Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cutting, boiling, gardening

Barry busied himself today transplanting all the annuals he had been growing in the two LLBean greenhouses Maureen bought us.  We'll have all sorts of beautiful flowers in a month or two.  He also is growing some portulaca for the window boxes, and his tomatoes are up about 6 inches, an looking really healthy and sturdy.  Give the man a stick and he'll grow a tree.  He could make ANYTHING grow -- a true gardening Merlin!

While he was working in the gardens, I was busy chopping away at the burning bush (winged euonymous) shrub.  They get out of hand if they're not chopped back, so I got out the hedge trimmers and went to work.  No matter how much I tried to get it perfect, every time the wind blew, there was ONE MORE little branch that stuck its tongue out at me.  Luckily, I kept the trimmers out and hacked all the little offenders off!  At least now, the shrubs won't take over the side porch, and frankly, they look quite good.

Meanwhile I busied myself with making spearmint syrup for Kentucky Derby Day!  Barry's son, Rick, gave us two pewter Julep Cups several years ago, and we only use them on Derby Day.  I bought six silver-plate cups about the same time, and we use those for everyday Mint Juleps.

We have our own "Kentucky Colonel" spearmint, and today I picked a whole load of it, ran it through the blender, added water, boiled it, and made spearmint tea.  Then I strained it, added sugar, and boiled it down to a syrup.

Now, on Saturday, I'll take loads of crushed ice, a couple of teaspoons of spearmint syrup, a good KENTUCKY Bourbon (none of that cheap rotgut Tennessee stuff), pour the bourbon over the crushed ice, bruise a small bunch of spearmint and run it over the pebbly edge of the glass to release the heavenly aroma of the mint, and sit back, watch the Derby, sing "My Old Kentucky Home", and you're very close to Heaven!

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