Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tomato Pie-- Another Food Setting Post!

A couple summers ago I heard about a tasty summer treat-- Tomato Pie.   Sounded tasty.  This summer I finally got to taste Tomato Pie at one of those fun eateries we like to frequent, Grits and Groceries.  Tonight I made my first Tomato Pie.  I WAS going to make it last night, but if you read the recipe at 5:30 -- you are a little late unless you want dinner at midnight.

First one must draw moisture out of the tomatoes.  Recipe calls for four large tomatoes, sliced about 1/4 inch thick.
Tomatoes and herbs
 The crust was made yesterday and rolled out this evening.  I am getting to like Martha Stewart, used her pie crust recipe.  This link didn't work today -- here is the recipe that I used.  2 cups flour, 1 1/2 sticks butter, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons ice water.  Pulse flour and salt in food processor, add butter, little at a time.  Once the mixture looks like coarse sand add ice water-- pouring through the chute while processor is on.  Once the dough holds together, wrap in plastic and chill at least an hour.  Prebake the crust for about 10 minutes...helps a little with the soggy crust.

Filled the shell with tomatoes.

Then comes the topping-- not heart healthy, just go with it. 
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup mayo
1 small onion diced
fresh basil & fresh parsley
some pepper
Spread mixture on tomatoes.

Bake 350 degrees for about 40 minutes until golden brown.  Cool completely (seriously???? We didn't wait too long...smelled wonderful)

Dinner's on the table---

Yes, we have some leftovers...dinner's side dish for tomorrow!

Gotta love the south and yummy summer dishes!  If you have tomatoes, give it a try!

©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


DUCK!! If you go out on our deck you better duck ----the hummingbirds are moving fast and furiously.  During the majority of the summer we had three or four hummers who would guard our feeders, claiming them as their own.  For the last couple days we have counted 6 or 7 speeding by...could be more.   This picture looks serene...because these little guys are going so fast you need a radar gun to catch them.

On the deck I have my herbs, some have already flowered.  I let my herbs flower so they will reseed.  In the flower stage the hummingbirds LOVE the basil, mint, savory, and oregano.   Do you see the hummingbird in the photo below? 

OK, look below, photo cropped and you see it working the other side of the basil.  I spent a lot  of time trying to get a picture of the hummingbirds on the herbs.  Most of the time it was hide and seek.

Here we go... a little female. 

And another shot--- finally!

I tried to get a picture of a number of them swarming the feeders.  This one was guarding her feeder.  See her on the bar with the tree trunk in the background?  I have a couple suet cages that the Tufted Titmouse family is very fond of.  Yesterday there were six Titmice (?) along the railing and on the suet.

See the posturing with these two? 

Ok, how about a little closer?

The hummingbirds are like flying aces in a dogfight in the air.  Our show goes on from morning until dark, there is no down time.  I don't know how they can keep going!   Putting up hummingbird feeders is the best entertainment going! 

For those who get my postings via email, the last posting was updated with an identification of the mystery vine.  It is a Groundnut, Apios americana.  Very interesting history, check out this link for a fascinating read.

©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Summertime Stroll Along the Lakeshore

 This week the weather has been a bit cooler so we decided to take a little boat ride.  The lake level is lower because of the drought.  Most of the summer there is no sandy beach at all.  I noticed something growing along the shore while we were riding around.  It was pink and since I have had Joe-Pye Weed on the brain, I wondered if that was what we had just down the way a little bit. 

Since the sandy beach was open, today I took a little walk ---that is our dock in the photo above.   There were lots of deer tracks, but they stopped at our beach...nice.   Also saw some paw prints that could be the opossum that we have had in the yard twice recently. 
There were lots of fun plants to take photos of...first --the one who drew me to walk down the beach.

Asclepias incarnata, Swamp milkweed!!  --isn't she lovely? 

This hummingbird moth seems to like it, I tried a number of times to get a good photo of this little guy.

I am in love with this pretty pink bloom.  Certainly one I will add to my garden areas next year. 

All along the shore we have these hibiscus growing and reseeding with abandonment.   Hibiscus moscheutos-- Crimson-eyed hibiscus and its seedpods--look at all those seeds!

 I came across these little berries, love the blue color.  I believe they are on the Red twig Dogwood, but please correct me if I am mistaken. 

Cornus sericea, Red twig dogwood.  Aren't these berries fun?

Alnus serrulatta, Hazel Alder...I think.  These are the immature fruits. 

River Oats, Chasmanthium latifolium dot the banks.

 What is this you may wonder.......

compound leaves on a green twining vine. 
See the cluster of buds?  Looks like it is in the pea family, Fabaceae.

Look at this color...this is what confuses me.   If this is what I think it is, this bloom should be purple/lavender.....not reddish burgundy.

The pollinators seem to like it.

I think....IF it had purple flowers it would be a native Wisteria...Wisteria frutescens.  Any ideas??? 
The ID is in!!! Freda Cameron figured it out.  This beauty is a Groundnut, Apios american.  Truly a remarkable plant.   First ID was made with this link.

A weed with a pretty white bloom, one of the Polygonum family.  Hope it stays out of my yard.

And finally a little gross factor....lots of small insect gall on this leaf. 

I have been away from your blogs for the last little bit, hoping to get back into reading and commenting tonight and tomorrow. 

©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It's That Time of Year

Guess who bloomed?  This is the bloom of the Cranefly Orchid that was mentioned in the post way back in January.   The leaves of the Tipularia discolor disappear in the late spring early summer time frame.  I marked where I found the leaves with a few limbs/sticks.  I wanted to be sure to remember where it was so I could find it again this summer.   I checked and checked over the early part of the summer and saw nothing.  I was sure either I missed it or the plant died.  
Well, after a brief (and I do mean brief) rainfall this weekend I ventured over to see if there was anything happening.  Lo and behold, a single stem had risen from the ground.  Hooray!!

This slender stem was difficult to photograph.  I have noticed some bloggers have a solid/plain background for their photos.  Well, I needed something to allow me to focus on the stem of blooms and not the woods in the background.  The top photo is a piece of white paper I grabbed from the desk.  The photo below is my kneeling pad.....full of holes and pinestraw and dirt.  I will experiment with some other background items to see which will best profile my bloom.  I went back today to see about taking more photos and this heat has taken its toll on the stem.  Lucky I saw it when I did.

 While looking around the woods along the driveway I found another Chimaphila maculata, looking quite fresh and healthy.  The clump by the Cranefly Orchid is a bit crispy. 
 The mystery plant from my April posting seems to be a Goldenrod.  We have various varieties of Solidago that grow wild in South Carolina.  I will post again when the buds open.
 This is the view of the little sprouts from that April posting.....see how large they have grown?  If we get some rain we may have the buds open sooner.  Everything is so dry.

Centrosema virginianum 'Climbing Butterfly-pea' remember it from my post last November? It is starting to bloom now.  These vines are all over the woods.  In the sea of green and brown this little lavender bloom really stands out.

 Also in that November post was the Euonymus americanus, its seed pod is still green right now.  I look forward to seeing the red seed pod burst open.

Our hummingbird feeder has been busy with more hummingbirds than earlier in the summer.  I need to change the water again.  The bugs keep getting into the feeder.....and the anole like to guard it!
 I am King of the Feeders!

Finally -- it is the time of year that my Epiphyllum oxypetalum is finally blooming.  Last year's move to SC took a toll on this plant.  I am glad to see three buds....two ready to open
I kept an eye on it through the evening and two blooms slowly opened.

 The photo above was taken with a night setting on the camera.  I like the look, the flash comes a hair before the shutter.   The photo below is taken without the night setting and no flash, just porch light.
I have to hold my breath because the shutter is so slow in the dark, it get blurry with even the slightest move.
Since this is the time for the epi's bloom, it is also time to offer a cutting of said beauty.  I will take some cuttings in the fall.  Let me know if you are interested by sending me an email at thequeenofseafordatgmaildotcom.   It will take a few years for the cutting to be mature enough to bloom, but once it does......you will be in love!

©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Newton the Bunny Hunter and Blooms

Every evening I take a walk with the dogs.  After the walk, which is short as one of the dogs is 17 1/2, we stop at the top of the driveway where I let the dogs off the leash.  Newton, who has been looking at and for bunnies the entire walk, is ready to see if he can find any in the tall grasses across the street.
 Yes, we use flea and tick applications on the dogs....wouldn't you in this grass?  Who knows what is in that grass besides rabbits?

 Every night Newton hops and hops through the grasses, looks like he is having the best time.  Sometimes I completely lose him in the grasses.....then a head pops up.  So now you see my great hunter....funny pup.

 I have been watching my newest Amaryllis 'Papilio' (a recent purchase from Park Seed during Festival of Flowers)...seemed like all of a sudden it put up a flower stalk.  This morning when I went into the front room and look what greeted me!  What a great bloom.  This is one that does not need a dormant period, so I will be curious to see how often it blooms.
 This stalk has two flowers open today....maybe more later?
 Also a fun new bloom in my garden is Peacock Orchid or Gladiolus callianthus.  I have never had this one in my garden before and wondered just when it was going to get around to blooming.  Apparently late summer is when this beauty opens.  I am happy to have it in the garden....it is right next to where that possum was a few night ago.
 Another 'new to me' plant is an evergreen shrub in the center of the sunny area of the backyard garden-- variegated Cleyera Ternstroemia gymnanthera 'Variegata'.    I love the new growth is the pink with creamy margins and how it changes to light green/yellow with a darker green.  It can get about 8 feet tall and about 6 feet wide.  It will have the space it needs to be all it can be.  I look forward to it being part of the bones of the sunny garden area.
A little rain this afternoon brought the temps down a bit....was a bit more pleasant to walk around the gardens.

©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.