Sunday, July 25, 2010

basil, basil everywhere

Maybe there is such a thing as too much basil. Here's what I brought in yesterday. Here's what I cut today, along with several carrots the deer have ignored. That's a lot of basil, and there's more where this came from! Not to mention out back, in the water garden. Last year, it produced a ton of basil.

This year, there's Genovese basil (the standard), African blue basil, Box globe basil and cinnamon basil. All of which is trying very hard to flower and go to seed. With nary a tomato in sight.

Sigh. . . .

Well then, next up: pesto! If we don't have tomatoes to do caprese we'll have to do pasta with pesto. So there! I think I have all the ingredients on hand.

But first, wash, dry and strip basil leaves. From yesterday's harvest, I got 2 gallon ziplock bags of leaves, and what look like tobacco stains on my fingers. Oh, and a headache and a backache. . . . I'm not exactly looking forward to smelling basil for another 3 or 4 hours today, or stripping off the teeny-tiny box basil leaves. But I suspect I'll be pleased in the middle of the winter when we can pull out a basil-ly green bag of frozen summer! (at least that's what I'm telling myself for motivation now).


I fell in love with these socks the first time I saw them.

I've been wanting to cast on to knit them ever since! The problem was finding a nice shade of green yarn. Sock yarn these days is all variegated or hand-painted it seems, at least in the shops. If you do find a single coloured sock yarn, it is either acrylic or a poisonous shade. What gives? I had some cotton yarn in a nice green, but it proved to be a little too thick for socks, and trying to knit it on smaller needles ended up with me constantly battling split yarn. No fun! Then, I found 'mood indigo' variegated cotton/bamboo yarn at the Sea Needles shop in Bethany Beach. The owner there told me they rarely stocked solid colour sock yarns because it simply didn't sell. . . . Sheesh! In future I'll have to order sock yarn online, I guess. This colour looks nice with jeans, but also has black in it, which I wear a good deal more often. Anyway, I cast these socks on 3 different times in 2 different yarns and 3 different gauges before the 'three times is a charm' kicked in. One sock is finally done now. It's comfy. I'm still not crazy about these socks in variegated yarn; it disguises the really cool ribbing details. Look closely, past the wild colour flamboyance. I really need to make these in a solid colour.

First, though, I have to knit another sock to go with this one! I've just cast on for sock number 2.

Friday, July 23, 2010

the cucumber remedy: a vichyssoise!

What to do with a surplus of cucumbers? A friend suggested a cold cucumber soup [?!] and gave a general idea of the recipe. I'd never heard of it. It sounded wierd! But the more I thought of it - in 100 degree plus temperatures - the better it sounded.

This is a somewhat different version I ended up coming up with, which was delicious! Here's the recipe: Cucumber garlic chive vichyssoise

Really, I can't tell you how good this is. Even the king - who initially was not inclined to be a fan - enjoyed it. In fact, I am instructed that the soup is to be preferred over what was to be my next project: Pickles!

Luckily, there promises to be a surfeit of cucumbers - so perhaps I can make both before the end of the growing season.

P.S. - in the recipe, I neglected to note that the potatoes should be peeled and cubed. Please so note!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

on the beach

The pictures by Michael Shakespeare Gregg of the child dedication/baptism last weekend are so splendid, I didn't want to bury them in an otherwise rather drab post about liturgies!

Here is the family in question: Here, the 'officiants'. Aunt Dawn with Joshua, the elder. He did well! And now it's Joey's turn. He looks a bit ill at ease; perhaps we'll hold Uncle Jeff's hand. . . . . . . and he did well, too. It was quite a day. . . .

Here's the liturgy again, for those who wanted it.

All photos in this post (c) 2010 Michael Shakespeare Gregg


I cannot keep up with the cucumbers. Every time I turn around, there's four more. And every yellow flower is potentially yet another one! Here's what happens over the course of a few days.
Here (below) is what happens if you miss one! I've decided to leave this one on the vine to see just how big it will get - as well as what colour it ends up. I've never seen the likes of this before. A yellow cucumber! Oh, and did you know that cucumbers on the vine are rather prickly?! I'm thinking that's why the deer won't touch them. . . .

Well, I'm off to find a pickle recipe. Any suggestions? I'm thinking that's the only way to deal with this onslaught.

Note to self: one cucumber plant (given enough bees) is more than enough to keep us in cucumbers!

Further note to self: plant more germander [pictured left]. It attracts more bees than any other plant in the garden, and the germander/cucumber corner is veritably abuzz with our pollinating friends! Not so the cucumber plants on the other side of the garden (for which I am grateful) as well as the melons (for which I am not). I think we need more bees on that side of the yard. As I have declared war on the deer, however, I suspect Luther has declared war on the giant bumblers. . . . It's a problem.

Yes, I know that there's a zucchini crouched amidst the cucumbers. Can you spot him? Yoo hoo! Queen Muh-hum! Time to come fetch your proh-dooce! [grin]

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

This Means War!

Everyone knows that deer won't touch tomatoes. So what are those green globes littering the landscape in my garden?! Right. Tomatoes.

Apparently no one bothered to tell this year's crop of fawns that they don't like tomatoes. They pulled down just about every green tomato on the plants.

Here are the cloven footprints to prove it! And the little fawn-ey tooth marks. (and the little green bits of where they apparently spat it right back out again! The demons.)

If I'd caught them in the act, there would have been violence, no matter how much they look like Bambi! As it is, I've gone through an entire big canister of cayenne pepper and have cracked open its replacement canister. In some good news, the cayenne is also discouraging Luther's occasional nibble of leaf. The deer also ate the carrot greens, which reminded me to check the carrots again. I found this guy - who looks like he will take up arms with me to fend off the deer. Oooh, they're in trouble now!!!

Meanwhile, I actually had to buy tomatoes yesterday. We won't have a ripe tomato for another couple of weeks.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

children - baptism vs. 'dedication'

No, I will not be writing a theological treatise on this subject.

When photographer Michael Shakespeare Gregg gets some photos together I will add a photo or two of the spiritual subjects in question: Joshua and Joseph, two tykes who were dedicated [if not baptized] this weekend on a beach in Delaware. They are adorable!

The event required a liturgy, which was not that easy to find. At least I found it difficult to find a liturgy that was reflective of a Biblical understanding of what we were doing, and managed to explain it to those who do not have much Biblical background. (That, and not be all formal and so ritualized that no one actually hears what's being said!)

Much of it had to be written from scratch.

Anyway, here is the document, which may be freely used or borrowed from: Liturgy for child dedication baptism Several people had asked where they might find a copy. I hope it may be of use!

Notes: we split the talking up (in the document you will see roles for two speakers by ink colour). Also, about half way through, the kids started squirming. . . . Depending upon your subjects, you might not want to bring the child up until the "by what name will this child be called" part!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

pixie socks

Cutest baby socks ever!

With a name like SockPixie you expect cute. These socks deliver! You can find SockPixie's free pattern here. I am not completely convinced they will fit a newborn, but what do I know of babies?!

These are the ones I knit. I guess they do look large enough, when pictured with my hand for size reference. . . .

Yes, the greenwood is expecting a grandchild. Of the male persuasion. Did I mention that? Hip, hip, hoorah!