Friday, June 15, 2007

For You Joanne

It's time to stop and smell the roses for my friend Joanne. Well, I have just the thing. They aren't roses but they happen to be my favorite flowers so I'll share them with Joanne and the rest of my friends here.

Freesia


The Freesia flower is native to South Africa and is not very common here the United States unless you order the bulbs and plant them yourself. The Flower has a moderately strong and spicy fragrance. Many French perfumers use it as a tangy middle note when creating a natural flowery perfume. I found these at a specialty flower shop not too far from where I work and now the bulbs are planted next to my Chamomile just outside of my back door.


Chamomile


This is the Chamomile that I planted last year just outside of my back door. My Mother enjoyed it very much so I have always had it planted around my property in one place or another over the years. The tiny flowers of the Chamomile are very fragrant when they are crushed. They can be used to scent your bath or flavor your tea. Chamomile has a very calming effect. I like to use Chamomile in iced tea. I heat the water and add the crushed Chamomile to the water and let it completely disolve and then add whatever type of tea I am using to make my iced tea. Let the tea cool naturally and there you have it, tea ready to be chilled.



Jennifer's Garden




This year I went back to using a rabbit fence. I took the old beat up and unsightly fence down a few years ago and grew only flowers and tomatoes and a variety of peppers for the last few years. This year I have beefsteak tomatoes along with cayenne and jalapeno peppers and something new for me; a golden variety of the sweet bell peppers for something different. I added two types of spinach and two types of loose leaf lettuce and the rabbits are not happy about the new fence. Notice the grape vine in the one photo. It was here when I moved here. I spread it out over wire and stakes and it produces very sweet purple grapes. I told my neighbor to bring his grandchildren down to pick grapes a few years back but now they are all grown up. I still maintain the vine and take most of the grapes to work for my co-workers and me!

This is what has been keeping me busy along with the regular cutting and trimming of the rest of my modest little slice of Chester County, Pennsylvania.

I hope you enjoyed my little tour Joanne.

The Daffodils


I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A Poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth



9 comments:

SusieQ said...

This is such a nice change for a while. It is an inspiration to me to gather together my photos of my flowers and yard and display them at my blog.

I swear my plants, my flowers have a relationship with me. This past week my hubby and I have been staining/sealing the floor of our deck. I had to remove all the potted flowers from the deck so that they would not be in our way. I found nice homes for them in the shade out in the yard and I watered them as usual. But I told my husband last night that I think they seemed forlorn and depressed from being away from Mama (me), because they all quit blooming. Poor babies. Well now they are back up on the deck and I have been spending quality time with them. Hopefully they will all perk up.

Mrs. Green (Joanne) said...

Jennifer,

What an incredibly kind and caring gift! The lush greens of your garden and yard are so soothing and refreshing to see. I live in the city and have to drive out to the country to see such an expanse of Nature's abundance.

Freesia are among my favorite flowers, too. So much perfume from such delicate blooms. I think only orange blossoms are more fragrant than freesia.

Chamomile is soothing and a great tea to drink to wind down at the end of a stressful day. Believe me, I brewed a lot of it over the past year. I buy it loose and steep it in my cup. I've also read that you can take the cooled tea and use it as a rinse for your hair--it keeps blond tresses shiney and bouncy. Never tried it. But why not?

I had to memorize Wordsworth's poem "Daffodils" when I was in grade school, and I can still recite it from memory! A childhood favorite.

I don't have a garden but I do use the produce from the local farmers' markets to make my favorite dishes. One of them is my famous chicken parmesean. I use thin chicken cutlets that are cut to order by my local butcher. I then make a light sauce from fresh Roma tomatoes. I dip the cutlets in seasoned flour, then in a dish where I’ve lightly beaten a couple of eggs, then in yet another dish of homemade breadcrumbs (I use up all my stale bread and make the crumbs in my food processor). I let the cutlets rest a minute, then sauté them lightly in a combo of three tablespoons of olive oil and about 2 tablespoons of butter. As one side gets golden, I turn it over and continue to cook the other side, this takes about a minute or so for each side. Add more olive oil and butter as need to finish sautéing the cutlets (you don’t want to overcook them because they’ll be going into a 350 degree oven to finish cooking. I place the cutlets in an ovenproof dish, spread some homemade Roma tomato sauce over them then place thin slices of provolone cheese on top of that, cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 10 minutes. Take out of oven, grate fresh Parmesean cheese over it, add sprigs of fresh basil, and eccola!

I serve this with a green salad, Tuscan bread and either a red zinfandel or a Sam Adams summer ale.

Blueberry pie for dessert.

Everyone eats when they come to my house.

Thanks, Jenn, you made my day!

patterns of ink said...

How does your garden grow? Great post. Wanted you to know that the golf outing I mentioned for "Fallen Heroes" (college fund for military kids of fallen parents)raised over $47,000 with more still coming in.

J_G said...

Susie, Some plants like the Chamomile are hardy and have weedlike stamina. I had some white/orange carnations that had a cinnamon like fragrance to them for only one year in that location where the the Chamomile is now. I felt like I had to check on them a couple of times a day just to keep them alive. Wow, that was it for them even though I liked them very much. Now we'll see how the fresia does there. There's alot of expensive mulch, bug killer and fertilizer in that little patch. I'm adding nothing more than licorice root mulch there. Yes, green thumb, sore back and dirt stained jeans = pretty flowers and big tomatoes:-)

I'm so glad you liked my little get well card Joanne. When I got home from work this morning I was fussing with my grape vine and added some straw mulch to my garden and then came in and put this together. When I sat down here to write something I noticed I had forgotten to where my gloves again and had dirt under my nails. I laughed and thought of the Freesia bulbs I planted not to long ago. I was covered with dirt that day when my wheelbarrow tipped over on me while I was scooping dirt out of it while on my knees with my little garden shovel. I laughed then too. That was one of those things that when it happens, the first thing you do is look around to see if anyone was watching.

Gosh, the chicken recipe sounds great. I am going to try that out. I usually get the fresh cutlets from my little country store about a half mile from here. They're pretty good most of the time. I get a lot of stale bread because I cut back on the carbs but it never goes to waste. Now the ducks will have a little less to eat.

Tom, that was fanatastic raising that much money. I remember you telling me about it but it got lost with all the hectic activity going on for the last week here. I had to put in new wires and lighting in my basement and my power was cutoff a couple of times to rewire the breakers in a more organized manner.

Anyway, God bless all those that helped out raising money for the the children of our military. Those people that help others in such a way are the very reason why America has been so great.

I hoped everyone enjoyed the Louis Armstrong cut "What a Wonderful World". I really like Louis Armstrong.

Mrs. Green a/ka/ Joanne said...

I was so touched by Jennifer's garden post, I just had to see her name celebrated:

J_G said...

That was so cool Joanne. I'm glad you liked my post. Besides getting little dirt under my nails my garden gives me a little peace and quiet in a crazy stressful world. I know that we have had our disputes about politics but when faced with true dilemmas you actually see how trivial those things really are. From my heart I truly wish you all the best.

Marie's Two Cents said...

What a beautiful yard Jenn,

Can you come on down and do mine? lol

Mike's America said...

I tried to grow Fresia down here but it gets so hot that they just didn't make it.

I like your rabbit fence. We don't have a problem with rabbits here, maybe too many foxes lurking in the swamp.

But we used to have a big deer problem. They'd even come and tear the green tomatoes off the vine, take one bite out of them and leave them. I had to get up at all times during the night and go out with a pellet gun to shoo them away.

J_G said...

Thanks Marie, Sometimes I get some of my best ideas just riding my tractor cutting the lawn. I really would like to come visit Marie. I have never been to Oklahoma. My very good friend lives in New Mexico so maybe i be able to do a whirlwind tour in the fall.

Mike I have deer too! After they get done feeding on my neighbor's pear and apple trees they turn up their noses to my tomatoes and peppers. How do you like that, picky freeloaders? They must be liberal deer.

Rodrigo, not only are a spammer you're a stupid one. Here in America, Americans speak English if they want to do business.