Garden Pictures For Today ~ Sparks, Nevada

Pictures today…it’s been one heck of a week here at work! Seems all I’m up for are picture postings. Sorry.

Maters! We ate our first garden tomatoes of the year! Red Siberians. Yum Yum YUMMMMMIE GOOD!

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I’ve cucumbers growing! There are four plants throughout the yard…here are the Spacemasters.

I still think these wee bees (they are not honeybees, some other type or bee-like) are the cutest things…they were all tucked into the sunflower this morning. 🙂 NOTE: I talked to the beekeepers at the Nevada State Fair (8/26/09) and they said these guys are Native Bees!

The Lemon Queens are blooming! They are also over 8 feet tall! Holy Cow! I was finally able to submit data on the Lemon Queens to The Great Sunflower Bee Project. My other data submitted was for the honeybees on the lavender, russian sage, beebalm, and coneflowers.


Please look past the water stained windows (they are very very very old…like 70 years old) and instead gaze on the pretty jar with lavender buds and white vinegar. I’m making my own clothes softner/rinse.

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My Growing Garden in Sparks, Nevada

Had an extra long Fourth of July weekend…yesterday I took the first of 12 unpaid furlough days. Spent yesterday in the garden, napping, crocheting, and bowling. I bowled a 121 my second game…was doing an Irish jig (if you knew my average was in the 80-90’s you’d do the jig right along with me! 🙂 )

Anyhoo…am going to post some pictures of my garden. Seems to be a bit slow this year, probably was all the cool weather we had earlier in June.

On Friday I picked some of my beets and onions to pickle them…wanted to take some up to Truckee area for the Fourth of July. I didn’t can them in a water bath…figured we’d eat most of them up so I just put them in the frig. With the leftover beet brine I made a variation of Dilly Beans with the green beans and some dill that I also picked Friday morning.

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I have two heads of cabbage, I yanked about 4 other cabbage plants as I really didn’t have the room for them in the bed. They’re a nice size now…even have two recipes lined up for them.

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Edna Mae's Escalloped Cabbage Recipe

The other recipe is from my Cooking from Amish Country book…I’ll bring the recipe tomorrow.

I’ve about 8 Brussels Sprout plants with these guys growing on ’em…

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Peppers are setting on the plants…

Hungarian Stuffing Peppers

Hungarian Stuffing Peppers

Cayenne Peppers

Cayenne Peppers


Sweet Italian Peppers

Sweet Italian Peppers


Yellow Pickle Peppers

Yellow Pickle Peppers

Corn was knee high by the Fourth of July; will be picking the first of my heirloom maters this week!; Hearts of Gold cantaloupe growing well; grey squash finally setting on; have lots of different kinds of cucumbers growing; oodles of tomatillos; green bush beans have been producing well; yellow wax beans are coming along; I’ve onions and garlic ready to be picked; and I’ve already harvested quite a bit of the herbs, shared them with coworkers and have some up drying.

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Sunflowers & other flowers ~ Sparks, Nevada ~ June 2009

I threw out a couple of packets of sunflower seeds up in the front corner of our lot…they’re coming up everywhere now. Here’s a picture of my first bloom ~ this plant actually has 20+ flowers that will be blooming on it!

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The Lemon Queen “Three Sisters” are over 6′ tall now. I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE THEM BLOOMING!

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The rest are flowers that are blooming around the front yard…

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Remember “mini-burning man”?

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Just me playing with photoscape ~ I love the “antique” filter.

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Wednesday Ramblings ~ 17 June 2009 ~ Sparks, Nevada

Just a Smörgåsbord of things today…lots of different pictures of things I took over the weekend.

Let’s start with Lucy-Goosey ~ she is much better, less stressed out, kennel cold over with. She’s a funny, funny, funny kitty. Eats like a horse. Me thinks we’ll have to start rationing out her food!

Leo is a bit blury…he was licking her face.

Hurry up and take my picture…

The Lemon Queen Sunflowers ~ these are part of the Great Sunflower Bee Project. This picture was taken over the weekend, they are over the top of the fence now, taller than me…I’m 5’4″ (no short jokes, please! 😛 )

A close-up of a soon-to-be sunflower.

The Chamomile is blooming…

The Blueberries are still green…

I’ve tomatoes bigger than the plant…had to string the plant up to support the buggers. These are the Siberian Red Heirloom tomatoes that I bought at the UNCE Master Gardener Plant sale in May. My other tomato plants are starting to bloom.


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This is Piggy…our neighbor’s cat that we are feeding for the summer while he’s away on a drill rig in Eastern Nevada. He’s a pretty cool cat…gives one hellacious head-butt.

My yellow onions are growing much faster than the red ones…

We got this cool dude at Goodwill…someone had welded him out of steel. Sorta has a Southwestern Predator look going for him. LOL! Soon he’ll be taking on all of the sunflowers growing around him.

Lots of Rain in Northern Nevada ~ June 8, 2009

Holy Moly…we’ve been getting lost of rain lately. I haven’t turned on our water since May 30th!

Last night about 7 pm on the way home we hit a wall of water…dry on one side and huge rain drops on the other. It’s a good thing we decided not to walk around the Sparks Marina after dinner. In a half hour our street was flooding…see the creek running down the street?

The white vertical streaks are rain…

This morning I found my Lemon Queen sunflowers pushed over…and my Brussels sprouts were pummeled too. 😦

We just turned off the tv and popped in a Jack Johnson cd and played a game of Scrabble.

Finished Planting my 2009 Vegetable Garden ~ Sparks, NV

After burying my beloved Max near the herb & blueberry garden I put what was left of my energy into planting the rest of my vegetable garden.

Bee Balm & Cairn for Max

Bee Balm & Cairn for Max

Planted in the 6×6 raised bed are the following: carrots, red radishes, white radishes, heirloom beets, cabbage, and brussels sprouts.

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In the 12×4 raised bed I planted: garlic, red onions, yellow onions, tomatillas, bush blue lake beans, spacemaster cucumber, lemon cucumber, heirloom beets, broccoli, sweet italian pepper, jalapeno pepper, anaheim pepper, and hungarian stuffing peppers. (I ran out of room for the serrano and one other pepper so I gave them to a coworker)

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In the 12×2 in ground bed I put in mexican grey squash on one side and on the other one each of acorn squash, delicata squash, and hearts of gold cantaloupe (from Fallon, NV). In between all the squash I have 8 sweet white corn stalks.

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I found a Topsy-turvy thingy and planted a siberia fir tree heirloom tomato in it. In four containers I planted 2 brandywine heirloom tomatoes and 2 red siberia heirloom tomatoes.

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Out front, near Max’s grave, are two handmade pickle cucumber plants. In that same area I have 2 oregano, 3 sweet basil, 1 lemon thyme, dill, fennel, and a rosemary. 3 blueberry bushes and 1 Elderberry. There are also 3 lemon queen sunflowers that are growing pretty well for the Sunflower Bee Project.

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Way up front I have chamomile, italian parsley, thyme, rosemary, and bee balm. They wintered pretty well out there, I was surprised.

Now for some flower pictures ~ my lupine is blooming.

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And Columbine.

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Friday Ramblings in Nevada

Well…I made it to the end of the work week. Another day of being wide awake at 4:30am with my mind racing about all the things I need to do here at work. 😦

So to give my wee brain time to recoop I thought I’d post some banana recipes (I have a few ripe ones at home and needed something to make) and a few pictures.

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The Sensation Lilac (Syringa vulgaris ‘Sensation’) that I planted in April of 2008 is about to bloom! I’m so excited…it will have single reddish buds that will open to deep purple edged in white.

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A few of the Lemon Queen sunflowers that I planted for the bee project are starting to come up.

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Digging up sod from the front yard (we have way too much lawn) so I can put in another garden area. Will put up a decorative fence of some sort to divide the lawn from the garden. All the grass from the shovel back is coming out.

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Below are two recipes that I’ve tried…and both are real tasty! Enjoy.

French Toast Stuffed with Bananas and Pecans
recipe from Williams-Sonoma Breakfasts & Brunches, page 66

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6 eggs
1/4 cup milk
4 very ripe bananas
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans (original is walnuts, but I like pecans)
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
8 slices egg bread
4 Tbsp butter
powdered sugar
jam or pure maple syrup

In a large, shallow bowl, beat eggs until lightly frothy. Stir in milk. Set aside.

Peel nanners into a small bowl and mash. Stir in nuts and nutmeg. Spread the banana-nut mixture evenly over half the bread slices, leaving space around the edges. Top with the remaining bread slices and press down lightly to seal.

Place sandwiches into the egg mixture. Turn gently until evenly saturated on both sides. In a frying pan or griddle, big enough to make all sandwiches, melt 2 Tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add sandwiches and fry until the undersides are golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Melt other 2 Tbsp and then flip sandwiches.

Place on plates, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with jam or syrup.

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Sweet Omelet Souffle with Caramelized Bananas
recipe from Williams-Sonoma Breakfasts & Brunches, page 24

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6 Tbsp butter
2 firm but ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1/4″ slices
1/4 cup sugar
6 eggs, separated
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
pinch of salt

In a small frying pan over medium heat, melt 3 Tbsp of the butter. Add the banana slices and, using a fork, turn to coat them well with butter. Saute until very lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle the sugar over the bananas. Reduce the heat slightly and continue to saute until the sugar melts. Remove from heat, cover to keep warm, and set aside.

Put egg whites in a bowl. Add the powdered sugar and salt and beat until very frothy but still fairly liquid. In another bowl, beat the yolks until blended. Gradually stir the whites into the yolks until fully incorporated.

In a 8″ nonstick pan, over medium heat, melt the remaining 3 Tbsp of butter. Add the eggs and as they began to set, carefully lift the edges and gently push them to the center, tilting the pan slightly to allow the liquid egg on top to flow undernegth. Continue to cook the eggs until they are almost completely set but still moist on top.

Arrange the bananas evenly over half of the omelet. Beginning with the banana-covered side of the omelet, slide the omelet from the pan to a warmed serving plate and, when halfway out, flip the pan over to fold the olemet in half over the bananas. Cut in half and serve at once.