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.


New flower

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


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.


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:


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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No question who this armchair really belongs to.




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

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