Sunday, August 2, 2009

Zinnia Seeds...

My daughter, Racquel, sent me some Zinnia seeds to sow. I pampered them and teased them that the other flowers in the garden were going to overshadow them if they did not bloom. These delicate, lovely little flowers took their time. They knew that soon the Verbenas would be spent and the rest of the showoffs would need to be pruned and deadheaded, their moment has come. They currently stand alone on the stage of blooms and they were well worth the wait.

I love the colors....

....lots of little buds in there

The title of this post was changed because of the advertising it generated.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What's For Dinner ?

My daughter and I went to the movies yesterday, good way to spend a warm/humid summer day, but specifically to see this new documentary film. Much I already knew, but I did come away with some more facts and an even greater appreciation for the farmers that I buy from at the local farmers markets. Whether you are a foodie, or just like to eat, I highly recommend you take a look at the food industry that provides the food you set on your table. A must see film!

...are you hungry for change?

Official Food, Inc. Movie Site - Hungry For Change? - Hungry for Change Cafeteria

Shared via AddThis

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head

...those raindrops are fallin' on my head, they keep fallin'

"Ditch Lily"

"Basket of Sedum"

"Oakleaf Hydrangea"

"Yellow Daylily"


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Garden Of Delight...

"It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato" ~
Lewis Grizzard

....and because it pleased me, I ate my first ripe maters straight from the vine.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature ~ Anne Frank

...cathedral steps

...the sentinel

... sanctuary

...the light at the end of the tunnel

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Off the curb...into the garden

"My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view" ~ H. Fred Ale

When you have a container garden on a rooftop, plants need to be elevated off the hot tar of the roof to provide proper air circulation, and to keep them from baking. I have a variety of ways of accomplishing this. All of my plants are on repurposed or recycled objects ie: wooden pallets, baskets, wineboxes, even some discarded burners from a vintage gas stove. The wave petunia sits on a metal vanity stool that I curb-shoppped. I love trash day (how many people do you know that say that?) LOL. Yesterday I found a little three-legged wooden stool on the curb. I brought it home, tightened the legs, painted it with some leftover paint I had and it became a new plant stand for this Sedum. Many of my plant containers are also curb-shopped, people buy plants for their gardens and discard the containers, thank you very much! Just clean them up and disinfect them and you have a nice little collection of containers to start seed in and/or plant up.

More from the garden...

...anyone know the name of the little bitty companion flowers in this pot?

...the pesto bed

...the Husky Red Tomato is fruiting

...overview of the garden

P.S. Thanks to Lucy for identifying my little bitty flowers. They are Lobelia Crystal Palace. The flowers/veggies I did not start from seed I buy at the Coit Road Farmers Market and I neglected to get the name of these. Such a pretty little flower.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mother Nature...

The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway ~ Michael Pollan

Mother nature delivered a fierce storm this past Saturday, my container garden took a direct hit. She toppled over my five-gallon buckets of tomatoes like they were matchsticks and snapped one of the zucchini plants off at the base. The maters survived their topsy turvy ride across the roof, and I was able to salvage the zucchinis from the plant. Funny thing the small pots of flowers and herbs had no damage, guess because they are lower to the ground and protected by the larger containers. Wanting to enjoy the freshness of my first homegrown zucchinis, I chopped them up and made a salad. I wasn't disappointed, the zucchinis were awesome, I nibbled on the smaller ones while making the salad.

Red Leaf lettuce, zucchini, hard-boiled eggs and spices, lightly dressed with vinegar and oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Friday, July 10, 2009

His biscuits....

Earth laughs in flowers ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

My neighbor brought her houseplants outdoors and placed them in the garden. This morning when I was watering my plants, I noticed that her Hibiscus had bloomed. Whenever I see this flower I think of my friend in Texas, "K"'s grandbaby calls this plant "His Biscuits".


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Thinking inside the box...

"Oh, how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade ~ Rudyard Kipling

I picked up these wine boxes curb shopping one day, they have served as shelves and bookcases so why not plant containers? The Coleus was not happy in full sun and this corner of the roof is shaded by a large Ash tree, the Sedum seems happy draping over the sides of the box. This is a lovely spot to sit on a hot summer day and you can usually find me here dreaming of filling the roof to overflowing with flowers and food.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Rainy days...

Living in Cleveland my entire life, I am quite familiar with "lake effect snow", but "lake effect rain"???? I popped out between showers to grab a few pics of my blooms after the rain, or so I thought.

Zucchini and Marigolds


...this little beetle was floating upside down in a puddle, I rescued him with the stick and asked him to pose for a pic

...just as I was snapping this pic of my asparagus fern, the rain came sheeting down giving the pic a rather eerie look

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Whimsy in the garden...

These boots are made for walking but that's not what they'll do, one of these days these boots are gonna bloom all over you.

Tickseed (Coreopsis)

You know it is summer when the "garage sale" signs appear in my community, my feet automatically turn down those blocks. Who knows what goodies you may find? I spotted these boots for a grand total of 50 cents and knew they would be cute planted up. I brought them home, removed the insoles and drilled holes in the bottom. Next I added pieces of broken pot and potting mix and planted them up.

Friday, June 26, 2009


... subject to whim; impulsive and unpredictable

Perhaps you noticed (or not) that Cooking In Cleveland has evolved into "Capricious in Cleveland". After almost two years of posting food porn and recipes it is time for a new direction, if only I knew what direction that will be :) There will still be the occasional recipe and of course the local food movement and farmers markets, I just need to change my pace. Hope you continue to stop on by and visit me.

Meanwhile I wanted to share some new garden pics with all of you. The hydrangea and astilbe are in the front yard beneath my living room window.

Oakleaf Hydrangea

The hydrangea flowers start off white, fade to pink and by Fall will be a rust color. It is really quite large, notice the Astilbe off to the side?


....the rooftop garden June 26th

....the Roma maters will be ripe soon!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

To Market, to market.... buy a plum bun. Home again, home again, market is done.

Well I didn't buy a plum bun at the Coit Road Farmers Market today, but I did manage to get some special goodies. Taking center stage is......

Ohio-Grown Strawberries!
(Click on Pic for some creative strawberry treats)

..... another once-a-year favorite

Garlic Scapes

....which I will use with

Frances's farm-fresh eggs in this Frittata

I coudn't resist picking up some additional mater plants while at the market, these Husky Red Tomatoes will make a nice contribution to our table this summer.

Until later....

Monday, June 15, 2009

Garden Update

In gardens, beauty is a by-product. The main business is sex and death ~ Sam Llewelyn

"Female Zucchini Bloom"

First Zucchini

Big Cherry Tomatoes

The Pesto Bed

Dark Opal Basil and Italian Basil

Monday, June 8, 2009

Egg Noodles With Chicken, Bacon and Rosemary

While waiting for the growing season to kick into high gear here in NEOhio, there are Spring crops available at the markets. One is fresh spinach. The taste is superior to the pre-packaged (shipped from long distances), and the cost savings are better too. Do you have a meal that is oft requested in your household? In my house, the son of the food critic requests this one often. Me thinks for him it is the bacon!

Egg Noodles With Chicken, Bacon and Rosemary

1/4 pound sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch strips
1 pound skinless chicken breasts
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 to 1 tsp. dried rosemary, crumbled
1/2 pound wide egg noodles
1 Tbsp. butter

In a large deep skillet, cook bacon until brown and crisp. Remove from pan and drain. Pour off all but 2 Tbsp. of bacon grease from pan. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper on each side. Add chicken to pan and cook till brown on both sides. Set aside.

While the chicken is cooking, remove stems from spinach and wash thoroughly to remove the grit. Add the broth and rosemary to pan and bring to simmer, stir to dislodge any brown bits on bottom of pan. Add the spinach and cook just till wilted.

In a large pot of salted water, cook the egg noodles. Drain. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Add noodles, butter, chicken and bacon to pan with spinach mixture. Toss well.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Early Morning Enchantment...

“The only words that ever satisfied me as describing Nature are the terms used in fairy books, charm, spell, enchantment. They express the arbitrariness of the fact and its mystery" ~ Gilbert Keith Chesterton

The Bud

The Unfolding

The Bloom

...and the Bee

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Up on the rooftop...

...the garden grows

Lookie Lucy at my Zucchini!

June 4th

Not to be outdone, the maters bloom!

In the Beginning - April 29th

Garden - May 29th

What's growing?

Tomatoes (roma and cherry)
Blooms for the Bees