Family gathers ’round when a loved one dies, sharing memories and telling stories, all a reminder both of the value of the life of the lost one and the interconnectedness of those who remain. We experienced this at Glover Gardens recently when my Dad died, rejoicing in the togetherness of family and friends even while we mourned together. In addition to their continual prayers and love, my cousin’s wife brought a gift to our informal celebration of Dad’s life, a live and blooming hibiscus, with a heartfelt haiku.
your much-beloved dad
like this hibiscus flower
blossomed love and life
I’ve posted before about how we lovelove loveboth hibiscus and haiku here at Glover Gardens; this gift was as appropriate and welcome as a hug to smooth a hardship – and so life-affirming! A quick little poem, at the second grade level (I couldn’t resist):
I have a wonderful cousin who has a wonderful wife. She wrote a hibiscus haiku to celebrate Dad’s life.
Happy Sunday from Glover Gardens! This brilliant red rose is too pretty not to share, standing out amidst its neighbors of purple heart and plumbago. The name of the rose variety is Don Juan, and I guess it does look a little seductive. I can’t decide whether to cut it and enjoy its beauty and fragrance inside the house, or to leave it where it is as a star in the landscape.
The Grill-Meister and I have spent an enjoyable few days with friends in the Temecula Valley, which sports over 50 wineries. There is much to share from this “Wine for No Reason” outing, but this post is just a few photos emphasizing the special relationship between wine and roses.
Many of the vineyards feature healthy, mature, blossom-covered rose bushes, some scattered across the property, and some smack-dab at the ends of the rows of vines. The “why” behind this, we learned, is that roses and grape vines are susceptible to the same types of fungal diseases. The roses function as an early warning system for the vines when they display signs of illness, sort of like the canary in the coal mine. They also attract beneficial insects that attack bugs that prey on vines.
Finally, they’re just beautiful, providing a riot of color amongst the greenery that is both vine and grape.
In addition to his many BBQ accomplishments, the Grill-Meister makes a marvelous homemade tomato juice. When we started growing tomatoes at Glover Gardens, he found a recipe online and then honed it over several summers, tweaking the spices, amounts and fresh peppers. Here it is, hopefully in time for your summer tomato crop, or, if you don’t have a garden, those deep red beauties you’ll find at your local farmers’ market.
This amped-up tomato juice doesn’t need anything but vodka and a squeeze of lime to make a perfect Bloody Mary. On the other hand, it’s so good, you don’t really need the vodka!
4 lbs fresh tomatoes
2 jalapeno peppers
1 serrano, cayenne or fresno pepper
1 medium yellow onion
2-4 cloves of garlic (you guessed it, we use 4)
1 TBSP kosher or sea salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 c water
freshly ground black pepper (optional)
celery stalks (optional)
Blanch tomatoes and remove skin and core (see pictures below for how-to instructions); cut into large chunks. Dice peppers and onion; mince garlic. Combine all ingredients in large pot; simmer for 30 minutes. Allow mixture to cool for 15-20 minutes; puree in blender. Use medium sieve strainer to remove pulp from tomato juice (reserve the pulp to use as base for soup, salsa, guacamole, etc.) Cool in refrigerator for minimum of 3 hours. Serve chilled, garnishing with black pepper and a stalk of celery.