Beauty and Bread

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in,
where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”
—John Muir

Flowers next to a window in a restaurant

The photo above was taken at Forepaugh’s Restaurant in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They served us a potato bread that was delicious. You can always taste the difference between homemade bread and store-bought bread. If you like homemade bread, here’s a recipe for a quick bread that is flavored with savory herbs. Bon appetit!
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Herb and Onion Quick Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

1/2 cup milk
1-1/2 T sugar
1 t salt
1 T butter
1 package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2-1/2 cups white or whole wheat flour
1/2 small onion, minced
1/2 t dried dill weed
1 t crushed, dried rosemary

Directions:

  1. Scald the milk and dissolve in it the sugar, salt, and butter; cool to lukewarm.
  2. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the cooled milk, minced onions and herbs. Stir well with a large wooden spoon.
  3. When the batter is smooth, cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until triple in bulk—about 45 minutes.
  4. Stir down and beat vigorously for a few minutes, then turn into a greased, small loaf pan (or a couple of smaller loaf pans). Let stand in a warm place about ten (10) minutes before putting in a preheated, 350 degree oven.
  5. Bake for about an hour. Smaller loaf pans make bake faster so check accordingly.

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“When you have only two pennies left in the world,
buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.”
—Chinese Proverb

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Photo of the Day: Come On In

A Welcoming Front Entry

Creating curb appeal is easy when one has a green thumb (or hires one).  The variety of color, texture and size of plantings, along with the bright pots, provides interest, depth and appeal at this house in St. Louis Park. (Photo taken with my cell phone.)

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Fresh Flowers Add Beauty and Color

Tulips

Today I toured a home in Southwest Minneapolis that had a bouquet of fresh tulips on the dining room table. The blooms were enormous (for tulips) and were a bright salmon-pink color. They were the only adornment on the dark wood table.

The clear vase allowed the simple beauty of the flowers and their arrangement to stand out. Sunlight streaming through the windows and neutral wall colors further heightened the appeal of the room. The tulips, however, were like the perfect accessory of an outfit of clothes—it made you stop and take notice of both the flowers and the surrounding space.

I love tulips because they have a simple shape with gentle curves, are available in an array of colors, and easily look stunning without the addition of any other flower or greenery. Of course, any bouquet of fresh flowers will enhance a room. Flowers are part of nature at its best.

Tulips on kitchen table in Minneapolis

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I Love Lilacs! (Now They Rebloom!)

A lilac branch and green foliage

A sure sign of spring is the heady smell of lilacs blooming. There’s nothing quite like the scent of lilacs. I once had a lilac scented candle that smelled exactly like the flower—not overly scented as some candles are, but subtle and natural. It was amazing and wonderful!  If any of you readers can suggest a source for finding this candle or one like it, please let me know. I’d love to have another one.

If you’re a lilac lover like me, then you no doubt feel the lilac blooming season is far too short. Good news, lilac lovers! I’ve just read there are lilac bushes that continuously rebloom until the frost. They grow just 4-5 feet tall and are hardy in zones 4-7 (the Twin Cities is in zone 4).

I’ve read some positive reviews of these lilac bushes and it sounds like they sell quickly. White Flower Farm ships the plants in 5″ pots mid-April through June. If you love lilacs as I do, you might want to reserve yours now. Spring will be here before we know it. If you have any experience with these reblooming lilacs, I’d love to hear from you.

Gurney’s Seed and Nursery: Josee Reblooming Lilac

White Flower Farm: Bloomerang Shrub Info

The smell of lilacs—heavenly!

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