Cinco de Mayo Roses

Of all of my roses, Cinco de Mayo seems to be the most variable, ranging in color from deep maroon to coral to hot pink. (I read one catalogue’s description of the flowers as being anywhere from smokey lavender to rusty red.) While a gardener working with a strict color scheme might find that frustrating, I find it fascinating. From one day to the next, this floribunda can be almost unrecognizable except for the ruffled form of its flowers. Aren’t those ruffles wonderful? These are pictures that I took early this morning. Just a few days ago, the roses appeared to be a deep red-orange. The bush is a pretty consistent bloomer – apart from color – producing lightly scented flowers all summer. My rose bushes had more than normal die-back this winter, so they are all a little small right now. This bush should get to be about three times the size that it is now in the bottom picture below.

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Have a lovely day!

Crema Agria (Homemade Sour Cream)

Since tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, I decided to make some homemade sour cream to go with Tortilla Soup. Homemade sour cream is incredibly easy to make and only takes two ingredients. When made with heavy cream and fresh lime juice, it is called Crema Agria. When made with heavy cream and buttermilk, it is called Crema Espesa (or Creme Fraiche). The lime juice version does retain the taste of lime is tangier than the buttermilk version. Either version, however, is thinner and creamier than commercial sour cream, and has a fresher taste.

Crema Agria (or Crema Espesa)

2 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. fresh lime juice (or buttermilk)

1. Warm heavy cream on stove until the cream reaches 90  to 100 degrees F (or about body temperature). Do not overheat the cream.

2. Stir in lime juice (or buttermilk).

3. Pour mixture into a glass jar. Cover loosely. Let sit at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours or until thickened. Cover tightly. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before using.

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Lemon Midori Margarita

As I write this post, I am taking a break from preparing for a wedding to be held at the B & B this evening. I have the flowers arranged and the wedding cake layers are in the oven. Hopefully that means that all is going well. If it weren’t the case that I still have a lot of work to do and that it isn’t even yet nine in the morning, I might be tempted to have a margarita because it is Cinco de Mayo … and really it feels much later in the day than it is. But I shall wait until the festivities tonight.  It is always so exciting to host a wedding!

This is a slightly unusual margarita, being made with lemon juice instead of lime and having a touch of Midori for color and for a little extra sweet-tart flavor.

Lemon Midori Margarita

(1) Fill a cocktail shaker with crushed ice. Add 2 oz. of a reposado tequila, 1 oz. Cointreau, 1 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1 oz. Midori. Shake vigorously for one full minute.

(2) Run a slice of lemon around the edge of a margarita glass or cocktail glass. Dip glass in kosher salt or margarita salt. Fill glass with ice.

(3) Strain margarita into glass. Garnish with a wedge of lemon. Enjoy!

Cinco de Mayo Roses: A Festival of Color

Back in the Autumn, I picked up a Cinco de Mayo Rose on whim. At our old house, where we had originally opened the bed and breakfast, I put in a rose hedge, a rose bed, and some landscape roses. In total, I had around 60 rose bushes, give or take. For various reasons I had decided not to attempt to reproduce that garden when we moved the B & B to this house 12 years ago and instead came up with a completely different garden design. But at times, I found that the three ground cover roses that I planted here just weren’t filling my rosy desires; and here and there, now and then, I’ve had to add more specimens from the genus rosa. Cinco de Mayo was one such planting. I am now seeing it in bloom after its first winter and so far think that it is a very nice addition to my growing collection. The blooms range from a deep purplish-red to coral-pink. Depending on the light, they can look completely different at different times of the day and the color is more intense in cooler weather and when the blooms are new, becoming less saturated in color but no less attractive on warmer days and as the blooms age. One review that I read described the blooms of this All American Rose Selection as “mysterious”.  Roses and Other Gardening Joys has a fun post on Cinco de Mayo as well. Ah, so nice to have roses!