This and that – what’s on my mind

Plants Back in September ’08 I did a post on “plants around the house”.  I had a “mystery plant” that bloomed and was so excited to learn that it was a Hoya (thanks Jayne and Glenda!).   Well it is blooming again and I just have to post another picture of it.  This time it’s blooming in TWO different colors!  May 2009 002

Maybe I am easily fascinated, but I’ll admit it, I’m simply loving this Hoya plant!!

You may also remember if you click on my previous plant post here, that I started an experiment with my African Violets.  Following the advice in my o-l-d houseplant book “Crockett’s Indoor Garden”, I took four leaf cuttings off my healthy African Violet, dipped them in rooting hormone, and inserted them at a 45 degree angle into a pot.  Then I developed a hearty dose of patience and waited.  I watered, I watched, and I waited.  I have been rewarded!!  May 2009 001What was once just four leaves is now an abundance of leafy green!!  When I first noticed the little “plantlets” appearing, I was so excited!  It worked!  Of course the true measure of success is if/when this little beauty actually blooms. This was my purple and white specimen, so theoretically when it blooms, it will also be of the purple/white variety.  Obviously I’ll post a photo of that “exciting” event, should it happen.

Food Yesterday in the late afternoon,  I pulled up a stool next to the stove and made (with love I may add, as it’s rather time consuming) some particularly delicious risotto.  I’ve made risotto before and liked it, but this was love at firMay 2009 005st bite!  The recipe is from the Martha Stewart “Everyday Food” magazine – back in April 2004.  Shame on me for waiting this long to try out this fantastic side dish!  It’s actually called Spring Risotto with peas and zucchini.  If you hate peas and/or zucchini, I’m sure you could substitute other green veggies.  Click here (the Martha Stewart Everyday Food website) for the full recipe.  May 2009 006

Start by cooking some lovely chopped zucchini in a 3 quart saucepan. When it is soft and golden, remove it and add your Arborio rice.

May 2009 007

In risotto, Arborio rice, imported from Italy is a must. Well in my opinion, it’s a must.  It has a higher starch content and makes the creamiest risotto.  Our friend Martha Stewart says it’s possible to substitute medium grain white rice.  That would probably work too.  I get my Arborio rice from Trader Joes.  Gotta love that store … great selection of slightly unusual things at very reasonable prices.  May 2009 009

Now for the time consuming part.  You add the broth just one cup at a time, stirring until nearly all the liquid is absorbed.  Then, and only then can you add another cup of broth.  This part of the recipe takes approximately 30 minutes.   Ahhh, this is the “made with love” part!  Then, at the very end you’ll add the zucchini, peas, and some parmesan cheese (yum).  May 2009 011

Here it is, the final result…  Spring Risotto, a slice of ham, and some delicious steamed broccoli.  All I can say is that I’m so glad there’s leftover risotto for tonight!

So last night’s evening meal ends today’s tale of  “this and that”.  Has anybody else made risotto?  Propagated plants?  I’d love to hear all about it!!  🙂