Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Percy Warner Park vista

This view is looking north-west. St Henry's Catholic Church is in the foreground, and out in the distance, though hidden, is the Cumberland River.

Scenes from Franklin Tennessee

Blue-stem Goldenrod

Little is blooming in Nashville woods and fields now, but I found this Blue-stem Goldenrod along a hill top trail at Percy Warner Park. I have always called this Wood goldenrod, but the experts say it is Solidago caesia.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Computer Troubles

I may be offline for a bit. I am having computer issues.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Dream House-Franklin Tennessee

This beautiful house with its double porches is only a few houses down from the Courthouse. It is for sale, and it is empty. Alas a window upstairs is broken, and one wonders if this is a clue that the house would be a money pit. But imagine if you can what these porches have seen- quiet Sunday mornings, brief snows,fireflies in mid-June,and the aftermath of the killing fields of the terrible Battle of Franklin. Yes , John Bell Hood led and fought here, and as always death and disaster followed him.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mauve Dancing Girls- Globba winitii

My Globba, a member of the Ginger family, is finally blooming. I bought the tubers last spring, expecting bloom out doors, but the plants dawdled and when I brought them inside to escape the cooler, shorter days, they decided to spend their lives as houseplants. By rights they should be bloomed out by now and ready for a winter's sleep. But here they are, just beginning, and when they flower the blooms last for months. I was looking forward to see my "Dancing Girls" dance with the bees and the hummingbirds. That must wait for another year.

My source for Globba was Aloha Tropicals. They sell online. Click on above photo for a better view.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Black beans, Chorizo sausage and Goat's butter.

I needed something for lunch at work tonight, and this dish took under 20 minutes to make. The Goat butter (I used Myenberg) could be optional, but you would be missing its wonderful, rustic taste. This is all you need to gather:

1 15oz can of black beans

2 cloves of garlic, diced or crushed in a press.

1 bay leaf

8-10 2 inch rounds of thinly sliced Chorizo sausage, cut into quarters.

2-3 pats of Goat butter

Put the black beans in a small skillet or sauce pan, add the garlic and the bayleaf.

Warm the beans through for 10 minutes on medium heat. Then add the Chorizo and

After the butter melts, stir through. Discard the bay leaf. It is ready to serve and will feed 2.

Edwin Warner Park and the Little Harpeth River- a Wednesday ramble

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Delicata- My favorite Winter squash

The winter squashes are in the produce aisles now, and that is where most will stay I suspect- until the store tosses them, or the innocent who buys them finds them in March, mummified and forgotten. They look like too much work. What casual cook has a knife well-honed enough to even pry one apart? Or even knows what they are? Perhaps some new bizarre pumpkin that will end up smashed on the front walk.

In New England, where I grew up, there were blue Hubbard Squashes at the farm stands, and some of them were behemoths. You would have needed a wheelbarrow to get them to your car. The Hubbards at the grocery will be of manageable size. And they are good eating. They ask only for some salt, butter, and a little maple syrup. Of course you could try the more mainstream Butternut squash. But I find them a little watery and stringy.

And then- there is the Delicata. Small and easy to cut in quarters. Then, just scoop out the seeds, place skin side up in a baking dish, and cover with foil. Bake them for 45 minutes to an hour- or until a fork can pierce them easily. Let them cool a bit, then scoop out the pulp, season with butter and salt, and serve them with any hearty fall or winter meal. They are the best squash- summer or winter- that I have ever tasted. And they are naturally sweet. You can save your maple syrup for your pancakes.

Winter's Star

This is the Winter's Star hardy Camellia. It is growing in a container on my apartment porch. It is not my first Winter's Star. I left my first when I left my house. I had it for ten years, and it had grown 6 feet high and 8 feet across. It bloomed in October and lasted through November, and I loved it dearly. The more spectacular Camellias Japonica and Sansanqua are not for Middle Tennessee, but Winter's Star is a hybrid of the cold-hardy Camellia oleifera and will live and blossom in Zone Six. To me it is the soul of Autumn now, just like the sprays of blue Aster cordifolius on the woods' edges, and the scent of fermenting wild persimmons, and the lonely star Fomalhaut rising nightly in the east.