Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A 'humongous' rain barrel, and other happenings :-)

This morning I made up a list of things to do and got maybe three or four of them done. I do feel good about what was accomplished and tomorrow will be a gift of another day to continue on.

After breakfast, I got a load of laundry going, then headed to the back of the property to measure, then haul out a humongous barrel that we are going to use for a rain barrel. We 'found' this many years ago, now it will be put to good use. We will set it up on cement blocks to raise it off the ground. We have to re-route the gutter to the top of this, cap a pipe in the barrel so the water won't run out and we should be ready. Although, we don't know if this thing leaks or not. DH said what if they threw it out because it leaks. If it rains anytime soon, we'll find out whether it does or not. The thing is 55" high by 34" in diameter, made of fiberglass and whatever. It already has a spigot.

I had to dig up some baby crepe myrtles that were in the space where we want to put this, and they are resting in a bucket of water, until tomorrow. I have to figure out where they will go.

Below is a picture showing it at the back of the garden. Haven't decided yet what to do to camouflage it. This was just the first phase of getting it set up. Since we lost our well, we 'need' this indispensable tool.

The top of it is up to about to the top of my shoulder.

Here is Tork, our little outdoor girl, she was waiting for me to come in and make her breakfast. I mix up dry cat food with a spoon or two of canned cat food, and some brewer's yeast for fleas, and some fish oil for skin and hair. When it's made she runs down the hall to the back door so that she can go out and eat it in the screened area off the back of our cottage.

Here we have a heavenly pound cake I made for the first time this morning. We both love this.

Here is the recipe which I found at Food Network

Ricotta Orange Pound Cake with Strawberries


* 1 1/2 cups cake flour
* 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature, plus more to grease the baking pan
* 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
* 1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
* 3 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1/2 tsp. almond flavoring)
* 1 orange, zested (didn't have so used dried lemon peel instead)
* 2 tablespoons Amaretto (didn't have so used Triple Sec)
* Powdered sugar, for dusting
* 1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered or 3 oranges, cut into supremes
(Didn't have strawberries, but do have nectarines and cherries to cut up to serve on slices. Today we just had it with a cup of tea, plain.)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan with butter. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine.

Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, ricotta, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the machine running, add the eggs 1 at a time. Add the vanilla, orange zest, and Amaretto until combined. Add the dry ingredients, a small amount at a time, until just incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Using a mesh sieve, dust the cooled cake with powdered sugar.

Meanwhile, place the strawberries (or orange supremes) in a small bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Let sit until the juices have pooled around the strawberries.

To serve, slice the cake and serve with a spoonful of strawberries and their juices over the top of the cake.


Here we have Queen Crepe again. I just love these huge blooms and they smell nice too.

Here are a couple of Duchesse de Brabant blooms to end this post.

In reference to our hot and humid weather I will close with this quote.


"What dreadful hot weather we have!

It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance."

Jane Austen

Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL


Susan said...

How lucky to find that large barrel. That's going to hold a ton of water for your garden plants. The pound cake sounds scrumptious!

Cameron said...

That is a huge rain barrel! I'm sure you'll figure out how to blend it into the garden. Cute kitty, too. Your pound cake looks yummy. I love to bake pound cakes.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

That is a humongous rain barrel. I hope it works well for you. Tork is a cute little cat.
I love seeing the Crepe Myrtle flowers. I remember seeing them blooming in Florida when we were on vacation there many years ago.

gld said...

The Jane Austen quote described it very elegantly. I might add "and in disarray!".

I sure hope the barrel doesn't leak and works for you. If it is fiberglass any leak can be repaired.Good luck with it.

The crepe myrtle is beautiful. My two little white ones are growing slowly; not sure I will get blooms this year.

The cake sounds wonderful. We just finished Ilene's Hot Milk Sponge Cake that I had in the freezer. It tastes very much like pound cake. We love it.

The rose is a beauty. My two heirlooms have had blooms all summer, a first for them. I guess the special care and feeding has helped. Of course, I have to either pick off or spray the Japanese Beetles daily.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you can make a wattle-type fence around your rain barrel. Thanks for the tip about Brewer's yeast for fleas. I'll have to try it on the strays around here.


tina said...

That is definitely one large barrel! Looking forward to seeing how you camo it. Your bottle tree makes quite a statement.

Kimberly said...

WOW! If it doesn't leak, your rain barell will provide LOTS of water!!! Nice use of reclaimed goods! Your little kitty is so sweet...I'd want some breakfast too if you were serving up this yummy cake. Thanks for the recipe!!

Sandy said...

You certainly accomplished a
lot! That rain barrel will
provide the water you want
for sure.
The pound cake recipe is one
I must try this weekend when
we have desserts.
Your kitty is so darling, just
want to cuddle her. =-)
You seem to lead a lovely life,
Flower Lady. I'm glad I get to
come along and enjoy the beauty
of your home.

Rebecca said...

A continual state of inelegance! That is SO descriptive of me these days!

The pound cake sounds quite heavenly - and your flowers are so very pretty.....

This hot weather calls for extra attention to the needs of pets and plants!

Shirley said...

The quote from Jane Austen is perfect. The heat certainly does leave one feeling so.

I came to your blog from Antique Art Garden. I love your choice of music for your blog.

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

First of all, I came by to tell you that the little pillow you made for Gina is just precious. Many blessings to you lovely lady.

Then, I see you're installing a rain barrel. Awesome! I have 3 and am a big supporter of rain barrels. I hope yours holds water and provides your plants with a lot of great drinks.

Also, I love the Jane Austen quote. LOL! Perfect for the weather we've been having.

I will be back to visit your garden some more.

NanaK said...

That is truly some rain barrel. Sure hope there aren't any leaks. I have two barrels and wouldn't be without them. Your roses and crape myrtle look beautiful. I didn't know the Queen Crape had a scent. I'll have to check that out next time I'm near one. The Jane Austen quote cracks me up. It is so TRUE of a Florida gardener in the summertime.

Carol said...

Your home and garden looks so lovely Flower Lady. I love the quote... Jane puts it just right about the heat... "...a continual state of inelegance." ... that is just how I feel. ;>)

Kit said...

Hello Flowerlady! I like your idea for the barrel. What a great way to use rain water. I love that quote! I am reading Sense and Sensibility right now. I adore Jane Austen! Love, Kit