Monthly Archives: December 2012

Oh, December!

Cold keeps me inside and I begin to play around with my food, literally!

I try new recipes, make a few up, or make something I haven’t tried in a while.

I was thinking about eggs Benedict the other morning and came up with this.

Hard fried egg on toast with cheese and Sarachi.

A side of homemade cranberry sauce, too.

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It hit the spot so out to the yard I go to clean off the patio, sidewalks, and pick up limbs and pine cones.

The Hellebore are blooming! They bloom in the Fall and Winter and the colors range from shades of burgundy or red to shades of white, ivory, or green. The evergreen leaves create a mound about 18 inches high and 2 feet wide.

This one is called Ivory Prince.

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Gus continues his recovery from the TPLO surgery of nearly two months ago. I am even allowing him to sleep on my bed if its chilly at night! He doesn’t seem to have had any side effects – except for emptying my savings account!

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Of course, I love to either end or begin my day with a visit to Cup A Joe on Hillsborough Street for some sort of coffee beverage. Below is a Chocolate Joe Juice – crushed ice, espresso, and Hershey’s Chocolate!

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Join me sometime and enjoy!

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Filed under General Gardening

Birds…and other wildlife.

In my neighborhood in Raleigh there are many pockets of woods and wild areas. I have seen everything from hawks, coyotes, and some kind of large rodent. It was either a beaver or a nutria. I am not sure but it was big!

I have several feeders around the patio to feed the many birds in the neighborhood. There is even a small swamp area about a mile away on the Walnut Creek flood plain. The creek runs just South of my neighborhood. It begins at Lake Johnson, runs through NCSU’s Cenntinial Campus where it is dammed to create Lake Raleigh, than it continues to run East just inside the beltline along I40 until it runs through Walnut Creek Park and then it empties into the Neuse River after it goes under Barwell Road. Part of the Raleigh Greenway takes the same course.

The Raleigh Walnut Creek Wetlands Center is located on State Street. 59 acres of wetlands and an education center. http://www.raleighnc.gov/arts/content/PRecRecreation/Articles/WalnutCreekWetlandCenter.html

I have seen many species of birds from geese flying over the neighborhood to hawks hunting the very plentiful squirrels. Even a few of the very large and rare Pileated Wood Peckers.

The squirrels are the most problematic. They will chew anything they can! They have chewed holes in nesting boxes. Holes in lids to the garbage cans. Destroyed any plastic feeder but I have found these wire feeders that have survived their assault. I keep then filled sunflower seeds.

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I also have a few of the sock feeders for thistle seeds.

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A Nuthatch enjoys sunflower seeds.

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Another Nuthatch peaking from behind the feeder.

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There is the seed catch area below the feeders. Mourning Doves and other ground-feeding birds enjoy eating here.

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Harvesting culinary ginger.

The first hard frost was this week. When I say hard I mean 25f. Our typical winter temps are about 25f to 30f at night and in the 30s or 40s during the day.

Frost has killed the foliage of the culinary ginger in the garden so it’s time to harvest the roots. It’s a shame, though, because one plant was beginning to bloom and its the first time I have had that to happen.

Below is the bud and a small pink flower was peeking out the day before the frost.

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The plants are now mushy from frost and have fallen over.

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I simply pull and the root comes up.

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I rinse the soil off in a bucket of water then pour the water and soil back into the garden bed.

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Now I need to trim off the roots and clean the remaining soil by hand.

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Ginger will last about two months in your vegetable crisper in a zip lock bag. You can also freeze it in small portions so its ready to use. Other methods are storing is to store it in jars of vodka as if its pickled. I might have to try that one!

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Namaste’

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Filed under Food, Plants