This year I tried my hand at growing a few things that all started in April with a strawberry hanging basket that I bought at the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival. Then, I bought 1 grape tomato plant, boxwood basil, rosemary and chocolate mint. Instead of planting these items in the ground, I opted for large flower pots. I DO NOT have a green thumb and I imagined that my plants would not make it.
Well as of late June, my plants are going strong and growing. I am constantly picking 2-3 berries at a time from my strawberry plant. I have picked several grape tomatoes. I have lots of little green ones at various stages and lots of blossoms. I am anxiously waiting for them to ripen because I love eating those little tomatoes. I have not used any of my basil, rosemary or chocolate mint yet. I plan to try them out soon, but I just really love their fragrant smell. Maybe I have developed somewhat of a green thumb after all! I am so proud of my little container garden as you can see in the photos below!
Here are some great recipes that you may want to try out this year, especially if you have some strawberries growing in your back yard. Strawberry Marmalade will allow you to enjoy your strawberries all year long. Sensational Strawberry Slush will keep you cool all summer!
- 2 medium oranges
- 2 medium lemons
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 quart ripe strawberries, crushed
- 7 cups sugar
- 1 pouch liquid fruit pectin (half of a 6-ounce package)
- Peel outer layer of oranges and lemons; set aside. Remove the white membrane from fruit and discard. Set the fruit aside. Chop peels; place in a large saucepan. Add water and baking soda; cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, section oranges and lemons, reserving juice. Add fruit and juice to saucepan; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add strawberries. Measure fruit; return 4 cups to the saucepan. (If you have more than 4 cups, discard any extra; if less, add water to equal 4 cups.) Add sugar and mix well. Boil, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat; stir in pectin. Stir for 5 minutes to cool; skim off foam. Carefully ladle into hot half-pint jars or freezer containers, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles; wipe rips and adjust lids. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner or store in the freezer. Serve with toast or biscuits. Yield: about 10 half-pints.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
- 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 can (12 ounces) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
- 1 can (12 ounces) frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
- 2 cups cold water
- 2 liters lemon-lime soda, chilled
- In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and gelatin in boiling water. In a blender combine pineapple juice and strawberries; cover and process until blended. Add to gelatin mixture. Stir in concentrates and cold water. Cover and freeze for 8 hours or overnight.
- Remove from the freezer 45 minutes before serving. For each serving, combine 1/2 cup slush mixture with 1/2 cup lemon-lime soda; stir well. Yield: 20 servings.
Michelle “RED” Roberts