Gardening 101

We are currently having PERFECT weather! This is the part about living in Florida that I love. I think today’s high might have been 70. Jeans AND barefeet! It’s enough to make you forget about May-September.

Andy has grown so much since last year that he no longer has pants, just manpri’s. I think he’s really looking forward to our upcoming shopping trip. All I had to do to convince him was promise NOT to run him over in the parking lot. (See post below if you don’t get it.) The older boys have grown, but they’re old enough that I can just send them out on their own to find things that fit. (Let’s just hope they’ve outgrown pantsing mannequins.)

I spent a large part of the afternoon weeding the garden and listening to The Lost Constitution on my I-pod. I’m not entirely in love with the audio version I’m listening to, but the story is interesting, so I’m sticking with it. It’s a combination of a modern mystery and a historical novel. Fun concept. I think I’ll read his other books rather than listen, though.

Now, gardening has never been my thing, but it is fast becoming something I love. Funny how NO ONE approaches me when I’m out there. I don’t think it’s related to me asking for help as soon as someone shows up to tell me “just one thing,” do you? Either way, it’s very peaceful. It helps that everything is growing – well most everything. I’m encouraged. I planted a ton of stuff to see what would grow and what wouldn’t. About 75% is growing. So far no critter problems, but we’re going to have to think about a fence or something soon. I’m just sticking the pictures we took today into this post randomly so you get an idea.

Ian and I made French Onion Soup for dinner tonight. Lots of weeping, lots of carmelizing of onions. Overall, I’d give it a 4 out of 10. A small cup of the soup (topped with a crusty slice of french bread with melted provolone) would be perfect. A big bowl? Not this recipe – it was too sweet and the boys complained about the strong taste of wine. Oh well, can’t win them all. Good thing we had the cheese bread and a big salad. No one starved. If anyone has a good recipe for onion soup, please share!

Finally, I picked up a bunch (6 lbs) of MacIntosh apples today at Aldi’s – great price, I think it was $1.19/3 lb bag. Tim found this apple in the bowl a few hours ago. You can imagine the joy the butt apple brought our family. :::sigh::: The worst part is, these boys are all going to leave one day and I’m still going to be sitting here laughing at this kind of thing. It’s pathetic!

What comes after finally? Well, this is it – whatever it’s called. We’ve been watching the HBO movie John Adams via Netflix. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. The casting is great and the movie is an honest behind-the-scenes look at the American Revolution and its aftermath. We’re about half-way through. We’ve all been watching and everyone is still interested. Even Andy has been watching, though, he’s spent many minutes under a blanket when things get graphic.

And, now, you know as much about my weekend as I do. Hope you all had a good weekend too!

4 thoughts on “Gardening 101

  1. Love the “John Adams” series! I bought it with birthday money, and we watch it repeatedly here.

    As for the onion soup. Here is the recipe I use (I have it “memorized” and don't measure any more, but I think this is pretty accurate):

    -1 stick butter
    -6 med-lrg onions sliced into thin rings
    -8-10 cups of water*
    -4 cups beef broth*
    -6 bouillon cubes*
    -1 T Worcestershire sauce
    -1 bay leaf
    -salt to taste*

    *there are a some possible variations; see recipe for actual amounts

    1. Melt butter in bottom of large soup pot.
    2. Add onions to melted butter and caramelize over med-high meat. Stir occasionally.
    3. If you have beef broth available, add 4 cups broth and 4 cups water to caramelized onions. If you don't have broth available, add 8 cups water and 6 bouillon cubes (if you want the soup to be more brothy, use 10 cups of water.)Add Worcestershire sauce and bay leaf.
    4. Cover and simmer over med-low to med heat for 1 hour. Uncover and simmer an additional 30 minutes to help concentrate flavors.
    5. Taste and add salt if needed (I have found that if I use bouillon, I don't need to add any salt) and simmer uncovered about 5 more minutes.
    6. Serve with crusty bread and melted cheese.

    This recipe works really well in a crock pot (if you don't mind caramelizing onions early in the morning). Just caramelize the onions on the stovetop then dump everything in the crock pot. Cook on low about 6 hours.

  2. Your garden really looks lovely.

    The weather has finally cooled a bit here in Texas too and EVERYTHING that I thought was dead has come back to life with a vengeance. I guess I now know for sure that in the future we will do more fall gardening and much much much less summer gardening.

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