Life on Regal-Hill: June 9, 2010

We finally got some much needed rain here at Regal-Hill on Sunday. I am really glad since the ground was getting very dry and I was too lazy to water the plants myself. The weather forecast kept predicting showers and a chance of severe thundershowers for days but we didn’t get them. The ground was getting drier and drier.
So far today we have had several showers and there was enough time in between to let the water soak in. Hopefully all the plants got the water they needed and will continue to look just fine if the showers continue.
Maybe I am speaking prematurely, but so far the weather looks like it is going to be drier this year than it has in the last several years, It would be nice, especially for haying and other outdoor activities of summer.
The temperatures seem to be quite warm too, which makes it nice. Certainly the 70s without the humidity is much more pleasant than the 90s and high humidity. It is especially true when it is still too early for most pools to be open for swimming.
I was very pleased and surprised to receive a letter recently from someone who reads this column and learned of my quest for candytuft seeds. He said he happened to be in a store looking at seeds when he found them. It was very nice of him to think of me and go to the trouble of sending me some seeds along with a nice note. I was also amazed that they were from Burpee’s since I get their catalogues and I hadn’t found them listed. Anyway, I don’t have any excuse not to grow candytufts this year. Hopefully there will be a nice crop as long as the weather cooperates for growing them.
Yogurt has become very popular with many people. It tastes good in many flavors, but it is also an ingredient in more and more recipes. Remember, it is cheaper if purchased in larger than six-ounce containers. Greek yogurt is becoming more popular with many people since it is thicker and creamier than most American yogurts as the whey has been drained out. I hope you will try these recipes and find them to your liking.

Lemon Yogurt Tea Cakes
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup (8 ounces) fat-free plain yogurt
3 egg whites
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon lemon extract
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Whisk the yogurt, egg whites, lemon juice, peel and extract; stir into crumb mixture just until moistened.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Yield: about 1 dozen
Country Woman June/July 2010

Yogurt Ice Pops
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) peach yogurt
2 cups sliced peeled fresh or frozen peaches
1 medium, ripe banana, quartered
16 Popsicle molds or paper cups (3 oz. each) and Popsicle sticks
In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand for 1-2 minutes. Stir in sugar. Cook and stir over low heat until gelatin and sugar are dissolved.
Transfer to a blender; add the yogurt, peaches and banana. Cover and process until smooth. Fill each mold or cup with 1/4 cup peach mixture; top with holders or insert sticks into cups. Freeze.
Yield: 16 pops
Country Woman June/July 2010