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Gardening time

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Luce N Member Since: Oct 9, 2016
31 of 59

@Mary W wrote:

Luce - we chop the basil very fine and sprinkle it on the pizza before it goes into the oven.  I'm growing Thai/ purple basil which is quite sweet and delicious this way.

 

I'm on the Mississippi Gulf Coast = summer lasts from May until October, with high heat and humidity.  Awfully hard to keep container plants going.

 

Mint juleps - make a simple syrup of equal parts sugar and water.  Boil under the sugar is completely dissolved and cool.  Muddle some mint leaves in the bottom of a tall glass (I like aluminum for this for some reason) and wipe some around the lip of the glass.  Fill with bourbon, simple syrup and ice and garnish with a mint sprig.  Stir gently and enjoy!

 


How about sea breathe, do you get any or are you too far from the coast? I know what you mean about high heat and humidity, I go to Florida once in a while, and although I like being hot, sometimes it does get a bit too much. But this summer was extravagantly hot here in France too. 

 

Thank you for the recipe for mint julep. I'm not big on alcohol, but if I get the chance, I'll try to have a sip or two next time I'm in Florida! 

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Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
32 of 59

Ooh - I've missed so much on this thread. Thank you all for hints and recipes. 

 

@Maria My apple trees and a damson and plum tree are beginning to look extremely sad. I'll have to wait until spring now, but if I plant all the things you suggest, near them, will that keep the bugs away? My cherry tree (very large) is also buggy. 

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Luce N Member Since: Oct 9, 2016
33 of 59

@Nichola L wrote:

Ooh - I've missed so much on this thread. Thank you all for hints and recipes. 

 

@Maria My apple trees and a damson and plum tree are beginning to look extremely sad. I'll have to wait until spring now, but if I plant all the things you suggest, near them, will that keep the bugs away? My cherry tree (very large) is also buggy. 


 So sad to hear that your fruit trees are in trouble. I guess it has to do with the unusual weather we've had? Do you listen to Alain Baraton on France Inter? He's great at giving advice on this type of issues. Here's the information on his program "La main verte", which is unfortunately programmed a bit early in the morning (7.45). I've just seen that you can also podcast his wonderful advice.

 

https://www.franceinter.fr/emissions/la-main-verte

 

 

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Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
34 of 59

Mary W wrote:

Luce - we chop the basil very fine and sprinkle it on the pizza before it goes into the oven.  I'm growing Thai/ purple basil which is quite sweet and delicious this way.

 

I'm on the Mississippi Gulf Coast = summer lasts from May until October, with high heat and humidity.  Awfully hard to keep container plants going.

 

Mint juleps - make a simple syrup of equal parts sugar and water.  Boil under the sugar is completely dissolved and cool.  Muddle some mint leaves in the bottom of a tall glass (I like aluminum for this for some reason) and wipe some around the lip of the glass.  Fill with bourbon, simple syrup and ice and garnish with a mint sprig.  Stir gently and enjoy!

 


Mary ... I love a good mint julep too - and I like it really minty. So instead of plain simple syrup, I make a mint simple syrup, like this:

 

Combine equal parts water & sugar with lots of mint leaves in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves and simmer for a minute or so. Remove from heat and let steep at least 30 minutes. Strain syrup into a glass jar, let cool and refridgerate. Use for mint juleps, iced tea, to flavor plain seltzer water or club soda, lemonade … you get the idea.

 

You can also make a basil simple syrup that's quite good with iced tea or lemonade. Or you can do a combination basil and mint syrup (ratio is half again more mint than basil).

 

Basil pairs well in a fresh fruit salad. If you know what granita is, you can make a mint granita with that syrup. Granita is akin to sherbet and Italian ice. It's a little work to make, but very refreshing in the summertime. Another use for mint syrup is in a cold summer melon soup.

 

And lots of mint is used to make that middle eastern classic - tabooli, which I make quite often.

 

ETA: Off topic, but once when my sister and I were on our way home from a day trip, we witnessed a deer running alongside the road, it's head completely encased in a wire tomato plant cage. Poor thing was looking rather panicky. It was bad for the deer, but pretty funny to witness. I wonder if that deer bothered any more tomato plants after that.

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Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
35 of 59

OMG.  I have NOTHING growing in my patio except some elephant ears and a very sad rose.  Couldn't get out to buy young plants this year and now the heat and humidity are upon us.  I sure would like some mint and basil but...

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Melissa T Member Since: Dec 5, 2014
36 of 59

Mint Julep: 

  • 1 ounce simple syrup (if you've gone to the trouble of minting the syrup all the better, but not neccessary)
  • 2 cups crushed ice
  • 2 ounces bourbon (some people use rum, but those people are crazy)
  • fresh mint

Use a highball glass or silver Julep cup (I wish I had some, but I just use a regular glass), add simple syrup, 1 cup crushed ice, and some mint leaves to the bottom, muddle the mint with the ice (I just use the back of a spoon) to crush it a bit and release the oils in the leaves. Add the bourbon and a splash of water (I like using seltzer or sparkling mineral water because I like the bubbles). Add more ice to nearly fill the glass. Stir well and garnish with fresh mint.

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Luce N Member Since: Oct 9, 2016
37 of 59

@Maria T wrote:

Hi Luce,

 

I plant basil in the orchard, everywhere. Along with tomatoes, peppers, chilli peppers, strawberries and more.
I do it because it helps me keep several types of insects away and especially the aphid.
Also, the smell ... hmmm!
It also helps to plant "marigolds" and "tagetes" (carnation de moro or Damasquina)
In addition to giving a lot of color, they also help with the same as basil, and make more pollinators come.


 Hi Maria! 

 

So you're another gardener, that's cool! I too have flowers to protect the plants. Here, they're called "Oeuillet d'Inde", which means "Indian carnation". I love their color. Tomorrow, I'm adding a photo of the seed package for you to see what they're like.

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Maria T Member Since: Nov 12, 2015
38 of 59

@Luce
Of tagetes, I have several species.
A neighbor gave me a lot of seeds but they were mixed.
Until they have flowered, I have not known what they were Smiley Happy

And, yes please, upload a photo to know which ones you have.

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Luce N Member Since: Oct 9, 2016
39 of 59

@Maria T wrote:

@Luce
Of tagetes, I have several species.
A neighbor gave me a lot of seeds but they were mixed.
Until they have flowered, I have not known what they were Smiley Happy

And, yes please, upload a photo to know which ones you have.


 Here is the photo! Now, I'd love to see a photo of your flowers, they must be very colourful.IMG_20180826_204851.jpg

 

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Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
40 of 59

Oh Luce. Your basil looks lovely (and I'm dying for one of those tomatoes to go with it). I'm going to have to get mine from the market this year because I didn't get a chance to do the plants. Although my rosemary is doing very well after being overwintered (don't ask for instructions. I think ignoring it and forgetting to water it had a lot to do with its success). So I'm eyeing it up for future meals, along with the parsley the local squirrels don't seem to enjoy.

I think I recommend mohitos for mint consumption, if you're going to mix cocktails: 

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mojito-242527

 

Naturally, Thai basil is also very good chopped and quicly sautéed into Thai recipes. One that I get as takeout is chicken and eggplant (aubergine). I haven't tried this recipe, but it seems like it's along the right lines (although serano peppers are a fusion element): https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1012781-stir-fried-chicken-and-eggplant-with-asian-basil

Rosemary is amazing with chicken, and I like to put a lot of it into this soup recipe (not sure that Baris approves of this one because it's a bit of a North American mash-up of a Turkish dish):
https://garlicshoots.com/2010/12/13/turkish-lentil-and-spinach-soup/

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