After breakfast this morning, I had fun taking photos in the garden and on our porch for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge. Since I take so many photographs of my flowers, I decided not to include any blooms in the challenge; but I still think that these are interesting garden shots. I hope that you do too. Have a great day!
On my father’s side of the family, no holiday celebration is complete without a shrimp cocktail. I love to serve fresh pineapple in my shrimp cocktails, and of course, a sauce made with hot horseradish. If my father were here today, this is what I would make for him. Happy Father’s Day!
Shrimp & Pineapple Cocktail
for 4 people
2 lbs. boiled shrimp, chilled
1 ripe, fresh pineapple cut into chunks
1 recipe Cocktail Sauce, chilled (below)
Fill serving glasses with crushed ice, leaving room for Cocktail Sauce. Arrange shrimp and pineapple. Top glasses off with Cocktail Sauce. Serve right away. Enjoy!
a handful of baby carrots or 1 carrot cut in quarters
1 rib of celery, cut in half
1 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
1 t. ground paprika
1/2 t. salt
2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and cleaned (thaw first if frozen)
Place first 6 ingredients in a large pot of cold water. Cover and bring to a boil. Boil for about 10 minutes before adding shrimp. Add shrimp taking care not to splash the boiling water. Stir. Return pot to a boil. Cook until shrimp turn pink and rise to the surface. Shrimp will be opaque in the middle when cooked through. Drain shrimp. Immediately rinse with cold water. Cover shrimp with ice to stop cooking. Discard carrots, celery, garlic and bay leaf. Transfer shrimp and ice to a plastic bag. Seal and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Homemade prepared horseradish doesn’t contain all of fillers found in the store-bought kinds and so is generally much hotter.
1 1/4 c. fresh horseradish cut into 1/2″ cubes*
1/2 c. distilled white vinegar
1/2 t. sugar
1/2 t. salt
Process ingredients in the bowl of a large food processor until horseradish is desired consistency. Transfer to a sterile jar, cover, and store in the refrigerator.
* Wash and peel horseradish before cutting into chunks. Be warned, it is rather stinky to work with.
1 1/2 bottles of Heinz Chili Sauce
2 – 3 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
2 – 3 t. prepared horseradish, or to taste
Pour chili sauce into a medium bowl. Stir in lemon juice and horseradish to taste. Cover and chill until serving.
Rarely does the Daily Prompt fit my day quite so well as today. With gentle rain showers on and off this afternoon – the kind that sinks into the soil without beating up the plants – I felt like singin’ in the rain with joy for my plants and with relief that I didn’t have to drag hoses around today. Instead, I walked around in the rain and photographed my garden. I hope that you enjoy the images!
“Secret” is one of the two hybrid tea roses that I planted in the garden this Spring. It has gorgeous, large blooms, a strong perfume, and attractive dark green foliage. I think that it makes a really nice addition to the garden.
Unfortunately, both my Secret and my Royal Amethyst – my other new hybrid tea – are suffering from some sort of stress right now, which is apparent from the yellowing of the lower leaves on both bushes. Yellow leaves can be caused by a number of different factors: over or under watering, over fertilizing, wrong soil ph, disease, pests, radiant heat, inadequate sunlight, and probably some stressors of which I am not even aware.
Nevertheless, I am optimistic that both rose bushes will be fine. Since we had a recent spike in temperatures – from the 70′s to the 90′s in just a few days – I am guessing that the heat is a factor and whenever heat is a factor so is watering. So for the next few weeks, I will watch these two carefully and feel the soil beneath the surface daily to evaluate their water needs. Over the years, I have planted and cared for about 75 roses at the different places I have lived and I have only had one die. So that is a pretty good track record … but still I have my fingers crossed! I hope to be able to give you a positive update soon.
Have a lovely weekend!
My first waitressing job was working evenings at a deli while I was in high school. Early on, I was scheduled for a Saturday morning 7 a.m. shift. Until I got on the floor to serve tables, I didn’t realize that apart from the owner who was in her office doing book work, I was the only employee working. That meant that I was cooking, serving, and busing tables … with no training on the breakfast shift. Fortunately, I knew how to cook, but I was a little flustered nevertheless. Not thinking, I served orange in a large glass of ice to one of the customers – after all, that was how I liked to drink my orange juice. Boy did he chew me out. “Who drinks orange juice with ice? What are you thinking!?” But, I still like my o.j. with ice, and Minted Orange Juice – a blend of iced mint tea and orange juice – is served just that way. This is a beverage that I came up with for serving with breakfast in heat of summer when o.j. seems a little too heavy and yet it feels too early in the day for iced tea. Enjoy!
Minted Orange Juice
6 c. cold water
1 cinnamon stick
1 c. clean fresh-picked mint leaves, plus some for garnish
12 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 – 3/4 c. sugar, or to taste
4 c. ice cubes, plus ice for serving
1. Place water and a cinnamon stick in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add mint leaves. Cover pot and steep for 15 minutes.
2. Place orange juice concentrate, 1/2 c. of the sugar, and ice cubes to a pitcher. Strain mint tea into pitcher. Stir until concentrate, sugar and ice cubes are dissolved. Taste. If desired, stir in the remaining 1/4 c. of sugar.
3. Chill until serving. Serve over ice and garnish with mint leaves.
Note: If you don’t have fresh mint, substitute 4 mint tea bags.
Asiatic Lily “Kiss Me Kate” – named, I assume after the Cole Porter musical – is the standout in my garden this week. I planted the “Kate” bulbs in 2000 and they are still producing beautifully every year. This year, however, we had unusually cool weather for early June – that is, until yesterday afternoon when our official temperature was 99 degrees F. As a result, I had the opportunity to observe that the blooms that opened during the cooler temperatures had much darker coloration than those that opened on warmer days. Kiss Me Kate is a bicolor lily often described as being magenta and creamy yellow. Mine are usually a mauvish-pink turning to salmon-pink at the border of the yellow centers; and just this year did I see a few that were close to red on the outer edges. I have 5 groupings of the Kates, standing at about 3 feet tall. In early morning and early evening light, the colors look like those of the sunset.
We used to have a beautiful American Linden Tree in front of our house. That is, it was in front of our house until this morning and it was beautiful until last summer. Even though we watered it regularly last year, it suffered from drought and heat stress as was evident by the fact that it dropped its leaves late in the summer rather than after they had turned golden in the autumn as it had in previous years. That worried me. Then, to my relief, this spring it set leaf buds. Unfortunately, it set them just in time for the buds to get frozen when we had snow in early May. That was it for our Linden tree. Though it tried to come back, it was mostly dead. The city came and cut it down this morning, since it was on the city’s easement. Now part of the front yard will receive much more summer sun than it has in years. I shall have to observe this area in the coming weeks to determine whether any of the perennials need to be moved to a cooler location. I was sad to see the tree go. I had been pruning it for the past 13 years and really liked its shape.
The Linden tree last summer, lush with leaves …
Its leaf buds, killed off by cold temperatures in May …
The tree did manage to produce a few little shoots on the trunk after May’s freeze, but they were not going to be enough to allow it to thrive.
And so it went …
I’m not used to seeing our house without the tree in front. This will take a little getting used to. Luckily, there are still a lot of tall trees around.
Have a great day!
I took this photo last summer when my mother and I were visiting Gull Pond. I am not sure what we saw scurrying across the surface of the water. We thought that perhaps a school of fish was causing a swarm of insects to flee, but we never saw any fish rise. Whatever it was, it was interesting to watch. It only lasted a few minutes and then was gone.
The other morning, I noticed some beautiful early light starting to peek through the plants, so I captured this shot of it illuminating the autumn ferns in my shade garden. It was a very quiet time of day and, I think, produced a rather peaceful image which is why I decided to share it for the Weekly Travel Theme by Where’s My Backpack?