Gardener's Grapevine 2013.04.17

Written by David Green.

Wow, what an insanely busy week this past one was for Art and me. There is a saying that we plan and God laughs. Well, he must have been roaring with laughter this week. I started out thinking last Sunday that the week would be a breeze due to my doctor being out three of the five days, leaving lots of catch-up time with a concentrated effort of getting ahead. Friday I think I actually heard God laughing.

For those of you who don’t know, I am a nurse at Maumee Ob/Gyn for Dr. Kristal Ward. Each doctor has their own nurse who is responsible for keeping the wheels turning.  With all this said you can probably all see why the peas are not in the ground yet. I just can’t wait to play in the dirt, but the closest I got this weekend was raking the church grounds of winter debris and getting the thatch out of the grass.

Every year I like to assess the overall condition of the church grounds and get a general idea of what needs attention. The major need I can see is mulch spread in a few places and the boulevard is a mess. It will have to be replanted with grass. Not such a major amount of work. I enjoy working outside at our church; there is a peaceful feeling to it. The Congregational Church is very old, very beautiful inside and out and whoever planned it out did a nice job. The landscaping area is not very large so it accents the building without taking away from it.

​I, like a lot of other people, have a little Irish in my background. My kids would tell you it comes out in my temper. Not sure that’s true, but we’ll go with it. My husband would tell you it comes out in the red in my hair. I don’t know but I do know that I have a pretty strong interest in Ireland and my son is in love with it since his graduation trip there. He says the country epitomizes peace, tranquility and a simpler way of life. I don’t know about that when they are noted for having fiery tempers.

The reason for this little side trip to the Irish is that I read a great article this week on potatoes and the Irish dishes made from them. The Irish are known for potatoes and from the sounds of it they know how to do them right.

Here is a recipe for “Irish Champ,” a different take on mashed potatoes: 2 pounds of boiling potatoes, ½ cup nonfat milk, 1 bunch of green onions or a scallion in ¼ inch pieces, one pat butter, sliced or grated cheddar or Jarlsberg cheese. Cover potatoes with water, cook, then drain. Put the onions, milk and butter in a container and cook on the stovetop or in microwave until heated through, but do not boil. Mash potatoes with hand masher and add onion mixture. The final step is to stir in the cheese. It is traditional to leave potato lumps so avoid using a mixer to mash potatoes.

Another variation of this is called “Colcannon” and the only difference is to add 2/3 cup of kale, cabbage, collard greens, swiss chard, spinach, etc., with tough stems removed and chopped into spoon size pieces, steamed or sautéed. Greens must be patted dry. These are added to the champ with the onion milk mixture. It looked delicious in the picture.

The final recipe was for Spuds 'n Swedes. Peel 2 pounds of potatoes and 2 cups of rutabagas, dice both into half-inch chunks, cover rutabagas with water and boil 10 minutes. Then add potatoes and more water and cook 20 minutes or until done (stick a fork in, if it goes in easily, they’re done). Drain and mash a whole lot. Heat ½ cup milk and ½ medium leek with tough green leaves removed and white part diced together and heat until hot, not boiling. Add this to potatoes and stir all together. Serve with poached eggs or fried sunny side up eggs. The potatoes are put in a bowl with the eggs on top. I plan a little Irish food trip soon and hope you will, too.

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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