About The River

Friday, August 18, 2017

Harvesting Garlic

 Way back in October of 2016 we planted our garlic.
I was given garlic from a friend I met at the Farmer Market.
She told me to break the cloves off the large garlic head and plant.

 We separated our cloves. You plant one clove. And then another and then another.

 The garlic patch!

 This photo was taken in late spring. 
We have garlic!
Summer arrived and the garlic grew. It grew its flower, also known as a scape.

We harvested the scapes and made Garlic Pesto.

You have to cut the scapes off even if you are not going to use them. You do not want the flower to bloom. You want all the plants energy going into making the bulb of garlic.

We harvested our garlic the last week of July.
This is one of our largest heads that we harvested.
I harvest them by digging them up careful with a garden fork. 
I left some of the dirt on and set the the bulbs in the basement on newspaper for a few days.
After the few days, my husband hung the garlic to dry and keep in our basement. 

At the time of writing this post, August 18th 2017, the garlic is doing great. We ate our first clove of our homegrown garlic in a fresh salsa we made this week.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

August Days ~ It is the Hodgepodge

Hello, It is Wednesday and that means it is time for the Hodgepodge.
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

 1. Do your actions match your words? Elaborate.

Yes, if I say something, I follow thru with it.

 2. Sick as a dog, go to the dogs, dog days of summer, dog tired, it's a dog's life, every dog has it's day, can't teach an old dog new tricks...now doggone it which saying could most recently be applied to your life?

 Dog Days of Summer
We are in the dog days of summer here in Wisconsin. The garden is happy with rain, humidity and warm days. Everything is growing, growing, growing.

 3. Your favorite book featuring a dog in the storyline? What makes it a favorite?

Because of Winn-Dixie
Author: Kate DiCamillo
I simply love this story. 
I read this story aloud to my grandpa during his last summer. 
It will always have a special place in my heart. 
 4. What's something you hope to one day have the confidence to do?

I never know if it is best to sit back and simply let a "bossy" woman continue to be that "bossy" woman because that is the way "they" are?  Or should I say "Enough already, you no longer need to be the BIG LOUD MOUTH HEN in the HEN HOUSE."

 5. August 16th is National Tell a Joke Day. So tell us a joke.

One of our local Veterinary clinics has a sense of humor.
I took these photos February 2016. No, Wisconsin does not have snow as of yet. 

 6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Have a Great Day!

 a little buddy in the garden

Monday, August 14, 2017

Book Reveiw ~ Bear Town

My latest read or should I say listen. I listen to audio books the two weeks I do my Meals on Wheels route.

I have read A Man Called Ove, My Grandma Asked Me To Tell You She is Sorry and And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer all by Fredrik Backman.

Bear Town was very different from my favorite, A Man Called Ove.

If you have read Bear Town, what was your opinion of the story? 

Fredrik Backman has become a favorite author of mine. He has a way of digging into the heart of the matter. And writes about how love can hurt in an honest way.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

One For My Baby ~ It is the Hodgepodge

Get Ready!
Get Set!
Go and join up with the Hodgepodge. 

A special Congratulations to Joyce, the author of the Hodgepodge.
She is a Grandma!
Take a peek at Snips and Snails and Nana Tales to share in the excitement with Joyce.
 1. Do you try to set rules for yourself about how you use your time? Explain.

 Yes, I do. I have a daily to do list.
I also set month and year goals that I work to achieve.
I also limit my screen time. Which sometimes can be hard to do.

 2. Monday was National Lighthouse Day. Have you ever visited a lighthouse? If not, do you have any desire to see one up close? Of the 10 Most Beautiful that made this list which would you most like to see in person-
Lindau Lighthouse (Germany), Fanad Lighthouse (Ireland), Portland Head Light (Maine), Yaquina Bay Light (Oregon) The St. Augustine Light (Florida), Peggys Point Lighthouse (Canada), Start Point Lighthouse (England), Tower of Hercules (Spain), Bass Harbor Head Station (Maine), and White Shoal Light (Michigan)

When you've been away, what's your 'lighthouse' telling you you're on the right road home?

I love lighthouses. I have visited several. My love of them started during a road trip that I shared with my grandpa and mom. We traveled to Michigan via taking a Ferry across Lake Michigan.
We sailed the SS Badger click here to learn more.

Out of the 10, I will pick Bass Harbor Head Station (Maine).

When we travel West to Montana our ride to Montana is full of prairie and sky. When we travel back to Wisconsin we know we are getting close to home, Wisconsin is full of beautiful trees.

 3. What have you unintentionally stopped doing? Is this something you need to pick back up and begin again, or is it something you need to let go of for now (or even permanently)?

I have not been getting up at my alarm. I get very busy in the garden during the summer. As the summer starts I go to bed later and later. I do not mean to hit that snooze button two or three times.

Yes, I will need to get back into the routine, school will be starting for the boys. We all will need to be back at it.

 4. We've had a full week of August. Share a GRAND moment from your month so far.

 Enjoying time with our friends on their boat. 
The boys had a GRAND ride!

 5. Tell us one song you love with the word 'baby' in the title.

Frank Sinatra - One For My Baby (And One More For the Road) 

  6.  Insert your own random thought here. 

We went to Dunkirk over the weekend. 

We felt it was well done.




Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Meet Me in the Garden

Meet Me in the Garden

 Good Looking and Tasty Plants
Interspersing Edibles in the Ornamental Garden

What is that all about?
This was my first speaking engagement as a Master Gardener.

We brought in design ideas: herbs in pots, cherry tomatoes in window boxes, small fruit trees, peppers among sun loving flowers, lettuce and radish with chard.

Sue Reinardy
Sue was one of my instructors in my Master Gardener class. She is down to earth, easy to talk with and does not make you feel silly for asking questions.
She was in charge of creating Meet Me in the Garden.

 Katie Childs
Katie discussed the history of ornamental edibles.
She used fun ideas from Andrew Sankey.

 Carol Taylor
Carol has many fun containers that she brought from her deck. She likes to container garden. It is easy for her to walk out on her deck to pick fresh veggies and herbs for her dinner.

I brought in my cherry tomato, marigold, garlic chive container.
Meet Me in The Garden was held July 13, 2017.  The plants have doubled in size since that day.
Yes, I am wearing a wool sweater! It was only 58 degrees the evening of July 13th! 
Crazy! Wisconsin! Weather!

 I also created an edible bouquet. Everything I have in the bouquet you can eat!
Bee Balm ... tea
Garlic Scapes ... Garlic Pesto
Chocolate Mint ... add to chocolate brownies
Carrots ... see the red dragon carrot in my bouquet. My new favorite carrot.

 I was a wee bit nervous. This was my first garden talk.

 My husband was having fun taking photos.

 Donna Amidon
Donna did many bouquets. She added wild flowers and grasses to her bouquets. 
She used chard in the one she is holding.

 Beets, Carrots, Kale, 
So many fun ideas to create edible bouquets.

Mitch and Brent
Edible weeds that are found in the garden.
Mitch and Brent both shared what we can eat that are weeds in our garden.
Purslane, Clover, Lamb's Quarters, Mallow, Wild Amaranth, Curly Dock, and Milkweed.

 It was a fun experience for me. 
I am looking forward to next year's theme for Meet Me in the Garden.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sugar Cookies

 I received a special delivery in the mail from my cousin Kris.
A recipe from her grandma, Marie Kinney.
These cookies melt in your mouth.

Sugar Cookies
Recipe from the kitchen of 
Marie Kinney

1 cup butter
1 cup cooking oil
  1 cup of sugar
1 cup powder sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cream of tartar
4 cups flour
2 tsp lemon extract

Roll in balls.
Flatten with a glass bottom dipped in sugar.
Bake 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minuets



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

It is 3:15pm Somewhere ~ Hodgepodge

 It is Wednesday and that means it is time for the Hodgepodge.
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

1. We've reached edition number 315 here in the Wednesday Hodgepodge. So tell us, what were you doing at 3:15 yesterday? Is that typical? On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being low and 10 being high) what's your energy level usually like at 3:15 PM?

I was having a snack.
Check out the top photo of that chocolate chip cookie made by my youngest son.

Is having a snack typical at 3:15pm? Yes it is.
My energy level is about 5, that is why I need that snack.

 2. A frisbee, a tantrum, a towel, a party, a punch, or a curveball...which have you most recently thrown or had thrown at/for you? Elaborate.

A party!
My flower gardens are bursting with blooms. That makes creating bouquets so much fun. It is also fun just to walk the garden, with butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.

 3. What are three things that would help you right now. Tell us how or why.

1. Having another Carla ... to re do the chair my parents found for me at an auction.
2. Having another Carla ... to keep up with weeds in the flower garden.
3. Having another Carla ... to keep up with the watering of the garden.

Ha! Ha!
During the month of May, when school is wrapping up, planting the garden begins and the boys shooting sports started, I shared with my husband I thought I should clone myself.
He told me that was not a good idea, it would get confusing. 
Ha! Ha!

 4. Do you think you're strong? Why or why not? What makes you strong?

Physically strong, yes, I am physically strong. I grew up on a dairy farm. Making hay, carrying milk buckets and feed sacks.
I am thankful that I have been able to keep the strength as I have gotten older.

5. Do you enjoy reading historical fiction? What's your favorite book set sometime in the past?
I do enjoy historical fiction.
I recently listened to  Lilac Girls on audio.
I recommend it, very well done.
6. Insert your own random thought here.

Our family enjoys creating different infused water.
Raspberry Mint was a favorite.
Do you make infused water?
Do you have a favorite?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Chuckle on Tuesday

Chuckle on Tuesday
I was visiting my son last night when I asked if he had a newspaper that I could borrow.

"This is the 21st century," he said. "I do not wast money on newspapers. Here you can borrow my iPad."

I can tell you this, that fly never knew what hit him!


Friday, July 21, 2017

Garlic and Garlic Pesto

 Way back in October of 2016 I planted garlic.
Breaking off cloves you plant each clove.

 My garden of garlic.

 You will see the garlic growing in the spring. A fun sight in the garden, green in early spring!

 As the garlic continues to grow. It will form a scape.
The scape is the flower that emerges from the middle of the garlic stalk. The theory behind harvesting them is that it forces the garlic to put its energy towards making a bigger bulb instead of making a flower. I harvest mine when they just start to curl themselves into a circle. The longer you wait the spicier and tougher the scapes become.
With my garlic scapes, I make garlic pesto.

 Garlic Pesto

2 cups garlic scapes, roughly chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup walnuts
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
1/2 - 3/4 cup of olive oil or sunflower oil

*note: feel free to mix in other herbs like basil, mint, cilantro, parsley or even kale to make the pesto more mild. We love garlic, so we do not mind!!

1. Add garlic scapes, Parmesan, walnuts, salt, and black pepper to food processor and scrape sides to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.

2. Turn on processor slowly add 1/2 cup oil. Once added, stop the processor and scrape sides to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.

3. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

4. If pesto is thick,  add more oil while the processor is running.

5. Process pesto once more until it is creamy, about 1 minute.

6. Load the pesto into your preferred containers and store in your chest freezer for up to a year.

We enjoy using our pest for a dip with pretzels or chips.
We also use on homemade pizza.

The link below is where I found helpful tips on growing garlic and the pesto recipe.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


Wouldn't it be wonderful if I could pass all my zingers to you and then I would never behave badly and you could behave badly all the time and we'd both be happy? On the other hand, I must warn you that when you finally have the pleasure of saying the thing you mean to say at the moment you mean to say it, remorse inevitably follows. 

You've Got Mail

There is a person who helps at our community garden who seems to feel it necessary to make comments to me or give his opinion of me and my work. Or just has to say stuff. 
The problem is it is childish stuff. I am in my 40's. Why? Why say stuff like...  And is coming from a man well in his 60's.

Regarding my hair ~ "Why does Jeremy let you play with the electric outlet?" 
Regarding my boys ~ "Why are they not doing this activity or helping with this?"
Regarding my garden ~ "Growing your share of weeds."

I do not say anything back. 
I never do. I never have. 

It is making this summers time at the garden, not as fun as years past. I am one  to mind my own business. When I do visit or say something to someone, I like to try to have it be positive, even if I am trying to correct something.

I would love to say something.

Just like Kathleen Kelly in You've Got Mail.

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