Sunday, May 23, 2010

A moment at Tahoe

Last week on my day off, a friend and I took off for Tahoe. We knew we were only going to have a short time there, less than an hour actually, but the drive up from Carson where we were taking care of some business, seemed worth it. The sky was gray and overcast, the mountains surrounding us snow capped, and the wind was whipping a strong 40 degree breeze through our hair. We stopped at the Cave Rock boat ramp. A very small state park that has a beautiful overlook and sandy beach. We wandered down to the water just close enough to feel the spray, but not get our feet wet. On the way back up to the car I saw the rock in the picture below. It sure sums up my love for this amazingly beautiful place on earth.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tomato ToMamma

A few pics from Saturday's Children's Reading Hour at the nursery. I don't know who had more fun, the kids, or US !!

Miss Eleanor & Miss Donna, our wonderful readers....

Tomatoes ToMamma, our craft project. Michelle helped the kids create garden stakes out of paint stirrers, stickers and pens. Each one had a nice 4" tomato to take home for Mom.

TOMATOFEST!!!!!

Michelle, Sarah and I hiding behind some of the second shipment of tomatoes that Mike Bailey of Green Team Growers/Fallon, dropped off after we ran out of the first 200. We gave away over 325 ! ! ! FALLON GROWN TOMATO PLANTS that will now be huge producers in the Fallon area. Thank you Mike - for helping us with this years TOMATOFEST!!!!
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An Evening with Friends......Wine & Gourmet Food


Not long ago we celebrated the onset of warm weather with a dinner on our back patio. We gathered 22 friends, and fortunate for all of us, one of whom is a talented self-taught gourmet chef. Accompanied by many talented sou chefs, we set out on a mission to find a few new wines for Red Zinnia. I wish I could bottle up the flavors from that beautiful spring evening and send them out to you all. It was truly a magical night.

The Menu with Wine Pairings
Prepared by Chef Shawn Meyer
Our Sommelier for the Evening: Jaime Sammons

Crostini di fungi
Winter Citrus Salad
Bottega Vinaia Trentino Pinot Grigio 2008
Mixed green salad
Caponata
Rioja Campo Viejo Crianza Tempranillo 2006
Roasted Cauliflower soup w/ truffle oil
Brancott New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Spaghetti Putanesca
Monte Antico Toscana 2006
Spinach Risotto
Jacob's Creek Reserve Shiraz 2006
Grilled fish
A-Mano Moscato 2007
Raspberry Lambic Icee

Shawn has graciously shared this recipe with us. An easy one, it looks great, and is really nice to refresh the palate between heavier dishes.

Sicilian Citrus Salad
2 oranges preferably blood, but any high quality orange will do
2 lemons (Meyer lemons are also nice)
1 grapefruit
crushed red pepper ** sea salt ** good quality extra virgin olive oil

Peel the citrus, and spend a few minutes with each removing as much pith as possible. With a very sharp knife or a slicer, slice the citrus as thin as possible. Don't worry about removing seeds, you won't even notice them. Arrange on a plate, grapefruit as a base, then the blood orange, and then the lemon on top. Sprinkle with salt and crushed red pepper drizzle with olive oil maybe garnish with a little flat leaf parsley
Enjoy!

Jaime brought together her knowledge of wines and the regions where they originate in a fun way. Watch for many of the wines mentioned above to find their way onto the shelves of Red Zinnia.

Thank you to Kori Meyer for the amazing photos that capture the beauty of the evening.

Jaime discovered this great idea in a magazine. The tables were covered with brown paper, and marker pens were placed at each place setting. It made for an easy way to take notes on each of the wines. Michelle's artistic talents supplied the colorful additions to the paper.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Everything Old is New Again.........

Every once and awhile, the wind flows through the huge globe willows in our front yard and it seems like magic. They sway gently with the breeze, the chimes sound off in the sound yard, the crab apples float in unison....the birds flutter back and forth to the variety of feeders......and just for that moment in time........all is right in my world.

I am sitting on the front porch, my big ten year old, champagne colored Maine coon cat, (the original Flower Tree mascot ) Emmit is on the old white wicker table next to me, purring with the knowledge that the two holy terrors, the dogs, are locked safely inside the front room just a few feet away. It is the day before Mother's day and it has been an extremely busy one, filled with the gardeners that make our world turn.

About 30 years ago, could have been longer....I was visiting with my Mom & Dad in Miami and I could not figure out that age old dilemma "What is the PERFECT Mother's Day Gift". Previous years had brought new Pantsuits to her closet, (remember those lovely polyester wonders), small knickknacks that I thought she would love that now have a treasured placement on my own bookshelf, the perfect card with flowers..you understand, Mother's Day Gifts!

This particular year I had decided to dig up and plant a plot of earth that was 90% coral rock and 10% clay. Even though they lived in a lovely area of Miami at the time, this particular area of earth that I had decided just HAD TO HAVE a new flower bed was filled with Florida's amazing mix. I searched at the local nursery for just the right flowers and brought them home and started digging. Mind you, my Mom was not a gardener. The closest thing she came to flowers was the ones that Dad would send her on their anniversary. But she sat there in her chair and watched as I dug every hole, added every bag of soil, and planted every flower with a huge smile on her face.

Over the years we would plant other flower beds for Mom. Most notably the River Garden at The Flower Tree. The crab apple that graces the west side of the front entrance, the huge peonies getting ready to bloom on the north end of the garage, the flowers in pots that used to fill the deck. But none will ever measure up that day, when the last flower was planted in that hard coral rock and we sat back and said "Happy Mother's Day".

I miss you Mom, on this Mother's Day, and every day, your daughter, Susan.

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