About Me

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I live in the suburbs of Long Island, NY with my loving husband, and two great kids. I long for a simpler life, at a slower pace! Follow me, as I try my hand at growing my own food, tending to my hens and our rabbit, gardening and experimenting with all things farmgirlish!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wertheim Wildlife Refuge

Yesterday I took my daughter and her friend to one of our favorite local spots... Wertheim Wildlife Refuge. Several months ago they built a brand new building, with tons of interactive displays for kids as well as adults.  They also have a beautiful huge covered patio where you can sit and watch the birds.  Since I have yet to see a hummingbird in my own backyard, I often come here to see them. There has yet to be a time, where I have gone to Wertheim and NOT seen a hummingbird.
Here are some pictures that I took of our nature walk...Enjoy!
I feel so fortunate to have something so wonderful, so close by. It is an awesome place to go, and best of all it costs absolutely nothing!
Best bargain in town!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Doings 8/12/12

Today was a good day. The weather was nice- hot but not too hot or humid. Best of all I got alot accomplished! Oh how I love days like this!
First I want to share my excitement for a new "tea" that I have been enjoying the past few days. Those of you who know me, know that I am a tea fanatic, cant be without my tea! I am growing a lemon verbena plant, that is doing quite well, so I decided to research how to make tea from it. I was pleasantly surprised to find out its as easy as 1,2,3!
First, I picked about 3 fresh lemon verbena leaves right off my plant.
Next I placed them in my nifty tea travel mug.I added boiling water and let it steep for about 10 minutes.

Voila- in just 10 short minutes I had delicious hot lemon verbena tea which I really enjoyed. I read that lemon verbena tea is good for many health ailments. First it is said to reduce fevers, relieve sore throats, coughs and colds/congestion. It is also said to be a very good stress reliever, and to help you relax. I dont know about you, but I'm game for anything that can help releive stress and bring on a sense of calm! I am super excited that I now have the ability to grow my own "tea"!!! (yes its silly things like this that excite me...LOL)

I also received my weekly email from one of my favorite websites:
www.agardenforthehouse.com. It is a "blog" of sorts written by Kevin Lee Jacobs, and is chock full of great ideas for your home and gardens. Today he listed one of his favorite recipes for "tomato pie".  It is very simple to make, and delicious too!
Here is the recipe, and below that are pictures of my tomato pie from start to finish:

Classic Tomato Pie
Ingredients for one 9-inch pie
10 biscuits from a 7.5 oz package
2 large, perfectly ripe tomatoes, thickly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Fresh basil leaves (as many as you like), sliced into thin strips
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly spray a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick spray. Then press the biscuits against sides and bottom of plate to form a crust. Layer thick slices from 2 large tomatoes on the dough, and give them a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Then toss on a handful of freshly-chopped basil. Top the pie with one cup mayonnaise combined with one cup shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes on the middle rack of a preheated 375-degree oven. To insure a firm, not runny pie, let rest for 30 minutes before serving.

If you enjoy tomatoes, I highly recommend trying this tomato pie recipe. Its a great way to enjoy all of the extra tomatoes from the garden.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

More garden preserving

Today I froze a few more quarts of green and yellow bell peppers from the garden , so that we can enjoy them come winter.
I also was excited to preserve something new to us....Coriander!
I had grown Cilantro, and had let it flower and then go to seed. After doing a little research I learned that the seed of Cilantro is actually Coriander! SO, I let it dry on the plant. Today I went out and cut it back and placed it in a large brown paper bag. I shook the bag, and voila...just look what I have now-
My very own jar of Coriander seeds! Now I need to research some new recipes to use it in my cooking.
I could easily devote myself to life on the farm/garden scene. It truly brings me joy...ahh the simple life.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Doings 8/5/12

Today is Sunday, August 5th, 2012.  The first Sunday in August. August is bitter sweet for me- it means that Summer is half over- which is sad, but it is also the month that my son was born, 14 years ago! Wow- they're not kidding when they say children grow up fast!
My morning started out by meeting my Aunt and Cousin for tea at one of my favorite nature spots...Wertheim Nature Preserve. They have a huge, beautiful covered patio, where you can just sit and watch the beautiful birds...yellow finches, cardinals, black capped chickadees, red-winged black birds and even hummingbirds! Speaking of hummingbirds- I have been trying my best to attract them to my yard- but so far have had no luck.

I am hoping that the other birds get the word out that there is a nice feeder waiting for them along with several hibiscus plants full of flowers!
I guess I will wait patiently and (hopefully) see some soon!

The gardens are producing nicely. Today I picked eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes and green bell peppers. I chopped and froze 3 quart size ziploc bags of peppers to enjoy over the winter, and my daughter and I also made "basil ice cubes". We harvested basil and added the leaves and olive oil and water to the blender to make a puree, which we then poured into ice cube trays. After a few hours we will pop them out and place them in a ziploc bag, so that we can just toss them into our soups, and cooking over the winter.

 Overall, it was a productive and relaxing day!