Friday, April 16, 2010

Wallingford in bloom

This week, while my father and I were hard at work building fences and benches from cedar planks, my step-mother, Joy Peters-Kurtz, cruised the neighborhood snapping pictures of spring blooms. These are too good not to share.
My new rhodie is blooming!

 A neighbor's Ceanothus takes my breath away 

Ornamental cherry trees are one of the best parts about spring in the northwest

My chives are back from their winter nap and looking quite gorgeous.

Apple blossoms! Last fall this tree was given to us through City of Seattle's neighborhood tree fund program. This one is a combination tree: Fuji, Granny Smith, Braeburn, and Jonagold all grafted to a single trunk. Our other choice was a Lapin cherry... the decision was not easy. 

New street trees where there were none. Thanks again to the neighborhood tree fund.

The dogs were happy to help both dad and me with the wood work, and Joy with her photography.

Back yard transformation part III

This week my dad came up from L.A. to help us with the back yard transformation. Our number one project: fixing the fence that was falling down. We reused as many cedar boards as possible, which resulted in a sortof circus tent look. It's definitely unique, which I like. I learned that spraying new boards with a baking soda and water solution will result in an instantly aged look. I may decide to try that. We had to raise the lower level of the fence to accommodate the raised planting beds that we will install along that side of the property.
All in all we had a great time working on it, and I'm quite pleased with the result.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Candied rhubarb

Rhubarb is in season, but not for long, so now is the time to use it. The other day I found a recipe for candied rhubarb. The result was sour, sweet, and fresh. Perhaps the best sour candy ever. I paired it with home made shortbread cookies for a scrumptious dessert.

Candied Rhubarb:
1. trim the rhubarb into 6" long matchsticks
2. melt 1 cup sugar with about 3 tablespoons water
3. steep the rhubarb in the sugar solution for about 30 seconds
4. place the sugared rhubarb strips on a parchment-lined sheet pan, making sure that no pieces are touching
4. dry out the rhubarb in a 200 degree F oven for about an hour.
5. If you like, curl the rhubarb candy around your finger, or the handle of a wooden spoon when you take it out of the oven.