Friday, February 25, 2011

Johnny's Seed Disks

This is the extent of my early seed planting - next year I'll invest in some lights and attempt to grow my own tomato plants by seed, but until then, these little seed disks from Johnny's Seeds will do the trick!  The starter set came with six pots and six seed disks:  parsley, thyme, basil, greens, sweet marjoram, and chives.  But I opted not to plant the chives - really, once you have chives, you don't need any more!  Instead we planted some marigolds in the sixth pot.  We'll see how it goes - it's fun to actually "plant" something after this never-ending winter!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Blooming Fence

I came across this fence project in the Summer 2009 Better Homes & Gardens Do It Yourself magazine (thankful for my workplace magazine swappers!).  Complete directions for this project can be found at 

This fence project would look amazing out by the end of the driveway, right behind the boulder that we brought over from the shops last fall.  And it would be easy to find some colorful annuals to fill the pots to bring some color to that shady area.  I just have to figure out where to get my hands on an old portion of fencing.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Last of the Tomatoes

Last week, I opened my last jar of canned tomatoes and made a wonderful tomato & red pepper soup that even my children (okay, one child) enjoyed.  How sad that makes me - no more chili, tomato soup, or spaghetti sauce made with our own tomatoes.  Note to self - plant twice as many tomatoes this spring!

Back to the soup - there's no real recipe to follow - here's the best of what I can remember that I did:

Tomato & Red Pepper Soup

Quart of tomatoes
1/2 med onion - diced
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Jar of Roasted Red Peppers - drained
1 c. chicken broth
sugar, salt & pepper to taste
1 c. half and half to thicken

In a large saucepan, saute the onions in olive oil until tender.  Blend the tomatoes and peppers in a blender until smooth and add to the onions in the pan.  Add chicken broth, sugar, salt & pepper and simmer.  Add half and half to thicken just before serving.

The great thing about soup is that it's very forgiving and the recipe is always flexible.