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Deviled Delights

May 15th, 2018

The chickens are laying like champs right now, which means we are flush with eggs. When you have chickens, there’s always that balance between having enough chickens to get the eggs you want in the winter and being overrun with eggs in the summer. I’d rather have a few too many than not enough, I barter with them, the dog LOVES them, and we eat a lot as well. Having a large cache of eggs, means I can take deviled eggs to events.

This past weekend, I made three different vareities: Smoked Salmon Stuffed Deviled eggs (from The Herbal Kitchen), Wasabi deviled eggs (adapted from a Martha Stewart Recipe, I soaked the eggs in soy sauce for a few hours before cutting/stuffing), and my own recipe made with eggs I pickled in homemade pickle brine.

They were all a hit, everyone had a favorite, mine were the pickled ones with the little violets on top. I’ll definitely be keeping these recipes in my rotation for years to come. As always, with fresh eggs, steaming is the only way to get them to peel beautifully, here’s my blog post on how to do that.

Are you a deviled egg fan? Do you have a favorite recipe?

Green Thumb?

May 14th, 2018

I often hear people say that they don’t have green thumbs, that they always kill plants.  I’m not sure that my thumb is any greener than any one else’s thumb, I have probably just grown more plants.

Take these boxwood cuttings for example. They were being overwintered in the basemen and I completely forgot about them until they were way too dry. I lost about 75% of them. It’s not a huge deal since they were free, they were however 2 years in the making up to this point, so I did lose some work. That’s how gardening goes though, sometimes you lose plants because of something you did, sometimes plants just don’t like the location or they get diseased. Dead plants is just part of gardening.

Have you killed any plants recently?

Friday Favorite: Edible Houseplants

May 11th, 2018

This past week, I moved out the ‘Pizza my Heart’ pepper that I overwintered in the house, along with the basil, parsley, a few types of thyme, figs, bananas, and all the citrus trees.

The pepper plant is covered in peppers, germination indoors was great thanks to all those Asian ladybeetles. I harvested peppers in January, and I’ve been harvesting one or two every week throughout the winter. I’m interested to see how this pepper does during the summer, I’ve read that peppers do much better in their second year. So much so, that some gardeners dig up a lot of their peppers and overwinter them in their basements.

Then basil and parsley were harvested regularly throughout the winter, with a bit of liquid kelp, they just kept growing and producing fresh herbs for the table.

My citrus trees are also covered in fruit (though I forgot to go down and get photos of them). Adding a few edibles to the houseplant collection is such a great way to save a few dollars in the winter and add a bit of deliciousness to your plate. If you’d like to give edible houspelants a try, I’d recommend digging up a parsley plant this coming fall and overwintering it in the house. Fresh parsley is such a wonderful addition to so many meals, it can be quite spendy in grocery stores as well.

Do you have any edible houseplants? Do you grow herbs indoors during the winter?

If you’d like to try growing various edible plants in the house, consider reading Growing Tasty Tropical Plants In Any Home Anywhere as a primer. I read this book years ago and have been growing edibles in the house ever since. My favorites are figs & citrus.

Blink and You’ll Miss It

May 10th, 2018

The first summer we moved into our house here in Maine, I planted bloodroot in a small damp, shady area behind the house. It’s been slowly growing, thriving in the area where not many things want to grow.

It’s such an amazing little plant, if you blink, you’ll completely miss the blooms.

As soon as I start working outside in the spring, I make it a point to check on the bloodroot every day so I don’t miss it. On Monday I noticed it was blooming, by Tuesday evening when I went to point it out to Mr Chiots, it was already fading. The blooms only last for about 24 hours.

Do you have any fleeting flowers in your garden?

Asparagus Season!

May 9th, 2018

We really enjoy asparagus, when we moved here, there was supposed to be an asparagus patch. It was overgrown with quack grass, and thus the asparagus was not happy. After a good weeding and mulching, we thought it would bounce back, it didn’t.

Two year ago, I started two heirloom varieties of asparagus from seed. Last year, I added 50 crowns of asparagus (25 of Jersey Supreme, 25 of Purple Passion).

They grew well all last year, this year we will be able to harvest a few spears. Newer studies show that asparagus actually produces longer if they are harvested in their second year.

Next year, I’ll replant the crowns started from seed in rows, I’m not sure where I will put them at the moment, perhaps in second rows alongside the current rows of asparagus. When I went to Monticello 8 years ago, I was blown away by the HUGE bed of asparagus.

A huge plot of asparagus foliage is a really show stopper in the garden. Since my asparagus will be behind a perennial border, I think it may be the perfect backdrop for a mix of roses, clematis, catmint, and other lovelies. You certainly can’t beat the perennial nature of asparagus, a vegetable you plant only once every 25 years or so is a big win in my book!

What’s one of your favorite seasonal vegetables?


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.