Monthly Archives: November 2014

Indoor winter garden

Earlier this month, I moved the plants from the balcony indoors for the winter. I harvested the basil (that never survives long indoors), and the hardy sage is still outside, but everything else is adapting well to the more sheltered environment.

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New flower

The African violets are indoors year-round, of course. This one’s growing a new flower.

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This bookshelf is angled toward the window, and is home to three African violets and a rose bush as well as books and photo albums. (Note the leaves on the rose bush on the lowest shelf – that’s about to change.)

Rose bush gets a haircut.

Rose bush gets a haircut.

Three weeks later…

Pruned rosebush growing new leaves

Pruned rosebush growing new leaves

It’s growing new leaves already. I think I pruned at the wrong time of year, but the new growth must be a good sign.

The herbs are in the kitchen. Fresh parsley and chives are a nice complement to tomato soup.

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Chives, basil, mint, rosemary, dried flowers

Mint, parsley, rosemary

Mint, parsley, rosemary

Do I detect a note of minty freshness?

Do I detect a note of minty freshness?

DSC07595This orangey flower is from Trader Joe’s. I have no idea what it is, but it did fine outdoors in the summer and seems to be doing just as well indoors. We gave it a squirrel finger puppet for a friend.

And that’s my winter garden. Apparently, it’s enough to qualify me for the coveted spot of “person who is responsible for keeping the office plants from dying,” as well. I hope they survive this week…Happy Thanksgiving!

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Beer croutons

Once upon a time at the Draft Barn in Brooklyn, I tasted beer croutons. And they were marvelous. So I decided to try to re-create them at home, with some advice with my friend (and baking/beer expert) Tim. Here’s what I did:

DSC07658Ingredients:

5-6 Tbsp beer
5-6 Tbsp unsalted butter
6 cups cubed bread
1 tsp salt
fresh black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F. Melt butter and mix it with beer and salt in a large bowl, then toss the cubed bread in the butter-beer mixture until it’s coated. Once the bread cubes are thoroughly coated, spread them on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are golden brown and crisp and delicious.

Next time, I might try with pumpernickel or dark rye, and another tablespoon or two of butter. But this first attempt was relatively successful. (So successful, in fact, that I have no pictures of the finished croutons.)

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Camouflage

No question who this armchair really belongs to.

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If you guessed “Sudo,” you are correct. Those adoption people were not kidding when they said greyhounds love soft surfaces.

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