Monthly Archives: August 2012

Wordless Wednesday August 29, 2012






















More Wordless Wednesday


Missouri Coneflower

A roadside wildflower in Missouri

A summer roadside wildflower in Missouri

Missouri Coneflower, Rudbeckia missouriensis
Aster family (Asteraceae)


This yellow coneflower is a Missouri native.

Missouri coneflower is a Missouri native perennial. You can find these yellow flowers in limestone glades in the Ozarks. I noticed them along roadsides in late June and early July.

Rudbeckia missouriensis can spread to form wild colonies of yellow flowers growing between 2 and 3 feet tall. Daisy-like flowers have  yellow rays and black center cones.

Narrow green leaves and the multiple stems are hairy. Long summer to early fall bloom period.

You may have seen yellow coneflowers outside of Missouri. Their growing region stretches into AR, IL, LA, MO, OK, TX.

Yellow Coneflower

the leaves and multi branched stems are hairy.

I saw these yellow conflowers on the road to Laura Ingles Wilder’s home and museum.

Peeling Tomatoes

Dunking tomatoes in boiling water is the easiest way to peel them. photo PBH.

  • First, set a big pot of water on the stove to rolling boil. Half fill a sink with ice an water.
  • Next, choose the ripest tomatoes. Cut an ‘X’ into the blossom end of the tomato. Core the tomatoes now or later after they have cooled. If you do it now, the skin is just that much easier to remove.
  • Then, carefully drop a few tomatoes into the boiling water. I drop 4 to 6tomatoes in at one time. Allow the water to return to a boil. (usually about 1 minute.) Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon and dunk into the ice water immediately.
  • Allow the big pot of hot water to return to a boil and drop in more tomatoes. In the mean time, peel the tomatoes after they cool in the ice water. Cut out the core or the green stem end, if you haven’t already. (This is when I do it. It seems like I get more of that tough, tasteless core out.)
  • If you want to remove the seeds, cut to tomato in half and squeeze it. Use your finger or a spoon to scoop out any remaining seed pockets.

Now your tomatoes are ready for processing, making salsa, spaghetti sauce or simply canning.

Making salsa

Never Pass up a car wash

I believe in supporting the people who support our community.

Support local efforts in community betterment. These folks are trying to raise money the best way they know how.

A car wash and bake sale raising money for breast cancer. One of the counselors has breast cancer. Everyone pitched in to help.


























Todays Harvest Basket

August 17, 2012

Riesentraube tomato there are about 90 of these little 1 ounce tomatoes, all from the same plant. Riesentraube means “bunch of grapes”.  Seed from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Indigo Rose tomatoes are the row at the top of the basket. Just over a dozen to these saladette tomatoes are all picked off the same plant. Seed from Nichols Garden Nursery

Outside the basket are a 3 small pink Brandywines. After a long, hot summer, these heirloom Brandywine tomatoes are much smaller than the usual tomatoes. Tomato seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

3 Italian roma tomatoes are Pompeii. Bigger than most plum tomatoes, these are meaty and rich-flavored. Great for sauce or dried. The seeds are from Renee’s Garden.

Today is really all about the tomato. The Riesentraubes are in the dehydrator now. By tomorrow evening they will be “Sun dried” tomatoes. The majority of tomatoes sold as “sun dried” are dried in a deydrator. It’s faster, safer, cleaner.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day August 15, 2012

GBBD 8-15-2012 Hot, Hot, Hot August

Cut and come again bright pink zinnias stand 3 feet tall.

With vivid colors and long stems, theses zinnia make excellet bouquets lasting for a week or more.


Morning Glories are at their best. Morning Glory, “Grandpa Ott’s”

Seed for Morning Glories and Zinnias are from Renee’s garden

Lots of ruffled lettuce leaves which held up longer in the spring than most lettuce. When lettuce bolted, these lovely lavender flowers will soon produce seed.

The bright green lettuce was in a mesclun mix. I do not know what it is. Or, I would buy more. I let it go to seed and it’s bloom those lovely lavender flowers. Anyway, I hope to gather a few seed in a couple of weeks.

Senorita Blanca™ Spider Flower Cleome hybrid.

The cleome is a great flower to show off and contrast with vivid colors.

Supertunia® Watermelon Charm has been a hummingbird magnet this year. It’s self cleaning and easy care.

The Senorita Blanca™ Spider Flower Cleome hybrid and Supertunia® Watermelon Charm are trial plants from Proven Winners and will be available next spring (2013).

Lycoris squamigera (resurrection lily) is a plant in the amaryllis family, Amaryllidaceae, subfamily Amaryllidoideae

Lycoris squamigera’s (resurrection lily) sudden late summer appearance is reflected in its common names: surprise lily, magic lily, and resurrection lily.

The lovely lavender bloom is an eggplant flower. Photo by PBH

We can have flowers nearly every month ofthe year.” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence

Our Host Carol always has a beautiful site.

Last months GBBD

Vegetable garden report. August 15, 2012.

The drought has shown no mercy on the vegetable and herb gardens. Then heat wave and drought broke. We got some rain, so the peppers and tomatoes are productive again. With the deluge of tomatoes, I made small batches of salsa and all my favorite tomato dishes.

 What did come out of the garden became spendid dishes like gazpacho, tabbouleh, bruschetta, canned salsa and the following baked egg in a tomato cup.

I found this baked egg in a tomato on Pinterest. My version, of course, has herbs. Chives, basil, chervil.



The original baked egg recipe  is on Pinterest.

I loaded my tomato with extra cheese, herbs or real bacon bits.








Then, I made Heirloom Tomato Quiche. This easy quiche was very good. The recipe is on my Hub Pages.

Next time you make BLTs, cook a little extra bacon to go in this quiche if you like.


All ratatouille ingredients are home grown.


The recipe for this French vegetable medly is on my Hub Pages.  Ratatouille is my gardens signature dish. Eggplant, peppers, squash, tomatoes, onion, garlic and herbs all come from my garden.



I’m sowing some chervil, chilantro, a bit of arugula and lettuce, looking forward to cooler days.


Wordless Wednesday




Wordless Wednesday

Scented or Flavored Sugars Recipe

How to make Lavender or Vanilla Flavored Sugars

L-R small jar of pure sugar; middle, 4 cups of vanilla sugar, and right, lavender sugar

The last of the lavender is blooming. Bees are abuzz. They have hovered aroud the lavender all summer. Noticing the last of the blooms nudged me on make a quart  (4 cups) of lavender flavored sugar.

I always keep these flavored sugars in the kitchen cabinet. Each summer I bake a ohghbpound cake to go with the season’s berries. Substitute lavender sugar for regular sugar in your favorite recipe. Or try Paula Deens Pound Cake recipe.

Pollinators frequent the lavender from the first bloom to the last.

Vanilla Sugar
Vanilla sugar is also easy to make. Substitute vanilla scented sugar in any cake or cookie recipe. It is also good in ice cream recipes.

Vanilla Sugar Recipe
Break whole vanilla bean pod in three or four pieces and distribute throughout a quart canning jar filled with white sugar. Wait 3 or 4 weeks for the vanilla to infuse the sugar. I buy spices from Penzey’s.

I’m making lavender sugar and vanilla sugar. Scented sugar or flavored sugars add another level of flavor to your recipes. It’s my secret ingredient and a sweet and suttle accent to baked goods.

Lavender Sugar
I’m collecting half a dozen lavender flowers to make lavender sugar. A little goes a long way. Lavender can quickly overpower the food it is meant to flavor. Lavender scented sugar adds just a hint of floral flavor.

Lavender Sugar Recipe

Three stems of fresh lavender flowers will infuse the 4 cups of sugar.

To make your own lavender sugar, add three or four whole flower heads in layers as you fill a pint jar with white sugar. Seal and wait two weeks to use the sugar. Test the flavor after the first week. Use a teaspoon of dried culinary flowers if fresh lavender is not available.

Using lavender sugar instead of lavender flowers in baking will add the light touch that will accent a recipe, not overpower it. Sift out the lavender flowers before adding the sugar to the recipe.

Use scented sugar in pound cake and/or the glaze. Substitute lavender sugar for regular white sugar in any baking recipe. Try lavender sugar cookies or blueberry muffins made with scented sugar.

Make scented sugars your secret ingredient. Adding vanilla extract to your baking is optional if you are using scented sugars. Also, try cinnamon stick or fresh mint leaves. If you have pesticide-free roses, make rose flavored sugar.

Make More

If your cake recipe calls for 2 Cups of sugar measure out what you need and sift out nd flower bits. Refill the quart jar with more regular. Tighten the lid and gently shake or roll the jar to mix the new and remaining flavored sugars.

Let your taste or smell be the judge about when to replace the herbs or spices. I bake very rarely, so I refresh the herbs or spices in a quart jar once each year. Wait two weeks to infuse  the additional sugar.


Todays Harvest Basket

July 13, 2012

tomatoes, cucumber, squash, hot peppers.

This horrible heat has caused the tomatoes to stop blooming.  Tomatoes are suffering, even though I am watering the tomato plants. It is just too hot to bloom or produce fruit. Even when we get a temperature drop, it will take 5 week to produce a tomato. It takes about 3 weeks for the tomato to grow and then 2 more weeks for the big ones to ripen.

Today I harvested the ingredients, along with the home grown onions and garlic, for ratatouille.

I have loads of tomato information on Pinterest Tomato Everything

On Hubpages  Read My Hubpages about saving seed and tomatoes.

Hubs like this one: What causes tomatoes to crack?

Top Tomato Tips: When Size Matters

Why hot tomatoes stop growing

Sungold tomato. photo: PBH

This tangerine colored cherry tomato is little and the sweetest tomato I’ve ever eatin. This is the only tomato that I will for sure have in the garden next year.


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