Monday, July 30, 2012

Perfect white flowers

I planted 3 new flowers this weekend.  A mum, day lilly and white lavender.  I am excited about all three.  I had never seen a white day lilly before.  Every office building always has those yellow ones.  It makes me feel like yellow day lilly's are generic.  I was surprised to see mums already.  It seems to early.  My favorite is the white lavender.  I thought that was going to be hard to find and I would have to mail order it but I found it at Lowes and its beautiful and smells amazing.

Hostess with the mostess

I am almost always a week behind reading the Chicago Tribune Sunday paper.  Last week there was a recipe for Hostess cupcakes.  They filed for bankruptcy.  So it made me crave them.  Mine did not turn out as nice as Leah Eskins did.  Here is the recipe.  I did not have any cognac except Grand Marnier which might be okay but wasn't sure so i didn't use it.  Marshmallow Fluff is a bitch to work with.  So after about a half dozen jokes of what lousy fluffer I would make, I did not make the cute squiggles on the tops.  Guess which ones are mine?  Here is the recipe called
Curlicue cupcakes

Makes 24

2 dozen chocolate cupcakes
2 cups marshmallow fluff
Chocolate glaze (recipe follows)

Fit a pastry bag with a wide, plain tip. Fill bag with fluff. Turn a cupcake over, poke with the tip of the pastry bag, and squeeze to fill. Stop when the cupcake bulges ever so slightly. Return cupcake to its upright position. Repeat with remaining cupcakes.

Grasp a filled cupcake gently by its sides. Dip head-first into warm glaze. Flip right side up onto a rack and let set. Don't fret over glaze drips. Repeat with remaining cupcakes.

When glaze has set, switch to a narrow, plain pastry tip (or simply roll parchment paper into a narrow cone and fill with fluff). Draw linked loops across the cupcake. Let set. Repeat with remaining cupcakes. Enjoy.

Chocolate glaze:
Chop 4 ounces semisweet chocolate and tumble into a medium bowl. Heat 1/2 cup heavy cream to boiling. Pour hot cream over chocolate. Cover with a plate and let stand 5 minutes. Gently whisk smooth. Whisk in 1 tablespoon butter (cut into small bits) and 1 teaspoon cognac (optional).

Took these to work today.  They are a big hit.  They are much more adult then Hostess Cupcakes. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

4 O'Clocks

   My great-grandmother came to America (not exactly sure when maybe as a teenager or young adult) from Czechoslovakia.  She met and married my great-grandfather also from Czechoslovakia.   I don't remember his name.  He abandoned his family which made everyone rejoice because he was so damn mean.  He almost killed my grandmother but she was such a skinny, fast kid that he missed.
     Now not sure if this was the proper way women dressed from "the old country" but it sure seemed like that they all did.  Great grandma always wore a cotton housedress and sensible shoes.  Her hair was always up in a severe bun.  I guess it was an honor to look matronly.  An honor I fight tooth and nail daily not to follow.  But her skin was beautiful no matter how old she got.   (I can only hope I inherit this)
     Sometimes we kids would be awake before anyone else in the house and she would invite us into her bedroom.  The first time we seen her with her hair down was mesmerizing.  It was long, beautiful and all white.  She was like an ageless fairy queen.  You knew she was very old and wise but she was also had the calming energy about her.  She would make us feel like we were sharing magical secrets.  She had a box of treasures she would show us.  All kinds of trinkets.  Things my grandmother had given her as a child, potpourri and stones made from roses.  She even had real 4 leaf clovers that my grandmother had found.  That is the one and only time I have ever seen 4 leaf clovers. 
     My great-grandmother was the original "going green person".  I am pretty sure she did not leave much of a carbon footprint.  She would fill Wonder bread bags with air and say here this is a balloon for the baby.  If you think about it, its probably safer then a balloon and Wonder bread bags where very colorful.  She had a beautiful quilt in her bedroom that was truly made from scraps.  There were 2 things she loved besides her grandchildren and that was reading the bible and gardening.  She could grow anything.  She made her own teas and potpourri.  My favorite thing in her garden where 2 big beautiful bushes of 4 O’clock.  They were on each corner of the house.  I literally would be waiting for 4 o'clock to see them open.  They where magical not just because they could tell time, but the blooms were different colors on one bush and the colors were marbled together. 
     As an adult I have been trying to recreate this memory.  I don't know how she did this.  I assumed they were a perennial since they were always the same.  I half heartily plant them when I can find them.  Sometimes I can't find the marbled ones at all.  All the blooms always seem to be yellow.  I think maybe what she did was plant a bunch of them together and since I was a child, I just thought they were one big bush.  So next year I am going to buy the marbled ones and find a spot to plant a bunch and see what happens.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The making of Widgets

The girl at the Diary Ripple was nice enough to take these photos!


I don't know if you can tell but that is the cheese in the curd streching

Its a Wisconsin Thing!

I love that I work in Wisconsin.  Today we went to the Diary Ripple (hows that for a Wisconsin name) for lunch.  Polish sausage on Turano bread, onions and sauerkraut, cheese curds, and widgets.  I am not sure if Wisconsin invented cheese curds but theirs are the best.  Even though I love fancy gourmet cookies, sometimes deep fried dough with sugar all over it is amazing.  They take Pillsbury biscuits and deep fry them and you can have your choice of sugar or cinnamon and sugar

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ok so I don't have a white peacock running around my white garden, but I should.
The drought finally broke so the ground was soft enough for me to move some white irises.  Sometimes they bloom more than once a season.  I don't know if that will still happen since they were moved.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

White Garden I am calling it Pure Enchantment

I am planting a White Garden its name is Pure Enchantment.  I also will plant a Goth or maybe it will end up being more Pagan.  I just started the White one so its a work in progress but I like it.