Saturday, April 14, 2012

A lovely new cake--an Alice Waters recipe from the Art of Simple Food. It's a cranberry upside down cake which I wanted to try but was quite unsure of. It turned out to be a perfect recipe. I brought it to last night's dinner and it was a big hit. I'll make it again tonight and take a photo.

Also a new muffin---I used banana puree, chopped mango, ginger, allspice with a nice sprinkling of brown sugar on top. AP flour, brown sugar (not a lot), b soda, salt, eggs, canola oil---really quite nice. This too I will make again and photograph.

I actually ate some of one of my cinnamon scones this am and was delighted--it really is good.

I'm starting to get the deck planted. I found 2 new (to me) herbs--lime thyme and nutmeg thyme. Both smell like heaven. The nutmeg thyme really does smell like spice and I'm thinking that once the plant gets going, I should use some in a nutmeg thyme/raspberry? pear? blueberry? scone.

I found a perennial fuschia which should bloom all summer and delight the hummingbirds.
And since most of the deck is shady, I got a whole collection of charming coleus plants, pink and rose green. So pretty. I also got two hellebores. They are quite beautiful and I hope to have luck with them. There is another at the nursery that is taller and thinner--perhaps the center of a pot surrounded by some begonias.

For the sunny end, I have almost all my herbs. I have three little marigolds--policewomen to protect my basil from hungry bugs. In addition to the basil and thyme, I got flat leaf parsley, dill, spearmint. I have rosemary, lavender, sage, fennel and chives that overwintered, and oregano from Robin's huge plant. I need more mint and maybe more basil, depending on how well the plants I have do. I wish I could grow cilantro but I never have luck with it.

My japonica is flourishing and I have creeping jenny to drape the sides of its barrel (and hide it too). My St. John's wort didn't survive the winter, so its pot will become home for one of the hellebores. I have some pretty "Lady Frances" English Ivy (small variegated leaves) which I'm hoping will trail itself up and around the pretty form I have (One of those ball-on-a-stick things) and some common English ivy to trail down around the base of the pot.

I have some more baskets to fill--one in sun, several in shade--and will have fun figuring out what to put in them.

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