Sunday, January 23, 2011

Outside In: The Gardener and Cook

Rosa 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' & ''Mutabalis' (Butterfly) clippings with hips
It's all in the attitude. Pruning sounds like a chore. "Gathering Roses" sounds so much more elegant for the same result.

The backyard provided the bouquet for Sunday supper.  They came from when backyard roses were stripped even of their leaves. Handfuls of worm manure and Jersey green sand thrown at their feet. The soil conditioned, allowed to rest.

In updating the garden look, I am going for maximum impact for minimum dollar. The potted tree roses are moving from the entrance to the backyard to stand with the arch at the back of the lawn. Moving that first pot used muscles that have been in hibernation since the year I decided the piano should be on the other side of the living room. Which led the next decision.

I have read that tree roses should not be totally shorn. It felt- literally- like a good year to try this change in maintenance.

Finch at the Feeder
When I profide refreshments, God sends the entertainment. The line to the feeder bunches up in the formidable arms of the Italian Stone Pine. If traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange turned into tiny yellow birds, that is the behavior of yellow finches.

Brick scrubbed and sealed with 'Wet Look" Product
Sealing is the easy part. Moving furniture then running the floor refurbisher to prep the surface... Do not start that machine anywhere near a plate glass window. Unless you want new windows, that is.

The tangerine tree is the fruit equivalent of zucchini. What to do with all of the bounty? Yesterday's Road Map Recipe....

Girlfriend's Coleslaw Chicken Salad
  •  Coleslaw mix
  • Dried cranberries
  • White raisins
  • Chicken meat, diced
  • Glazed walnuts
  • Tangerine wedges halved, seeds removed
Mix in a bowl of an appropriate size for the number of people you are serving. 

  • Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing
  • Mayonnaise
 Toss the other ingredients with Chinese chicken salad dressing just until moist. Then add a layer of flavor richness by stirring in mayonnaise to coat.
  • Wonton strips
This dish is just lovely served on a glass plate. At the very last moment, present the salad sprinkled with wonton strips and if there are any dried cranberries or whole tangerine slices- the more the merrier.

Kitchen wisdom:

For those with smaller households- with just 2 people to be served, buying pre-mixed ingredients is not
always more expensive than home prepared. What goes in the compost heap is gold disguised- what goes in the trashcan is waste.

Glazed walnuts are so easy it verges on sin to purchase ready made. A bit of butter, a scoop of sugar in a pan with enough nuts to absorb the coating as the sugar caramelizes. However, this step requires your absolute devotion stirring or you have blackened walnuts-which even the garbage disposal might object to being fed.


  1. mmmmmmmmm L,

    How delicious that looks!! It looks scrumptious! I love any food that have a Chinese ingredient.
    Your roses are beautiful. The nice thing about having a flower garden is you always have a supply for fresh flowers in the house.

    Your patio bricks look wonderful! Love the "wet" look! Glad you didn't need to replace any plate glass windows!! :)

    Hugs, Trisha

  2. I too like the 'wet look' on the bricks. Nice!!! Chicken salad sounds and looks wonderful. I'm drooling...... Thanks. Inspiration come from all my 'cooking' pals! xo

  3. Why is it that the of all the sensational photos you always post it's the pictures of your edible creations that move me the most? ;-) Oh yum, wish I'd been there for that salad.

    Luv and hugs,


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