Monday, August 8, 2011

The Gift of Rain

Good Monday morning!
We had a deliciously slow weekend....
cloudy, drizzly, stormy.
For the most part, it was a weekend spent indoors,
with the exception of doing outside animal chores.

Hubbs drove the gator, with Hickory on his lap.
I sat in the passenger seat with our Newfie Maddie at my feet...
a full load setting out to the barn.

Beside our garden where the garden shed resides,
there are two butterfly bushes...
volunteers that came up two years ago.

I have to say that although they get monstrously huge,
I love, love, love butterfly bushes and the fluttering fairy-like creatures
that are drawn to them.

Lovely butterflies that flitter and flutter on a breeze,

silently touching down to sip nectar from fragrant blossoms...
peaceful, delicate,
with beauty that serves no purpose but to delight the observer. 

After this gift of rain which re received this weekend,
it seems the butterflies are out in full force.
Most likely they are enjoying the moisture that has drenched each
sweet blossom.  After all, it has been so dry here for quite some time.

An inch and a half of rain seems to cause everything to suddenly grow and burst
forth in green-ness.  The once brown grass has new life breathed into it.
The giant sunflowers are pushing further upwards towards the sun...

It amazes me to think that this enormous plant,
with its stalk as thick as my wrist,
grew in just a few weeks from a tiny seed...
a seed that pulled nutrients and moisture from the soil,
then set down roots and sent its green life force racing towards the sun.

Have you ever truly thought about the miracles that surround you
each and every day?
Take a moment as you go about your day to ponder the wonder
that is life.
Even the lowliest dandelion....
how it's tiny seed is carried on the wind,
with a teeny, feathery whirlygig to carry it.
And then in a matter of weeks turns into a strong plant sending off
baby seed parasols of its own.

And we are lucky enough to be able to witness these things
each and every day of our lives.

Ok, feet back on the ground again.....

I often get questions about what I make with the veggies
that I grow in our garden.

This summer I harvested a bumper crop of tomatillos.
Tomatillos are a curious fruit resembling a tomato, somewhat sour,
and encased in a paper-like husk.

I picked and removed the husks from about 40 tomatillos
and made Tomatillo Apple Salsa this weekend.
Let me tell you, this salsa is fabulous!
So, here is the recipe....
just in case you also grew a bumper crop of them 
and were wondering what to do with them.

Tomatillo Apple Salsa

tomatillos, washed and chopped (about 40)
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
several hot peppers, chopped
 (depending upon your taste....I used about 12... of different varieties)
1 onion, chopped
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (I used a little more)
salt and pepper

Simmer above ingredients on top of stove for 15 minutes.
Pack in hot, sterilized pint jars. Secure lids.
Process in water bath for 10 minutes (once water returns to boiling)

Serve with tortilla chips....YUM!!


  1. I've always wondered what tomatillos were used for... they just always looked ornamental to me. Thanks for enlightening me!

  2. I love butterfly bushes! Like you said, the get monstrously huge, but they attract so many beautiful butterflies. The salsa you made sounds delicious. We didn't grow any tomatillos, but I will try and see if I can find some at the farmers market. I have not canned anything this year yet, and I feel the need coming on.

  3. Rain is truly a welcome gift..Some of the brown grass is now green...(getting ready to need mowing)..I had to pull out my butterfly bushes years ago..Much too invasive and huge...Yours are in a perfect place...Looking forward to Thurs when it's to be in the
    70's ..I need to get out in the garden...

  4. Wow, a little rain goes a long the weeds are doing well too...not that you will let them stay long!

    I am amazed at that Sunflower! Huge! Glad to hear about tomatilos..they look so yummy in that salsa. The recipe sounds so good.

  5. I soooo agree,,, it's so amazing to watch a tiny seed burst forth into a stalk and smile at the sun with flower and fruit!
    My cucumbers (the ones I planted in a big pot) are blooming & I even have some 1" cucs! Yippeee! I also have a resident pygmy bunny...& our agreement is, anything close to the ground, s/he can have but anything in the pots are off limit! So far lil bunny has been playing by the rules! lol!
    Enjoy your beautiful garden....


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