Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Vintage Garden Advice from 1940

My dad gave me a copy of Madison Cooper's Gardening Magazine from 1940, and I wanted to share some of things from this down to earth magazine.

A gardener from Massachusetts shared an experience she had with a winter window garden.

Just as the ground was freezing last fall, I filled three window boxes with young Johnny-Jumps-Ups just coming into bloom. These I placed on the rail next to the glass on a glassed-in, but unheated porch. Of course they froze cold nights and remained frozen several days at a time. Every sunny day all winter some of the blooms would show. Sometimes while the garden is covered with snow we have 30-40 blooms in each box.

Oh my, wouldn't that be awesome? I would love one of you to try this, since I don't have a closed in porch. Let me know if you do.

There is a section entitled Junior Garden Club Lesson which has some neat information
for young gardeners.

When the world was created, there were not any plows, but nature had created a worm that made a very good plow. They are called earthworms. They loosen the soil and bring the bottom to the top, and they eat the soil as they burrow through the ground. They come out at night to eat, or after a heavy rain they can be seen on top of the ground. This is because there is too much water in the little tunnels they have made. These worms are useful in the garden, and are also useful to the fishermen because they are considered good bait.

Reading this reminded me of a little girl my daughter and I talked with at a rainy spring track meet. She was 2 or 3 years old, and was gathering up the earthworms that were on the soil and the sidewalk. She was being very gentle with them and had been doing this for close to an hour. I asked her what she was going to with the worms, and she told me she was going to take them home with her:) I had snapped a picture of her in her little rain poncho to remind me of what she said.

When my kids were little I always talked with them about the worms, insects, spiders and wildlife. I tried to teach them to be respectful, and to never be cruel to the living things around them. Of course I also taught them to be cautious because wildlife and insects aren't our "play things". This may sound trivial but I really believe it made them respect the differences in people too. They are 10, 16 and 17 now. I can honestly say that they all stick up for kids that are being picked on, and they are helpful to those who need it. Teachers have commented on this a lot through out the years. Sometimes it's the little life lessons that kids remember the most.

~Brenda Jean

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Sunday Dinner Menu

While we try to teach our children all about life,Our children teach us what life is all about. ~Angela Schwindt

I always loved Sunday dinners as a kid, so I try to make sure my kids are home with us so we can have our family together. During the summer it's nice to grill, and get everyone involved in the meal, then afterwards play a game of horseshoes, swim or take a walk. Today I have a nice menu for a relaxing Sunday summer meal. I've used lemon thyme in the recipes, but if you don't grow it, you can use dried thyme instead. I've also crushed dried thyme and dried lemon rind together for a nice alternative. I have included an easy fruit dip instead of a dessert.

Salmon Burgers

1 can (14.75 ounces) salmon
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon minced chives or green onion
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tsp. minced fresh lemon thyme (1/2 tsp. dried thyme)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Hamburger Buns

Drain the salmon and pick out the bones. Combine all the ingredients, except for the buns. Chill the mixture for 1/2 hour or longer. It will form into patties much easier. After chilling, form this into 4-6 patties, depending on the size you make them. The recipe easily doubles. Place a piece of foil over the grill grate and spray it with cooking spray, or melt butter/margarine on the foil. Place the patties on the foil and cook until the patties are browned on each side, and cooked through. You can also pan fry these.

Lemon and Herb Potatoes

4 medium red potatoes
2 tsp. lemon thyme, minced
1/2 tsp. dried, crunch rosemary
4 tsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Scrub the potatoes and cut into cubes. Place in a pan, cover with water and boil until they are just tender. Drain. In a large skillet place the oil and heat on medium. When the oil is heated, add the potatoes and brown lightly. Sprinkle with the herbs, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the lemon juice over that, and toss/mix everything in to the potatoes with a spatula. Serves 4-6

Green Beans and Onions

1 lb. fresh or frozen green beans
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 large sweet onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Wash, and snip the ends of the beans, then cut into 1-2 inch pieces. Cook the beans in boiling water for 10-12 minutes until just tender. Drain. Heat oil in a large skillet. Sauté onion until . Stir in green beans, salt and pepper. Heat through.

Note: You can use frozen green beans if you thaw them first.

Summer Fruit Dip

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 small jar marshmallow cream

Place marshmallow cream and cream cheese into a bowl and combine with a mixer til smooth and creamy. Use as a dip for strawberries, apples or other firm fruit.

Note: You can add a little vanilla extract, milk or fruit juice to this to thin it and add a slightly different flavor.

On OFL we have another great summer grilling menu.