Tag Archives: Plant

Apples

15 Jul

I made my nephew breakfast for his birthday.

See those apples? They’re just evenly increasing circles, folded in half and adorned with little brown “seeds.”

Start with 6 sc in a magic circle (or ch2, then work 6sc into the 2nd ch from hook), and go to town!  You know the drill – sc-inc around, then (sc, sc-inc), then (2sc, sc-inc)… just do the last row with red (or green), embroider yourself some little seeds, and fold that bad boy in half and sew him shut (no need to stuff, but you can if you’d like).

VOILA! Apple slices!

Cheap and Spicy, Baby! (And no, that’s not a metaphor).

29 Sep

Spices are expensive (they cost an average of 5 bucks a bottle around here), and since my spice cabinet looks like this:

Spice Town

I’m always on the look-out for spicy deals. Yes, I do buy fresh when I can, but let’s face it, sometimes I just don’t *know* if I’m going to need a bunch of fresh mint, even if it is on sale.  My solution?  I grow my own!  Yesterday I harvested my Aerogarden, plus my 6 basil plants (more on that in a minute), and ended up with this (oh, and yes, that’s the mini counter-top spice stand in the background, where I keep the spices I use on a regular basis.  There’s another cupboard elsewhere for baking spices, but I got tired of taking pictures):

Alotta Basil, yo.

Alotta chives, mint, thyme, dill, & parsley

Red Basil Plants

I didn’t even trim the red basil, thinking there was no way it would fit in my dehydrator, but I stuffed that sucker to the brim and fit everything in!  Yay!

dehydrator-tastic!

a snarf-ton of basil

a half snarf-ton of red basil

Just so you know, when you purchase one of those cute little organic basil plants at the market, I highly recommend making sure you’re getting just *one* plant.  We ended up with two each of traditional basil and red basil (which is, if you can believe it, basily-er than the traditional green… I love it!), plus when the cherry tomato plant in the Aerogarden finally kicked it, we replanted with the seed pods they’d included for free, which contained two more basil plants!  Aargh!  Anyway, for a while I was doing fine harvesting things when I wanted to make a delicious pesto sauce for dinner, or Husband and I’s favorite, Tomato-Basil sandwiches (which we made & served at our rehearsal dinner).  Then I started packing up little baggies full of fresh basil and pawning them off on friends.  And relatives.  And, you know, random people I met on the street.  My poor little basily buddies were all but taking over the house when I remembered my food dehydrator!  Herbs dry out in only a few hours, so by dinnertime all of that lush, green vegetation had turned into this:

dehydrator-iffic!

Which I dutifully separated into jars:

thyme, dill, and a chive/parsley blend

(I find the Aerogarden parsley WAY too strong, so I soften it a bit by mixing it with some chives).

Holy Basil, Batman!

Just so you know, that’s a zillion dollars worth of basil right there, folks.  I’m not even kidding.  I just saved myself a ZILLION dollars.  Which, I guess really isn’t that important, considering I won eighty thousand million dollars from the Zimbabwe lottery this morning (if only I’ll promptly send my bank account #, SSN, and home address to Mr. Guy Who Is Apparently My Long Lost Cousin).  I’m a lucky girl. You wish you were me right about now, don’t you?  *grin*

I also moved the 4 outside basil plants inside since the weather’s turning, and I’m hoping to get a few more harvests out of them.  I have no idea how long the Aero herbs will last… Our cherry tomatoes lasted from February to August, and even then we only had to turn them out because they got too big for the garden.  The herbs have been growing since August, and according to Aerogarden, should live at least 6 months.  We’ll see…

Anyway, by the end of the night last night my kitchen smelled like an herby wonderland, and I had fallen madly in love with this tiny jar of thyme, which makes me want to instantly acquire and roast a turkey:

thyme, glorious thyme

Isn’t that little jar adorable?  Oh, it’s a warm fuzzy in and of itself, isn’t it?

Anyway, Here’s the recipe for the tomato-basil sandwiches… You’re going to LOVE them.

Melissa&John’s Rehearsal Dinner Sandwiches

Take the following ingredients:

-a few slices of your favorite tomato (we like kumato & yellow heirloom varieties, but a nice juicy red one will work fine)

– a slice of FRESH mozzarella cheese (don’t use that packaged stuff… it’s so un-cheesy.  if it isn’t shaped like a ball, don’t buy it.)

– a few leaves of fresh basil

– a dash of salt & pepper

And stuff them in between two pieces of toasted bread (homemade, of course) slathered with Mama’s Apple Butter.  If you don’t have a Mama, I suppose you could use store-bought apple butter, but it won’t taste the same.  If you aren’t brave enough to eat tomato and apple in the same sandwich, I suppose you could replace the apple butter with balsamic vinegar, but again, it won’t taste the same.  Hope you like it!  })i({

Too far! Way, WAY too far!

16 Sep

So, Husband thought that since we’re currently downsizing we should downsize our houseplants, too.  We have this many:

Plus an Aerogarden in the bedroom that’s growing herbs.  Most of these plants are the children of just two: a spider plant my Mom gave Husband and I as a “happy life together” plant, and some sort of cactus-y thing we got as a housewarming gift several years ago.  Here’s a close-up of one of the cactus-y things… anyone know what it is?

A Baby Cactusy Thing

Anyway, the conversation went something like this:

HUSBAND: I think we should get rid of some of our houseplants.  They’re unitaskers, and we hate unitaskers.  They don’t *do* anything, and they just take up space.

ME:   Yes, we do hate unitaskers.  Stupid uni…Wait, WHAT?  No more pretty green pets for me?  Too far.  Way, WAY too far!  Houseplants can’t be downsized!  They… they’re my pretty green pets!

Husband did not seem convinced that we should, in fact, transport my lovelies to our new abode (oh, the horror of leaving them behind!  It’s bad enough when the tomato plants die at the end of the season!!!), and thusly, today’s post:

THE BENEFITS OF KEEPING (pretty, lovely, green-and-fuzzy) HOUSEPLANTS:

1. Plants absorb Carbon Dioxide, Benzene, Formaldehyde, and Trichloroethylene, substances known as VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that live  in upholstery, particle board, paper towels (EVIL, EVIL PAPER TOWELS!), carpets, and permanent press clothing.  They also release oxygen into the air.  I don’t know about you, but I for one am totally, totally addicted to oxygen.

2. Plants keep you healthy by increasing humidity and decreasing dust in the air.  According to a study out of Norway, people who have houseplants get colds 30% less often than people who don’t.  W00t, planty plants!

3. Plants reduce noise pollution. That’s right.  If you’re tired of listening to your neighbor’s phone ringing, fill up your house with high-frequency sound absorbing greenery.

4. Plants increase productivity, decrease stress, and increase creativity.  They also increase Chi, if you’re into that sort of thing. Take some to work with you, too!  I found one study that guarantees you can avoid the “afternoon slump” just by putting a potted plant on your desk.  I don’t know about that, but at least you’ll have someone to talk to when you’re trapped in that little cubicle.

5. Plants symbolize friendship. Okay, that’s not actually a benefit, but it is rather nice, don’t you think?

Anyway, I didn’t just make all this up.  Even NASA agrees with me!

Here’s a list of common household plants and what they remove from the air: Super Plants!

And here’s a blog post I totally dig: AWESOMELY AWESOME HOUSEPLANTS, AND WHY WE LOVE THEM.

So.  That settles that.  We’ll be taking the houseplants.  NASA says so.  })i({