Something to brighten your Sunday

Christian is definitely a pot gardener—no, not that kind of pot! He prefers to grow beautiful, flowering plants on the porch but doesn’t care as much about the beds and lawn. The result is that the front porch of the main house is a stunning riot of color. Tonight, he was grilling on the porch, so he while he waited for the grill to heat, he took photograph of his plants. When I told him he’d be on the blog, he said, “Oh good, I’ll be famous!” Here are a couple of his photographs:
By contrast, Jordan and I get the back yard, which is too heavily shaded and not easy to beautify. In recent years, we’ve done better than this year. I don’t know if it’s the constant rain, the lower temps, or what. But our porch plants aren’t faring as well. The bougainvillea, which had finally begun to bloom again after a long dormancy, lost all its blooms during a rainstorm, and they haven’t come back. Tonight I thought Jordan put a dead plant on the corner of the deck railing, but she swore it is a hydrangea that is just beginning to show new growth. The hyacinth vine on the fence is flourishing, and I hope to plant more seeds next spring. And the pentas are doing well, though I think they have more green leaves and fewer blossoms than other years. I haven’t yet planted my herb garden. Christian wanted to varnish the wood to preserve it, and every time he set aside time to do that it rained. This weekend he has gotten one coat on and has plans to finish two coats by next weekend. Meantime, it is upside down on the porch because he was painting the bottom. Progress.
If Christian is the master of the garden, my domain is the kitchen, and I scored a success tonight. We have been in a terrible rut where the only green we had for dinner was asparagus, a tossed salad, or canned green beans. I tried unsuccessfully to enlarge our repertoire—one night I fixed Brussel sprouts which went over like a lead balloon. Even I didn’t like them. But tonight, Christian shaved a half lb. of Brussel sprouts. I would have done it, but he doesn’t like the core and wanted to work around it. It made a surprising amount, though they cooked down. I sauteed the shavings in in olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, until they charred a bit. Then, just before serving, added fresh lime juice and a bit of pecorino cheese. Christian and I both liked it a lot. Next, he wants to try doing it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. But I felt I really scored. Sorry I forgot to take a picture. And that’s a wrap on another Sunday night dinner.
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