Wordless Wednesday

Calendula

Ladybug hunting aphids on parsley

Honeybee working the sedum

Parsley going to seed

Agastache

Potted Meyer Lemon in Bloom

Green Meyer Lemon

Viburnum Fruit

Anemone Blanda blooming in the Fall

Long blooming perennial, Farfugium, formally known as Ligularia

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Family Treasure

We have family members who have packed up their home of 50 years and are moving cross country to smaller digs.  I have been the lucky recipient of some amazing  garden/library/kitchen pieces that they no longer have room for.  Here’s a small sampling…

Family Treasure

Family Treasure

Family Treasure

Fun, no?  I’m in love with the planter, I currently have an african violet sitting in his head.  And I adore the small, threaded rolling pin.  Does anyone have a clue what it was used for?  I believe it’s around 100 years old…

As always, thanks for reading EG!

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My ‘to do’ list…

Is there anyone who doesn’t love a ‘to do’ list???  I have a giant, continually updated garden ‘to do’ list that I keep on my iPhone.  It’s entitled: GARDEN IDEAS (genius no?).  I should probably have my head examined for starting it to begin with.  It’s a happy day when I can cross a few items off, but generally I just keep adding.  I thought I’d share it with you, feel free to laugh…

To Do Lists

Stone Balls at Garden Entrances (this actually involves many bags of cement that are sitting in my garage – still…)

Move rhubarb outside fence (must build the garden that is lower down on the list for this to happen)

Move horseradish outside fence (ditto from above)

Earliest narcissi for woodland trail

Narcissi in the driveway pachysandra

More muscari under the right arbor

Continual bulbs in the pool garden

Add ephemerals under cherry

Add ferns and hosta under cherry and hemlock

White lilac

Double French lilac

Arbor of some sort for grapes

Thalictrum

Aconitum

Clematis up the hydrangea

Research, order pond liner

Bottle Brush Buckeye for tree house area

Dig Yarrow upstate

Move pieces of stone and start new bed

Order flat stone (halfway done!)

Buxus or evergreen in the pool garden

Broad Beans – Patience Grey recipe, Favas at Rareseeds.com

Abelia

Root chicory, salsify, scorzonera & black radishes

Move solidago to meadow

Iron weed for meadow

Organic spray for kale & cabbages (just mixed up a batch of salt & water. we’ll see if it’s effective, then I can cross one off!)

1 Bean tower, 1 Mexican Gherkin tower

No broccolini

Order garden stakes (Just did it!)

Comical no?  And as you can see some of it is kind of vague, but generally I remember what I meant.  Sort of…

 

So care to share your to do list with me?  Please?  It would make me feel better…

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Wordless Wednesday

Partridge Berry or Squaw Vine

praying mantis hunting for dinner

woodland wildflowers

Farfugium, used to be called ligularia...

Arisaema, or jack-in-the-pulpit seed head

Cornus Kousa dogwood bark peeling beautifully

fading hydrangeas

White Baneberry

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Herbed Roast Chicken

Herbed Roasted Chicken

I think I make roast chicken of some sort at least once a week throughout the year.  This version, herbed roast chicken, is great because it utilizes an herb that I grow that is a bit unique and adds just amazing flavor – orange thyme.  And I like to stuff the cavity with lemons to give it that extra citrus punch…

Herbed Roast Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 Roasting Chicken (I usually buy an organic bird)
  • Unsalted Butter (Half stick, soft)
  • Orange Thyme (I used about ten sprigs, wash and remove the leaves as best you can)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper (Freshly ground)
  • Lemons (Cut in halves or quarters)

Directions

Preheat your oven to 375.
I should probably start this description with "I brined my bird", but I didn't. It would probably be even better but sometimes there just isn't enough time. What I did do was wash the beast and salt the inside cavity well, then I added the lemons.
Butter Compound for Herbed Roasted Chicken
In a small bowl, mix your butter, the thyme and about a teaspoon of salt together with a fork.
Loosen the skin of the chicken on the breast and with your fingers schmeer (technical term) about half of the butter compound on the meat. Then schmeer the rest all over the chickens skin and top that with a good grind of the black pepper.
Pop it into your 375 degree oven for 15 minutes and then turn the oven down to 350.
The easiest way to tell if the bird is cooked is to cut into the joint of the leg. If the juice runs clear, it's done, red it's not done, no juice - you've overcooked it - time to order out.

 

 

Just deglaze your pan with water, stock or wine for homemade chicken gravy

And don’t forget to deglaze that pan!

Currently this is my favorite roast chicken…The skin is amazing and brown, the meat is perfumed with citrus and the pan drippings are just amazing.  It’s all around a fabulous meal.  But I’d love to hear what your current favorite chicken dishes are.  I was recently introduced to beer can chicken (Thankyou Lisa!) and it is to die for!  I’m trying it this weekend :)

So what’s everyone cooking???

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Wordless Wednesday

extravagantgardens.com

extravagantgardens.com

extravagantgardens.com

extravagantgardens.com

extravagantgardens.com

extravagantgardens.com

extravagantgardens.com

extravagantgardens.com

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Clam Bake

Every year we make an annual pilgrimage to Maine and every year that we’ve gone we’ve talked about having an authentic clambake – you know the kind – open fire, seaweed, lobsters/clams, corn and fabulous garden salads… Well, we finally did it this year and a grand time was had by almost all…

Clam Bake

Clam Bake: The Setting

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Clam Bake: The Pit, excavate and line with rocks

There should be a photo of the fire here, but it was awful and you already know what that looks like right?

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Clam Bake: drop in a huge layer of seaweed and then add the clams and the corn – the clams were rinsed and the corn was de-silked and dipped in water before being tossed on the seaweed

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Clam Bake: on go the lobsters

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Clam Bake: top with seaweed

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Clam Bake

Clam Bake: cover with a tarp and observe with beer in hand

Clam Bake

Clam Bake: after an appropriate amount of time, remove the tarp and pull back the seaweed

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Clam Bake

Clam Bake: Good to go

 

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Clam Bake: Yum!

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We had a great night.  Lots of great, smoky food (and yes a wee bit of sand) and great company.  If you want to try it yourself here is a site with several versions to try (beach, backyard & trash can), and here is a site where you can just order the main components and have it shipped.  It’s great no matter what!

Happy summer everyone!  Enjoy these last days…

 

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Late Summer Bouquet

Late Summer Bouquet

A Saturday dinner party required a bouquet for the table, and with the garden brimming over with flowers, I created a quick late summer bouquet.

This is super easy to do, all you need is a watertight container and a bit of soaked oasis to plunk in the bottom.

Late Summer Bouquet

I used echinacea, sunchoke flowers, ageratum, parsley flowers – they bolted for some odd reason, and a bit of boxwood.  I kept spinning it around and filling in the empty spaces.  It was wonderfully fragrant (I now understand why parsley flowers are so attractive to every little critter) and the perfect height for everyone to chat across.  It was charming!

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Wordless Wednesday

Extravagantgardens.com Wordless Wednesday, Summer Dahlias

Extravagantgardens.com Wordless Wednesday, Ageratum, a beautiful blue flower

Extravagantgardens.com Wordless Wednesday, rudbeckia is a fabulous late summer flower

Extravagantgardens.com Wordless Wednesday, zinnias make a fabulous cut flower

Extravagantgardens.com Wordless Wednesday, verbena bonariensis

Extravagantgardens.com Wordless Wednesday, zinnias make a great cut flower

Extravagantgardens.com Wordless Wednesday, bumble bee on flowering broccolini

Extravagantgardens.com Wordless Wednesday, tomatoes ripening on the vine

Extravagantgardens.com Wordless Wednesday, the onion harvest

Extravagantgardens.com Wordless Wednesday, cherry tomatoes on the vine

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Savory Summer Tarts

Savory Summer tart: Heirloom Tomatoes

Do you find yourself overrun with garden bounty at this time of year?  Are you up to your ears in onions, beans, tomatoes, squash of all kinds (giant zucchini baseball bats anyone?) and just trying to figure out what to do with some of it?

Savory Summer Tarts: ZucchiniWhen you’ve exhausted the pickle/quick bread/jam/freezer methods, start making my Savory Summer Tarts – they’re ridiculously easy and you can put virtually anything on them which is a great way to use up those stray veggies…

Savory Summer Tarts

Ingredients

  • 1 Puff pastry sheet (rolled out just a bit)
  • Sliced garden veggies (slice them thin) (tomatoes, squash, onions etc. Whatever you have in abundance)
  • 2 Tbspns Dijon mustard
  • 4 oz. Goat cheese
  • Black pepper (freshly ground)

Directions

Lightly roll the pastry out and place on a baking sheet.
Brush the base of the pastry with the dijon mustard, leaving a small edge around the perimeter.
Layer your sliced veggies on the mustard.
Evenly sprinkle with the goat cheese and black pepper.
Bake at 400 degrees until puffed and golden.

My sister-in-law introduced me to a version of this tart several years ago.  I think she used swiss as her cheese… use whatever you have on hand and need to use up.  And thanks to the miracle of puff pastry in the freezer – it’s amazingly fast!  LOVE!

Savory Summer Tarts

So what do you do with all your extra garden bounty?  I’m going to try a chocolate chip zucchini cake with one of my baseball bat sized squash.  Looks like a great recipe!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and have some time to relax and do something you love.  I can’t even believe that next weekend is Labor Day.  It’s gone so quicky!

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