Greek Sage (Salvia fruticosa)

20180413_180419gyuThe rise in popularity of and interest in growing heirloom fruits and veggies has extended to the herb garden.  However, there are some that remain well-kept secrets that really shouldn’t be.

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Bearded Iris (Iris x germanica)

201r7tufvchgThere is a point each year where my garden looks a little like Monet’s famous garden, and I am clearly quite okay with that!  Each spring I am graced with a spectacular and long lasting display of some of the most beautiful and diverse blooms I have. Continue reading Bearded Iris (Iris x germanica)

Scabiosa (“Pincushion Flower”)

I’m a sucker for old-fashioned looking flowers like the kind you see in a typical English Cottage Garden.  However, England’s climate isn’t all that similar to mine.  In fact, not at all.

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Pomegranate (Punica granatum)

20171105_134912It is easy to understand why Persephone was tempted by the pomegranate seeds offered to her by Hades, as told in the ancient Greek mythological story, even though eating them would condemn her to spend three months of each year in the dark underworld.

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Imposters!

20180913_203416I was nearly suckered as I was out in the garden taking some pictures.  But something about it made me take a closer look.  Something about those eyes…

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Fig (Ficus carica)

20180803_125406I have to say, I honestly feel sorry for anyone who’s never had the opportunity to eat a fresh fig.  If that’s you, don’t despair, you still might be able to grow your own, even if you’re not in the ideal climate.

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Peachy Sourdough Cake

20180715_195712Sourdough.  It’s what’s for dessert.  Trust me on this.  And it comes with peaches.  Peaches are good.

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Feta & Kalamata Olive Stuffed Peppers

20180801_162925I’ve had a lot of peppers from the garden lately, and as much as I like to eat them, after a while I kind of want to shake things up a bit. Yes, there can be too much of a good thing.

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Kalamata Olive & Feta Spread

20180808_204236When I’m entertaining I want appetizers that can be made in advance and pack a lot of flavor.  Chips and dip just doesn’t cut it.  This spread does.

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Cabbage (Brassica oleracea)

20180322_163340Cabbage is one of those “cool weather” crops that has stymied me for a while.  Being in zone 9 means that one has to take advantage of the fall season, just when you think you get to take a break from your summer garden, if you want to have success with these kinds of crops.

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Old Fashioned Peach Ice Cream

20180713_162054Ah summer, I don’t quite know what to do with you.  You’re hot and sweltering and uncomfortable.  Yet I love what you give me.  I guess I’ll keep you for now.

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What’s in My Lawn? (Not Grass)

20180802_172310I have spotted my neighbor on many occasions scanning his perfect front lawn and plucking out any offending non-grass plants that dared set root.  That’s not us.

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Dolmades (Grape Leaves Stuffed with Rice & Herbs)

20180715_170443I was once complimented on my grape leaf rolling skills by an older lady at our church.  This was a woman that prepared pans full of perfectly rolled bundles, and made sure everyone saw how good hers were.  I was flattered!

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Laurus nobilis (Grecian Laurel or Sweet Bay)

20180802_105840You know, a recipe typically calls for 1 to 2 bay leaves.  Then you do another dish, and another.  Those leaves start to add up.  They aren’t cheap.  Growing your own is.

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Peas (Pisum sativum)

20180328_181350I disappeared once when I was about three.  My parents frantically searched the house looking for me, only to find me in the garden… eating all the peas.

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Greek Sour Cherry Brandy

20180717_132446There are a few things that can be used to preserve food: salt, sugar, and dehydration.  And booze.  Ohhh yeah.

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Harvesting Grape Leaves

20180702_100425I have come to realize that so many of the foods I was **ahem** “not fond of” were ones that started with less than fresh ingredients.  Count dolmades, a Greek delicacy made with grape leaves, as one of them.

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Greek Green Beans with Tomatoes (Fasolakia)

20180712_212032This dish is a staple at many of our church functions.  I hated it when I was a kid.  Then someone made a simple change to the recipe.

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Peeling Peaches (Using Common Sense)

20180710_220122
The fuzz has got to go!  Give your peaches a quick rinse first.

Ah, common sense.  The ultimate tool in anyone’s arsenal, and yet the one that is the most under utilized.  Let’s change that.

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