Sunday, July 31, 2011

Episode 5 Going Bananas

Episode 5 Going Bananas

Plant of the week The Banana
wikipedia definition.
Native to Asia Genus Musa
Related to Birds of Paradise (Helliconia)
Hybridized to the point where they don't produce seeds and must be vegetatively propagated.
Fun Fact According to Wikipedia bananas are the largest flowering plant.  In Japan the  Japanese FiberBanana Musa bajoo are grown, the shoots and leaves cut down, boiled in lye and processed into fibers. See Here.  
I have several bananas that were given to me as cuttings, or were purchased from Going Bananas in Homestead, FL.

Rose which is supposed to be 6-8 foot tall.  (mine is two)
Dwarf Namwa a ladyfinger type of banana
Veinte Cohol a faster growing dessert banana
Gold Finger a type of Cavandash that is like the grocery Store
IceCream another smaller banana
Buddhas Hand the hands of the bananas are fused together and are supposed to taste very good.

Planting for self defense

How often have we quoted right plant/right place?  What does that really mean?  How often do we complain of rabbits and or deer eating our plants? 

·       There are no lists of plants that are universally deer/rabbit resistant around the country, because the little critters have different tastes.  
·       Sometimes, your locale Agricultural Extension Office will have a list for your area. 
·       Also, it is good to be open to new (or new to you) plants to trial 
·       When choosing plants, I always try to keep in mind to avoid plants that have insects or diseases named after the plant, such as azalea caterpillar, or oleander caterpillar. 
·        Another consideration is the site, is it dry or wet, shady or sunny? 
·        Matching the plants preferences to the site is much less stressful to the plant, and a plant that is less stressed is more able to withstand a disease or insect attack. 
·       What zone you are planting in is also a consideration. 
·       Even in a small area there can be a variation of microclimates.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Gluten Free Scones

Yesterday, before watching the Royal Wedding, I made scones.  Now, since I am Celiac, I needed them to be Gluten Free.  I had a recipe from a friend for regular scones, and I had made them substituting GF Bisquick.  They had turned out good, but kind of gritty.

I decided to add GF rolled oats for half the flour, mostly to raise the glycemic index; and I had much better scones.

I also had seen Susan Belsinger Wednesday and Thursday at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.  That is why I decided to flavor the cream with a bay leaf.

 Here is my recipe for GF Cherry Scones.

The night before, gently warm 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, being careful to not let it boil.  Add a fresh or dried bay leaf and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake preheat oven to 400'F
line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or if using oven stone heat that in oven while preheating.

1 Cup GF Bisquick
1 Cup GF Rolled Oats
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar Packed
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Butter (one stick)
1 Cup Dried Cherries
1/2 Cup Cream (from night before squeeze out Bayleaf)
1 large egg

Mix first five ingredients then rub or cut in butter until it looks like meal.

Add cherries and incorporate.

Lightly beat egg and cream together, and then add to the dry ingredients until everything is moistened and clumps together. (You might need some extra cream)

Take half the dough and flatten out onto the parchment paper into a circle.  Cut into 8 wedges and separate them out till them are at least 1-2 inches apart.

Refrigerate the remaining dough while the first batch is baking.  The dough is easier to handle cold, so it might be better to chill for a half hour before making the wedges.

Bake for 20 minutes or until scones are golden brown.