Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The untold beauty of a marigold

That is a beautiful flower that just opened its bloom.  It is a quiet, understated beauty.  I never really liked marigolds.  I know what you're thinking, "Then why did you plant some?"  Well, marigolds are a natural bug/pest repellent.  I was going to plant them around my community garden plot to keep unwanted intruders at bay.  And we all know how the community garden didn't pan out, so now I have marigolds blooming.  Once the bloom opens and looks like the above picture, it starts to look like...

...this.  Slightly lighter color, layering petals on top of petals.  I'm starting to change my mind about marigolds.  I have started to enjoy their simple elegance.  It really is great seeing plants grow from a tiny seed I've planted.  I think it's truly amazing.  I can't wait for the marigolds to continue to develop even more.

Happy blooming!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I have... tomatoes!  Four of them to be exact, with plenty of other blossoms on the way.

Just look at the tiny little tomatoes.  They get bigger every day.  These blooms are from the largest tomato plant in the pot, it's huge.  According to the labels Travis put on the planter, it is a Sunbold tomato plant.  Like I said, it is huge.

This picture isn't very good, but you can tell all four tomato plants have gotten big.  They're even taller now.  The tallest one is about 3/4 the way up to the top of the window.  The day it reaches the top of the window I'm going to be worried, or thrilled.  All four of the tomato plants are well over the top of the wire support, with the shortest one about 12 inches taller than the wire.

Here's the rest of the "jungle" as Sean calls it.  I can't imagine what people think when they see all of these plants in the window, but I don't really care.  I like the plants there, they make me happy.  I like planting a seed and watching how it sprouts and then what it grows into.  For example, the marigolds I planted that were tiny in a previous post now are quite bushy.  The flowers began to bloom a couple days ago.

I'm happy I got my green thumb from my father.  I usually let him know when something exciting has happened with my plants.  Tomorrow for Father's Day I'm headed to Sleepy Eye to go fishing with my dad.  Hopefully, we don't get rained out.  I know there's a chance of storms here this afternoon so hopefully it happens today and not tomorrow.  Have a good day and weekend!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I think I outdid myself

I made delicious cake yesterday.  And by delicious, I'm talking about dark chocolate cake, toasted marshmallow filling, and chocolate frosting.  I got the recipe for it here.  I used a different chocolate frosting because I'm not a fan of malt powder. 

I mean, just look at it!  It look wonderful, minus my horrible frosting skills.  I'm slowly getting better, at least I hope.

I think I should have divided the two layers so there were four layers instead of two.  That is the only thing I would change.  Although the frosting was good, it was a little too runny.  Also, I think it is a little grainy so I need to do some more frosting experimentation.  I think my State Fair preparation is coming along quite nice!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bakers delight

Did I mention I am entering some baked goods into the Minnesota State Fair?  If not -- I am entering baked goods for State Fair competition!  Currently, I have registered four entries, but I can submit up to 25 entries.  I can't imagine how people manage to transport all of their entries safely, but I'm sure some people do enter their maximum 25 entries. 

Right now, here's the list:
  • Chocolate Cake
  • Spice Cake
  • Banana Bread
  • Salted Nut Roll Bars
The cakes have to be layerd 8-inch round cakes.  I am going to begin to do a little testing of the cakes.  I have a pretty solid spice cake recipe that I've gotten rave reviews on at work.  The plan tonight is to bake a test cake tonight.  I will let you know how it goes.  The salted nut roll bars and banana bread are recipes handed down from my mother, so I know I can't go wrong there. 

I know the State Fair isn't until August, but I keep thinking I need to practice some recipes.  Also, I have a new frosting recipe I want to test out.  I will post pictures of the finished product!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

 Over the long weekend, I spent time at my parents house for the 2nd Annual Lingen Jam.  I didn't win any of the yard games we played.  I lost at badminton, ladder golf, and croquet.  Pre-festivitie, Becky and my mom were canning jam to give out as door prizes.  I was trying to occupy Charlie during that time.  

The shades got pulled off immediately after being put on.

 He was given a wooden spoon and canning ring for distraction.

 Then, the shades got put back on and this time stayed on.

And then he was trying to hit me with the wooden spoon.  Or maybe he was just trying to give it to me, I'm unsure.

Anyway, fun was had by all.  I hope you enjoyed your weekend!