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All my cilantro has gone to seed, and so it is time to harvest the coriander. Well, past time, actually, but that is the case with everything this summer. Once the seeds are dry, they just fall off the stalks when you brush them with your hand. I usually catch them in a colander, and then try to sift out the stray bits and pieces (easier said than done). Of course, many of them the seeds fall and start the next crop of cilantro. Cilantro is something we always like to have on hand (and I absolutely hate buying at the grocery store). Luckily it reseeds itself so easily that it is the perfect herb for the lazy gardener (which would be the appropriate title of my blog, now that I think about it).

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I love Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Couscous, and this is such a simple, quick dish to make.  I especially like it with grilled salmon.

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I’ve been getting better about making my own herbs and spices. Last year I grew spicy hungarian paprika, dried the peppers and then ground them. We used up all the paprika in winter goulash dishes, and it was delicious. This year I have half a bed dedicated to spicy paprika (I’m thinking of giving away some jars of paprika this Christmas) and have also planted some sweet paprika.

I also use the coriander seeds (picture above) in indian cooking, and save them to plant the next crop. I love fresh cilantro, and can never have enough.
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japanese beetles on my borage

Parents who go out of town and leave their teens behind should expect that unsavory things (from the parents’ perspective) are likely to transpire in their absence. We have no children, never mind teens, and therefore were shocked to come home to an orgy. A japanese beetle orgy. Sure, there were a few meandering about when we left, but they seemed innocent enough. How stupidly naive!

There is not much that can be done to combat this pest, given that there are no natural predators in the US. Except to grab them with your fingers and crush the life out of them.

I know what you are thinking. The poor beetles! What a severe sentence! She’s an overzealous prosecutor! This isn’t fair! But I will not bow to the political pressure from the right. I will not pardon them. Nor will I commute the sentence (and then sneak in an inevitable pardon later). No, guilt is guilt. The sentence stands.

Some might say this was entrapment. It is true, borage can be used as a “trap plant” to attract japanese beetles so that you can collectively do away with them. Too bad, I say. They still chose to eat in my garden, and now they have to pay for it. Even if they are rich (which of course they aren’t), and even if they have a friend who lives in a white house (which they might). Justice may be obstructed in Washington, but not in my back yard.

japanese beetle orgy

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pesto prep

I know, everyone and their step-uncle is blogging about making pesto from the basil in their garden. So why am I blogging about it too? Well, I happened to try the pesto recipe over at 101cookbooks, which was recommended by Gini. It is called, How to Make Pesto Like an Italian Grandmother. Who could resist that, especially if you’ve got basil growing in your garden and pasta in your cupboard? So, I tried it, and it was terrific!

I added some tender young zucchini. Didn’t even need to cook it, just put it at the bottom of a big bowl and then put the hot gnocchi right on top. The heat from the pasta slightly cooked the zucchini, and then I stirred in the pesto.

zucchini basil

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Maggie on a new garden!
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