Wednesday, November 30, 2011

And The Winners Are!

Corinne and HC Greenery won jelly!

Danielle Pertuso, Carol, Sharon and Tufa Girl Won Pins!

Taylorsoutback, Flowerlady and Grace win napkins!
Everyone who commented!  Please ladies send me your full names and mailing addresses to lemonverbenaladyAThotmailDOTcom and if you have a blog name your blog name so I can match what you won with you.  One additional task for Grace of the bottom two napkins which one do you want?  Gardeners Know The Best Dirt or the Potted Herbs?  I really appreciate all of you participating.  I'm doing one more giveaway before the holidays so stay tuned.  One of you (Can't remember who?) asked about jelly recipes.  If you go near the bottom of my blog there are a list of labels for my postings and I think there is one for herbal jelly recipes.  Click on that link and it will take you to the recipes.  Look forward to hearing from you all.  Congratulations!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Miniature Railway or Two for the Holidays!

My big Peruvian/American kid wanted to go and see the Miniature Railroad & Village at the Carnegie Science Center.  If you are in the Pittsburgh vicinity, I would take whomever wants to go.  It's for kids of all ages.  It was a great day to go because the kids are still mostly in school and it was a rainy day.

The kids who were there had a great time and so did my big kid!  Mostly set in western Pennsylvania, it includes a part of the steel mills, Forbes Field where the Pirates were actually fun to watch, a western PA small town  the incline that provides transportation up and down the hillside near downtown Pittsburgh, Fallingwater, a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece and Luna Park, an amusement park.  It was a lot of fun to see it again and they are taking very good care of it.

If you are in the Chicago area, you should take the kids or grandkids to the Museum of Science and Industry and check out The Great Train Story with its 30 plus trains that go from Chicago to Seattle.  We also went to the Chicago Botanic Garden to see their Garden Railway.  They have the Wonderland Express at the moment.  Here are some photos from the outdoor display around Halloween.

I so loved the buildings made out of sticks and twigs and other natural materials that I sometimes forgot to take the trains!  It is all about them!  It was a lot of fun to see even without a small kid!  Remember my kid is big!   Lastly I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Winter Flower Show at Phipps Conservatory featuring The Nutcracker this year.  Get out and enjoy the holiday events in your town or city.  Looks like everyone that commented on the giveaway is going to get something!  It ends tomorrow morning!  It took me forever to get this post together.  Hope it makes sense!  Talk to you later.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Still Green But Not For Long!

We were out yesterday raking the last leaves and mowing for hopefully the last time!  The top photo is the jasmine that is hardy for us in Zone 6.  It has a small pink flower, but it is unfortunately not good for tea.   I can't believe how it has grown!  We bought it at Well Sweep Herb Farm in New Jersey.  They have a great catalog and they still do mail order.  I am putting together my favorite mail order herb seed and plant list for The Herb Companion and will be posting that in the next few weeks.  The middle photo is a look into the upper garden overlooking the herb garden.  The ornamental grasses are taking over!  The last photo is of the Everblooming Cecile Brunner.  Still doing her thing!  I made a small bouquet for the table and I'll share that with you on the banner page.  Don't forget the giveaway!  Click on the link on the right hand side to give me a comment.  The contest ends this coming Wednesday, November 30th at 10 AM Eastern Standard Time.  Hope you had a great turkey day.  I'll leave you with our dinner.  We make a darn good turkey!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'll leave you with a photo of a panettone from Panera one of our favorite places for breakfast and lunch.  This one has walnuts and cranberries.  The Herbal Husband enjoys his treats for the holidays.  I have to temper mine and eat it once in a while.  I have always wanted to make my own.  Martha Stewart makes one that looks easy.  I mastered Martha's pie crust so maybe I should try her panettone recipe.  This is not the recipe I remember, but the mind plays tricks sometimes!  It looks a lot more complicated than what I remember.

Well, we want to wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving day to those of you who read about us in the U.S. and hope that you enjoy your family and friends.  The Herbal Husband was already asking if I was going to get the turkey ready!  Just cooking the breast so not as much work as the whole bird.  We do simple for the holidays, but we hope you enjoy your celebration!  Talk to you later.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Not the Usual Way It Behaves Indoors!

We get a little crazy bringing in herbs for the winter.  Here in the 'Burgh warm weather can last through early December and it looks like it might do the same this year.  It's a little hard to see in this photo, but both of the lemon verbenas we brought in have kept their leaves.  Not typical.  May get problems down the line.  In between is a lavender called 'Ice Coconut' which is a compact lavender which grows very well in a container.  Maybe a lemon verbena bread is called for!  Click on the link for the recipe.  Hope you have a great day!  We have the turkey thawing in the frig.  Talk to you later.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Potpourri of Herbal Giveaways!

Two U.S. Winners Will Win One of Each Flavor of Herbal Jelly

Lapel Pins for Foreign and U.S. Readers-Four Total

Again Four U.S. Winners-Herbal Napkins
I have been blogging more than three years now and it's about time I do a giveaway.  So this is the first of two giveaways.  The second one will be in early December in time of Christmas.  Because of postal rates around the globe, the lapel pins are the only practical giveaways I can do for foreign readers.  I hope to do other jelly giveaways next year if this one goes well.  Now you have to comment on this posting, one comment per reader please.  Please give me some kind of contact information if you do not have a blog and if you are overseas.  If you do not, your name will not be included in the drawings.  Also, please do not post an anonymous comment.  It will not count.  I will post this post in the upper right hand corner on my home page and if you missed it as the days go by, you can still enter through that link.  This giveaway will end at 10 AM eastern standard time on Wednesday, November 30, 2011.  Winners will be announced after 10:30 AM on Wednesday, November 30, 2011.  Good luck!  As always, thanks for reading about our adventures.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Doors of the 'Burgh!

Finally, we got the doors finished on Friday.  The top photo are the back door and garage door and the bottom photo is the front door.  We have both gotten locked out of that door already.  As I mentioned I don't have to give it a hip check to get it close.  It is also easy to get locked out!  We do have a key pad on the garage door so as long as we remember the code!  Ha!  We're OK!  The front door window lets so much more light in.  It is the north side of the house so it is good to let the light in in winter.  I have a special door knocker that I was hoping to get on the front door.  The installer said because it is a steel door, he would void the warranty by drilling holes in it!  Yikes!  I guess it's sticky tape to the rescue!  Hopefully I'll show you that part of the project soon. One more thing about the doors especially in the front.  Since it is now back to white, if the ivy takes over, we will know where to get in the house! Sorry I have been a no show.  The Herbal Husband has me on a strict schedule of movies!  Need to start those giveaways!  So stay tuned!  Talk to you later.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Still Blooming in the Garden!

Calendulas with Dark Centers
Double White Feverfew
'Walker's Low' Nepeta
These three flowers are always around for the end of the gardening season.  I will probably have a couple of calendulas flowering for my bouquet on next week's Thanksgiving table!  Yikes!  That came around quickly!  I especially like the single flowered feverfew.  This happens to be a double one.  It can be invasive in the garden, but I have quite a few invasives, don't I?  The last flower in this trio is a nepeta called 'Walker's Low'.  It is an early bloomer in the spring and as you can see a late bloomer as well.  The bees were working the nepeta.  It was fun watching them.  Giveaways are coming!  Trying to get them in before next week so you will have them in time for the holiday season.  Another cool, rainy day.  Talk to you later.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Old Friends/New Friends at Aji Picante!

We went to see the movie Anonymous yesterday in Squirrel Hill.  Excellent movie with Vanessa Redgrave as the Queen.  We were walking back to our car when we noticed a new restaurant had opened in an old Panera location.  It is called Aji Picante.  The Herbal Husband looked in and saw an old friend from his architecture school days in Peru.  A few years ago!  They invited us to join them.  They were having dinner with other old friends from local architecture days.  Above is my favorite, causa.  The Herbal Husband always makes causa for me on my birthday.  If you click causa it will take you to The Herbal Husband's recipe for causa.  It is delish and so was Aji Picante's.  It was a bit spicy.  So be prepared!
The Herbal Husband had another favorite of mine, lomo saltado.  Here it is.  The Herbal Husband makes this dish during tomato season and we didn't have much of that this year!  He enjoyed Aji Picante's take.  Here is a review from our local paper, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the restaurant.  The reviewer called it a more elaborate taste of Peruvian cooking.
We enjoyed seeing our old friends and make new ones.  Thanks for the photo photos, Vincenne!  Hope you had a great weekend.  Another rainy day cancels the front door and it drags on!  Hopefully on Friday!  Talk to you later.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The End of the Garden Sort of!

The pineapple sage is happy in the living room window.  While the one in the garden is done for this year.
Yes, that really is the pineapple sage.  Didn't get to make any more jelly.  Didn't have enough leaves and it doesn't dry well.  Sooo.  Some years it goes well and others not.  It is a blustery warm day here.  Got leaves raked.  Probably not the best day.  They are still coming down, but it is supposed to rain here tomorrow and Tuesday.  I think the door will have to be postponed once again.  Been waiting since the end of September.  Weather delays!  Well, hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you later.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lots Going On!

Didn't have much gardening time this week.  Trying to get my car fixed so it wouldn't sound and smoke like a tank!  That's all I'm going to say and OMG after more than a few dollars, it's quiet again.  It is a senior so I will have to expect more incidents to happen.  Hope they can come up with a few good cars soon.  I may be found on the side of the road because my car just falls apart!  Enough.  On to more pleasant tasks.  I actually did clip some herbs for drying.  They have hung around until I got the chance to clip them.  Hopefully, I'll get my act together and make some tea blends.  I still have some dried herbs from last season.  Fortunately they have been in airtight containers, so once I get it together, I'll make some blends and share them with you.  Got to clean off the worktable again!  A never ending task!
A little bouquet with lots of calendulas and the Fairy rose is still blooming a bit and a bit of sage.  Hope you had a great day.  I'm going to show you the end of the herb gardening season tomorrow with one photo.  Hope you had a great day.  We are still celebrating our anniversary.  Went out to dinner at our favorite restaurant, the Verona Village Inn.  Now it might become your favorite as well.  If you make reservations, you are usually seated right away.  No waiting 20 minutes!  It's a good thing.  Talk to you later.

Monday, November 7, 2011

24 Years Ago Today!

The Herbal Husband and I tied the knot.  Here is a surprise dessert I bought at the store this afternoon.  The Herbal Husband loves chocolate mousse so I found these small chocolate mousse tartlets.  The perfect size.  His words.  Mine is a small fruit tartlet.  Very good as well.  We also got another road trip to eastern Pennsylvania for the annual Allentown toy show and to visit our friends over last weekend.  I hope this is the last trip of the year.  We traveled a bit too much this year.  Now I have to fix my car.  I hate that part.  When a car becomes a senior, it usually starts to just come unglued!

This trip has been a standard in our lives over the years.  I went to Well Sweep Herb Farm in New Jersey that still was without power since last Saturday.  Hope power is back now.  Power crews and tree crews everywhere.  There were trees that had lost branches but not their leaves.  Very sad.  A lot of damage.  The herb farm had 18 inches of snow!
 Look at all of those herbs!  Too bad I couldn't take any with me!  It is going to be mild here for the next few days.  Always next year.

Also went to Sally Lunn Tearoom & Restaurant in Chester, NJ for afternoon tea in the morning!  Had cherry rose tea and a pumpkin scone.  Forgot that strawberry jam was served.  Not a good choice with the pumpkin scone.  Should have had my Spicy Basil Apple Jelly.  Now that would have been good.  I will leave you with that tease.  I'm promised way back in August that I would be doing some giveaways.  Probably not just one.  Have to discuss it with my packer extraordinaire, but it will be at least 2 and maybe 3 giveaways because I have been blogging for a long time.  So I hope you had a great day.  It was a beautiful day in the 'Burgh.  Just like the day we got married.  We were out shopping on our anniversary.  Had The Herbal Husband's favorite cornflake crumb chicken.  The recipe is on the cornflake crumb box.  Very easy and delicious.  Hope you had a great day.  Talk to you later.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Herbal Laundry is Back and Your Opinion!

Haven't done the laundry in a while.  We always find something else that needs to be done more.  Now the herbal trees are back in the basement and I need to make the best of the fragrance when I'm trying to get to the dryer!  Always something!  Hope you are having a great day.  BTW, what do you think of the new templates for Blogger?  They seem a little too messy.  Talk to you later.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Getting a Second Bloom and Tidying Up!

I cut back the yarrow in August (It's in the center of the photo.), I think and it's going to bloom again.  I really try to tidy up the garden.  It doesn't always happen until late in the game, but for the most part it is necessary.  Diseased plants go to the trash and healthy plant material goes to the compost.  I like to keep some of the flower heads for the birds to nosh on.  They love the coneflowers and the black-eyed Susans.  I have even seem them on the mint seedheads even.

I love the calendulas in the fall season.  I am hoping to have a bouquet of herbs on the Thanksgiving table and that I will have calendulas in the mix.
I usually have a second bloom of chives about this time of year.  It is a really good bloom this time.  There are usually only one or two.  It was a beautiful day outside.  Got out for a walk and the sun is very bright.  Always good before winter really sets in.  Hope you had a great day.  Talk to you later.