Monday, October 24, 2011

Big Beet Night @ the Bondes

You can tell a great cook by the way she stocks her pantry.
I'm feeling very lucky today, having just returned from a visit to Hot Springs, South Dakota. Huh???

Oh, it's the cutest little place, even if it is in the middle of nowhere. Home to a remote Wild Mustang Sanctuary ~ a bucket list item, a place I'd always wanted to visit..

Bustling about her cozy kitchen.
AND - it's also home to my good blogging friend, Gloria, of Dakota Garden. Who dropped everything she was doing and cooked us up a fantastic dinner when she heard we were cruising through town.

October garden, alive with bright color
I've been feeling a bit guilty over this, ever since I got home. We showed up late, empty handed and filthy from a long afternoon of stalking Spanish mustangs on the South Dakota prairie.

That's not like me. Oh, stalking horses, yeah, for sure. But showing up empty handed? At the very least, I'll be sporting a bouquet of flowers. (Gloria ~ if you're reading this, they are on their way. Making amends albeit a day late, and a buck short. :)

She's still got roses blooming!
Gloria has been very influential to me and that's half the fun of being a longtime blogger. So many wonderful, kindred spirits we meet along the way.

Last year, was my 'sick year' in that I came down with two bouts of illness that really knocked me for a loop. Both times Gloria provided some wise advice that put me on the road to recovery.

Fishies in this pond are freezin' their little fins off!
For years, I've drooled over her garden, through pictures on her blog. (She did all the stone work herself.) The pretty arbors her hubs, Ted, built are enough to make any gardener green with envy.

So, it was quite a treat to get a real world tour of her backyard.

She kept apologizing that the garden was 'done blooming.' I couldn't get over how much color she had this late in October!

When the sun set, and the autumn air grew chilly, we headed into her charming kitchen for a home-cooked meal.

Where we noshed on heirloom tomatoes and the BIG BEET, which took center stage. It's as big as a dinner plate! Or, it was... rest assured, we made short work of that homegrown beauty.

The BIG Beet was as large as a melon.
Thanks, Gloria! For inviting us into your cozy home. And, for wowing us with your amazing gardens. I'm looking forward to your visit next year.

* Click here to visit Gloria's spectacular Dakota Garden.


Melospiza said...

I love stories like this! And I love that beet. It makes my shirt feel all speckled with beet juice just thinking about it.

Cynthia said...

It's always fun to meet blog friends in real life! She has a lovely late-season garden. And that IS, or rather was, a very big beet!

A Garden of Threads said...

I visit her garden via blogland and think it is beautiful. Lucky you to visit in person:)

Gloria Bonde said...

Kate, your visit was my pleasure! I am so pleased that in a little way I was able to offer advice that worked! you are too kind! I read your post with a grin that just wouldn't undo itself. Hugs, Gloria

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I've followed Gloria's blog for some time, so it was fun to read about your visit to her garden. It's amazing how small the blogging universe seems at times. In Gloria's recent post I was impressed at how colorful her garden still was this late in the season, I don't know why she'd apologize!

CanadianGardenJoy said...

OMG Kate ! That was wonderful to be able to visit a blogging friend who is such a good friend .. her garden is beautiful and I too would love to see it in person .. I especially love the stone work and arbor .. not to mention the pond .. simply heaven : )
This has been my year of illnesses and naughty back discs that have decided to torture me .. I am keeping my fingers crossed that next year will be much better.
Now in the mean time MISSY !!!
You are messing with my mind over the Morden roses madam .. I just KNOW you didn't have a hand in there .. hum ? .. supposed demise ?
You are a very NAUGHTY blogger friend that is trying to get me going ? LOL
The Great Pumpkin is going to hear about this and you aren't going to get much candy from him this year girl !!
Joy wink wink

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hey, Melospiza!
Beet juice everywhere but it was dee-lish! Surprising considering how huge that bugger was. I left you a comment earlier. Not sure if it helps but I certainly understand the current pickle you're dealing with...

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Cynthia!
I've met a few bloggers face to face and it's always a delight. Gloria is kind enough to call me. Yes! We've gone beyond email and moved onto to the telephone. She's a pretty savvy gal when it comes to natural healing...

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Oh, Jenn...

It's even cooler when you're marching around back there. But, what's really to die for is their house! It's the coziest cottage... Just my size. Every nook and cranny filled with something cute.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thanks again Gloria;
Keep an eye out for a little goodie. I sent you something from my favorite nursery. (I'm still blushing when I think about the fact that I came to dinner and didn't even bother to shower!!!) - Miss Piggy aka Kate

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

I think she was just being modest, Curbstone;

We got lost trying to find her house but then we drove past one house on the block, front yard filled with flowers, and we just knew that was Gloria's place...

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

It's true, Joy;

Every dismal word of my confession is true. I killed 'em. I killed all 3 of your precious roses. I need to be locked up. :)))

Happy Halloween my friend!!!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

It's arbors, plural.

Gloria's hubs is a God among men. He builds arbors!!!

Hmmm... Now how can we get him to start building on my property???

Andrea said...

Yes Kate, I've also been a follower of Gloria and i still remember the before and after post of her garden when she was just beginning. Her kitchen really looks so spacious and teeming with sweet smelling recipes! How wonderful it is for bloggers like you to meet. Somehow, I am getting very good friends too in blogworld but we haven't met yet but they are really so helpful in everything, and mostly very inspirational.

Bonnie K said...

What a beet! Welcome to South Dakota. I haven't seen many Dakota gardening blogs, so it is nice to connect with one via your blog. Her garden is amazing. Hope you enjoyed the sanctuary.

Cat said...

This is such a sweet story and reminds me of why I love blogging so much. It's always a pleasure to meet a fellow blogger in person. I do hope to get to one of the annual flings sometime soon!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Kate,
I came here from Gloria's post about your visit and the lavender you sent her. What fun! I told her I enjoyed seeing the photos from inside her house, and said I love her kitchen. I'm glad you showed even more photos of it. I think we should do posts about our kitchens from time to time, because they really are extensions of our gardens. They are where we prepare the food we grow. Plus, it's fun to get ideas for how to store or display things.