juicy

Last Mother’s Day Chance bought me a Meyer Lemon Tree.  It was big and healthy and I picked a sunny spot on the edge of my yard where I figured she would flourish.

lemon girl 2

This picture (above) was a few months back when the fruit was starting to ripen.  I often had to remind Sloane not to pick the lemons yet.  Everything I’ve read about Meyer lemons describe them as “small” lemons, well I’m not sure what got into ours, but they are not small.

tag

See the tag, I trust they truly are Meyer lemons and that my super green thumb just made them grow like crazy. ;)

bee bee bumble bee

bumble bee

It rained here for what felt like 40 days and 40 nights and then Sunday morning I woke up to the bluest sky I’d ever seen.  I decided it was a good day to harvest the lemons off the tree, they were bordering on too ripe.  Little bees were all over the blooms, collecting pollen like crazy.  The fruit is mostly on the bottom half of the tree, or perhaps the weight of the lemons just made it appear that way.  The tallest branches on the tree are probably 8 or 9 feet tall.

tree

I should have backed up a little to show the whole tree, but I was fixated on those sunny yellow lemons.  The spotlight and Christmas tree lights protected the tree during some very pretty low temperature dips back in January.  Meyer lemons are very cold hearty, but I hated to risk it.  I didn’t pick all the lemons, but this was a good start…

harvest

A couple of weeks ago I thought I would preserve the lemons in salt like this.  But I don’t know what I’d do with them other than admire their prettiness.  So I decided to juice them.

lemons1

I cut and cut and juiced and juiced.  I went out and bought an electronic juicer, but ended up just using my old fashioned one left over from a photo shoot a few years back.

cut lemsons

And just to show the scale, some of these lemons are almost as tall as a soda can.

lemon size

At the end of the juice fest this is what remained.
juicy 2

And I was left with 89 fluid ounces of Meyer lemon juice.  What pray tell would one do with 89 ounces of Meyer lemon juice?  I am going to freeze it in ice cube trays and save them for smoothies and for iced tea this summer.  I also tend to love a lemon glaze on blueberry muffins and scones and can easily thaw a cube or two for this purpose too.

89 ounces of meyer lemon juice

Point of my story, if you’ve been wondering if a Meyer lemon tree would be a good addition to your family, I highly recommend them.  They also thrive in containers so if you live somewhere cold you could always bring them indoors for the winter.  I was tempted to order these cute trays for my juice, aren’t they fun?  This weekend I plan to transfer the lemon cubes to freezer zip-loc bags, don’t want to run the risk of any freezer burn.
ice cube trays from amazon

may I bore you with more garden pictures (and a recipe)?

sloaney in garden

I am sorry, but my Mexican Sage is not around for long… a few weeks at the  most, so I must savor it.  It is delightful.  I buy 90% of my plants on the clearance racks at Lowes.  Do you know about these?  When the plants start to droop they mark them 50% off and stick them on rolling racks at the back of the garden center.  I love a challenge.   This Mexican Sage and Lantana came off those clearance racks.  I bet I didn’t pay more than $10 for all these flowers in bloom.  They took quite a bit of nursing to get them back to good health (not really, just water and the occasional fertilizer).  I think the reward is far greater when you have to resuscitate from near death.
butterfly

butterfly in flight

butterfly 2

hummingbird perched

salvia and hummingbird

sloaney picking flowers

penelope

Penelope is on point, protecting our family from tiny green lizards.  The blanket drying in the sun (in background) was a victim of Sloaney’s stomach bug.  That blanket deserves a post of its own … it’s a beautiful blanket, I’ll tell you about it when we get around to a post on Sloane’s big girl bed.

I love ornamental Sweet Potato Vine.  And somehow at the end of the season after the bugs have had their way with it, it’s even more beautiful.

sweet potato vine

sweet potato vine lacelike

Last week Leigh Ann said she made pumpkin bread.  I asked, “that simple kind on pinterest!?”

“Yes!”

She said it was delicious.  I like simple recipes and I love Pumpkin Bread, however, I was a little skeptical of how few ingredients, but gave it a whirl.

 pumpkin cake

PUMPKIN BREAD :: TWO & A HALF INGREDIENTS

(On the pinterest version the blogger used yellow cake mix, but I went for Spice Cake.)

- One Duncan Hines Spice Cake Mix.

- One small (16oz) jar of canned pumpkin.  (read: not to be confused with canned pumpkin pie filling)

- 1/2 teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice

Mix them up.  Grease & flour your pan of choice.  Bake at 350 degrees for…. well… until you get a clean toothpick.  It took longer to bake than I anticipated (a little over 30 mins), but I used one of those silicone loaf pans, which might have been the culprit.  I’m trying it again in a multi mini loaf pan and I think they will bake faster.

The blogger glazed hers with an Apple Cider Glaze, but I didn’t have any Apple Cider and thought it was so darn tasty it didn’t need it.

Try it, you won’t be disappointed!

gardening

Good morning.  I figured I better document the garden progress… because everything is growing, growing, growing!  I don’t think I linked to the source for my hydroponic garden system last time I posted, I ordered this system (comes with everything you need – even the coconut fiber (growing medium) except the metal poles and the seeds).  I love it.  I’ve thrown in a couple of pictures of my Garden Helper and a shot of my blooming Confederate Jasmine, wish this blog was a scratch-n-sniff kind, smells like heaven!
mommas helper

beadhead smile

photo 4

photo 2

photo 3

zapotec 4.29

tower of greens

tomato tower - zapotec

SCP 2

growing greens

lettuce - over exposed but pretty

cuc squash zuc

cherry tomatoes

confederate jasmine

photo (56)

I couldn’t figure out what was happening to my strawberries, then one day I caught her…

strawberry picker