Archive for June, 2009

One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Four…

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

recipe posted below:

Oklahoma is blessed with two growing seasons. Vegetable gardeners nurse crops through the middle of July and then start over again on many Fall vegetables around the end of August. This year has been a little weird, as it was exceedingly cool and wet through May and the first part of June. Crops are a bit late this year, but now that they are coming in, they are coming in with a bang!

This morning, I gathered my shovel and wheel barrow, donned my garden gloves and headed out to dig potatoes. The sun was shining brightly at 6:45 a.m. and I knew that I had better get busy because the cool has gone and the 100 degree temps are now normally setting in. The air smelled fresh and clean and a heavy dew covered the ground. As I dug potatoes, I was treated to the various songs of a Mockingbird who was perched on top of our light pole. Mr. Mockingbird – the grand impersonator – ran through his repertoire – Bobwhite Quail, Phoebe, Cardinal, Crow, Whip-o-will, and his own personal warble. He’s so good, that one would swear that it was the real birds all calling out together.

The dirt smelled sweet as I dug to the side and beneath each plant, lifting a big clump full of potatoes. The dirt is as black and rich as can be, having been worked and mulched and composted these past 12 years. It started out as what is known in Oklahoma as “blow sand”. That is the bulk of our soil here in our area. But as horse manure, compost and mulch have been added every year, the sand has become the richest sandy loam.


Potatoes are a miracle to me. From one seed potato that looks just like any that you would eat, as many as 4 plants can be had, by cutting the seed potato into pieces with “eyes” and then planting those. Each piece grows a plant and from each plant many of the tubers are produced. They invisibly enlarge underground, attached to runners from the plant. It is like digging for buried treasure and discovering gold – Yukon Golds to be exact. This year, I planted both yellow and the traditional red potatoes.


Every year, at our table, the first potatoes are made into Butter and Dilled Potatoes. You will find the recipe below. These are wonderful with roast beef or roast pork or roast chicken and are so fast and easy. They make wonderful leftovers too, because the flavors really permeate the potatoes after sitting in the frig. And if you are watching your cholesterol, I have included how to make them safely and you’ll never know the difference!! Thanks to the Irish for these nutritious tubers!!

Butter and Dilled Potatoes
5 large New Potatoes cut into large chunks
2 tbsp real butter (or 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil or canola oil + 1 tbsp Molly McButter for cholesterol watchers)
2-3 large sprigs of fresh dill or 1 1/2 tbsp dried dill weed
Salt to taste
In a large saucepan, cover potatoes with water and add butter, dill and salt. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to cook until potatoes are tender. Continue to cook until fluid is reduced by half. Serve while hot.


Wedding Flowers Can Be Cheap!!

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

“June is bustin’ out all over” and it is the wedding month of wedding months! The economic situations of the day are putting the kabosh on wedding budgets everywhere and more brides and mothers-of-the brides are choosing to do much of the preparation themselves. As with the previous posting, I thought that I would share with you another idea that I used in our daughter’s wedding – a pretty and inexpensive nosegay that is gorgeous for the wedding attendants. The nosegay is simple and really fun to see go together and can even be done at a “Nosegay Party” with the attendants each making their own. I used the following with silk flowers but real ones will work as well. Use floral wire to keep the stems of real flowers rigid. For each bouquet plan on:
• 3 larger round flowers like peonies, open roses, cabbage roses, etc. in one wedding color
• 2 identical flowers but smaller
• Bunch ivy in any color you wish
• Bunch small flowers like honeysuckle, stephanotis, baby’s breath, etc.
• Floral tape
• Satin in second wedding color
• Ribbon in matching or complement color
• Hot glue gun
• Wire cutters

Directions: Cut the stems on the flowers to the length that is appropriate for an attendant to hold in two hands, one hand over the other, about 7- 8 inches long. Wrap the three larger flowers tightly together with floral tape, pulling the tape as you wrap, to make it stick to itself. You don’t have to wrap all of the way down the stems, but just enough to make them tight and thin. Add the two small flowers on two sides of the group and wrap them tightly. Divide the bunch of smallest flowers and work stems in one or two at a time, wrapping as you go and turning until the larger flowers are cushioned under small flowers. Do the same with the ivy, nestling it beneath and around the flowers as a nest. Finish group by wrapping all stems together as one “handle”.

Cut two circles, with a diameter 2-3″ more than twice the length of the nosegay “handle”. With right sides together, sew circles together with a ¼ inch seam. Leave enough unsewn area to turn. Turn to right sides and press. Press under remaining seam and topstitch around the perimeter of the circle, leaving a ¼ inch edge. Place a drop of hot-glue in the center of the circle and hold the tip end of the bouquet “handle” onto the glue until it sets. Pull the circle up around the base of the bouquet and tie with matching ribbon around the base of the bouquet at the top of the handle. Straighten cloth around so that it evenly undulates around the base of the bouquet. Using a hot-glue gun, strategically glue the cloth to the underside of the bouquet. When dry, tie ribbons of matching and coordinating colors over the first ribbon, using one or two to make a bow and then let the rest drop about 12-14”, staggered so that they will float against the dress as the attendant walks down the aisle. These bouquets are lightweight and can be used in a circle with handles pointing in and one bouquet in the center, for a lovely floral arrangement at one of the serving tables during the reception!!