May 27, 2013

Weekend update

Happy Memorial Day!
Many thanks to all who served and made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

I think I've had the perfect weekend ... gardening, cooking/baking and relaxing. We had a movie on the docket for today, but opted for more relaxing.

I thought my gardening bug had all but died so was pleasantly surprised to find myself motivated to do a little digging. I should do more planning though. Most of the "patio plants" I bought last year didn't make it through the rough winter/spring. I tried the easy route and it didn't pay off. I'm still deciding what to do in the back yard - native plants or hostas. Either way I'll do annuals for pops of color but it has been too gloomy to get excited about that. I'm bummed that my prized 'sweet autumn' clematis vine along the back fence died. RIP. Not sure what to do there yet. I have two peonies in the "trough" along the fence with tons of space, but that area doesn't get enough sun so I need to rethink my strategy. Plus I should tie in to the general native vs. hosta plan, shouldn't I? I feel a new obsession coming on to interfere with my summer course in Ethics - landscaping/garden planning.

I cleared out all the leaves and debris in the front yard then planted poppies around the purple clematis trailing up the mailbox. The photo is what they're supposed to look like ... we'll see. Poppies are perennials and don't bloom long so need to throw something else in there. I "cheated" and added 'confetti' mix from Home Depot - each pot is a mix of red verbena, blue Lobelia, and light yellow mini petunia. I bought 7 but need at least three more so will be scrounging other area Home Depots. This is another attempt at the easy route and could be a hit or miss ... again, we'll see. On a whim I got a gardenia tree for the front ramp area. It's an annual here in the arctic, but I'm hoping an open window and warm breeze will equal magical smell in the kitchen this summer. I scored two planters of beautiful multicolor begonias via United Way fundraiser at work. You'll have to imagine it all ... short on photos as my camera pooped out (hopefully just needing to recharge the battery).

For the cooking/baking part of the weekend, I got a bee in my bonnet to make two chicken meatball recipes - though I used turkey instead of chicken. The first was an accident as I actually intended to make the second but got all the ingredients for the first. Got that? These delicious baked meatballs have layers of flavor - pancetta, onion, garlic, parsley. Next time I'll add fresh Parmesan and try as a meatloaf for family dinner. This is definitely going on my appetizer go-to menu. I served with pasta but didn't need it as just a little sauce would have been fine. The weather has been rainy and chilly so I ended up making a hearty soup with these meatballs by adding more chicken stock and cooked wild rice. Half of the meatballs lost their shape and the kale was not a popular chioice. I probably won't make again, but I'm looking forward to leftovers for work lunch tomorrow. Finally, I was inspired by this post to make my first Hummingbird cake. It's dense, moist, flavorful and the cream cheese icing is amazing. If I make again it will be as cupcakes. Hubby said it wasn't that great then proceeded to have three pieces. Three! I think it grew on him :)

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