Life on Regal-Hill: September 10, 2008

While waiting for hay to dry here at Regal-Hill, George has been working at wood. One day, while he was cutting up wood to bring up to the house to be split with the wood splitter, he noticed an interesting wildflower across the stream that he hadn’t seen before. As soon as he got a chance he went across the stream and picked some of these flowers and brought them up to the house.
Of course I didn’t know what they were, but I got out the reference book, Wild Flowers of New York and soon found them. They are called green-headed coneflowers. They look much like Black-eyed Susans only the petals are yellow rather than orange yellow and the centers are a greenish yellow instead of purplish brown. They are really quite pretty.
I have noticed a number of wildflowers that are in blossom now besides the coneflowers and Susans, one being the New England Aster. This really makes a nice display along a stream or wherever they happen to be growing. They are so pretty with their violet-purple petals and yellow centers.
Another real showy wildflower I love to see is forget-me-nots. This flower has small, pale blue petals and a yellow center. I have tried to grow the tame variety and was unsuccessful, so I have decided to be happy enjoying the wild variety.
This year there has been a great deal of touch-me-nots along the stream and road here, more than usual it seems. The variety we have is the Spotted Jewelweed with flowers that are pale yellow to yellow, sparingly mottled with reddish brown dots. Its habitat is moist soil, so I guess that explains why there is so much of it since we had so much rain until recently.
With such delicious melons available this year it is time to have some recipes using melons as an important ingredient. Try these and enjoy.

Watermelon Salsa
4 cups chopped seeded watermelon
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons finely chopped Jalapeno pepper*
1/8 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve with a slotted spoon. It is especially good over fish or chicken.
Yield: 4 cups
2005 Taste of Home Annual Recipes
*Note: When cutting or seeding hot peppers, use rubber or plastic gloves to protect your hands. Avoid touching your face.

Melon Ambrosia
1 cup watermelon balls or cubes
1 cup cantaloupe balls or cubes
1 cup honeydew balls or cubes
1/3 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted
Fresh mint, optional

In a bowl, combine melon balls. In another bowl, combine the lime juice, sugar and honey; pour over melon and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Sprinkle with coconut. Garnish with mint if desired.
Yield: 4 servings
2002 Taste of Home Annual Recipes