After posting the story of Bessie the returning turtle last week, and all of your nice comments (thank you!) we almost lost Bessie. After a week of anti-inflammatories - me, not Bessie - some pain pills, lots of garlic (also anti-inflammatory), crutches and bed rest for my hip/knee/ankle, I was feeling considerably better on Thursday night. Because of the weeks of sciatica and the related issues, I have badly neglected the garden weeding. Awhile before dark on Thursday, which is my favorite time of the day in the garden, I was watering plants and weeding as I went. I had just dropped the garden hose into a tiny pool in the medicinals bed to give the goldfish some cool, fresh water. (Don't you think goldfish get thirsty in hot weather, too?)
That little pool, which is the inside of an old RC Cola ice cooler (that means non-electric pop storage) cooler from the 1950s when my parents had a grocery store, and which I have carted around with me over the years, is currently covered with duckweed. If you don't know duckweed, it's a tiny green plant, about 1/8 inch across with 2 leaves and covers the surface of water in colonies of green. No, it's not slimy, it's an amazing, very basic and creative little plant, called duckweed because it hitches rides in the feathers of ducks. Even though I remove it often, it quickly grows back. Covering the little pool, the water often looks like a very short cut lawn of bright green.
Evidently that's what Bessie the turtle thought, too. When I took the garden hose out of the pool, I noticed movement. Not fish, but a struggling terrapin. She was in the pool and couldn't get her feet up and over the flat rocks around the pool. I recognized her immediately and lifted her out, only to find she had gotten her leg tangled in some string. The string, which turned out to be a piece of monofilament line connecting an "anchor" to the little floating frog-in-an-inner tube, had her all caught up and unable to get herself out of the predicament she was in. Had I come along the next day, or not weeded Thursday night, Bessie would have eventually tired of swimming and drowned and that would have been the last we would ever see of Bessie. Fortunately, for us, and for Bessie, I was at the place at the right time and cut the line off her leg. She went scurrying on her way without even a glance over her shoulder. See you next year, Bessie!
Josh and his mother, Barbara, play bridge once a week and this past week it was their turn to take, "snacks." (Evidently, from what I've learned second hand, if you take snacks for 40+ people, you don't have to pay the $5 pay-t0-play fee). Josh decided to make items from my recipes in a couple of my books. He made 3 kinds of salsa out of my Sensational Salsas Using Herbs. He chose Canteloupe for one, Banana Salsa and a third I forget. He made some crackers, too, and also one of my favorites, Stuffed Tomatoes. Here's the recipe:
1 1/2 boxes (8 oz. size) cream cheese, room temperature
2 sprigs fresh basil (about 1 heaping tablespoon chopped)
3 French marigold blossoms, petals only, green part removed, chopped or snipped fine
2 tablespoons toasted, chopped pecans
Mix the cream cheese, chopped basil & marigold petals and the chopped pecans. Dry the insides of the Romas. Using a knife or spatula, fill each Roma tomato half, using up all the filling. Refrigerate until 10 minutes before serving. Make plenty, people really enjoy this combination.
The Cheddar Crackers shown below are some I made today for the Tulsa Herb Society program I'm giving. I also made some Seed Crackers, also from my Homemade Crackers book. The Seed Crackers are made in small, plate-sized crackers that are then broken apart after baking. These are rolled in seed and herbs instead of flour (rosemary & thyme leaves, white and black sesame seed, poppyseed, lambsquarters seed (yes, they are a great vegetable!), and amaranth seed, as well).
It's hot, cool off, but don't do like Bessie the turtle and step off into the duckweed!