Posted by Lesley on November 21, 2012
My father bought a juicer because he was in the process of losing 60 pounds. Good use…healthy. Better use…sangria. Although Dad kept the weight off, he quickly tired of juicing, which was not a huge or unwelcome surprise. I think my sister got his old bread machine. And since he doesn’t do cheap, I inherited a juicer that’s motor sounds like a plane taking off.
When he gave it to me, I said, “So this is the best juicer money can buy, huh?” He said, “Nope, they were out. That’s the second best juicer money can buy.” But his description of the process was so tedious and time-consuming that it’s just been sitting in my cabinet. The prospect of good health surely didn’t spur me to dust it off, but the prospect of good sangria for Thanksgiving—yeah, baby! Here are my apples: Here is my juice:
My father exaggerates so much I expected a tablespoon; but not bad, there’s at least over a cup. I forgot how pained he is by the smallest of chores. It’s actually fun. The whole apple fits in the chute, and when you push it down, it makes a great swoosh sound as it explodes into juice and foam. Oh, how my sister and I will be toasting to our father’s ever-coming and quickly-forgotten obsessions over fresh sangria tomorrow night. Cheers, Stacy! I’m juicing oranges and cranberries next.
Posted by Lesley on March 29, 2012
It seemed my amaryllis bulbs bloomed early this year. When searching for the reason and normal bloom months, I came across something more interesting; apples sterilize amaryllis bulbs. I knew not to store onions with potatoes because the potatoes would sprout and spoil early, but bulbs were a staple in our mini-fridge for a couple years without a thought as to what should or should not be stored next to them.
An absolutely ridiculous effort because my garden is in South Florida, there are no more bulbs in the mini-fridge to worry about. I’ve happily accepted amaryllis and rain lilies as the two sole bulbs that can survive the heat. Rain lilies are summer bulbs; the amaryllis are turning into true spring bulbs.
Both bulbs came with the house. They didn’t bloom the first year, a combination of John-gone-wild with weed-killer and my transplanting everything in site to my liking. I read after yanking them up that amaryllis don’t transplant well. Luckily, mine did just fine. The first wave bloomed in time for Mother’s Day and the next year for Easter.
Even though they fill the aisles at Christmas, those two years had me believing they were Spring-holiday bulbs blooming in either April or May. Now looking back at pictures, they bloomed in March last year too. My research found that the flowering season is a long window; they could pop up anytime from late December through June. I’m attributing the March blooms to warmer winters over the past two years.
The apple-effect has to be attributed to ethylene. Ethylene is a gas produced by plants that can affect other plants. Like a plant super-power, it can signal germination, kill petals, change the color of leaves, and so I have to assume, sterilize amaryllis bulbs too. A gas leak in 1901 led to the discovery that ethylene affected plant growth, but it took three more decades for scientists to realize that plants actually produced ethylene.
Posted by Lesley on October 9, 2011
We celebrated my sister’s birthday tonight; and about an hour before dinner, I was feeling inspired. Over the summer, I saw a magazine article that featured a watermelon centerpiece. The melon was cut in half and again on the bottom, so it stood straight up. Gerber daisies were stuck into the pink flesh. The fluid and sugar in the watermelon feed the daisies to keep the arrangement fresh.
Ubermommy’s gift was Linda Watson’s book, Wildly Affordable Organic. But when there’s a chance to bring flowers, I do. So what better vase to accompany that particular book than an organic apple? I thought it might require some fiddling or possibly carving but not so if you have a skewer on hand. Poke some holes, and the stems will slide right in. Then pop it in the fridge until you need it. Easy, quick, fun, quirky – to all my friends, there are apple bouquets in your future.