Category Archives: Leaves

Oil and Vinegar

Oil and Vinegar

My herb bed is stunning this year! So, what shall we do with them? Oil and Vinegar anyone?

I cook with herbs every day or nearly every day, so this bed has been a much loved spot this summer.

Now, as summer is winding down, and other beds are slipping away, I am looking for ways to keep my herbs through the coming coolness of fall and winter. I’ve hit on four ideas I’m sharing with you this morning.

Oil and Vinegar

First up I’m making herb infusions of both oil and vinegar. I’ve collected several nice bottles and have begun the process of steeping the herbs with the oils and different vinegar types. I’m also trying a mix of oil and vinegar for the first time this year. We’ll see how that is.

I want some with clarity and sparkle and others with ruddy richness, so I’ve chosen white wine vinegar and a Japanese Saki vinegar as well as Apple cider and Rose vinegar. I’m using Rosemary, Red Rubin Basil, Mrs. Burns Lemon Basil, Dill-vierling and dukat, and garlic and thyme. I’ve put it all in 1quart jars to steep, no sense fiddling with the funnel for this part of the process.

Vinegar and Oil

It starts in a Mason Jar…

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Throwback Thursday: Caladium a Great Plant For Your Shady Spots

Throwback Thursday: Caladium a Great Plant For Your Shady Spots

The throwback Thursday today is Caladium. I really like Caladium,  for years we lived in a house that had no direct sunlight. We had large Pecan and Live Oak trees shading the lot. I had to literally chase the sun with my potted tomato and pepper plants.

A Great Shade Plant…Caladium

However, I was able to grow beautiful Hosta, Impatiens and Caladium. All those lovely shade loving plants.

White Wing Caladium

“White Wing” Caladium

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Is it Time to Feed You Again?

Is it Time to Feed You Again?

Friday seems to come faster and faster these days. = ) Is it time to feed you again?

Today I have a Gunz creation that has morphed into a fun, easy tradition.

It’s Friday, it must be time to feed you again!

Tuesdays are omelet day at the Gunz’. Each person fills out their “order” sheet that includes all of the ingredients on hand for fillers and each person gets a personalized omelet. There is even a fill in section for “extras” I may have forgotten to list. I draw the line at peanut butter, you’ll have to spread that on yourself. Some winner combinations included Durkee onion rings (you know, the kind you put on green bean casserole?) and cheddar cheese. Some incredible fail combos included Spagettio’s, let’s just say, it wasn’t pretty, and the recipient ended up with a mushroom and Swiss in the end.

This time honored tradition has been followed with other “You Build It” variations. Friday is usually homemade pizza day. You pick your topping, I make pan size crusts, you build your pizza, the Parsnip cooks them (because he doesn’t scoff at lifting out the pizza stone a dozen times, especially when homemade pizza is involved).

Our most recent build it yourself involves sliders made to order. We use King rolls for buns or sometimes I make them. In a pinch we have used English Muffins with good results.

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The Summer Is Here!

The Summer Is Here!

Today is the first day of summer! So happy summer! It’s the longest day of the year (or the shortest if you live on the other side of the world).

Summer is…

  • a time for home made and carted popsicles.
  • swimming pools or swimming holes.
  • firefly lanterns and sleep outs.
  • lemonade on the porch and watermelon in the fridge.
  • secrets with friends.
  • daisy chains and banana bikes.
  • pirates and princesses.
  • grandparents and cousins.

It’s the first day. What are you going to do with your summer?

Make it paisley!~KeriAnne

Comfrey, and the Livin’ is Good!

Comfrey, and the Livin’ is Good!

In a rather neglected part of the yard, over by the treeline of the woods, I have three Comfrey plants that seem to like their arrangement. I like them there as well. They have pretty lavender and white flowers and they will come back next year even though I’ll cut them down to two inches this year.

As a Green Manure, Comfrey is a workhorse. As a natural fertilizer, it will be your “go to” plant food. You may even come to depend on it as you do your Aloe or lavender. This hardworking, often overlooked plant can really do wonders in the garden, and in the home.

I grow Comfrey for three purposes: compost, herbal medicinal, and as a nice border.

 

Comfrey Border by the woods.

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Stuff You Missed in Botany: Experiment With Organic Pest Control

Stuff You Missed in Botany: Experiment With Organic Pest Control

No, I’m not telling you what an experiment is as such. I’m telling you about a Botany experiment I’m going to be doing with my son, Jonathan.

Last week while searching for various and sundry things, I came across an interesting article about Myrosinase. This has sparked much curiosity, scientific probing,  and even a bit of the entrepreneur spirit around the Gunz household.

Myrosinase is an enzyme that is released when radish leaves are stressed. (It’s not only radish leaves, but most of the brassicas family, the largest quantity comes from rapeseed) The enzyme acts as a repellent to insects, and other foragers.

DNA of Myrosinase~it looks like confetti...so pretty and paisley!

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Lavender Blue Dilly Dilly

Lavender Blue Dilly Dilly

This is where I would sit, in a lovely sea of lavender!

I love lavender!

I’m serious. I would have it as my best friend. I would hug it and squeeze it and call it George. I would give lavender a kidney if it found itself in need of a kidney.

I love lavender.

And, what’s not to love?

Lavender Blue Dilly Dilly

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Gourmet Parsley? Yep.

Gourmet Parsley? Yep.

Parsley isn’t paisley. Unless, of course, it is.

This year I’m growing gourmet parsley. Three kinds of gourmet parsley to be more accurate.

You may ask, “What, pray tell, is gourmet parsley”? I’m so glad you asked.

Gourmet Parsley #1: Hamburg

Hamburg Parsley

Hamburg parsley is actually a parsnip (not my scoffing husband, Parsnip. The vegetable parsnip) The root can be used and is delicious mashed either with potatoes or just on it’s own. Seriously, most people cannot tell the difference between mashed potatoes and mashed parsnips.

I grow parsnips year round…well nearly year round. I sometimes have a break in July through August as they do love to bolt in the extreme of Texas summer. Last year, I just kept growing them, let them go to seed and saved the seeds. This will work if you are not growing carrots or other root veg in the immediate area. Most of the things that would cause cross pollination problems are cleared out by the end of May because of the heat, so it works for me. Read the rest of this entry

Paisley Plant of the Week: Green Meat Radish

Paisley Plant of the Week: Green Meat Radish

This is only the second year I have grown radishes. I had forgotten how fun they are. I remember now.

So, what’s fun about radishes?

To start with, they grow super fast. Super Fast! I started a line of French Breakfast on a Thursday, this was them on Tuesday.

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Stuff You Missed in Botany: Propagation from Cuttings

Stuff You Missed in Botany: Propagation from Cuttings

When the Parsnip was a young preacher just getting started, we would often visit with the older members of our congregation. We would see if they had any physical, environmental or, most pressing in our line of work, spiritual needs.

While living in El Dorado, Arkansas we were always glad when the time would come to visit Henry and Marguerite Hogg. Henry was a strapping man in his early eighties when we met him. He had stories, many stories of how he had been a school teacher (at age 16!), then went on to be the county postmaster at the ripe age of 19. He had been to war, lived through the Depression and raised a strong, loving family.

As interesting as it was to visit with Henry, I always looked forward to my visit with Marguerite. This tiny, 5 foot, soft spoken woman chose her words carefully and didn’t “put on airs”. I liked that and I liked her. But, my favorite thing about visiting with the Hoggs was…the violets.

Marguerite had loads and loads of beautiful African Violets.They covered every inch of every windowpane. Rich burgundy, royal purple, majestic pink, quiet lavender violets, violets, everywhere.

Violet Array

One Thursday morning Curt (the Parsnip) called me and said, “Hey, Henry and Marguerite want us to come over, can you be ready in 20 minutes”? When we got there we had coffee and some treat or other and then Henry took Curt out to his large, beautiful garden to talk man things. Marguerite said, “I want to give you a violet, you always admire mine so”. I was thrilled beyond words. My own violet treasure. Read the rest of this entry