Weekend mornings are my quiet leisure time to ease into the world and enjoy my yard.
Does what you grow in your garden get used on your plate, in your bath, or around your house? How about all of the above? or not at all?
I’ve been playing with herbs and essential oils for years. I’ve got book shelves lined with all sorts of information. I’ve even got a mad scientist laboratory of oils, waxes, chemicals, and components in my basement. I’ve been told I have the best smelling basement ever. I can’t smell it anymore I’m so accustomed to it all. But when I need to take a relaxing bath or have a mud mask, I trot down the stairs and whip something up.
A few years ago, when I began tightening the budget belt, I thought about how to make the most of what I do spend. I didn’t plant a tree that magically made money, but what I did plant gets used in so many ways around my house. I have herbs that I can cook with or turn into aromatherapy and I have veggies growing for food and because they are pretty. I came up with a workshop series called Pantry Pampering: how to pamper ourselves with what we have on hand. Over the next little bit, I’m going to share some of these with you.
To kick this off, I’m going to start this pantry party as any good party should start, with a cocktail. Thanks to Cocktail Remedy for reminding me to finish the fresh grapefruit juice in the fridge. I’m making his Grapefruit Thyme Cocktail. (without bottling, I’ll save bottling for another day)
You can make your cocktails uniquely yours with interesting flavored simple syrups. When you buy commercial sodas they have so much sugar in them. One way to cut that sugar is by making your own soda. Half an ounce to an ounce of your homemade simple syrup* topped with a little club soda makes a nice simple soda. But add a little vodka or gin to your new soda and you have a fancy cocktail. Your flavors are limited only by your imagination.
I started with fresh thyme from the yard and made my simple syrup a bit stronger than he did. He started with 5 sprigs and I used about 10. I’ve mentioned before I’m into big flavors. I’ve changed the proportions a touch, but this is a nice summertime spritzer.
1.5z Gin Recipe 3
1.5z fresh pink grapefruit juice
1/4z fresh lime juice
1/2z thyme simple syrup (increase if you want)
top with 2z club soda
Another yummy for summertime BBQ’s!
* Simple syrup is generally a 1:1 ratio of water and sugar in which you’ve dissolved the sugar. Boiling the sugar and water combo versus making a room temperature simple syrup is a source of great debate, but I prefer the boiling method. One versus the other is a conversation for another day.
I know things about myself and I can embrace them. I’ve shared before that dating is a serious mystery to me. The bond that people want to form is not always something I embrace. I know this about myself and I try to work around this self-made obstacle.
But, today’s commitment crisis is not one of the human heart, but still daunting to me, none the less. A guardian angel made a contribution to the weedwacker fund after the great windshield debacle. I had been doing my research early on and had some idea of what I wanted and what I would be spending. So after work on Wednesday evening, I went to pick up the mower from the machine shop (this story has come full circle) and then on to Home Depot and Sears to see what new toy I could bring home.
I made the mis-step as soon as I walked in to the machine shop. the counter was full, so to wait my turn, I looked at their weedwackers. $99 all the way to $400! $400?! This thing is a metal rod with a spinny thing on one end, were they also selling me the man to carry it around? I did note, these metal rods looked reasonably solid and well made. Not really wanting to spend $400, I didn’t bother to ask about them, but collected my mower and moved on down the road.
I wandered into Home Depot and saw a stunning array of flimsy weedwackers in the $30-$99 range, nothing that instilled the slightest confidence. I was starting to get a bit of a knot in my stomach. So off to Sears I went. Again, I didn’t see anything that was more robust than a flyswatter. The knot was getting tighter and I was in need of fresh air. I left the store and decided to put off this purchase for another day.
I have decided that I am going back to my neighborhood machine shop and seek their professional counsel. I’ll do a little more research and ask a few friends what they use. I really thought long and hard about asking some guy friend to help me out with this, but didn’t want to be the damsel in distress. I just want to buy a weedwacker and I want one that will last more than midway through my first use. I’d also like to not have to sell an organ to do all this.
So dear friends, what’s your weedwacker of choice? I’m seeking your honest opinion. Give it to me straight.
I had several compliments on how nice my garden looked when folks came over for brunch. When I rush out the door in the morning most days I don’t take time to check out the garden. After brunch on Sunday, I finally stopped and enjoyed a little time (or thyme) in my garden. I saw things in bloom I hadn’t noticed earlier. Now that we are having beautiful weather, I love getting home and having so much time to enjoy my yard.
Lily of the Valley
A random bloom in the mint patch
I am not the only one who likes my new desk…
Watching my little desktop garden flourish makes me smile almost as much as my awesome view. Green makes anything better. Happy Friday!
Side note: this is my first full, actual post from the WordPress app. I hope this looks ok.