THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
CHAD AND SUZY!!!!Josh's niece and husband, Suzy and Chad, and their delightful 6 month old son, Liam, very generously offered to come and give us a weekend on our own. What sweet people and I am so grateful for their kindness. (Of course, letting Liam and Great Grandma Barbara get acquainted, was great, too!. They bonded immediately).
It's always a pleasure to see other people's gardens and one of our first stops was at our long time friend, Lucinda Hutson's garden. Austin's famous purple house, Lucinda's home, has been on my list of places to visit for years. I know the house from her books, from numerous articles in Southern Living and many more, but I had not actually seen the house myself. We've known each other for years but this was the first time to visit Lucinda at home. What a sweetheart she is!
Lucinda is, without a doubt, the most colorful, fun-loving person I know. From her house (inside and out) to her garden, her views on food and writing, this is one fun lady. Look at the pic, below. This is the back steps of her house. (Click on the picture to see the embellished cat door). Does your back door look that good? Ours certainly doesn't.
Lucinda is a landscape designer and has a perfect eye for decorating the outdoors, and in. Even the very flowers in her garden are seemingly beyond reality. Check out this one in her front yard (sorry, I don't remember what it is).
Or this, a great Mexican bathtub set in her mermaid garden. When Southern Living came to do the photo shoot of her garden, they bashfully covered parts of the mermaid with a leaf. Above the grotto with the mermaid tub is another mermaid and lots of plants. It's a small garden and it would seem crowded were it not for Lucinda's eye for design. Instead of crowded, it unfolds like small rooms, each with fascinating features that invite you to keep moving forward to see more, and more beyond that. (I've had dreams like that, when sleeping on my Creative Dreams Dream Pillow).
cookbooks which you can see on her website.
Here's a recipe from Lucinda's Herb Garden Cookbook for Frijoles Negros en Olla (black beans in case you don't speak Spanish). A dish of lack beans is one of my favorite meals, over brown rice, topped with fresh salsa, diced avocados and a dash of hot sauce. Last year I grew black beans, aka frijoles negros, in the garden to see what they looked like in bloom.
1 pound dried black beans
Water or broth to cover to about 2 inches over the beans
3 T. olive oil or bacon fat
1 whole onion, quartered and studded with 2 whole cloves
4-6 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
1-2 whole dried chile peppers (ancho or pasilla)
Salt to taste
1 tsp. crumbled, dried Mexican oregano
3 sprigs fresh epazote - (epazote is known as "pig weed" in the Midwest), or substitute. Mexican mint marigold leaves
Wash beans well to remove dirt and any stones. Cover with cold water or broth, and remove any beans that float. Add oil, onion, garlic cumin and bay leaf and bring to a boil; immediately reduce heat and cover. Add chiles and cook for approximately 2 1/2 hours. If necessary, add more water to prevent beans from bursting. When almost tender, add salt, oregano and epazote. Uncover and cook another 15 minutes. When beans are tender the liquid should just barely cover them.
More gardens, more food to come!