Saturday, March 31, 2007
One of my favorite baking cookbooks is by Leslie Mackie. She owns Macrina Bakery and Cafe in Seattle that was featured on the Food Network's Road Tasted show with Jamie and Bobby Deen. I've made many things from her recipe collection, including the Angel Thumbprint cookies I posted back before Valentine's Day. While I was in Seattle, on Friday morning I had some time to explore the city before my flight. I headed out to Macrina's Belltown location at about 7:15 AM. It was thirteen blocks from my hotel room at the W to Macrina Belltown, and a nice walk the entire way. 20 minutes later I was perched in front of a beautiful pastry case filled to the brim with mouthwatering selections. I ordered a Morning Glory muffin. I've made the Macrina recipe a few times, and I wanted to see how my version compared to the real thing. Their's was so much better than mine! Now I know what a real muffin should be like. The muffin bread was so moist and fluffy it just melted in my mouth. When I make the muffins, I usually leave out the raisins because I'm not a big fan. Well, not anymore. The mix of golden raisins in the bread was just perfect. Tonight I plan to bake something from the cookbook. I'll post an update later about what I decied to bake.
In gardening news, we got some rain this week (finally!), and the weeds popped up fiercely while I was away. My Earth Engine compost bin came in this week so I plan to put that together today. I'm off to the garden to sharpen up the hoe and weed the beds. We're supposed to get thunderstorms this afternoon, so I better get to it!
Monday, March 26, 2007
I have been able to get a few snapshots of my blooming yard over the past few weeks. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of my tulips, but they were quite pretty.
The Front Porch: Bridal Wreath Spirea, Indian Hawthorne and Azaleas
Petunias by the Front Door
Growing Clematis, and a New Trellis
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Maintaining Garden Tools and Preventing Rust
- Clean your tools well after every use, removing soil with water at max pressure and a wire brush.
- Keep a towel where you store the tools and dry them fully before storing.
- Store your tools somewhere dry and off the ground.
- If you have a rusty tool, remove the rust with a metal brush.
- To remove stubborn rust, make a paste mixture of lemon juice and cream of tartar. Dip a cloth in the mixture and lightly rub over the rusty area. The citric acid will remove the rust.
- Sharpen tools with a file when they get dull.
- To sharpen pruners and clippers, color the blade tip with a permanent marker. Sharpen evenly until the mark has been removed.
- Before you put tools away for the winter, put some linseed oil on the handles and WD40 on the metal.
I haven't been doing these things! I have plenty of excuses (said humid tool shed, can't find the tool file, don't have any linseed oil), but I need to get in the habit of doing these things. Sounds like I need a trip to the hardware store and a kick in the butt!
Thursday, March 08, 2007
One of the theories researches have is that a certain insecticide is causing the bees to become disoriented and forget their way home. This particular insecticide has already been banned in Europe because of its affect on bees and other pollinators, so I don't understand why the United States continues to allow it to be used.
The scientist interviewed in the Living On Earth segment mentions that Albert Einstein asserted that if the bee disappeared off the face of the globe, then man would cetainly follow within four years.
My dad kept honeybees, three or four hives. After he died my grandmother started taking care of them. I haven't had a chance to talk to my granny about the bees yet, but I wonder how they are doing. When I was married in 2004, our wedding favors were little honey pots, filled by my father with his tasty homemade honey.