I took the dough out of the refrigerator, I worked with 1/3 of it at a time. I cut three house pieces each from the first 2/3, then used cookie cutters on the rest.

 


Cooking DNA

I started Italian-American Sunday last week on a whim. You can see my Google Plus collection about that; read the post at the bottom first. I am missing that part of my background so hard as I grow older, and don't know how to get any of it back except by cooking.

[I want to apologize for all this text before the cooking part; I don't like that very much as a rule. But I had a thought process going.]

This past week, as you know, Central Italy was upended by an earthquake. Amatrice was hit very hard. And so I thought I would make spaghetti all’amatriciana on Sunday in honor of the people there. I went to Jungle Jim’s on Thursday for Smoking Goose guanciale and a couple of other ingredients. I learned Jungle Jim's had the guanciale by asking them at Twitter. And here it is:

Goosepack
Porkjowl
You’ve probably seen this dish with bucatini; the hollow spaghetti. I read this is because that’s how it evolved in Rome, but in Amatrice, they still use spaghetti. Hopefully, they can rebuild and continue to do so in the future.

I pretty much always use linguine. If a dish wants angel hair or something, generally it doesn’t appeal to me anyway.

So I Googled some recipes, found several that claim to be the most authenticest at all (try amatriciana ricetta tradizionale in the search window,) and decided to use two as influence for my dish today. I added the Serious Eats suggestion of white wine for deglazing the pan to this recipe I found which is charming in its English translation. I did not remove the guanciale before warming the tomatoes, as some other sites suggested.

Apparently, one important aspect in the original version is using a different pecorino than Romano. Romano is strong and salty, and according to the self-appointed authority, the sauce wants a milder one.

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 11.43.54 AM
However, I couldn’t find the right pecorino at Jungle Jim’s, not because they don't have a jillion cheeses, but because it's made in small amounts and isn't widely available.

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 11.43.20 AM
So I stood there and sniffed all the cheeses made with sheep’s milk to guess what might work, then ended up choosing something I decided would just be right because it’s what I’d have to use.

That’s how it works, you know.

The other aspect is whether to use fresh or boxed tomatoes or tomato sauce. I speak with someone on Google Plus occasionally who tells me that where she lives in Italy, the tomatoes and tomato sauce come in boxes instead of cans. So, I bought boxes at Jungle Jim’s when I shopped for the cheese and the very important guanciale. I do have fresh tomatoes, but all the ones coming in now are yellow, which we don’t want for this sauce.

Finally, I read today that people are encouraging restaurants to serve Bucatini All’Amatriciana and send the proceeds to the Italian Red Cross. You might see if a restaurant in your city is participating, or donate directly if you are able.

Ingredients for last night's Linguini All'Amatriciana:

8+ ounces (225-250 g) guanciale cut into small strips
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium heat chili pepper (you could use a few flakes)
1/3 cup (80 ml) dry sherry (when it calls for white wine, what I have for it is dry sherry or dry vermouth)
750 ml box Italian tomatoes (I used strained, but I think chunks would be better, or a large can of San Marzano tomatoes, squished with your hands like Lidia does.)
1 lb dry linguini
1/2 cup grated (microplaned) Pecorino Romano mixed with 1/2 cup Trugole
(I think that's 50 grams each, maybe don't quote me.)

And here's what to do with it:

Heat olive oil in wide pan large enough to hold all of the above. Add the guanciale and the chili pepper, and stir around until the guanciale is starting to become translucent. Serious Eats recommended medium high. I heated to medium high, then turned it down a little when I added the meat. This took about five minutes, but you could turn it down more after the oil is heated, and go more slowly. Guanciale
Sizzlingmeat
Turn it back up to medium high and add the sherry or white wine, and scrape the pan with a nice flat wooden spatula. Or what you have. After a minute or two, add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt. When it bubbles, turn it down to simmer. If you put in a whole pepper, take it out now. Pomi
Cook the linguini about two minutes short of done. Be sure to add plenty of salt to the water. Then take the pasta right out of the water and add it to the simmering tomato sauce. It's better to do that than draining it, but if you have one of those cool pasta pot inserts, yay, just be careful adding it all at once. Then add a half cup or so of the pasta water, stir it in, and add the cheese, stirring some more. Let it cook for a few minutes to thicken the sauce and finish the pasta. Cheesepan
Spaghettipan
You might be used to sauce just put over pasta at the very end, and this will have a different texture. You will love it, but it will thicken more as it cools, and be less nice later on. So eat it right away, and if you aren't going to eat this much at once, cut the whole recipe in half.

Serve with more cheese for the top. You will just love the guanciale, and it will have been worth seeking it out. Other recipes will tell you it's okay to substitute pancetta or something, and I'm sure you can make something nice with it, but it won't be the same food at all.
Spaghetti


Imaginary Grace: garden update, part one of two

Hah, it's been two months since I shared here. First, May was just horrid. It was no May at all, just cold and weird. That didn't ruin the garden, but it had an effect on a few things. The summer squashes aren't having a good year. But there's still time. Growth is stunted or strange in a few other places, too. But there's still time. 

And then, well, June has been busy doing double duty. I've taken hundreds of pictures to share here, but time passes and it all changes! Here is some of what I was looking at this morning.

My carrot forest! Best carrot year ever. Carrotsandcosmos

Volunteer tomatoes in the snap beans. There are six of them, and this is where I wanted to plant tomatoes next year, so...but also, all that area was cleared away and there haven't been tomatoes there since 2014, so I guess some birds were very busy. Surprises

I planted twenty asparagus bean seeds. Seventeen of them seem to be thriving. Animals got to two, and another never appeared. Longbeans

This is my happy spot right now. Happyspot

More tomatoes. I have them everywhere. Last year was such a poor year for them, I am overcompensating. Tomatoannex

The deck garden. Deckgarden

Ss100

And some of the flowers in the 16x4 area next to the neighbor's yard, currently named "Defense Against the Dark Arts." You may imagine why, as you choose. Marigolds

Dahliaforgetmenot

Summer

Pinkcosmos


Seedlings and Friends

Some stuff I got going in the garden. Starting Sunday, the bell and hot peppers, eggplants, and remaining tomatoes in greenhouse can all stay outside full time. Some of the tomatoes are already living outside. All that remains then is to sow some cucumber seed, and hopefully a pumpkin or two. And of course there are cosmos and marigold seedlings out there, and I have some basil to plant with the tomatoes.

CabbageEarly Jersey Wakefield cabbages, two more in a different spot, and red and yellow onions.

CarrotsCarrots, not ready yet to be thinned. I think these are Danvers. I got free Purple Dragon seeds that I'll plant for autumn.

ChardlingsRainbow Swiss Chardlings. There are two more in with the sugar snap peas.

HotpeppersHot peppers from a seed mix. There are five here and six more already in pots.

Lettuce Buttercrunch, red and green leaf lettuce.

MustardTendergreen Mustard. It's said to taste like a mustard/spinach hybrid. I don't remember which kind I had last year.

PeasandleeksTwo varieties of peas, and leeks.

Saladrose Salad Rose radishes. They form a border between the onions and two varieties of snap bean seeds, which I just planted.

Squash One Black Beauty zucchini and two yellow crookneck squashes.

SugarsnapSugar Snap peas and a couple more chardlings.


Quiet anticipation

It's been spring for most of the month. We're expecting a cold spell tonight through Monday, then it all sets off again, colors and scents and tastes. I'd say I can't wait, but I can...because I don't really need to. I have seedlings to mist and plans to reshape and a battle with squirrels, rabbits and deer to prepare for.

Blueandyellow

Crabapple

Hyacinth

Brandywine

Limebasil

Ss100

Sanmarco

Plantroom

Cosmos