Friday, April 24, 2009

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Broccoli, a Spring vegetable, is perfect as an ingredient for a casserole. Cut up the broccoli into small pieces, rinse and drain with a colander. Here there are three broccoli crowns which were on sale at the supermarket, so there was not much waste with large stems.trash. Place in a loosely covered glass bowl, with some water, and cook in the microwave until tender. Drain broccoli.Chop a medium onion in a large wooden bowl with the mezzaluna. Add the cooked broccoli to the bowl and continue chopping a while.Add two cups of shredded cheddar cheese, which you can purchase already shredded. Buy a large bag and store left over cheese in the freezer.For three broccoli crowns, add six eggs,one cup of mayonnaise,
and one can of condensed cream of mushroom soup.Mix everything together well, until all ingredients are blended.For a crunchy topping, sprinkle with flavored, prepared stuffing mix. No need to add extra salt because the soup, mayonnaise, and the stuffing mix have enough.Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending upon the amount of broccoli that you started with. Ingredients may be customized according to your taste. This recipe has been made at the Jarvis House for over thirty years. Kids who grow up with this casserole, grow up loving broccoli, and it is a great vegetarian meal. It can be made ahead, frozen, and defrosted later. It travels well.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day Beuties

This Spring flowering bulbs, shrubs, and trees are making a fantastic showing in the Jarvis House Garden. Here is a clump of beautiful daffodils that are colored in a special way. The yellow fades out at the center.Carolina Rhododendron.Dog Tooth Violets.Orange tulips and multi petaled narcissus bloom in the creek garden.A very early Azalea blooms way out back.Feathered daffodils bow with the rain today.The Japonica reigns in its glory on the south lot line.The Red Bud tree showing its first color.Virginia Bluebells, sprout up in a rock boarder.March Marigolds have invaded! They have somehow been transferred to my garden, probably by a garden center container of perennials. Some think that these flowers are lovely, but they do multiply at a frightening rate, and are virtually impossible to eliminate! I asked about these at the Planting Fields in Oyster Bay. They have them as well, and just work around them and hope that they will fade out with the summer months. Unfortunately, they always come back. The more you try to dig them out, the more they spread.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Making a Liberty Banner for Northport's Tea Party

This is a step by step series of images that describes how a huge cloth banner was made for a re-enactment of the Boston Tea Party, on April 4, 2009, at Northport Harbor's dock. This picture shows how each letter was traced on a Town flag, to ensure exact replication of the size, shape, and placement of each letter.
After each letter was traced on tracing paper, the paper was flipped over and scribble marks were made on the lines, with a soft pencil. This acts like carbon paper and enables the tracing to be transfered to a heavier paper for pattern making.The tracing paper with the scribbles is turned over on to the pattern paper, and the lines are re-traced with a ruler while pressing down very hard on the pencil.Cut out each letter carefully from the pattern paper, and save.In order to help the banner letters lay really flat, first, iron the cloth to be cut.Since the banner was a deep red in color, and the letters were made of white fabric, the white fabric was folded, and each letter was cut from a double thickness.Each letter was individually pinned and stay stitched to ensure stability.A base line for the word was measured, pinned and marked so that basting with a contrasting thread was accurate.Each letter was placed so that the bottom edge was resting on the thread line.A three inch casing was sewn on the top edge to accomodate a white PVC pipe.After the letters were sewn with white thread in a zig-zag stitch, the banner measured over ten feet in width and three feet wide. Each letter was 11 inches high. Click here to see a video of the Tea Party with the banner at the end of the tape. With all of the rain and wind, 300-400 people dressed as colonists, waving flags, singing the National Anthem, with bag pipes, came anyway, and threw two old wooden tea boxes into the water.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Camellia House at The Planting Fields Arboretum

Turn off the television news and head out for one of the most precious jewels on Long Island, the Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park & Coe Hall in Oyster Bay. Click on "Planting Fields Arboretum" for more information.Walk through the open door and into the Camellia House.Inside are about 300 Camellia trees and shrubs that defy imagination. Their magical colors and beautiful glistening leaves transport you to another time and place.The paths are lined with flowering heritage Camellia trees and shrubs,that are being given new life as they are lovingly transplanted into fresh soil, inside their planting beds.The green house is visited by many photographers and artists who spend countless hours studying the blooms and capturing their beauty.During the 1920's the Camellia house was constructed and the collection started. To read more about the architecture click on the word "constructed."
This particular Camellia is in a pot and has the largest blooms in the green house.The purest white flowers adorn this Camellia plant,
while this shrub had harlequin striped blooms.
Just by turning a corner, you are surprised by a tree that has many blooms of completely different colors.As if all this were not enough, the end wall of the Camellia house has a staircase to nowhere, covered with climbing fig leaves, and hanging Cyclamen pots.Click here for information about visiting the Camellia House at the Planting Fields State Arboretum. Bring a camera or some water color paints.