Tuesday, July 13, 2010

They really work!

I have been participating in a test bake group for The New York Bakers.  They are working on a cookbook and have three groups of people testing the recipes.  We have completed seven weeks of testing with six more to go.  I have done sweet yeast pastries and cakes and have one more week of making cookies.  I am looking forward to doing four weeks of breads.  We have been asked not to share the recipes but here are a few pictures of the recipes so far (I forgot to take pictures of some).                                       

If you ever need hard to find flour or specialty flour take a look at what they have.  They have been quite helpful to me and best part .....they will send you a FREE sourdough starter

Moving on.  Since I have been busy with the test bakes and now have some remodeling going on there hasn't been as much cooking going on in my kitchen.  If fact, that is now impossible but hoping that by the weekend it will be accessible. 

What else have I been doing?  Well growing tomatoes and herbs.  Now, those of you who have known me for a long time know that I always say that I raise children not plants.  What I mean by that is I have a black thumb.  I have killed a cactus.  How?  Who knows, but I did.  The amazing thing is I actually have had some luck with the heartier herbs the last two or three years so I thought I would get really adventurous and grow tomatoes. 

Growing tomatoes apparently takes quite a bit of direct sun each day and that is surprisingly difficult to find in my large yard.  One day I saw the Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter advertised and I thought I might give it a try.  I spoke with a few people who have tried them and most of them said they had been successful in growing tomatoes in the planter.  Well what the heck?  I thought that with this planter I could hang the plants high enough that the sun would reach it for at least 6 hours a day, that works.  Instead of ordering the planter online I looked at a few local stores and was happy to find them at Home Depot for $9.99 each (now on sale for $6.99).  I bought three planters, two tomato and one strawberry (for my herbs). 

Tara and helped plant the tomatoes and herbs and Ryan helped hang them.  Luckily Ryan has taken on the watering of the plants and therefore they have had less contact with my black thumb than usual.  What I have found is that the heartier herbs did fairly well but the others may have been a bit shocked and have now been cut down.  The tomatoes on the other hand have done very well.  I planted tomatoes that grow to about 3-4 inches in diameter (can't for the life of me remember the name) and cherry tomatoes.  The pictures show the tomatoes after Nathan has picked several and the cherry tomatoes we have been eating for a few weeks.  I never had to worry about bugs eating the plants, they were trouble free (my favorite) and are producing beautifully. 

I would say it was a success.  I will have to buy a new planter or two for next year in order grow even more. After all they seem to be Laura proof.

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