Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Blooms, recipes, Gypsy Caravan door, photo heavy ~ Happy Thanksgiving wishes

Good morning Everyone ~ I’ve been awake since around 4 finally got up at 5, just couldn’t sleep any longer, too many things going through my head. Thanksgiving dinner, needlework, my little Etsy shop, our Gypsy caravan and gardening.

We had quite a bit of rain starting Sunday afternoon and off and on yesterday, great for the gardens. DH finished making the caravan door Sunday morning, except for putting the glass panes in and painting it. He used plywood for front and back and 3/4” styrofoam for insulation (we had to buy a sheet of each), and the aluminum framing from an old screen door, plus the original door handle/lock from the old camper. He had to buy two hinges also for the door as he did not have any in his stash of hinges. Yesterday afternoon after the rain had stopped he painted the door a first coat and also painted a few bits that needed painting on the caravan. I think we’ve decided to use some light blue glass from old windows. (They were popular down here I FL many, many years ago, and we have some in our stash of stuff.) He’ll put in a piece of safety glass first then the blue glass behind. This end of the caravan faces west. It is really coming along and is such a neat little restoration project. DH is doing a wonderful job. He took a broken down thing and is giving it new life.


Now, here are two recipes I’m fixing for our Thanksgiving dinner this year. I’ve made both before and they are delicious.

The first is a different version of the old stand by Green Bean Casserole. I made this for the first time last year. Our grocery store was out of the buttermilk powder, so I bought regular buttermilk to make it this year. I also add a small can of sliced water chestnuts to the recipe for some crunchy texture.

Green Bean Casserole

3 tablespoons canola oil, divided (or olive oil)
1 medium sweet onion (half diced, half thinly sliced), divided
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1 cup low-fat milk
3 tablespoons dry sherry (not cooking sherry)
1 pound frozen French-cut green beans (about 4 cups)
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
3 tablespoons buttermilk powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 2 1/2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and slightly translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt, thyme and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the mushroom juices are almost evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle 1/3 cup flour over the vegetables; stir to coat. Add milk and sherry and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Stir in green beans and return to a simmer. Cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute. Stir in sour cream and buttermilk powder. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
3. Whisk the remaining 1/3 cup flour, paprika, garlic powder and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish. Add sliced onion; toss to coat. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion along with any remaining flour mixture and cook, turning once or twice, until golden and crispy, 4 to 5 minutes. Spread the onion topping over the casserole.
4. Bake the casserole until bubbling, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.


The other recipe is one I’ve made off and on for years and it has been a hit.

Pumpkin Mincemeat Pie

1 unbaked 9" pie shell
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 c. canned or cooked pumpkin
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. cloves
6 oz. undiluted evaporated milk
2 c. prepared mincemeat (I use Crosse and Blackwell mincemeat with rum and brandy in it. Boy was I shocked at the price of a jar of it this year.)

Combine and blend together eggs, pumpkin, sugar, salt, spices and evaporated (not condensed) milk. Pour mincemeat into bottom of pie shell, spreading evenly. Spoon pumpkin mixture over mincemeat layer. Bake in hot oven (400° F) 45 to 50 min. or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center of pie comes out clean.
From:Farm Journal’s Complete Pie cookbook


Now for photos of blooms around here the past few days. I really love how our gardens come to life again after the heat and humidity of our summers. Thank you all who share your fall photos filled with glorious autumn colors, and for the snowy winter scenes I’m starting to see on blogs too.

Bon Silene



Fading climbing Maman Cochet blooms.



Climbing Maman Cochet bud. I loved the sunlight and shadows on the petals. This is from a rooted cutting, which I planted next to the arbor in the main garden.



This is Firespike, loved by hummingbirds and I received this as a rooted cutting from Darla. Thank you Darla.


A pretty weed.





La Marne



Louis Philippe








I think the first one is Old blush growing up and over my garden shed grotto. The next three after are for sure Old Blush growing in my main garden.







Now here is a vine that I thought was a different sort of flower, as I had this growing up and over the old shed I had about 12 years ago. I moved this a couple of times, brought it back to this area and these are the first blooms. The blooms are not the same at all. What I had before was the Bengal Clock Vine, now what I have is a different flowering Thunbergia. I think I’m losing my marbles. Can these vines change flowers??? I was really disappointed that this wasn’t the original vine, but these are pretty blooms too.


Here’s our little sweet outdoor/indoor girl Tork.


Hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving week and day, cooking and enjoying good times, whether you are alone, or with others. We are looking forward to a quiet day together.



Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace,

the celebration of work and the simple life...

a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons,

the beauty of seedtime and harvest,

the ripe product of the year -

and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God.

Ray Stannard Baker


Sandy said...

Thank you for posting your beautiful flowers. They are like a breath of fresh air to me.

Your husband is doing a wonderful job and it is going to look great when he finishes.

The poem is beautiful and I will copy it into my quote/poem journal.

This year our new daughter in law is making the green bean casserole,so I don't have to.

Hoping you and your husband have a wonderful Thanksgiving,dear Lorraine.


gld said...

We all should tape that poem to the fridge door over the holiday....Sometimes I need a little reminding...thank you.

Tork has beautiful coloring; I didn't realize or had never seen her striped back. It makes me think of the striped watermelons.

The camper is just coming along beautifully! He is doing a spectacular job.

I have saved both recipes. I think I will make the pumpkin/mince pie for me Saturday!
I will probably do the traditional green bean casserole since I bought all the ingredients but I will definitely try this one next.

Lucky you with all the gorgeous blooms. We are finished for the year here.

Amrita said...

What a treat you have presented here.

Happy Thanksgiving

Rebecca said...

The Caravan is amazing! It is so much fun watching it come together...

I'm quite jealous of your outdoor life. It is just plain cold and wet and grey here. NOTHING to post about.

The recipes look yummy! This is the first year in a long time that I'm not having to make something. It's quite nice to just be a guest w/o a food assignment :)

Happy Thanksgiving to you and those who share your table.

Sunray Gardens said...

How wonderful to be looking at all that beauty right now. Some lovely choices. Not sure about a vine changing flowers. :)
Cher Sunray Gardens

Karen said...

So heartening to see the caravan coming to life, your husband (and you!) have done an amazing job. All those roses, oh, swoon. You know I'll have to come back again and again to your blog to get my flower fix for the next six months.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Ours looks to be spread across several days due to conflicts of interest with other family members (oh, boy...just what I need--more food!) as there are a few get-togethers planned. The actual day of Thanksgiving will be just Carl and I, and I know which one will be my favorite.

Lona said...

Your roses are just beautiful. The caravan is coming right along. He is doing a wonderful job with it.
Happy Thanksgiving to you both and be Blessed.

organicgardendreams said...

FlowerLady, I love the progress that you made with the Gypsy wagon. You and your husband put so much thought and love into this project that it will be absolutely fabulous once it is completed.
I so enjoyed looking at your rose pics. The photos of the Climbing Maman Cochet bud are a work of art. So amazingly beautiful. My other favorite is Homere.
Sounds like you have a nice plan for Thanksgiving. Wishing you that it will be a happy day for you and your husband!

Ami said...

FlowerLady: That Gypsy wagon is really coming to the life. Nicely done by both you and your husband!

I really love all your roses, so beautiful.

Love your new header image, that purple flower of your new vine looks so fresh and gorgeous.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner, and a very Happy Thanksgiving!

denimflyz said...

Love the little wagon! So darling.
I will be cooking a very simple dinner for the folks. D is going to his mother's in South Dakota for the holiday, so I will have some quiet time.
I am planning on trying some soap. I am going to order from where you order your soap bases. Goat milk soap for my skin.
Have a wonderful Holiday both of you.

the Goodwife said...

Hello Dear Flower Lady! Beautiful blooms and such a lovely poem to share! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

So many beautiful roses!
You little camper is looking good.
May you have just the day you want for Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

shirley said...

I always enjoy seeing the pictures of your flowers you surely are 'the flower lady'

The caravan is amazing cant wait to see the door and the blue glass finished.

Deb said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos, your Roses are amazing and gives me hope for my newly planted bushes.

The caravan is looking great you Hubby did a terrific job I love the door.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for all the lovely inspiring words.

Jeri Landers said...

The caravan is looking simply grand! I love it.Your hubby is doing a fantastic job. Can't wait to show you a page in new book... it is filled with little squirrel caravans!

Miss Gracie's House said...

Your dishes for Thanksgiving dinner sound delicious...have a great time of celebrating and giving thanks!
Thank YOU for all of your support and encouragement!

Darla said...

Sounds as though your project is coming along nicely. I do have to say I HATE green beans, :) Interesting vine. So happy to see the firespike blooming. If you cut some of the stems, they root very easily in moist soil, if you want more. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

Anonymous said...

That gypsy wagon is wonderful. And as always, gorgeous flowers.

I have never been able to understand how some people are able to dislike cats. My cat is my constant companion. SHE adopted ME.

I wonder if that plant was originally grafted onto the rootstock of what you now have growing? Sometimes if that is the case, it might not get buried deep enough during transplanting, which could cause them to revert to the rootstock. It's still very pretty though.

A happy and bountiful Thanksgiving to you and yours. Hugs, Ilene

NanaK said...

Your roses are always a treat to see. I am enjoying watching that "gypsy wagon" take shape too.

Hope you have a lovely, blessed and peaceful Thanksgiving.

Kit said...

My Dear Friend! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I just know you will be making the most loveliest of feasts for your table. I am loving the work on your gypsy wagon and can't wait to see what you have for sale in your "shop". I am needing a beautiful new Flowerlady creation! Love, Kit

Darcie said...

Had to get over to some of my favorite blogs, and wish you a VERY Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Balisha said...

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
The caravan looks wonderful. Good job!

Vetsy said...

Happy Thanksgiving Flowerlady!

I always love the photo's of your beautiful roses and I like the little Gypsy caravan too cute..

Thanks for sharing the Green bean casserole recipe it sounds delicious! I'll have to try it soon... Yum!

sweetbay said...

Tonk is so cute. You have such sweet old-fashioned roses and I agree that the purple thunbergia is pretty! I love that color. Happy Thanksgiving!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Look what happens when I get behind in my blog reading! You two have some kind of cool gypsy caravan deal. Is it to put on a truck to camp in? It sure is pretty, and I had to laugh about your husband not finding everything he needed in his stashes of stuff.

Your flowers are beautiful, and I'm not sure what the original bloom on the vine looked like, but I sure love the blooms it has.

I didn't make green bean casserole this time, but may for Christmas. I remember making a similar one to yours in the past, and will look yours up if I decide to make one. Thanks!

I'm glad you had a good Thanksgiving. We did, too. I cooked the meal for us, our kids and grandkids, then we went to my parents' for dessert. DIL made a birthday cake for Larry, and some pumpkin bars, so I didn't have to make any desserts. It was very smooth, because I started early, putting things in slow cookers to keep warm as I went.

Sissy said...

It is wonderful, watching you guys re-create the gypsy wagon!
Seeing your roses and vines is hard, our 5th winter back in the north and nothing grows for months. I try to make the most of it, so it is important to read Southern blogs in the winter, here. What a blessing to find your roses and garden. It will be a very long time before I have any warmth or humidity...!


Hi FlowerLady, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I love your rose photos and of course, as a cat person, I adored that last photo! :)

Nicki Lee said...

What a fabulous caravan! Did I happen to mention to you that I am part Greek? My dad showed me pictures of my grandparents standing in front of a caravan many years ago in Greece and have always thought they were so cool.

Your bean dish looks wonderful - I will have to print it out and try to make it soon. Thank you.