Monday, September 17, 2012

Day 114 - A Gardening Tip & A Few Winter Plans

First, a quick gardening tip. Or cooking tip, if you prefer. For those of you growing herbs in your garden this year...

At the end of the season, don't let your basil et al go to waste. Just measure it out in typical portions for recipes (i.e., tbs or tsp portions.) Put each portion in an ice cube tray in its own cell and cover with water. Freeze. Next time you need a tbls of parsley, just pop out the ice cube you need and enjoy fresh herbs. If you have enough herbs, you can have a tray of each kind so it's easy to figure out which one you need a cube from for your recipe. ;)

(Rosemary, thyme, lavender, and others with essential oils are better off dried and stored in jars.)

Why have I never done this??? Oh, probably because I never grew anything before. Look at all the time I have to learn and do things when I'm not wasting time watching TV!

By the way, we've been canoeing more than usual this summer - camping, enjoying nature, and generally trying to distract ourselves from the fact that the fall season of TV shows is starting. In case you're wondering about the garden, the melons are thriving and the cucumbers have finally run their course. After some genuinely monstrous cucumbers, we're now getting smaller yellow ones and the leaves are changing colors. On the bright side, I have two watermelons growing - and today I "picked" my first cantaloupe! "Picked" is in quotes because it's more like I found it off the vine today...and though I had intended to let this one go another week or two, nature (or rabbits) forced an early delivery.

My first cantaloupe! Next to some very ripe bananas for scale.

I'll leave you with my list of things I plan to do this winter. I'm open to more suggestions:
  • Paint Dining Room & Kitchen
  • Finish afghan (I've already been working on it)
  • Make a snowman. (I haven't done this in YEARS)
  • Put a tree up/decoate (I haven't done much of this in the last few years. Just got plain lazy!)
  • Host Thanksgiving (I've taken the last few years off. Time to get back on the turkey train.)
  • Host at least one Christmas get-together (even if it's just a game night with a fire in the fireplace)
  • Resume Italian language lessons (You know I've been slacking, otherwise, I'd be bragging in Italian that I've learned a new language.)
  • Finish writing my novel. (About 60 pages in)
  • Crochet 7" squares for the Lions Club - they give them to a local hospital (who collects them and puts them together to make blankets for patients and needful families)
  • Publish children's book by December. (I finally have a new illustrator, so this project is well underway.)
By the way, the drawback to spending more time outside:

This is OUTSIDE OUR HOUSE. Hanging off our breakfast nook. To understand how truly horrifying this is, please visit my blog entry Vehicular Arachnophobia.