Tag Archives: garden


My new house has 3 huge fig trees in the front yard.  They are planted in an awful spot, obscuring our view from the big windows in the living room.   Some pruning is going to have to happen, stat.  In the meantime, though, they are producing prolifically.

Not being much a fig-eater myself, I turned to The Internet in Its infinite wisdom.  I came away with a couple excellent uses for all those figs in my front yard.

One was Spicy Fig Microwave Jam, which I highly recommend.  It’s super easy and freaking delicious on everything from Gruyere cheese to roast chicken.

The second idea I discovered was to dehydrate the figs for use in myriads of recipes like Fig Newtons , Stuffing, and…Figgy Pudding.  Not so sure about that last one.  If you make it, let me know how that turned out for ya.

That said, here’s what I did to prep and dry the figs:

Step 1.  Heft your ladder out to the front yard, climb up to the top and attempt to balance there with a large cardboard box.  Proceed to pick all the figs you can reach.

Step 2.  Haul your catch inside to the kitchen.  Wash the figs and line them up on a towel because fig-drying with Rachel is nothing if not orderly.


Step 3.  Cut the little stems off with a paring knife.


Step 4.  Slice the figs in half lengthwise.


Step 5.  Arrange the sliced figs face-down on the dehydrator trays.


Step 6. Dehydrate at ~155 degrees F for about 20 hours.  It may take more or less time, depending on the efficiancy of your dehydrator.  You’ll know they’re done when they are pliable and leathery, but don’t have any discernable pockets of moisture.  I left mine for too long.  They were brittle in the morning, but I think they’ll still be fine.


Step 7.  Double bag the figs in a labeled gallon-sized freezer Ziploc bag.  Store in the freezer or a cool, dry place until the spirit moves you to make Figgy Pudding.  Or something.





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The Inconstant Gardener

What should I put in these pots?


They’re last weekend’s Craigslist score, and I really want to plant something in them.  But I don’t know what.  I need suggestions.

You may want to think long and hard about your answer, though.  If you suggest a plant that you’ll want to come see next time you’re over and remark on its progress, you may want to spare yourself the pain.  I love flowers, but I tend to kill them.  I don’t know why.  Well, maybe I do.

Take these primroses for example:


They look poorly and I don’t know what to do!  It got hot this weekend and I watered them, I did. I think.  They do look a little dry, like they could use some water.  I’ll get right on that…

See that tulip in the pot picture? Here it is again:


Every year this tulip comes up and blooms gloriously.  I did not plant it.  I do not water it.  As it emerges, there are always slug bites on it and every year I say, “I should put some slug bait around that tulip.” But I never do.  It always comes up, and it is always beautiful.

Maybe I should get me some more tulips.

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Hot hot hot

And I do mean my man.  Here’s a shot of him working the fields, getting them ready for spring planting.


And a couple more, because he is such a good-looking farmer that I couldn’t stop at one picture.

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Here’s what I was doing while he was farming…


…yep, that’s right.  I couldn’t let this rare April heatwave go to waste.

I redeemed myself later on though, by bringing him liberal amounts of cold water with fresh lime slices.  And I also made a big batch of killer cinnamon rolls.

I’m actually very impressed by the fact that those cinnamon rolls turned out so well,  as past attemps have not been so praise-worthy.   Do I smell Cinnabon-Franchise-Ownership in my future?  I don’t think my mom would even regret the waste of my college education if I opened a Cinnabon, that’s how much she loves cinnamon rolls.   Mmm yummy.  I ate the whole batch (with help…geez people!) and just writing this is already making me crave more.

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A Recession Garden

It’s not the 1940’s, but Michelle Obama is planting a modern-day Victory Garden. In a quote from the New York Times today, “(She) will begin digging up a patch of the South Lawn on Friday to plant a vegetable garden.”  For some reason, the part about digging up the White House lawn just kills me.

Evidently, this is not so much an attempt to economize (though current US budget deficit being what it is, the Obama’s should be the first to stick some spuds in the ground, if ya ask me) as it is a diet effort for porky little Sasha and Malia.

Keith feels a special kinship with Mrs. Obama, as he too dug up a “patch of  our South Lawn” for his raised-bed garden a few years ago.  As she will be planting a small patch of rhubarb, Keith emailed her a copy of our recipe for Rosemary-Lemon-Rhubarb Spritzer.  Maybe she can sip on it while she’s out there pulling weeds.

You too can dig up your lawn for a Recession Garden.  If you find that to be too time-consuming, at least contribute to the Economy Effort by throwing some of your spare change at the National Debt.   Here is the address where you can send your Gift to Reduce Debt Held by The Public.  *snicker*



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