Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hotter than Tamale Weather ~Changes in Garden and the Kitchen

Nothing is permanent but change.

Butterflies are the reward for warmer temperatures. This beauty; anyone out there know her name? If she posed for the laminated fold out ID pamphlet for Southern California, she was turned so the inside wing pattern was hidden. 

Inside the house, the thermometer smiled that it never had to exert itself over 78°  F. Outside, was another matter At her cruelest,  the sun's breath broiled the garden at 107.5°   Still, that was merciful compared to the brutal 118°  inside my husband's shed. 

Thank God for James Carrier, inventor of air conditioning and for Trevor Plunk. Our oldest son installed our automatic sprinkler system between college and career. Hand watering may be the most pleasant chore during So Cal heat spells, the plants, particularly in pots, get tired of waiting.

If skiing in a blizzard is a sign of kamikaze sportsman, gardening in this heat is the sign of a gardener obsessed.  It was a relief to see the the 'Easy Does It' rose settled in over the weekend with just a jigger of B-52 washed down with a gallon of water. 

Autumn is for action. Some pots were moved to interim locations. The honeysuckle planted by the birds won the right to its corner. This meant saying au revior to the Cleveland sage. Some branches holding still in a bucket bouquet. Plan A is to root some cuttings for the outback.

Buddleja with butterfly image from  Viette's 

We bid Adieu to a buddleja.  Not all worms are created equal. Whatever the maggot like creatures infected the woody stems- they are on the way to the dump. No plant is so precious as to risk an entire garden.

My husband, lover of Tabasco and all things hot and spicy, has been having a bout of tender tummy. For the time being, offerings from the kitchen need to be kinder and gentler than nut and chili encrusted deep fried whatever.

With football and the World Series upon us, this concoction is GOOD enough for game-time company.

Hot Brie Garden Dip
Gently melt a skinned wheel of brie snuggle fitted into a heat-proof bowl in the oven. While this is warming-

Saut√© in extra virgin olive oil (infused with just a touch of garlic) sliced button mushrooms. Set the mushrooms aside.

Repeat with artichoke bottoms (If canned, rinse first to tame the acidity). When heated through, give them one good mash with potato masher.

Boldly stripe the top of the brie with sliced black olives, mushrooms and gleaming artichoke mash. Finish well with drizzling of pan deglazings. 

Serve with crackers.

Bon Appetite!

All photos, except the one from Viette's are by Gene Sasse


  1. Yes, Mr. Carrier.

    You need some Fall weather!

    Yummy sounding recipe.

  2. Lydia,

    YES! Three cheers for Mr. Carrier! I stopped looking at the thermostat when I saw it said 101o on my patio in the shade! Thank goodness for the $$$ we spent on those roll down Abbott shades! What a difference they make!
    As luck would have it, I rotated my wardrobe last week while it was storming that cold rain and wind. Now most items in my closest are nice cozy warm clothes! Good thing I always leave out a few cool things.
    Hugs and happy gardening! The recipe sounds so yummy!!
    XO Trisha

  3. More BEAUTIFUL Pictures of yoir Beautiful Beautiful Garden, Lydia....That Rose is exquisite!!!

    This heat is really hard on me...And I'm mostly indoors---Still....I wish it would go Bye Bye very very soon....!

    Hope your hubby feels better very soon, too, my dear.

  4. Sue, Trish and Naomi- Thank you for being "my" early birds):-

  5. I think we got to 104F here in Fullerton... while I was wearing a sweater at the office due to the over-compensating air conditioning there. Your 'Easy Does It' rose is looking fantastic (if that is what's pictured by Gene). Ah the ins and outs of gardening in fall. Glad you got rid of the wormy host. And hope your husband's tummy feels better soon!

  6. Hi Nikki! I didn't know you lived so close. Fullerton is a wonderful city. Think you actually hit 105 last week in the record breaking day. Yes- Gene's rose image is of 'Ease Does It' - although the particular image wasn't shot on my property. It was tooooo spectacular not to use.


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