Thursday, May 23, 2013
A few weeks back, I stopped by the Iowa Arboreteum's spring plant sale. I only planned to buy a couple new hostas, but I ended up buying more than a couple! I couldn't resist the unique plant offerings, including this strawberry plant -- with hot pink flowers! The plant tag explains that it's an ornamental and edible ever-bearing strawberry that you can plant in a regular pot; it doesn't grow runners.
Unfortunately, the tag doesn't say what the strawberry variety is called. I did a quick Google search and found this Toscana strawberry, which looks pretty close to what I bought. I was so thrilled to find such a new-to-me strawberry variety, but then a few days later, I found the same strawberry plant at my local Fareway greenhouse. So maybe it's not that unusual!
I'll keep you updated on how the strawberries turn out. Have you ever grown a pink-flowered strawberry? Have they been around for a while and I just have never heard of them?
Monday, May 20, 2013
My hubby gave me a nifty baked doughnut pan for Christmas, and I've been experimenting with different doughnut recipes this winter and spring. I've been in a bit of a baking rut lately. Every time I try a new recipe, I make a mistake and mess it up. The other day, I added baking soda to a cookie recipe, but when the cookies didn't spread, I figured out that I should have added baking powder. (Or maybe it was the other way around. I have a hard time keeping the two apart!)
Further proof of my baking rut: My doughnuts were missing their holes. I filled the cups too much, but I hate wasting batter!
But even though my doughnuts were holeless, they turned out to be my favorite baked doughnut recipe so far. I found the baked doughnut recipe on Shutterbean, if you want to check it out. Instead of an extra large egg, I used a large egg, since that's what I have in my fridge, and it turned out terrific.
My husband requested chocolate frosting, so I used a recipe I found in an old copy of King Arthur Flour's Baking Sheet. I'll include the recipe at the end of this post.
I had some leftover buttermilk and blueberries in my fridge, so I decided to mix up the same doughnut recipe but add blueberries. Another good choice! I topped the doughnuts with a lemon juice-powdered sugar glaze, which turned out a little too runny. Next time, I'll try to mix up a thicker glaze.
And again, these doughnuts are missing the holes! I hate wasting batter.
Here's the recipe for the chocolate glaze. If you give these a try, let me know how they turn out for you. Enjoy!
- 1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 Tbls. butter
- 1 Tbls. plus 1 tsp. light corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Melt the ingredients together over low heat or in the microwave, stirring often. Add extra corn syrup if needed to make a smooth, shiny glaze. Yield: about 1/2 C. glaze.
Monday, May 13, 2013
It's an understatement to say that the weather hasn't been very cooperative this spring. Right after I took these photos, an unseasonably late storm covered my tulips in 3 inches of snow. I can't complain, though, because we need the moisture after last summer's drought.
We're doing a lot of yard work this spring. We finally cut down the old wisteria vine that tore the shingles off our back porch. I'll miss the spring blooms, but I won't miss how the vine covered the back of our house every summer. Anyhow, that's why our yard is looking a little rough in my photos. That, and the snow.
I planted a few lettuce and radish seeds back in April. Because the temps dropped right after I planted them, it took a month before they popped out of the ground. But they're growing a little bit every day.
To get myself in the gardening mood, I bought myself a fancy pair of gloves at the farm store. Don't worry. They'll get dirty soon enough!
I stopped at Holub greenhouse in Ames before Mother's Day and was surprised to find a nice selection of strawberry plants. I planted them again in Stack-a-Pots. I had good luck with the everbearing strawberries last year. As long as I kept them watered and fertilized regularly, I had strawberries to pick all summer long. I never really get a lot of strawberries, but it's still a fun backyard project.
Just for fun, I bought two varieties of ever-bearing strawberries: Fort Laramie and Tristar. I'm curious to see how different they will be from each other.
My tulips are about done blooming now, but they were beautiful while they lasted. I planted yellow, orange and red tulips to match my neighbor's same-colored tulips. I wish the tulips would bloom all year!
How's your garden growing this spring? Did the unusually cold weather slow or alter your gardening plans? I still haven't planted my potted flowers yet, because the temps were close to freezing this last weekend.