Friday, May 3, 2013

Welcome May

Lilac in front, Kerria with yellow cheeseball flowers in background
Wow! Sunny and in the 80's for three straight days. There was much accomplished yard-wise and in the gardens, as well as several loads of laundry were hung out on the clothesline to dry. Unfortunately, my knit socks were not finished since I spent most of my time outside. Yesterday, the rain started again and temps plunged down to 50, so I'll probably get those socks finished soon.

During our weather reprieve the lawns all were mowed, a new raised bed constructed, an existing garden was enlarged with a truckload of compost and my spring pruning commenced. The lilacs burst into bloom with the heat. I have a hedgerow of five huge bushes, of which I severely pruned three last fall, but all have flowered including my new one in the front yard. I have two Japanese double Kerria bushes and the small one in the front yard is doing a very nice bloom; the backyard one is 6x6 feet and looks like a giant mound of cheese balls. Both plants give very satisfying spring blooms after the bulbs have passed.

We are back to wearing cardigans and cowls, as well as enjoying a hearty bowl of soup. Here is one of my favorite large quantity soups:  Italian Garden Soup

Saute in olive oil 2-3 onions, chopped with 3 stalks of celery, diced
Add 48oz. of low sodium chicken broth
Add 2-14.5oz. cans of diced tomatoes with juice
1 block of frozen spinach
6 fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 small zucchini, diced into bite-size chunks
Season to taste with basil, oregano and 1 bay leaf
Partially defrost in microwave for 2 minutes a 14oz. bag of Fit 'N' Active Turkey meatballs on a plate & add to soup (Aldi's brand)
Pour in 1-16oz. bag of frozen cheese tortellini

Simmer to boiling then return to simmer in covered large soup pot for a half an hour. Serves 6 generously. Excellent leftover and reheated.

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