[gardeners] Happy New Year

ronhay@postoffice.pacbell.net (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Wed, 02 Jan 2002 08:02:45 -0800

to all of my wonderful online friends:)

Yesterday was the first sunny day we'd had in several days, and, for
once, the soil was firm enough to walk on without sinking in a bit.

The first task at hand was pruning some of the roses down to about 2.5
feet, so that they don't continue trying to blossom and grow during the
rainy season, a time when they are subject to rust, even though they
have been treated, as the nutrients head for the roots in preparation
for going dormant for a few days.

We also whacked back two of the 6 Mexican sage bushes, which had been so
lovely until the rain started to knock the blossoms off, and whacked
back one of the butterfly bushes, as well, but had to call a halt to the
pruning, as our green can (contains yard waste which the city composts)
was full to bursting. More this weekend.

While pruning/whacking, we noticed that our young macadamia tree had
born its first two nuts....which surprised us, as we had thought all 5
flower spikes had fallen off, unfertilized:)

And the irises! Deep purple bearded beauties that had never bloomed so
consistently, until we let our "gardener" go. He had relentlessly
whacked the irises back every fall, no matter how we pleaded with him.
This year we have been rewarded with almost non-stop blooming since late

One of the side benefits of pruning the roses was the culling of about a
dozen somewhat  bedraggled but still lovely roses for our new year's
dinner table.

As for the rest of our "active" garden, the limes are just about done
with; now is the season of yummy, sweet, seedless mandarins; exotic
blood oranges; and, of course, navel oranges. When they are done with,
our fruit harvesting will be done with, too, until early July, when the
apricots ripen.

While Vivian finished up the pruning I had started, I cooked our first
ever goose. THAT was a learning experience, as it took about an hour
plus longer than the recipe in Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" had
indicated. Skewed dinner plans much later than was ideal:(  Stuffed it
with apples and prunes and the smell was heavenly. And when it was done,
around 8 p.m., it was succulent and wonderful.

I prepared an Armenian/Lebanese red cabbage dish to go with it which is
the absolutely easiest and best way I have ever prepared red cabbage. I
shredded and  soaked the cabbage, put it in a buttered casserole, then
topped it with melted butter, cinnamon, salt and pepper, plus a teaspoon
of pomegranate molasses mixed with the juice of a lime, and baked it for
an hour, covered. Then I topped it with apple rings, a smidge more
cinnamon, 2 Tbs of sugar, chopped walnuts and then popped back into the
oven, covered, for another 40 minutes. Heavenly!

If the scent of the goose had not already made me ravenous, the cabbage
pushed me over the top!

Following that wonderful dinner, we kinda just read and relaxed the rest
of the evening. Felt rather good:)

Again, happy new year to all of my online friends.

Van Nuys, CA