Friday, May 18, 2012

Aloe Vera Update, Waiting for Bunnies, and the Freshest Pasta Sauce in Town

It has been about a year since the Aloe Vera Massacre of 2011--and here is what Marie Antoinette looks like now! I am truly amazed at how huge it is, and how it totally recovered from "the accident" which you can read all about it right here. You can see a little bit of the ruins it has grown out of--and just a few months ago, a neighboring impatient plant had seeded itself into the aloe vera plant and it was quite stunning for a long time! But now, my huge aloe vera is taking over the planet, so I think to celebrate its recovery, it is time to buy it a pretty new ceramic bowl to live in.

Also thriving on my greenhouse sunporch is a baby plant which has been through a lot. The mother of this plant, a Moses Basket (very fitting), barely survived an ice storm here about four years ago; revived from that, and then finally started looking a bit teathered and torn. I gave up on the pot of Moses Baskets as I didn't think it would snap out of it this time, and put the large pot out by my husband's workshop. Winter months went by, and it was finally spring, and much to our shock, as we went to dump out that particular pot, we took out the stray leaves that had collected and there was at least two dozen tiny baby Moses Baskets! They were adorable. I shared them with my mom, who loves that plant, and the person who originally gave it to me, my aunt Margaret. So, I repotted several of these babies, and they have really started to grow. But, once again, as usual on my greenhouse, a nearby Airplane Plant seeded right into the Moses Baskets!

Back off bunnies! Joseph is in the garden!
In the meantime, I've put out my tomato plants, and I add some kind of seeds to the garden outside every day--basil, zinnia, marigold (to guard everything) parsley and dill. My cat Joseph goes with me. He is patiently waiting for bunnies I think...he does not want them to eat my lettuce and squash this year! 
I am really looking forward to the first tomatoes so that I can make my favorite fresh-from-the-garden pasta sauce. It's very easy to make! You simply peel fresh garden tomatoes, put them in a clean Ball jar, and add fresh chopped basil (about a tablespoon), one clove of garlic chopped, and several cubes of mozzarella cheese. Then cap the jar, stick it in the fridge, and use it up within a couple of days. You simply cook up a pot of fresh linguine or spaghetti, drain it, and then toss the whole jar of tomato goodness with the hot pasta. It is ready to serve, and you can just top it with some freshly grated parmesan. Soooo good! The only thing you had to cook was the pasta--so this ends up being one of those ten minute meals. We like those after a long hard day!
Step in thyme
A little mug-o-blonde!
While planting annual plants including vegetables, herbs and flowers in my main garden bed, I have three little raised bed gardens to the side. One was taken over with chives--so I've thinned those back (chives are invasive) and planted some squash seeds. The second bed is planted with lettuce and herb seeds, and then there's my lovely thyme bed. Since thyme is a perennial herb, it just comes back every year, and this year it has spread around and fattened up quite nicely. With a mixture of English and Lemon thymes it is beautifully fragrant, so it is a habit of mine to always crush a few leaves and enjoy the fragrance as I walk by it. 

In my summer mornings--when I go to a much lighter work schedule--I have to go out in the garden every morning with my mug full-o-coffee and crush the herbs, pull a few weeds, and enjoy the growing process. I sit in the early morning sunshine for a bit, let the kitties roam around the garden, and watch for butterflies and big fat bees--I think these are my favorite days of the year.

In the later morning I'll write for a few hours, and by afternoon I'm ready for tea and some stitching. Life is good. And it's even better if I've made some Lemon Lemon-Thyme Squares! Happy wife...happy life!
I took this photo one afternoon when my daughter was sick and we had a movie marathon! She had to have real tea of course, with plenty of honey in a pretty, comforting tea cup.

Eat fresh, Write every day, Dream from your soul, Stitch from your heart.

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