“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch?” Orson Welles


In an effort to try something new-I bought a lovely bunch of artichokes, and roasted them. I took lots of pictures but discovered later that I had not replaced the memory card in my camera.Image. Oh well, they were delicious, tho quite smelly in the house, they are little cabbages after all. I then decided to make hummus. Very easy, good, and good for you. Many recipes out there, I used one from Allrecipes.com. A nice treat and much better than store bought.


Snow day in Alabama-a good time for soup!


Snow day in Alabama-a good time for soup!

Artemisia (mugwort) is known by many names, but it is the International Herb Society’s Herb of the year. It is a common weed in Europe and North America. There are many superstitions about the plant: it could protect people from evil spirits, sunstroke, and attacks by wild beasts. Better yet-a pot of delicious soup! Try Martha Stewart.com for a recipe.

Green veggie wraps


“Plant carrots in January, and you’ll never have to eat carrots.”  Author unknown 

This is my new favorite thing to make and eat. So healthy, so delicious, and yes, really easy to make. 

For my New Years dinner I bought a ton of fresh collards to cook, but saved about five large leaves to make the wraps.

I made up a mixture of quinoa (a species of grain grown primarily for its edible seeds), roasted vegetables, and folks, the key  here is “flavor”, a little soy sauce, splash or so of Worcestershire, and of course-my favorite ingredient-cayenne pepper. So you might want  a dash of hot sauce, chili peppers or what ever spice you crave. I have been buying jalapenos and dicing them up and freezing to add to everything, especially omelets. *Wash your hands thoroughly after handling as I have had some annoying irriitations on my face.

So, how to do the wraps: 

Turn those beautiful collard green leaves on their back and carefully trim the spine with a sharp knife-careful not to cut through the leaf or your finger.

Have grain and veggie mix ready.

To a pot of boiling water add 1 leaf for about a minute or less, then immediately add the leaf to a bath of ice water-lay out on board or counter on top of paper towel. This leaf is  now so relaxed and willing for you to fill it with your wonderful mixture.

Spoon a layer of filling across (tablespoon or so) the leaf and fold over tightly holding all together, then fold up the sides and begin to roll up like a burrito. (Practice makes perfect!) Slice in half for a great  little appetizer or snack, to be dipped in what ever you choose-many dipping sauces can be purchased on the International aisle of your grocery store. Great for a picnic as they do not break down and can be kept in refrigerator over night. Hey! What about those brown bag lunches?

You can use any grains or fillings for yours. Be creative. Go for it !









“And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.”

Night blooming cereus is the common name referring to a large number of flowering cereus cacti, that bloom at night. This photo is from a friends plant and is about four feet tall.They are short lived, and some of these species only bloom once a year, for a single night! So since January 1 only comes once a year~~~~I thought this was an appropriate subject for now. Happy New Year!




The Christmas Poinsettia


Peace on earth will come to stay, When we live Christmas every day.  Helen Steiner Rice



The Christmas Poinsettia Native to Central America, especially an area of southern Mexico, where they flower during the winter. The Poinsettia is also known as the Christmas Star and Christmas flower.

While considered by the ancient Aztecs to be symbols of purity, in today’s language of flowers, red, white or pink poinsettias, symbolizes good cheer and success, and are said to bring wishes of mirth and celebration. National Poinsettia Day is December 12.

So easy to care for. Place where it will get the most sunlight. Keep watered -do not let soil become dry. To keep in bloom, maintain at a temperature of 65-70 during the day, move to a cooler place at night. Enjoy.                                                                                                                                                                        MERRY CHRISTMAS!  

John’s Christmas Cactus


Sow good services:: sweet remembrances will grow from them.  Madame de Stael




A popular plant that is highly prized in the holiday season-.some are blooming at Thanksgiving (as this one is). It is a tropical cactus, not a desert one, and cannot tolerate completely dry soil. If too dry the buds will fall off, and the plant will wilt. They need humidity, so you could place in a container that will hold a little water, scatter some pebbles over, place plant on top.. In a warm, dry house it may need watering every 3-4 day. Good light, a little fertilizer 2-4 times a year and be sure to keep it turned to prevent lopsided flowers..

Also, it roots easily. Just break off 3-4 inches of new growth and stick in dirt about 1/2 way down the first segment. They grow quickly, and soon you will have another magnificent plant.  

Hey, this is a beautiful plant that can live for ever-make it your heirloom to pass down through many generations!

Herb Society Christmas Tree at Huntsville Public Library


Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your teacher.  William Wordsworth


A few of us decorated the tree last Saturday with home made and herb ornaments. Seed packets that have been laminated and sprinkled with sparkles, pine cones, styrofoam balls painted orange with pieces of cloves stuck all over, tiny angels, cut out snow flakes, tiny mittens cut out of felt and decorated with buttons, and my favorite-a large dried okra  pod with tiny pearls and ribbon. So, you can make a lovely tree with very little expense. Go do it!

Cooking with herbs for Thanksgiving


                                “Joys divided are increased” Josiah Gilbert Holland’ 

Tomorrow is the big day-Thanksgiving. Since I am a vegetarian, I don’t eat turkey, but planning some yummy dishes to share with my friends. 

My contributions will be a Boursin cheese ball I made from herbs I bought at the Herb Fair in October, a peppery watercress salad with lime dressing, toasted pecans, corn pudding, sweet potato casserole, and some homemade rolls with my rosemary butter. Also, making a delicious parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme gravy that will go on anything!

Most of the herbs in picture are from my yard, but went to an Asian market yesterday, and purchased a large quantity of basil for $1.49, 4 large bundles of spring onions for $1.00. What a savings-will not be buying from the grocery store when I need herbs.






Growing Herbs in Containers – Continued


 “Ah Me! Love can not be cured by herbs” Ovid

3 things herbs need: 1) Good light 2) water 3) the right nourishment. Herbs are sun worshipers, so choose a spot or window with plenty of sun-southern exposure is perfect. 

I like using different types of pots, various heights make an interesting arrangement. However, you can use any type of pot you have, even a cut off milk carton. Choose a container with holes in the bottom. Basil is going to require a larger pot than most, as it fills out nicely. Put rocks, or as I do-shards of broken flower pots and there are always plenty of those . Fill ¾ way with soil-I like Vermiculite, dampen slightly. Remove plant from container-shaking dirt off roots-place and fill with enough soil to cover roots. Firmly press dirt down-water well-be sure to have tray under to catch water.Water only when soil is dry-and not on leaves~~they don’t like that. Fertilize lightly every two weeks.

If your plants get leggy with only a few leaves then they are not getting enough light. Try using a fluorescent lamp. Also, turn your plants often as they grow toward the light.

Start harvesting in 4-6 weeks if it has filled out. Picking only a few at a time ’till they get established. Do not allow to flower or the flavor will suffer.

 “Bon Appetit!”


This is a nice arrangement of containers

Photo used with permission from //glutenfreescdandveggie.blogspot.com/