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You Reap What You Sow

 

Gardening as a Metaphor for Life

I believe that life is too short for drama; so laugh insanely, love truly, and forgive quickly.

And garden.

 

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How To Plant Your Garden For The Garden of Daily Living

PLANT THREE ROWS OF PEAS : 

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1. Peace of mind

2. Peace of heart

3. Peace of soul

PLANT FOUR ROWS OF SQUASH:

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1. Squash gossip

2. Squash indifference

3. Squash grumbling

4. Squash selfishness

PLANT FOUR ROWS OF LETTUCE: 

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1. Lettuce be faithful

2. Lettuce be kind

3. Lettuce of be patient

4. Lettuce really love one another

NO GARDEN IS WITHOUT TURNIPS: 

turnip

1. Turnip for meetings

2. Turnip for service

3. Turnip to help one another

TO CONCLUDE OUR GARDEN WE MUST HAVE THYME: 

1. Thyme for each other

2. Thyme for family

3. Thyme for friends

Water it all freely with patience and cultivate with love.
There is much fruit in your garden because you reap what you sow.

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Featured Recipe        Orecchiette with Pancetta and Asparagus

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After spending most of the day playing in the garden I want a recipe that is delicious and can be on the table lickety-split!

It never fails to amaze me that some of the easiest and fastest dishes to make are the most delicious!

Today’s recipe proves that in spades!

The fact that it is also wonderfully tasty is a bonus!

The first time I made this I just used pancetta. Oh My!!!! OH MY!!!!!!!

But I knew the Food Police would put me in jail if I did not add a vegetable. I tried several different ones and even a medley of several.

However……..asparagus, especially fresh baby asparagus fresh from your garden is simply the best!!!

This is what you need for 3 people:

12 ounce package orecchiette pasta

1 bunch of asparagus

Olive oil

5 tablespoons butter divided

1 medium shallot

1 very small clove garlic

4 ounces pancetta

3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

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Here is what you do:

Put water up to boil.

Wash and dry the asparagus and slice off one-and-one-half-inch top of the stalk on the diagonal off.

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TIP: Save the remain stalk to use in soups, stocks, etc.: Uses For Left-over Stalks

Dice the shallots and press the garlic.

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Cook the orecchiette according to package directions.

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While the water is boiling very lightly coat some EVOO in a medium skillet. Heat over low heat.

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Add 2 tablespoon of butter to the skillet and melt. Add the shallots and garlic.

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Sauté the shallots and garlic and for a minute or two until translucent.

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Add the pancetta and cook about 2-3 minutes until just beginning to brown around the edges.

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Add the asparagus to the pasta the last minute or two and then drain.

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Drain the pasta and asparagus.

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Place the pasta in a bowl and add the remaining butter and gently toss until butter is melted.

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Top with the pancetta-butter mix.

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Place on a plate and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.

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Serve with a salad or some fruit.

Bon Appétite

Cost

12 oz pck orecchiette pasta             $2.69

1 bunch of asparagus                     $1.99

Olive oil                                         $0.05

5 tbspn butter divided                     $0.50

1 medium shallot                           $0.33

1 very small clove garlic                 $0.10

4 ounces pancetta                          $3.29

6 tbspn Parmesan cheese               $1.76

Salt and pepper to taste

Total cost = $10.71
Cost per person = $3.57

Quote of the Day

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.

Luther Burbank

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Let’s Get Dirty

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Cold, gray, and damp days have been the norm this spring. It is almost like winter.

I need sunshine. Lots and lots of sunshine. I do not think we have had five consecutive days of sunshine this year.

It is depressing.

The cold, gray, and damp days also means I cannot work in the garden as much as I like.

And there is at least half the problem. I love tinkering around in my garden – planting flowers, tending flowers, weeding. You name it and I love it!

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Many people love gardening.

Now scientists know why.

It’s in the dirt.

You see, dirt makes us happy.

Really!!!!!!!

According to some new research working or playing in dirt makes humans, adults and children, happy, happy, happy.

Dirt is seems is a free anti-depressant.

Shhhhhhhh! Don’t tell the government or they will tax it.

Here’s the scoop.

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From Gardening Know How
By Bonnie L. Grant

Prozac may not be the only way to get rid of your serious blues. Soil microbes have been found to have similar effects on the brain and are without side effects and chemical dependency potential. Learn how to harness the natural antidepressant in soil and make yourself happier and healthier. Read on to see how dirt makes you happy.

…..Snip……

thCAQ51XHSNatural remedies have been around for untold centuries. These natural remedies included cures for almost any physical ailment as well as mental and emotional afflictions. Ancient healers may not have known why something worked but simply that it did. Modern scientists have unraveled the why of many medicinal plants and practices but only recently are they finding remedies that were previously unknown and yet, still a part of the natural life cycle. Soil microbes and human health now have a positive link which has been studied and found to be verifiable.

Soil Microbes and Human Health

Did you know that there’s a natural antidepressant in soil? It’s true. Mycobacterium vaccae is the substance under study and has indeed been found to mirror the effect on neurons that drugs like Prozac provide. The bacterium is found in soil and may stimulate serotonin production, which makes you relaxed and happier. Studies were conducted on cancer patients and they reported a better quality of life and less stress.

Lack of serotonin has been linked to depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar problems. The bacterium appears to be a natural antidepressant in soil and has no adverse health effects. These antidepressant microbes in soil may be as easy to use as just playing in the dirt.

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Most avid gardeners will tell you that their landscape is their “happy place” and the actual physical act of gardening is a stress reducer and mood lifter. The fact that there is some science behind it adds additional credibility to these garden addicts’ claims. The presence of a soil bacteria antidepressant is not a surprise to many of us who have experienced the phenomenon ourselves. Backing it up with science is fascinating, but not shocking, to the happy gardener.

Mycrobacterium antidepressant microbes in soil are also being investigated for improving cognitive function, Crohn’s disease and even rheumatoid arthritis.

How Dirt Makes You Happy

Antidepressant microbes in soil cause cytokine levels to rise, which results in the production of higher levels of serotonin. The bacterium was tested both by injection and ingestion on rats and the results were increased cognitive ability, lower stress and better concentration to tasks than a control group.

Gardeners inhale the bacteria, have topical contact with it and get it into their bloodstreams when there is a cut or other pathway for infection. The natural effects of the soil bacteria antidepressant can be felt for up to 3 weeks if the experiments with rats are any indication. So get out and play in the dirt and improve your mood and your life………

You can read the entire article by clicking this link: Antidepressant Microbes.

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Oh how I yearn for some dirt!!!!!!!!
Featured Recipe        Filet of Sole with Bacon and Green Onions

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This is a quick, easy, and super delicious dish to make. The bacon is an extra added delight!

This is what you will need for 3 people

¼ cup flour

3-4 sole fillets

4 bacon slices

4 green onions

2-3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

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Here is what you do:

Wash, dry, and slice the green onion. Set aside. Cut on the diagonal for a prettier presentation.

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Pat the fish dry with a paper towel.

Add the salt and pepper to the flour and mix well. Lightly dredge the fish in the flour and shake off excess. Set aside.

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Cut the bacon into semi large pieces and fry the bacon until just barely crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside in the warm oven.

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NOTE: Because I like the way my ceramic skillet crisps bacon I have to pour the bacon grease in that skillet into another skillet large enough to fry the fish. I must find and buy a super large ceramic pan.

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Anyway, add the fish to the bacon grease and cook about 2-4 minutes on each side until cooked through. Do not crowd the fish. Cook in two batches if necessary.

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When cooked through remove the fillets from the pan and place on a baking sheet or a platter and place in the oven set on the “Hold Warm” feature until all filets are cooked.

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The filets I used were very thin so they did not need much time to cook through. The following link will help you decide when your fish is cooked through: How to tell when fish is truly cooked.

When all the fish is cooked lower the heat under the bacon grease and add the butter. Let it melt completely.

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Add the scallions and the lemon juice and gently stir for a bout 1 minute.

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Spoon the butter sauce over the fish and sprinkle on the bacon bits.

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Serve with a salad and/or a vegetable.

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Bon Appétite
Cost

¼ cup flour                          $0.12

sole fillets                            $9.34

4 bacon slices                      $1.28

4 green onions                     $0.24

2-3 tbspn butter                   $0.24

2 tbspn lemon juice              $0.20

Salt & pepper to taste

Total Cost = $11.42
Cost per person = $3.80

Quote of the Day

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.

Luther Burbank

NOTE: Dirt post quote used under US copyright laws Sections 107, “fair use” for educational purposes only.

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Moonstruck

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Ever since I was a child of eleven (1957), twelve, or thirteen years old I have loved to watch the sky, the sun, the moon, and the stars. Which ever year it was it was the first time I saw an eclipse. I don’t remember my exact age, but I do remember the eclipse. I can still see it in my mind’s eye.

I was enchanted.

I remember standing in my backyard with my dad watching the eclipse looking through a shoe box pinhole camera and/or two layers of silver emulsion fully exposed and developed black and white film.

It was so exciting to see the shadow of the earth on the sun. From that moment on I was hooked on the sky.

So it should come as no surprise that on Saturday, April 4, 2015 I was outside in the early morning darkness and the freezing cold weather taking pictures of the partial lunar eclipse.

This particular eclipse is the shortest of all Blood Moon lunar eclipses this century!!! However, Blood Moon is used only for a full eclipse, which could be seen in the west. Here in the Mid-west we only got a partial eclipse.

Nevertheless, I set my clock for 5:45 a.m. After several cups of hot tea I was outside by 6 a.m.

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The eclipse was set to begin at 6:15 a.m. It was right on time! You can just barely see a small piece of the eclipse on the left in the picture below.

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Then the moon ran south west across the sky. I much prefer when the moon sets in the north west sky as the view is mostly trees and moon as you can see from this December, 2011 Picture Essay Moondance.

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But this moon tracked toward the north and the shopping center and electric grid that powers my condo. Not a pretty background. But that is Mother nature for you!

About 6:30 a.m.

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Long view below

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A few minutes later. The moon is now starting to show some golden red.

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Approximately 6:35 a.m.

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Long view 6:35 a.m.

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Close up

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6:45 a.m.

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Close up of picture above.

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6:50 a.m.

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6:53 a.m.

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I was not able to get any more pictures after this one as the sun was fast rising.  The sky became lighter each minute and the moon began to fade. The moon was also partially blocked by the electric grid. So no further decent shots could be taken.

Nevertheless the lunar eclipse was phenomenal. And again I was enchanted, even if my fingers were ice cubes.

“Some times I think of the sun and the moon as lovers who rarely meet, always chase, and almost always miss one another. But once in a while, they do catch up, and they kiss and the world stares in awe of their eclipse.”

Author unknown
Quote found on SearchQuotes and credited to sandymtz

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Featured Recipe           Crusty Lemony Garlic Pork Loin Chops

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You will like this quick and easy week night dish. The thin chops is what makes it quick. It does not take long for them to cook.

The lemon just makes this recipe sparkle.

This is what you will need for 3 people

6 boneless center cut pork chops

½ cup bread crumbs

Nice handful of fresh curly parsley

2 eggs

1/3 cup flour

1 tablespoon garlic powder [Or more to taste.]

2-4 tablespoons olive oil

5 tablespoons butter

1 large lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

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Here is what you do:

Salt and pepper the chops.

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Wash, dry, and finely dice the parsley. Generally I use flat leaf parsley, but for some reason I like how the curly looks in this dish.

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Mix the bread crumbs, garlic powder, and chopped parsley in a shallow bowl or on a plate.

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Put the eggs in a bowl large enough to hold the chops. Lightly scramble.

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Then put the flour in a shallow bowl or on a plate.

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Now place the plates in the following order: flour first, then the egg, and last the bread crumbs.

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Lightly coat each chop first in the flour, then in the egg, and finally in the bread crumbs. Gently shake off any excess and place on a plate.

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Heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium to medium high heat, depending on how your stove cooks. Add chops and cook for 2-4 minutes on each side until golden on the outside and cooked on the inside.

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NOTE: If you do not have a skillet large enough to fit all six chops keep the done chops in the oven on the ‘Stay Warm” feature while you cook the remaining chops.

When all of the chops have finished cooking place them on a platter. Melt the butter over very low heat in the skillet you fried the chops, scraping up all the crispy bits on the bottom of the skillet.

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Place the chops on a serving platter and pour the butter over the pork.

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Those of you who thought I had forgotten the lemon raise your hand.  rolling-on-the-floor-laughing-smiley-emoticon

Now cut that lemon in half and squeeze all the juice over the chops.

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Serve with potatoes and a salad.

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Bon Appétite

Cost

6 boneless pork chops         $4.59

½ cup bread crumbs           $0.76

Nice handful parsley            $0.11

2 eggs                               $0.54

1/3 cup flour                      $0.18

1 tbspn garlic powder          $0.14

2 -4 tablespoons olive oil      $0.68

5 tablespoons butter            $0.50

1 large lemon                     $0.69

Salt and pepper to taste

Total cost = $8.19

Cost per person = $2.73

Quote of the Day

Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.

Clement Stone

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