Wishing you a peaceful New Year.
This Fall I had some plants decide to bloom after many years of being flowerless. I’m not sure what could have caused this. Maybe it was the two hard freezes we had last winter. The Ligularia has been nothing but big green leaves for years. But, this year put out several stems of cheery yellow flowers.
The Pink Japanese Anemone, which is a butterfly favorite, has only put out a few sad flowers in the past. This Fall there was a record breaking 12 stems that have bloomed for weeks.
The most surprising is my Angel Trumpet. It is in its second blooming and started while temperatures were in the 30’s.
Will the flowers last and be Christmas Angels?
Just a few days ago, we had perfect weather with the temperatures in the 80’s and low humidity. I took advantage of the warming sun and just sat near a flower bed. And I wasn’t the only one. The blooms were covered with all kinds of pollinators. I managed to photograph a few.
The American White Pelicans were flying against the clear blue sky and some small flocks of visiting birds were poking around looking for bugs. One little bird, a Ruby Crowned Kinglet, didn’t seem to mind me sitting there and came very close.
Since that sunny day, our winter has returned with heavy rain and cold temperatures. But as it always happens in these parts, the weather is about to change and a great weekend is promised.
I always love the visiting wildlife in the yard. This day started with a rabbit waiting on his breakfast.
One sign of Fall is the arrival of the American White Pelicans. Every morning they take a long lazy flight.
A very unexpected visitor was this Tersa Sphinx Moth. I was weeding and when I brought my hand out of the plants, the moth was attached to my glove.
Take a close look at this photo to see the pine cones that were eaten by the squirrels. The ground was covered with the scales after the seeds were eaten. The squirrels had quite the feast, as a large area was littered with pine cone remains.
A local meteorologist posted this last week. It doesn’t mention the nearly 7 inches of rain for the month. Our plants have to be Texas Tough.
A Gluten Free Thanksgiving is very easy to have in your own home. But if you are going to be a guest, think about bringing a few slices of your own GF turkey if your host stuffs theirs. I usually bring along a Pumpkin Flan as well. Below is an easy Green Beans recipe as an alternative for green bean casserole. Also included is a wonderful recipe for Popovers. The Popovers are one of the few recipes I make that are not naturally gluten free and require special ingredients.
For Pumpkin Flan go to this recipe.
Green Beans with Toasted Hazelnut-Lemon Butter
1 1/2 tablespoons soften butter
3 tablespoons finely chopped hazelnuts, toasted
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
8 cups of water
1 1/2 pounds of trimmed green beans These can be found bagged (like salad) in the fresh vegetable isle.
Combine butter, hazelnuts, lemon rind and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl and blend well. Butter can be made up a week in advance and refrigerated.
Boil water with 1 3/4 teaspoons of salt. Add green beans and cook 3 minutes. Drain and return pan to medium heat. Add butter mixture and beans. Cook about 3 minutes until beans are well coated and tender.
adapted from Cooking Light
These gluten free Popovers are straight from the box of King Arthur Flour Gluten Free multi-purpose flour mix. The Popovers bake up light and hollow in the center. Just a caution when planning your meal, they take 45 minutes to bake and rest.
4 large eggs
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/4 cups of lukewarm milk
1 cup of King Arthur multi-purpose flour Grocery stores are carrying this now or can be ordered from their website as well.
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum Can be found in health food stores.
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 12 cup muffin tin. I like to use cooking spray.
2. Whisk together the eggs, butter, and milk in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Gradually whisk dry ingredients into the liquid, whisking until the batter is smooth.
3. Pour batter into muffin tin filling each cup 2/3 full.
4. Bake for 25 minutes.
5. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 15 more minutes until Popovers are deep brown.
6. Remove from oven and let them rest for 5 minutes. Remove from tin and serve immediately.