When we purchased our farm the home had been abandoned for over a year and to say the least it was a ‘fixer’ upper. Although as we walked through it I could imagine what I could make it to be, and so the long road of fixing is still in progress. That’s o.k. though because I enjoy making things look like ‘me’. We moved in the first of March almost five years ago and I had the garden’s to be on paper before you could bat an eye. The veggie garden and flower beds would be first priority and then planning some hard scaping. Each year we have added new elements and I can always envision more beds and dreams.
Remembrance Trees or plants are a beautiful and potentially long lasting treasured gift. Neil’s mom had purchased for each of the six children a ‘remembrance’ tree in memory of their father after he passed away. Unfortunately our beautiful Emerald Luster Maple tree was left at our previous home. She had wanted something for our new home and got us several much needed shrubs. This is such a wonderful idea that can be remembered for generations.
Wedding Showers can be so fun and especially with the right theme. If you are planning on hosting one, even in the dreary months of winter, make it a Garden Theme. Here are a few cute ideas to get you started!
*Invitations– You can create the cutest invitations with all the graphics, rubber stamps and stickers out there today. Especially if you have one of those nifty die cutting machines!
*Have everyone bring their favorite Recipe on a card that you send them with the invitation (then they are all the same size & coordinate). Put them in a cute Terra cotta pot as each guest arrives; have the bride-to-be pull 2 or 3 of the cards and whoever’s name is on them, they win a door prize- give them a potted plant. The recipes then can be put in a book or box for the bride-to-be and will be a long lasting treasured memory.
*Place Setting Name Tags– use 10 for $1.00 seed packets- simply use address labels with a cute font and garden graphic to print each guests name on and then put on the front of seed packet to cover the company name, but not flower. Have just one of a certain seed and use that for another door prize winner.
*Door Prizes– pairs of garden gloves, hand tools- trowels, shovels, scratcher’s; garden stationary, seed packets, potted flowers or any other garden themed gift you can come up with.
*Menu– You can change names of recipe’s to feature the theme. For example, ‘Berry Blossom Salad’- use edible flowers (if available) like pansies & nasturtiums. Rhubarb Punch or Garden Spiral Pasta Salad are a few more. Use your imagination!
A wonderful Wedding Gift for the happy couple to be is a Picnic Basket. Be sure to fill it with two of everything- linen napkins, place mats, plates, cups, flatware and pretty glasses. Don’t forget to include a table cloth, candles & candle sticks and some of the couples favorite treats.
Another special gift is a small Planter of Cooking Herbs such as Basil, Parsley, Sage, Thyme, Oregano and Rosemary. Make it even more special by including a book on Herb Gardening and an Herb Cookbook.
Try this yummy meal using Garden Gates Italian Sausage and let your tastes soar….
Three Cheese Herb Pasta Bake
3 Tbsp. butter 1 tsp each- basil, dill & oregano from A Pinch of Spice & More
2 cloves garlic, minced 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley from Garden Gate
1/4 cup Whole Wheat flour, from Garden Gate 1/2 tsp. Pink Himalayan Salt from James Creek Sutlery
1 tsp. mustard from Sansonetti’s 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper from James Creek Sutlery
3 cup milk 16oz. package of Tracina’s Gourmet Specialties Rigatoni, cooked
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese from Grassfields 1 pound Italian Sausage from Garden Gate
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack from Grassfields
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; saute one minute. Whisk in flour & mustard. Pour in milk; continue to whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer one minute.
2. Combine cheeses; reserve 3/4 cup and set aside. Add remaining cheese to sauce, a little at a time, stirring until cheese melts. Add herbs and seasonings.
3. Toss pasta with sauce; sprinkle with reserved cheese. Spoon into a lightly greased 13″x9″ baking pan. Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Uncover and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until golden and bubbly.