Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cucumber Basil Salad and Crafty De-lights

My dear friend, Sandy, showed me how to make darling tea light candles for the gardens. (Vintage jars, sand and wire.) Finally! A crafty-type project that doesn't require skill or patience. Right up my alley.

My BBQ went off without a hitch. At least, I thought so until I looked in the 'frig this a.m. to discover I'd forgotten to serve the super fab cheesy potatoes. I may have to eat those high calorie goodies all by myself. Life can be tough some days but I'll find a way to muddle through.

So nice to take a break since I frittered away the entire week on such ridiculous chores it's kind of embarrassing. 

Moved all the flowers from one garden into another. Finally admitting to myself that cutting corners just doesn't cut it. On one side of the house, I amended the soil and things are hunky dory:

On the other side of the house I thought, "Oh, why bother?" I'm sure you know how this story ends. So, we're starting over and believe you me ~ this time I bothered:

Dedicated 3 mornings trying to reason with the horse. "Let's go in the barn." [me] "I don't wanna go in the barn." [her] "Go in the barn!" "I don't wanna and you can't make me." On the third day, I prevailed. Then she refused to come out of the barn.

So, she's got my number. And, sometimes I feel my daily life is so meaningless...
The Perp:
I was lost. But, now I'm found!

Oh, and I lost the dog.

I had half the county out looking for him. Six hours later he strolled up the driveway wondering what all the fuss was about. Toying with the idea of embedding a GPS tracking device in his brain. Plenty of empty space up there...

So that was my dumb week. On the up side, fancy heirloom tomatoes are ripe for the picking. And, so are cute as a button baby cucumbers.

I didn't grow these, but I picked them. Does that count?

As a grand apology for a blog post containing nothing the slightest bit newsworthy, here's the yummy recipe that got rave reviews at the BBQ!

Cucumber Basil Salad
Start with 2 boxes of couscous, cooked and cooled. Then add a few of your favorites:
  • Diced cucumber
  • Diced tomatoes (heirlooms, of course.)
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh Italian parsley
  • Snipped tops of fresh green onions 
  • Pine nuts and sunflower seeds
  • Squeeze a lemon over this mess and toss a bit.
* The whole process takes about 15 minutes but do like I do... act very harried when the guests arrive and they'll think you've been cooking for hours.


Noelle Johnson said...

I love the idea for tea light candles. Wouldn't they look great for an outdoor summer party? I love cucumbers and the recipe looks delicious :-)

Victoria said...

Gorgeous post..and gorgeous recipe..YUM..I'm IN!!

Chloe m said...

I am glad you found your dog. What a crazy day that must have been.

I like those lights, they look fun to make. I may have to dig around for some old masons but it looks definitely do-able. Thanks for the tip.

Melanie J Watts said...

Mnnn those tomatoes have me salivating on my keyboard.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Noelle;
Oh, they're so cute! I think I'll snoop around the local second hand shop for more little jars...

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thx, Kiki;
I was surprised how yummy that recipe was... definitely a keeper.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

That would be a fun project for the kids, Rosey. Sandy's daughter had a blast making these lights.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Melanie;
I feel so fortunate to be volunteering at an organic farm this summer. They're growing the most amazing heirlooms...

eileeninmd said...

A wonderful idea for the tealight candles. Your garden looks just beautiful and you have such a lovley view from your yard. Have a nice day! :)

donna said...

I kept staring at your photos and hanging on every word, so your week couldn't have been too meaningless. Or maybe I'm a shallow person. lol

So glad your dog came home. He's adorable.

Luv bloggers that post recipes and this one sounds delicious.


Amy said...

Kate, I'm back and busy catching up! That recipe looks like a winner especially in this ultra hot weather. Your flowers are beautiful and I like the tea light candles! The dog disappearing act must have been super stressful - happy it turned out well!

Unknown said...

Hi Kate that cucumber salad looks yummy! Beautiful tomatoes. My plants are loaded but just barely turning color. I look forward to my visit! Don't do the weeding! Do you have grasshoppers? They are growing and multiplying! I just squished 2 really big ones.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thx, Eileen, very sweet of you to say.

And thanks to you, too, Donna. The grass I suppose is always greener... :)

Truly enjoyed your pics today, Amy!

Hi, Gloria;
Yes, I don't know if they're Mormon crickets or grasshoppers. Or, maybe that cricket is a nickname for a grasshopper! I just know they're hungry and destructive. :(

Wendy said...

whoa, what a busy and exciting week! Dogs have a way of creating all that hubbub for nothing, right?

Love the candle project. That last photo of the tomatoes is great - like a conveyor belt of tomatoes. You're going to have some nice meals in the next few days!

Faythe said...

Those 'maters looks so delish... the few times I have been out I have been hunting for some. no luck so far. we bought our first corn on the cob in a few years & were shocked first by the price & then how nasty it tasted... I won't be stopping at that stand again... I would of done better at the grocery store! I love the colors of your rock garden! I had big storms come through again last week... which you stopped over & commented on... wouldn't it be nice if we could send the rain to where it is needed!
My neighbpr dog slips away ever so often too.. in fact again last night.. and I had to drive her around to look for him... we found him down at the corner on the way back close to home... silly beagle!

Rose said...

"Moved all the flowers from one garden to the other"?? Doesn't sound to me like you've frittered away your week at all, Kate!

Love the tea lights!

The cucumber salad sounds delicious and something I might try, especially since I suddenly have an explosion of cucumbers in the veggie garden:)

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Wait, the dog has eluded have the best minds in your county undetected and you think he's dumb, ha ha ha ha!
Is that cool stone really in your backyard? Wow!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Wendy;
That's the coolest heirloom: Peacevine Cherry, kind of grows like clusters of grapes!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Grammy;
That's frustrating. I've bumped into the same roadside stand problem myself...

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Rose;
Well... I think I was just feeling frustrated with myself for cutting corners in the first place. No fun to re-do a whole garden. But, it's in good shape, now. :)

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Good point, Monica! LOL. :D

Snowcatcher said...

I'm jealous of your tomatoes! All my blossoms have been falling off without germinating. :( I pinched the six I have now.

Loved the personality of the horse and the dog in your post. Who says you have to be newsy when you have such great anecdotes?

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thx, Snowcatcher;
I would love to say those luscious tomaters came from my own garden but, alas, they are the beauties I pick at the farm where I volunteer. ;)

joey said...

Great post, great ending ... awesome shared recipe, Kate!

Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog said...

Such a cute post. You had me laughing, especially with the comment about room for a GPS in your dog's brain. I can just see her moseying up the driveway. :-)

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I enjoyed reading about your BBQ. I've forgotten to serve things before, too.

Those tomatoes are very pretty.

The photos of you and the horses and the sunflowers in the previous post are awesome!

Stacie Shepp said...


I'm impressed with what you are able to grow in your garden! Love the concept of high altitude gardening. Do you know a lot of people who garden where you live or are you a rare commodity?

I would like to invite you to join our community at and share your your garden! I will send you an e-mail with more info.

Happy Gardening,

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thx, Stacie;
I signed up. Looks like a fun site. :)