Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spring Flowering Trees and Shrubs in the Jarvis House Garden

 This is the beautiful Red Bud tree which really put out the blooms this Spring.
 The split leaf maple starting out.   I picked this tree when it was only two leaves large, from a lawn in Lloyd Harbor.  It is a mutant tree.
A grafted split leaf maple.
 A Japanese Quince.
The delicate and very white,  Bridal Wreath.
 A Spike which I wintered in the barn.
 Candy  Tuft in a cement planter won't get lost in this garden.

 Bleeding Heart a lovely and easily naturalized plant.
 The white Bleeding Heart which I received from my son many years ago for Mother's Day.  I have since split it many times.
 Red maples which I rescued from my sister's garden.
A new fern and Sweet Woodruff  growing below the Rhododendron.

This is a picture that my friend suggested I take from across the street at the Cinema Arts Center.  The Jarvis House is across the way. Peace.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Peconic River Herb Farm

 A trip out to the Eastern fork of Long Island gets you to the Peconic River Herb Farm, and a fantastic outside day.

Very neat greenhouses loaded with plants.

 In the distance the Peconic River.

 Real information is available to new gardeners.

 Ask questions of Chris Spindler.
 This green house was filled with exotic plants and furniture.

 These succulent leaves look good enough to eat!

 Of course a Gnome.

 Lovely arrangements inside the garden shop.

 Beautiful glazed pottery.

 Stuff for the cat lovers who garden, including catmint in pots.
 This makes it clear.
Visit them soon,  Click here for more info.
 This is a  really worth while trip even with high gasoline prices.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Baby Shower Recipes

The following are the food recipes and directions for decorations from the Baby Shower.
These are the ingredients for Suzanne Madsen Tuten's Bean Salad. Start with a can of Black Beans drained, and add a can of wax Beans, drained.
Add a can of Green Beans, drained,
a can of Red Kidney Beans, drained,
a can of Corn, drained,
chopped onion,
red, yellow and green Bell Peppers, chopped.

Mix 1/2 cup Cider Vinegar, 3/4 cup sugar (this recipe calls for a lot of sugar, but it  can be reduced somewhat), 1/2 cup Canola Oil, 1 Teaspoon salt and 1/32 Teaspoon ground Black Pepper.
Pour over the bean mixture and chill in a Pyrex glass dish overnight.  The recipe serves 10, but I doubled everything for the party.  The salad makes a very pretty side dish and is nice because you can make it ahead of time.
The day before the party we also put together the Egg Strata Casserole.  This recipe I got from my friend Gail Esposito.
We assembled the main ingredients: day old French bread, grated cheddar cheese, eggs, bacon, and mushrooms.
The French bread was cut up into small cubes.
We cooked the bacon and chopped it into small pieces.

The eggs were scrambled.
We coated the white oval Pyrex serving dishes with cooking spray and added the bread first.
The shredded cheese was mixed in next.

Into the scrambled eggs we whisked milk, dry mustard, salt,  a dash of ground Black pepper, and onion powder.

The egg mixture was poured over the cheese and bread.
Laura chopped fresh tomatoes and sliced mushrooms into smaller bits.
She added the tomatoes and mushrooms to the Strata but we decided to use the bacon in only one of the casseroles to accommodate vegetarian guests.

Gali's Brunch Casserole
Assemble and refrigerate this 12-24 hours before baking.
4 cups cubed day old French bread
2 cups  (8 oz.) shredded sharp cheese
10 eggs lightly beaten
4 cups milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
dash of ground black pepper
8-10 slices crisp cooked and crumbled bacon
1/2 cup mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped tomato

Generously oil 9x13 baking dish and arrange cubed French bread in the dish.  sprinkle with cheese.  Beat together the next 5 ingredients to pepper and pour evenly over the bread and cheese.  Sprinkle with bacon mushrooms and tomato.  Cover and chill up to 24 hours.  Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and bake uncovered until set about one hour.
The adorable Lambs were purchased at the supermarket for only $3.99 each and were given away to mothers of small children at the end of the party.  A basket shaped like a baby bassinet was used as the container for the party favors.
The baby blue  paper containers for the favors, purchased at the dollar store, were filled with blue and white jelly beans and chocolate eggs by Dove which came wrapped in blue foil.
Blue clothes line and wooden clothes pins came from the same dollar store.  Socks were purchased at different baby clothing stores.
Blooming house plants were in the corners.
Blue and white Toile cloths were sewn originally for the mother-to-be's Wedding shower and we just used them a second time.  Blue glass vases came from the thrift shop, and the Forsythia from the Jarvis Garden.
One of the most charming details was the white pottery "Bull" pitcher.  We were trying for a "Farm" theme and he was found by chance at a local flea market.
Baby clothes on a blue clothes line, decorated the dining groom and.
The staircase.
More Forsythia in the front hallway.
The Cream Puffs were made by my sister Emma who used  our mother Rose's recipe as follows:
Puff Shells
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup sifted flour
4 eggs

Place water, butter and salt into a heavy saucepan and heat; when boiling briskly, add flour all at once, stirring vigorously.  Cook until mixture forms a smooth ball which leaves sides of pan clean, stirring constantly.  Turn into mixing bowl and beat thoroughly one egg at a time; then continue beating until mixture is thick and shiny, and breaks off when spoon is raised.  Shape at once or wrap dough in waxed paper and store in refrigerator several hours or overnight before using.  With pastry bag or 2 tablespoons, shape on ungreased baking sheet, putting design 2 inches apart to allow for spreading.  For cream puff shells make large rounds, for eclair shells make 1"x4 1/2" oblong shapes.  Bake large puff shells in a very hot oven (450 degrees) for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to moderate (350) and bake for 20-25 minutes longer.  Bake miniature shells about 1/2 the time.  Cut slits in side of each shell and fill with custard recipe.  Sprinkle tops with powdered sugar.  Yield 1 dozen large puff shells or 4 dozen mini puff shells.
Cream Filling
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks or 2 eggs
2 cups milk, scalded
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Combine dry ingredients and mix with slightly beaten egg yolks.  Stir in enough hot milk to make a thin paste.  Add paste to remaining hot milk and cook over boiling water (double boiler pot)  for five minutes, stirring constantly.  Cook 10 minutes longer or until mixture is thickened, stirring constantly.  Cool and add vanilla.  For a richer filling add 2 tablespoons butter to cooked custard.  Yield about 2 1/4 cups filling or filling for 2 dozen large cream puffs shells.