Monday, June 15, 2009

Strawberry Tart

A couple of years ago, before Monkey, we went strawberry picking. Tater ate his weight in red, ripe berries, and we came home with 22 lbs! After canning about a dozen pounds, I found a recipe or two to use the rest. This one is delicious and simple.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dark Green Thumb: Iris and Peony

There are many lessons learned from tending a garden. Patience is perhaps greatest. When I first began selecting plants for my garden, I indulged in a single peony plant. Their blooms are so grand that they can put a rose to shame. I initially planted it in a sunny spot where I was confident it would thrive. It didn't. Peonies are known to be a bit persnikity in the first couple of blooming seasons. But after they're established, plants have been known to survive and bloom for decades. Three years passed. Each spring, tender shoots would push up threw the ground, but a small flowerless shrub was all that it produced. Last fall, I dug it up and moved it to a new bed. I was a bit concerned, since it would not get as much sun, but the gamble paid off. I was rewarded with a large bush full of beautiful pink gorgeous blooms. The flowers become so large and heavy that that literally fall over from their weight. I really like them for cutting flowers, since they dazzle in a vase.

Before the peonies opened, my siberian irises made an appearance. I divided the expanding clump in two last fall after planting the rhizomes 3 years ago. Both divisions multiplied 4-fold. Siberian's are my favorite iris. I know people love the bearded varieties, but a fading bloom always looked like rotting fruit to me. The siberians are similar in size and character to the dutch variety. They have no beards or frilly edges, but slender purple petals. Each blossom looks like a minimalist sculpture, elegant in its economy. A dragon fly was apparently as taken with it as I.



2 cups chopped fresh or canned pineapples
2 yellow or red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
3 kiwifruit, peeled and chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
juice of 1 lime
dash of cayenne pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in a glass, ceramic or stainless steel bowl.
2. Toss well.
3. Serve with fish or chicken or tortilla chips
Serves 6

This is one of my summertime favorites. Wonderful with tortilla chips. Even the boys love it.