Monday, July 2, 2012

Indian Gooseberries, Cone Flowers, Hibiscus, and Persephone

I was going to blog about this addictive Ginger-Amalki Mix I bought in Evanston, IL a while back, but I can't thinking I would find a use for it besides just eating it straight out of the container like candy. Well, I would love to tell you've I've come up with some creative culinary use for this stuff, but really I like to just eat it straight out of the container. So sue me. Why even mention it? Well, the stuff is addictive and a must have for any ginger lovers you know. The other reason? It is darn good for you. Indian Gooseberries or Amla fruit is high in vitamin C and...

The product I bought (thanks, Loretta for introducing this to me!) has ginger as well as Indian Gooseberries for a double punch of healthy foods and taste. There also is a bit of salt and sugar, but pretty negligible since I eat it by the tablespoon not the handfuls. It was on sale at JD Mills for $4.99 so I bought a couple 5 oz. containers which have lasted several months. I'm pretty sure you could find it locally at our Indian food stores or World Harvest. What does it taste like? Fruity ginger. Almost like an apple ginger chew, but a bit more tart than sweet and not chewy. It is dried and can be sprinkled on food or salads.
I have to share a recent Josie-ism. We love native plants and in our previous house converted a big portion of our lawn into native prairie (which the new owners immediately turned back into chemical-laden lawn after saying we would have to pay $300 if we wanted to take any of our native plants with us, but I'm not of the MANY reasons we are happy in our current neighborhood). The boys grew up with cone flowers or echinacia as part of their early vocabulary. I thought Josie had also grown up with cone flowers, but our shaded yard is not conducive to sun-loving prairie plants. We were walking past some cone flowers in the neighborhood and Josie brushed her hair with them. This happened several times over several days. I finally asked why and she said because they are "Comb Flowers". Ahhh. For people who don't have cone flowers in their area, they are hard and spiky in the middle and spaced well to be a comb. Makes much more sense than CONE flower.
 No tree and crazy kid
Speaking of a shaded yard, we now have a lot of sun. So much so that we lost a couple hostas in the heat wave. Not a good time to cut down a tree. I hate losing it, but the root system was really invasive and we couldn't even till a small garden in our front yard without getting caught up in the runners. We were warned it was a matter of time before it caused issues with our foundation and/or pipes. Josie threatened to climb the tree and sleep there to keep us from cutting down the tree. We'll change her middle name to "Butterfly". I promised her we would plant a lot of edible plants and a new tree (she requested a Mulberry since her beloved one was cut down by the power company soon after this post which caused two days of crying and mourning) farther from the house. She is still upset with us over the tree, but as we buy plants she'll feel better.
 yellow leaves falling off
happy green leaves growing strong
Many of you know I'm crazy about hibiscus tea. Our fabulous neighbor, Margie, bought me a tropical hibiscus plant for Mother's Day. I am notorious for killing the plants she buys for me ever year, but I was determined to keep this one alive. It wasn't looking good for a while, but the increase in sun and coffee grounds (thanks to our sweet other neighbor, Roger, for the suggestion) it is now thriving. I hope I can successful transition the plant inside for the winter.
I even bought myself a hardy red hibiscus pant that should winter over fine planted in the ground outside. I wonder if I can dry the flowers and make my own tea?
Persephone (we didn't name her, but it is ironic that a family with a son named Demetrius would have a dog named Persephone) is settling in well, but we need help with aggressive behavior with other dogs. She goes from calm to completely crazy in seconds and not the "I wanna play" crazy, but the "I wanna get at that dog and rip it apart" crazy. How can a sweet calm dog that pretty much listens to anything we say, prefers her new organic cotton bed to her old dog bed, sticks up her nose to her old meat kibble and gobbles down veg food, and has unlimited patience with a certain almost 5 year old girl who wants to talk and hug her all day turn into a raging lunatic around other dogs? We'll get to the bottom of it and help her through it...I hope. Any suggestions are appreciated.


the sandwich life said...

Persephone is gorgeous!!! I can't wait to meet her!

carey-olsen family said...

I so love the "comb" flowers. Sweet pic of Sephe too. She is pretty gorgeous.