Hummingbirds are beautiful creatures and fun to watch but I don’t like having to boil the nectar. From what I have read it is important to cook it so that any bacteria that might be present in the water is killed. I know you can buy it already made but the frugal person in me won’t allow that. Fortunately, I came up with an easier way to make it. All you need is water, sugar, and a handy dandy coffee maker.
A common ratio of water to sugar is 4:1. For my feeders I pour 2 cups water into the coffee maker and place 1/2 cup sugar in the glass carafe. Turn on the coffee maker and it will do the rest. Once the water has dripped into the carafe simply stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool and pour it into a clean feeder. That’s it. Easy Peasy.
Now I know the coffee pot does not boil the water but it does heat it to steaming. I have had hummers at the feeders all summer so not boiling the water doesn’t seem to be an issue.
As a side note…Do not add red food coloring to the water. There is some evidence that it can cause birth defects in the babies.
I plant basil every summer. Not just for culinary uses but for its medicinal value. A little research on the internet about basil will reveal that it has properties that help draw venom out of bites and stings but that a blog is for another day.
Since I usually don’t get around to planting basil seeds in the spring I end up buying a plant at the local home and garden store. This year there happened to be three plants in the planter instead of one. So being the frugal person I am I gently divided the roots of the three plants and replanted them into separate planters. And presto I now have three basils plants for the price of one.
Once the plants reached full size I took several cuttings and put them in water for a week or two to root. Once each plant had a fair amount of roots I transferred them to planters to give away. At this point I have lost track of how many plants I got from the one that I bought. I have shared with friends and at the end of the summer plan to take one of the smaller ones I rooted and bring it indoors for the winter. If all goes according to plan I won’t have to buy one next spring.
I love being able to go outside and “pick supper”. Selection varies from night to night and season to season but it sure beats going to the grocery store. You can’t get much fresher than “just picked”. Last night we had fresh picked asparagus sautéed in butter with mushrooms and carrots along with a salad filled with freshly picked lettuce. No pictures of that though we ate it all up before I thought about it.
Tonight we had crappie caught by my Dad out of our pond, wild onions which were great in the hushpuppies and an infusion of peppermint tea. All organic, chemical free and loaded with nutrients. Wild onions are full of minerals and peppermint has many known health benefits including improving digestion.
I spent the afternoon digging up garlic and onion chives as well as peppermint to plant in containers so that I can have fresh herbs indoors next winter. The chives are fabulous in salads and on baked potatoes. The peppermint tea is useful for helping fight off winter colds. My tomatoes, bell cayenne, jalopeno, and habanero peppers are ready to plant as soon as the weather cooperates. I couldn’t resist planting a few cucumber seeds but I brought them inside to germinate. A few days head start will allow me to have fresh cucumbers just a little bit earlier.
Hopefully I have inspired you to start growing your own food if you aren’t already doing so. Let me know how it goes.
I was looking for something to do with all the fresh okra from the garden besides frying it. While I do love fried okra, it isn’t exactly good for the waistline. So I experimented a little and came up with this yummy sautéed okra recipe.
2 C sliced okra
1 C chopped carrots
4 diced jalapeno peppers
2 chopped bell peppers
2-3 T olive oil
Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add okra, carrots, and peppers. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sautee on medium high heat stirring frequently until okra is no longer slimy. Can be eaten as is or add a little soy sauce and serve over rice.