Category Archives: Recipes

Spy Garden Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is still in full swing around here as we abide by the rule of:

Thou shalt keep thine Christmas decorations up through New Year’s Day

hahahahaha

This kohlrabi looks like the grinch's head!

Doesn’t this kohlrabi looks like the grinch’s head!?

We've been doing lots of painting, gluing, collaging, crocheting, etc., etc. around here: Christmas always makes me want to create!

We’ve been doing lots of painting, gluing, collaging, crocheting, etc., etc. around here: Christmas always makes me want to create!

Here is Babyzilla protesting the very un-wintery (nearly 70 degree) weather in the days prior to Christmas

Here is Babyzilla protesting the very un-wintery (nearly 70 degree) weather in the days prior to Christmas

Chalk tree

Chalk tree

December weather

December weather

See the paper airplane hanging

See the paper airplane hanging

Paper airplane (made by the Spy)

Paper airplane (made by the Spy)

Smoochie painting

Smoochie painting

Decorating...

Decorating…

Tree of toys!

Tree of toys!

I will miss these lights and may need to pick up a few lamps once we take them down!

I will miss these lights and may need to pick up a few lamps once we take them down!

In the front yard

In the front yard

Dexie's chair haha

Dexie’s chair haha

Getting a hair cut (to even out her handiwork)

Getting a hair cut (to even out her handiwork)

Star light

Star light

Gingerbread time!

Gingerbread time!

First I made the base and allowed it to dry completely before adding the tall pieces

First I made the base and allowed it to dry completely before adding the tall pieces

Click here to see last year’s gingerbread (Eiffel Tower) and here for my basic recipe. This year’s version included garam masala and ground flax in the dough and fresh Meyer lemon juice in the icing; mmm!

Leftover building materials! Spicy and delicious!

Leftover building materials! Spicy and delicious!

Here it is drying (hence the chair holding it up). It is hollow and has spots to put in little battery operated lights

Here it is drying (hence the chair holding it up). It is hollow and has spots to put in little battery operated lights

It still dried a bit crooked like the leaning tower of Pisa; it is leaning back so its not too noticeable from the front

It still dried a bit crooked like the leaning tower of Pisa; it is leaning back so its not too noticeable from the front

Fini!

Fini!

This is me after finishing the gingerbread hahaha

This is me after finishing the gingerbread hahaha

Yawning, pre-service (7PM Christmas Eve service)

Yawning, pre-service (7PM Christmas Eve service)

The kids all did a great job!

The kids all did a great job!

After the service

After the service

And then it was…

Christmas

Christmas!

How did Santa get this 16' canoe in here?!

How did Santa get this 16′ canoe in here?!

Woo hoo! Canoe!

Woo hoo! Canoe!

Dexie enjoying her present

Dexie enjoying her present

Babyzilla

Babyzilla

Juggling scarves

Juggling scarves

Choo Choo!

Choo Choo!

The most Christmas-y train station!

The most Christmas-y train station! (Lionel train from 1953!)

Christmas Dexie

Christmas Dexie

Driving the train

Driving the train

Christmas Day

Christmas Day

Trying out the unicycle!

Trying out the unicycle!

Watching A Christmas Story

Watching A Christmas Story

Cozy

Cozy

Choo choo

Choo choo

Christmas kids

Christmas kids

Christmas dogs

Christmas dogs

Christmas in the garden

Christmas in the garden

Smoochie set right to building a canoe rack on Christmas

Smoochie set right to building a canoe rack on Christmas

Christmas Canoe!

Christmas Canoe!

New clothes

New clothes

Leopard is a neutral

Baby says leopard is a neutral haha

Sunset

Sunset

Playing...

Playing…

Jenga!

Jenga!

Christmas boy

Christmas boy

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

 

Early Fall

Camouflage

Camouflage

Walking Stick

Walking Stick

It is getting blustery and chilly in Spy Garden: woooooo fall!

Target...

Target…

Practice

Practice

Target (a drawing of the Governor from the TV show The Walking Dead attached to a cereal box).

Target (a drawing of the Governor from the TV show The Walking Dead attached to a cereal box). HAhaha

Tomato that wants to be a pumpkin.

Tomato that wants to be a pumpkin.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin (Atlantic Giant; a small, 7ish pounder we picked)

After scraping out the seeds, I carved up this pumpkin into big irregular chunks (think tuna steak-sized) and added loads of spices (paprika, cayenne pepper, thyme, ginger, a Jamaican-jerk seasoning) and salt and a drizzle of oil and roast in the oven (flesh-side down) on a foil-lined baking sheet at 350 for awhile until the flesh becomes translucent. Then slice the skin off and enjoy! I dipped it in hot sauce and Dijon mustard.  When roasted in this manner, pumpkin really does remind me of filets of fish; fresh-caught wild pumpkin-fillets. haha  I should make some sashimi and pumpkin sushi to further illustrate my point.

The seeds of the Atlantic Giant are also large.

The seeds of the Atlantic Giant are also large.

I washed all the seeds and added the same combo of spices/drizzle of oil on them and also roasted those too. Yum! I will also save some of this variety of seeds (from the largest pumpkin). These Atlantic Giant pumpkins were grown from seeds from Baker Creek. Here is the description from their website:

110-125 days (C. maxima) Lovely, giant, pink-orange pumpkins can weigh over 800 lbs, and do so every year, with some reaching almost 1500 lbs.! This variety was introduced by Howard Dill, of Nova Scotia in 1978, and has since broken all records. (source)

Atlantic Giant Pumpkin Patch

Atlantic Giant Pumpkin Patch

There are seven Atlantic Giant plants and we had seven pumpkins; one small one rotted and we threw it in the woods and the other small one I picked and roasted (as described above). Five left to harvest; cooking, carving, curry, soup? So many possibilities for pumpkins. Winter squash is by far my favorite vegetable. So versatile.

A Jarrahdale Pumpkin

A Jarrahdale Pumpkin

Jarrahdale Bloom

Jarrahdale Bloom

Desription of the Jarrahdale from Baker Creek:

100 days. (C. maxima) Slate, blue-grey, 6-10 lb. pumpkins of superb quality. Their shape is flat and ribbed, and very decorative looking; also a good keeper. Popular in Australia; an excellent variety. (source)

Upper Ground Sweet Potato

Upper Ground Sweet Potato

Upper Ground Sweet Potato Leaf (with a tiny spider on it)

Upper Ground Sweet Potato Leaf (with a tiny spider on it)

Here is the description of Upper Ground Sweet Potato from the Baker Creek website:

(C. moschata) This heirloom is still grown by a few people in the South. An old, hardy type that grows well even in rather poor conditions and produces an abundance of medium-large, round-to-bell-shaped, tan fruit with moist orange flesh that is said to resemble that of the sweet potato, hence the name. Sweet, good quality, and it keeps very well. A really rugged variety that is going the way of the dinosaurs if people don’t work to save it. (source)

Giant Cape Gooseberry

Giant Cape Gooseberry

(Physalis peruviana) The cape gooseberry is native to Brazil and was grown in England by 1774. It was cultivated by settlers at the Cape of Good Hope before 1807. The delicious yellow fruit grow inside paper-like husks that are easy to peel. They are great dipped in melted chocolate or made into pies and preserves. Larger than the common ground cherry. (source)

Echinacea

Echinacea

Blackberries

Blackberries

Meyer lemons just starting to grow.

Meyer lemons just starting to grow.

Rainbow Swiss Chard

Rainbow Swiss Chard

Pepper, eggplant and strawberry

Pepper, eggplant and strawberry

Mexican Sunflower

Mexican Sunflower