Thirsty Thursday July 19th

This month we will concentrate a bit on mint and blueberriess. Blueberries are in season now at your local farmers markets and stands. Mint is always in good supply and somewhat invasive. We are also highlighting cucumber since it is light and refreshing and we are still in a drought.  Very soon your gardens will be overflowing with cucumbers and we want to make sure you don’t have to throw any away.

I also want to take the time to have you taste my simple syrup again this made with Stevia leaves instead of sugar. It is completely natural and sugar free. If you are trying to cut sugar out of your diet and especially your “extra” calories that come from cocktails- be sure to have that conversation with me.

Grandma’s Mint Iced Tea
In a large container:
Add 7 regular tea bags and approx.. 24 mint leaves
Pour in a quart of boiling water and steep for 4-5 minutes
Remove mint and tea bags and set aside
Pour tea into a gallon container
Add ½ cup of sugar
4-5 packets of stevia
A few ice cubes
Stir until sugar dissolves
Steep mint and tea bags a second time for 4-5 minutes
Drain contents into a gallon container
Add 1 6oz can of frozen lemonade and stir
Squeeze any tea from mint and tea bags into container

Yield: 1 gal (if shy, just top off with some water)

Continue reading “Thirsty Thursday July 19th”

Symbolism of the Christmas Wreath

There are many translations to the symbolism of a Christmas wreath.  My favorite goes like this:

The Christmas Wreath is made of evergreen branches because evergreen is the symbol of strength- even in the harshest of winter weather it stays green.

The Christmas Wreath is round because at every end, there is a beginning.

WOW right?   How could you not love that.  When we decorate a wreath, we bring our own style to it, a little piece of ourselves.  Glitz, natural, our love of the seashore, a cardinal to honor someone who has passed, old ornaments of a loved one or even the ones your children have made.  The list goes on and on…  So in the end we showcasing our personalities with our Christmas wreath.

 

 

 

Growing Garlic

If you have ever tasted home grown or local farm grown garlic you know it is far superior in flavor to what you can buy in the grocery store. Garlic is an easy crop to grow and planting it in October/early November will ensure you a bountiful harvest next July – which will keep you in home grown garlic for the entire year. Get your soil ready and give it a try.

Garlic should be planted between October 1 and November 15 to give the clove a chance to develop some roots before it goes dormant for the winter.

• Separate cloves from the bulb and plant root side down (pointed side up) about 2-4 inches deep, 6-8 inches apart in the row and 12-18 inches between rows. A bulb planter used for tulips and daffodils is an excellent tool to get a number of cloves planted quickly. I just push them down with my thumb- that is just about 2-4 inches.  Continue reading “Growing Garlic”

September_17 Thirsty Thursday Cocktails

Here are the recipes for our September Thirsty Thursday cocktails:

Pumpkin and Apple Cider Fizz
Author: Brandon Matzek
Serves: 1
Ingredients
1 1/2 oz. pumpkin puree (canned or homemade*)
1 1/2 oz. vanilla vodka
2 oz. apple cider
1 1/2 oz. ginger beer

Instructions
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice then add pumpkin puree, vanilla vodka and apple cider. Shake vigorously until well chilled.
Strain into a glass filled with ice and top off with ginger beer.
Notes
*To make your own pumpkin puree: Preheat your oven to 400°F. Cut a pie pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds and strands. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for 30 – 40 minutes. The texture of the pumpkin flesh should be soft when pierced with a fork. Let cool a bit. Scoop flesh into a food processor and puree until smooth.

Fall Harvest Sangria
For the Spicy Apple Cider…
2 cups apple cider
1/4 cup honey
1 inch slice fresh ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or allspice
For the Sangria…
2 cups spicy apple cider
1 bottle of sauvignon blanc (or pinot grigio, chardonnay, or your favorite dry white)
1/2 cup ginger brandy or bourbon
2 cinnamon sticks
2 Honeycrisp apples, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
2 pears, chopped
1 cup club soda
Instructions
For the Spicy Apple Cider…
Combine ingredients in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Strain.
For the Sangria…
Mix ingredients together in a large pitcher. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving, but at least overnight to steep for best results. Add club soda just before serving, so you don’t lose the fizz!
-by Erica Continue reading “September_17 Thirsty Thursday Cocktails”