Tuesday, June 30, 2009


One of my favorite pasttimes is gardening but here in N FL it is so hot and humid that all I can manage in terms of gardening is watering every morning. During these hot months I turn to another favorite past time which is growing orchids.

I have many orchids in my collection and I am just a novice but I have enough orchids in my collection that I always have one or two to bring into the house for my indoor pleasure. I don't have a greenhouse but keep them on an old iron tea cart on my patio or hanging in a tree. Hanging in trees in South America is where they grow naturally with filtered sun in heavily wooded areas.

This is called a Vanda Orchid and it grows with all of it's roots exposed and in no potting mixture. It has to be watered at least once a day and often I water it several times a day. I have two of this type orchid but this one I have had the most luck with in terms of bringing it back into bloom. When in bloom I usually hang it on my screened porch as it is in the photo or if I am having an outdoor party I will hang it in a tree for a little splash of color. It is quite spectacular when in bloom.

This is a Phalaenopsis but one of the most beautiful colors I have ever seen. These orchids are probably the most common, one of the easiest to grow, and their bloom time can last as long as three months. This one is blooming right now and is in it's fourth month of bloom time.

This is a Cymbidium and the type of orchid most often used for corsages. These are a little more difficult to grow but I like a challenge.

Below are some pictures of other various orchids in my collection.

A couple more Cymbidium's.

These are but just a few in my collection but no matter what time of year I always have something blooming to come indoors to bring an added sparkle to my home. Orchids, they are a "Good Thing".

Enjoy your day, Carolyn

Friday, June 26, 2009

Peach and Raspberry Crisp

My favorite cookbooks are those written by Ina Garten. Those books are my most often used books of all my books in my cookbook collection. This is a recipe for Peach and Raspberry Crisp from Ina Garten's first book, The Barefoot Contessa.

Peach and Raspberry Crisp

4 to 5 pounds ripe peaches -- (10 - 12 large peaches)
zest of 1 orange
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup light brown sugar -- packed
1 1/2 cups plus 2 to 3 tablespoons flour
1/2 pint raspberries
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 pound cold, unsalted butter -- diced

Preheat the oven to 350º. Butter the inside of a 10x15x2 1/2-inch oval baking dish.

Place peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds, then transfer to a bowl of cold water. Peel peaches, slice into thick wedges and place in a large bowl. Add the orange zest, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of flour, and toss. Gently mix in the raspberries and allow mixture to stand 5 minutes. If there is a lot of liquid, add 1 more tablespoon of flour. Pour the peaches into the baking dish and gently smooth the top.

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, salt, oatmeal, and the cold, diced butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly on top of the peaches and raspberries. Bake for 1 hour, until the top is browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator and reheat in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes until warm.

I enjoy preparing this any time of year but most especially when our Georgia Peaches come into season.

It is important to let it cool but I enjoy it served warm.

Served with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or some vanilla ice cream.

Peach and Raspberry Crisp, it's a "Good Thing".

I am joining Foodie Friday today
hosted by Designs By Gollum

Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Visit to Our Farm

I am joining you today to participate in Outdoor Wednesday hosted by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer.

Today I will take you to our farm for a brief visit. Our farm is about 45 minutes north of where we live, we have a small house on it but it is perfect for a weekend getaway. There are not even any phones there and we can turn off our cell phones because we are so far back in the woods that we don't get good reception anyway. The perfect place to relax and enjoy nature.

We ride down a couple of miles of dirt roads to get to our property and we like it that way. We have recently put up a gate and this is our entrance. This is an older picture and I have since done a little landscaping around it. I don't do a lot of landscaping here because I am only here on weekends and not every weekend at that. With our hot summers I think most everything would die.

We looked for about a year for some iron pieces to go atop of our brick pilars. Each time I went on a trip I would be on the look out and then one day in my favorite nursery here at home that is only about two blocks from my house I found these iron pine cones.

This is our small little farmhouse with only two bedrooms and one bath but it is perfect for our weekend getaway.

As I mentioned I don't do a lot of landscaping because I am not up there often enough to take care of it but I have done a little. I plan to do more in the Fall.

While at the farm we enjoy a multitude of outdoor activities but our favorite thing to do is watch the bluebirds. They are such a beautiful bird and they will allow you to view their nest with the eggs in them. With one exception, about a week before the babies fly out of the nest and then mama and daddy will not let you near the bird box. We have several on our property but this one is directly behind the house and I can sit on the back deck and watch with my binoculors. If you click on to the pic to enlarge you can better see the daddy bluebird standing guard his little family. Another interesting fact, they mate for life and come back to the same box year after year to have three hatches in a season.

Have you ever seen such a beautiful color of eggs?

I hope you have enjoyed visiting me at our farm and to see other posts for Outdoor Wednesday please visit Susan at A Southern Daydreamer.

Have a Joyful Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Outdoor Tablescape

I am joining today the party, Tablescape Thursday hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch.This particular tablesetting was our Easter tablesetting that I posted sometime ago on my blog but thought it worthy to post again for TT.

We decided to do a very casual and late in the afternoon Easter Sunday dinner. Some of us sat on the screened porch and some of us sat on the adjoining patio. With three grown children and four grandchildren we do have separate tables when all of us are gathered.

The tablecloth I bought a long time ago from a local kitchen shop and it is a green on green pattern with matching napkins. I used plain white dinner plates with salad plates from Nell Hills in Atchison,KS. Each salad plate had a different design of birds and bees in black and white. I find that these salad plates have endless options for outdoor tablesettings. My flatware is hotel silver that I use for everyday and the napkin rings are gold butterflies and bugs, each different but I thought they looked appropriate for an outdoor setting.

A close up of the salad plates. Nell Hills in Atchison, KS is owned by Mary Carol Garrity who has written several books, she is an interior decorator. She had not done any online shopping but some of the things I had seen in some of her books that I liked I would call to check to see if they stock those items and if they did I would order that way. Now Nell Hills is going to do some online shopping that is coming soon. The great thing about Mary Carol is that the things she carries in her shop are very inexpensive things. I think I bought these salad plates for around $6.00 each.

They definitely have a great look for outdoor dining.

I couldn't help but add our families traditional cake that we always have for dessert on Easter Sunday. It is Camille Glenn's Cointreau Cake. My family loves this cake and I always decorate it with pansies from the garden. Here in N FL all my pansies are spent but I enjoy seeing this cake decorated with one of my favorite flowers, pansies.

BTW. the mosaic piece in the background of the screened porch is a piece by a local artist that my husband bought for me several years ago for our anniversary. We will celebrate our 40th in August.

I am looking forward to seeing all the other fabulous tablescapes for Tablescape Thursday. Have a lovely day.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What's on Your Wall Wednesday

I am joining for the first time "Whats on Your Wall Wednesday" hosted by Barb at Grits and Glamour. Thank you Barb for hosting this party and you can view other posts for WOYWW at Grits and Glamour

Today I am sharing two of my very favorite pieces. Both of which were sent to me by a message board friend. We discovered about five years ago that we were kindred spirits and we have gotten to know each other via the internet. How strange is that but it is true. She is one of my favorite people whom I learn from each and every day. Sometimes we don't communicate everyday but we still stay in touch in various ways (message boards, blogs and sometimes emails) and she has become one of my dearest friends. I am hoping that one day we will meet.

We both are tea drinkers, we both love antiques, we both are collectors and it sounds as if I have described just about everyone who visit each others blog but this connection was different. She told me once about a tea poster that she has and I think I may have told her that I would love to see it. The next thing I knew I had a package in the mail.

I unrolled it and found this gorgeous French Tea poster. I fell in love with it and knew that it needed a special place in my kitchen.

I first had to find the perfect frame. So I headed straight to my favorite frame shop where I found this bamboo looking black frame with a little red added to it. It picked up on the braid in her hair and also since I use a lot of black and red in my house, I knew it would be perfect.

I smile and think of my friend everytime I look at it which is always several times a day.

Not long ago I did a complete kitchen remodel. We tore down walls, ceilings and everything. Also reconfigured the entire kitchen with new cabinets and appliances. I love my new kitchen but it was quite an ordeal. When we completed the kitchen I received another package in the mail and this time it was these three painted heads of roosters. You see, my friend knows that I have this "thing" for roosters and she sent them to me as a "Kitchen Remodel gift".

Again, I knew I had to find that perfect spot and I did. This time above my cooktop. I had put a very small shelf there and there wasn't going to be too much that would fit on it since it was very narrow. However, these three little oil paintings were perfect. And again, each and everytime I look at them it is a reminder of that wonderful, caring and thoughtful friend.

They were the perfect thing to compliment my mural above the cooktop.

When I step back and take a look I sometimes feel that my friend had a hand in some of the decisions I made when designing my new kitchen.

I don't often share my feelings or thoughts but today this is a tribute to my dear friend whom I have never met but she is one of the dearest ladies I have ever had the pleasure of getting to know. You are my friend, Martha. I couldn't think of a better way to say it but on WOYWW. Thank you for being my friend.