Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Secret Ingredient

Foodwise, I consider myself an oportunivore, which is to say I will eat anything that's put in front of me. I'm hard put to think of anything that I'd refuse to try, although I have not been truly put to the test, as no one has offered me, say, a beating snake heart. Same thing goes when I'm in a market that caters to a clientele from a different culture. If something looks interesting, I'm liable to buy it just to see what it tastes like, without asking what's in it.
In this way I've acquired a taste for the Vietnamese desserts sold at a deli near my office. They tend to be not too sweet, flavored with coconut or almond, and sometimes downright mysterious.

Recently they added an ingredients label to one of their treats. For a while I thought I might want to re-think this policy of not asking what's in things, then I decided something must have gotten muddled in translation.
Panda: it's what's for dessert. :)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Not in Bloom

Sometimes, especially when you wake up in the middle of the night in late February, and it's raining and the coyotes are howling outside your bedroom window, and you can't get back to sleep. . .well, you just wonder if it might not be a good time to try to upload a photo to blogger.
Like maybe a memory of high summer:

No point to this post, really. I was just interested in seeing how responsive blogger might be at 3:00 am.
Very responsive, as it turns out. Yawn. Back to bed.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Jack Frost, artist

A post yesterday from the Iowa Gardener reminded me that I'd downloaded some pictures from my camera earlier this year and promptly forgot about them. We had some unusually cold weather this winter (unusual for the last several years, anyway) and one morning I was lucky enough to catch these frost patterns on the greenhouse walls.
Frost patterns were plenty common on our storm doors when I was a kid in Minnesota but I hadn't seen them in years. They reminded me of how I used to borrow my mom's thimble and make pictures on the frosted windows, because that's what Laura and Mary used to do in the wintertime. Which got me to wondering, what book was that in, anyway? Little House in the Big Woods? Or Long Winter. Googling took me to this wonderful frost photo, and my answer!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Now in bloom

Carol at May Dreams Gardens has declared the 15th of each month to be “Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day”. I love that idea. For the last few years I've been organizing my garden photos online by month and year. It's fun to look back and see what was in bloom this time in years past.

Ordinarily my hellebores would have been in full bloom by now. Sometimes they are even blooming by Christmas. But It’s been a cold winter and the buds are just beginning to appear above the mulch. The sarcococca and daphne odora are late as well. But the other day I found a couple of snowdrops under the sumac tree and a single cyclamen coum blossom.

And today I picked my first bouquet of the year, of black pussy willow, salix gracilistyla 'Melanostachys'. Unfortunately the photo doesn’t begin to capture the glossy jet black catkins that almost make up for how coarse and unattractive this shrub is the other 11 months of the year.

In the wings: hepatica and the hellabores. (Sounds like a good name for a band)

And yes, I am jumping the gun by a few days because I will be traveling on the 15th.

Confessions of a seed junkie

My name is Molly and I am addicted to seeds. I thought I had my addiction under control, taking my time with this year's orders, checking my seed stash twice to make sure I really needed another packet of pole beans or cucumbers. And then along comes the eclectic gardener writing "Imagine a cross between Thompson and Morgan Seeds and the Dollar Store."
aaaaaahhhhh! In one click I was at the Value Seeds site where, eclectic gardener wasn't kidding, every packet of seeds is $.99 or less. Funny how those $.99 packets add up, though.