Saturday, March 31, 2012

Welcome To Rosie's Garden.

  I love spring.

 My larkspurs are among the first blooms in my garden.

 They self seed, germinate in the fall.
and the plants overwinter even when there's snow.
And they're blooming earlier this year than ever before,
as is my stock.

I don't consider last season much of a winter.
Maybe two nights below freezing.

Blue anemone.

I love this lilac iris.

 I love this blue iris.

I love this yellow iris.

Poppies and larkspur.

 Money plant aka honesty plant.
Poppy in back.

 Poppies and larkspur.

I need to go back out and check that yellow bloom.

 I love my stock.
It smells delicious.
Like my larkspur, it re-seeds and volunteers
 relentlessly and voraciously.

This little pretty came up in the crack
 in the driveway in front of the garage door.

 Ice plant.

You can pinch any piece of this off
and stick it anywhere and it will root quickly.
It does very nicely tucked into rock gardens.

 Periwinkle aka vinca minor.

 Red anemone.

 Another anemone.

 Cilantro setting bloom.
I'm waiting for the raw green coriander seeds.
They're citrusy and cilantro-y
and terrific on seafood.

 More larkspur.
Larkspur comes in white, pinks, blues,
purples, and yellow.

 More anemone.
 My first rose of the season.
March 30, 2012.
Looks bad.
I need to check it for thrips and spray.
Petals on left look very funky.

I love this delicate color.

 And I love the bold, vibrant RED
of this anemone.

My gerbera daisies are blooming.
They're the bright spots under the tree.
Ice plant/delosperma - the pink in the foreground.
The green is mostly larkspur getting ready to bloom.
There's a broken terra cotta pot spewing fulgurite.

  Larkspur, poppies, and money plant.

Rosie Makes Asparagus Soup.

I have one very healthy asparagus plant
a little bird left in my rose garden.
I let it be,
and this one plant supplies the Hawthornes
with all the asparagus they can eat plus more
throughout March and April.

Today, I'm making asparagus soup.

maybe 1 pound asparagus spears, chopped
1 large shallot, minced
about 2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup milk
1 TB flour, for thickening
Parmesan cheese
freshly ground salt and pepper

About 1 pound of asparagus, chopped
one large shallot

To prepare the asparagus,
first snap off the ends.
The asparagus knows where to snap.
Then chop the asparagus and the shallot.

I put 1 tablespoon of butter in my hot pan,
let it melt until sizzling,
and added the asparagus and shallots.
Annoy with a wooden spoon
for about a minute over medium high heat.

Then add in about a cup of vegetable stock.

Let the stock come to a boil.

Remove and reserve some of the tips for garnish.

After reserving some nice tips,
put the asparagus and shallot mixture in the processor.

Puree away!

Next, I melted 2 tablespoons butter in my pan
and added 1 tablespoon of flour.

Cook for a minute or two,
scraping and stirring.

Slowly, stir in about a cup of vegetable stock.

Let it thicken.

Then add in the asparagus puree.

Add in a cup of milk.
Mix well and heat through.
Season to taste with freshly ground salt and pepper.

Serve the soup with the reserved spears as garnish
and grated Parmesan cheese.

I like green soup.
Makes me feel healthy.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Rosie On The Veranda At Biltmore.

I was cleaning cabinets and drawers all day 
because I'm procrastinating.
I don't want to do my tax preparation
and update my Quicken. 
Actually, all transactions are up to date.
I just haven't categorized all the credit card statements.
That's the worst part.
It's the part I hate.
Every year,
I tell myself,
"Self, you will update in a timely manner.
You will NOT get 13 months behind.
You WILL update your Quicken 
every time you go online to pay bills.
Just so this doesn't happen to you
late March/early April every year!"

 Yeah, right.

Self never listens to me.

So, instead of doing what I was supposed to do,
I cleaned out my computer station.
And I found this picture of Rosie
 on the veranda at the Biltmore Estate.

Hey, E.A.M.,
do you think this is worthy of your consideration?

It sorta reminded me of the last pic you painted of me.

Rosie Makes Coconut Fried Shrimp.

The Hawthornes love shrimp
and one of the best ways to get full shrimp flavor
is by frying.

Today, I'm making coconut fried shrimp
with a beer batter and and an orange, red pepper,
and horseradish dipping sauce.

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
a few grinds salt
1 tsp cayenne
I use my home-grown cayenne peppers
which I dry and crumble up.
That way you have different sized pieces.
1 egg
3/4 cup beer

Mix dry ingredients.
Mix beer and egg and add to dry.
Whisk until thoroughly combined.

Beer and egg on left.
Dry ingredients on right.

Add in egg and beer to dry ingredients.

Whisk until thoroughly mixed.

Add in shrimp to coat.
The shrimp has been peeled and deveined
and the tails were left on.

Mix equal amounts panko and coconut.

Dredge battered shrimp through panko/coconut mixture.

Shrimp are ready to fry.

Back last summer, good neighbor Zippy
brought us a bunch of Florida oranges
and Mr. Hawthorne canned his own orange marmalade.
I added a little horseradish to the marmalade.
Well, not so little.

Add in some minced red peppers.

Fry the shrimp.
The oil should be 350 degrees.

Do NOT crowd the pan.
You'll reduce the oil temperature.

Mr. Hawthorne also fried up some freshly shucked oysters.
Just dredge through flour, salt, and pepper.

The shrimp and oysters were ready in about 1 minute.
Do not overcook.

Drain on paper towels.

I love the subtle beer flavor
and the intense shrimp flavor.

The orange horseradish dipping sauce
was a nice complement.

Mr. Hawthorne made a regular cocktail sauce
and a tartar sauce for the oysters.

Bon appetit, indeed!