For Dragonflies And Me

  (Snover, Michigan)
Enjoy the everyday life I love to live!
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PART 1: Autumn's Bounty in the Root Cellar and Two Yummy Storage Crop Recipes!

The Season of Autumn...
This is Neil's and most of the children's favorite season... I like it too, but I am all about Spring and Summer. I do love Autumn for the harvest though... the smell and crunch of the leaves under foot... the caa-caa of the Blue Jays feasting on the sunflowers in the front garden... the sound of the wind whistling through the leaves still hanging onto the branches... not quite ready to sail away...watching our can shelves, freezers and root cellars start to fill up to over flowing... Oh the bounty of Autumn, how thankful are we!  The children enjoy the slower pace that Autumn leans into... once the fields are plowed and all that is left is the hoop house and animal care duties, life seems to take on a slower pace... more relaxed and peaceful.  Now the boys and Neil are in full swing of making firewood to both heat our home and to sell at market. I love to hear the chainsaws roaring and the smack of the axe. I get to start using the cook stove again now... oh that smell of wood burning so close lends to a feeling more cozy than words can describe. I love our cook stove... it reminds me of when we would go way up North into Canada to visit my dad's folks. They didn't have electricity or indoor plumbing until I was about 12 years old... I loved the smell that rose into the upstairs when grandma was frying up fresh eggs and bacon for breakfast... covered and cozy under her quilts... not really wanting to venture out into the cold... the heat would start to move slowly through the old farm house upstairs and then I would jump out of bed and quick get dressed and run downstairs.  Everyone else was always up and moving long before I. It was a happy feeling... a cozy, homey feeling that I had there.  Now I have a cook stove of my own and although I only use it in the cold months, I can't think of doing without it. 
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More Garden Themes, Beautiful Ice Cubes, Two Super Meatless Sandwich's!

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant." Robert Louis Stevenson

Today was magnificent! The sun was shining and the warmth it gave was strength for the soul.  We worked outside all day~ Neil cleaned out the very messy garage; Taylor washed all the windows in & out; I got flower & raised beds cleaned up with some help, my front porch swept & tidied up and my potting shed all cleaned out~ that was a job.  It seems every fall when 'stuff' is getting picked up and put away, it all goes into 'my' shed!  Kyle was helping me and he very innocently say's, "You do this every spring mom." I'm like, no kidding!  But that's OK, I love getting in there and finding all the 'clearance' garden stuff I stashed away last fall in anticipation for the next summer. After school Kyle and Ethan were outside with Evan helping him fill his bird feeders~ they are so sweet to their baby brother! It paid off, Evan's boo~jays were there shortly after.  As I was meandering through the flower beds and cleaning, of course I am thinking what needs to be replaced, added and thinned out.  Gardening is a job, but when it is your passion it is so worth while.  Today is going to be the last for ideas on Garden Themes, so I thought we would end with a few I was saving for last. 

Many people think flowers are just for looking at, cutting for arrangements or giving as gifts~ have you ever thought about eating some?  Edible flower's are much more common in the many gardening magazines the last few years. I love to include pansies and nasturtiums in my salads, they don't just add beauty but they really are yummy~ Nasturtiums add a 'peppery' flavor. Here are a more edibles, try planting them in your kitchen garden, in pots or in your veggie garden. Especially nasturtiums, they should go with your tomato plants!
*All herbs of course, scented geraniums, viola, violets, pansies, nasturtiums, dandelion petals & leafs, hibiscus, johnny jump ups, rose petals, snapdragons, day lily and calendula petals.  There are many more and if you are interested in finding more out on edible plants, a good book is, "Edible Wild Plants~ A North American Field Guide, by Thomas S. Elias & Peter A. Dikeman.   As with all plants, be sure to read about them before ingesting because some need to be had in moderation and some do not go well with certain medications.

*Tea Gardens are always fun simply because of what you can plan with them, who doesn't love a Tea Party? Creating a Tea Garden is very special, it is beautiful and practical.  Here are some easy to grow plants that make superb teas and blends.
*Lemon Balm, Raspberry leaves, Mints including but not limited to: Spearmint, Pineapple, Apple, Balsam, Orange, Peppermint; Sage, Rose & Chamomile.  This is a very small list but some of the most common to give you a start.

*Beautiful Ice Cubes~ If you are having some friends over or are planning any type of party here is a very easy yet elegant idea to spruce up your beverages. First boil enough water to fill 4 ice cube trays. After the water is boiled pour into ice cube trays and drop in 2 Johnny Jump Up's or Viola's into each insert. Freeze. Pop out when ready to use and hear the 'ahhs'. The boiling of water makes it so the water is crystal clear.

We don't always need meat on our sandwiches, despite what my husband thinks :-) !  Some days you just want it light & simple. Here are two yummy treats that are sure to please!

Farm Fresh eggs are a farmer's market delight, especially when you get them from The Garden Gate!
Egg Salad on Sour Dough

4 eggs from Garden Gate, hard boiled, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup red onion from Garden Gate, finely chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise, divided
1 tsp Matt's Mix Seasoning
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 loaf of Sour Dough Bread from Fostoria Bread Factory

1.  Using a fork, mash eggs, stir in onion, seasoning and 1/2 the mayo.
2. Cut the loaf in slices, about 8 will do.  Cut the crust* off.  Spread the butter evenly on 4 of the slices and the remaining mayo on the other 4 slices. 
3.  Spoon on egg mixture evenly between 4 slices; top with other.

What to do with radishes other than throw them on a salad or dip in salt and crunch!  Radishes have more uses than that. Here is a fun treat to change things up.  Serve with your favorite soup and a fresh fruit salad, Superb!
Spicy Radish Sandwiches

10 radishes from Garden Gate, washed, trimmed and thinly slice
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
3 Tbsp. fresh chives from Garden Gate, chopped and divided
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seed
3/4 tsp. fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. each salt & pepper
1 baguette , sliced 1/4 inch thick

1. Mix butter, 2 Tbsp. of the chives, sesame seed, ginger and oil in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. 
2. Spread mixture over one side of each baguette slice.  Top with radishes, overlapping slightly.  Sprinkle with remaining chives.
Yum!

Happy Day,
Jean

 
 
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