Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sweet Little Suppers

Here in the south we call the evening meal supper.  Most people call it dinner but I still love the word supper.  It's a nice homey word.  From the middle ages until around the 18th century dinner was the mid-day meal because it was the main meal of the day.

The word "supper" is a French word, a less formal meal often eaten with the family in the kitchen.  Of course now, we eat our suppers many other places.  

Last night we had a tasty supper out on the front porch.  The weather was nice  and warm with a small breeze.
Tonight I used these cute little teal platters and short, square teal vase I purchased at the hospice store.  I planted peach verbena in the vase and sat this on top of some teal books to raise it up a bit.  I also added a couple of peaches and peach colored napkins.

Supper's menu was rustic homemade bread and homemade spaghetti.  Here's my spaghetti sauce recipe:

1 Qt jar canned whole tomatoes
3 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 Qt jar canned squash
1 pound ground beef (we use venison)
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 small onion chopped
1 small green bell pepper chopped.

Brown onion, bell pepper and ground beef.  Add seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper.   Next add tomatoes and squash and simmer about 45 minutes.

While sauce is simmering cook pasta, drain but reserve about 1 cup liquid.  Put pasta back into pot & add sauce.  Let this sit for about 20 minutes.

Have a happy Monday, and I'll see you Wednesday.
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Friday, April 26, 2013

Turnip Bean

Arranging Saturdays - Turnip Bean

Turnip Bean you ask?  Well yes.  Remember the beautiful yellow flowers growing from the turnip greens planted in the garden?  When the flowers were spent and fell off, the entire plant was covered with little tiny beans.  Yes, little beans.

Turnip green flower

Turnip green Bean after flowers have fallen off.
We had some very good friends over last night that we'd not seen in a long time. We sampled a little cheese and enjoyed a nice bottle of wine.  I always like to show you the wine we have because my husband is a wine connoisseur and chooses wonderful wines for us to have and I highly recommend these.
 Our friends brought the cheese, my husband picked the wine and my contribution was to put out a fresh arrangement for us to enjoy.  I loved the look of the turnip green beans so much, I decided we didn't need flowers... just the greens.  Here's a look at what I did.

I love this little old chair I have out at the barn and it was already this beautiful teal color when I bought it.  It also has sweet details.

I am definitely not afraid to use things I find on my walks and it always makes it interesting and a topic of conversation.  I hope you all have a blessed weekend, get lots of rest and I'll see you Monday.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Those Pesky Critters


It's about that time again.  You know...evenings sitting out on the deck, relaxing and enjoying each other's company when, get bitten by a mosquito.

Well, I've had enough...and it's time to do something about it.  

We've all heard that mosquito repellents that have Deet in them are said to have toxic effects such as seizures, slurred speech, hypotension and other things.  Many of us try to avoid these products because of this.  

Then there are the smokey coils you burn, but the mosquitos are not the only ones inhaling the fumes.

I chose to go a little more natural.  There are many plants you can put on your porch or deck to help keep these pesky critters away and they actually work.  These are the top five mosquito repelling plants.

1.  Citronella.  This perennial is a clumping grass and smells, of course, like citronella.
2.  Beebalm.  This is fast growing, shade tolerant and drought resistant.  It also has very pretty flowers.
3.  Marigolds.  They prefer full sun and fertile soil.   They also have a very unique smell.
the flowers
4.  Ageratum also known as flossflower.  This is an annual and likes full to partial sun.  Very pretty blue/purple flowers.
5.  Catnip.  This is supposedly 10x's more effective than deet.
Okay, so this takes care of the sitting area, but what about the walking-around-area?  What do we do then?  Well one thing is to make sure there is no standing water anywhere.

I found an all natural mosquito repellent that you can make at home, doesn't cost very much and isn't harmful.  You need to reapply this every couple of hours, but it smells good...and makes your skin soft.

Mix together:
1 part essential oil - choose one (cinnamon, lemon, eucalyptus, citronella)  
10-20 parts of one of the following - (olive oil, sunflower oil, cooking oil, witch hazel, sure to put this one in the spray bottle and not in your glass, lol )

Put in spray bottle and spray away.

That's it!   No more blood sucking critters.

Death to Mosquitos!