I’ve been spending lots of time over the past few weeks getting my little box garden ready for Spring. While some of my more hearty herbs come back every year, and some return from seeds, most everything else I get from my in-laws.
This is Ross and Esther, they have been married for almost 57 years and they and they have run their own nursery for 49 years. While they have downsized over the years (they use to run over 50 greenhouse and supply plants to venders across Texas) they now mainly focus on herbs…..
The Basil and Mint are always my favorite…
Veggies… Tomatoes, Peppers, Green Beans, Okra, Watermelons, Squash, you name it they grow it!
and just about every Texas perennials that will attract a butterfly or hummingbird.
Some plants event come with their own soon to be butterfly… This guy will soon be a swallowtail butterfly 🙂
Thanks to Esther and Ross I’ve developed my own love for herbs and I have my own sweet little herb garden.
Sweet Basil and (a surprise) Flat leaf parsley…
My “Kitchen” Herb Box…. Rosemary, French Thyme, Italian Oregano, Chives, Bronze Fennel, Italian Fennel, Sage and Mexican Mint Marigold
The sage in bloom is like perfume (clap, clap, clap, clap, )
Deep in the Heart of Texas!
I love French Tarragon but sadly it doesn’t grow well here in North Texas because it gets too hot. This wonderful little plant is called Mexican Mint Marigold also referred to as Texas Tarragon because it tastes just like tarragon and it can stand up to our hot Texas sunshine.
English Mint, Provençal Lavender, and lots of Pepper Plants (Poblano Peppers, Serrano Pepper, Banana Peppers, and Jalapeño Peppers)
This is another one of my favorite herbs Pineapple Sage, it will grow into a pretty little bush with little red flowers by fall. Not only do the leaves smell just like pineapple but the beautiful little red flowers attract hummingbirds. Miley, my Garden Guard Dog, wanted to be in the picture too : )
The Blackberries are in full bloom and I think there is going to be a good crop of berries in a few weeks… Hopefully enough for some homemade jam and a Texas blackberry cobbler.
Tomatoes, Cilantro, Zucchini, and Daisies
This Spring we also planted several new trees including 2 Pecan Trees and 2 Cedar Elms, and a Texas Vitex… Most of the trees have been enjoying the abundance of spring rain we have been having….
Surprisingly, despite the strong straight line winds that knocked down several large trees, ripped my outdoor ceiling fan off the balcony, and blew in a neighbors garage door…. This little Meyer Lemon Tree held on to all its blooms and little baby lemons. It’s funny how Mother Nature works sometimes…
Speaking of Meyer Lemons…. After a hard days work in the yard what could be more enjoyable than a scoop of creamy homemade Meyer Lemon Gelato?
Two Scoops of Meyer Lemon Gelato!
Meyer Lemon Gelato
Adapted from Taste Of Home: Lemon Gelato
1 Cup Whole Milk
1 Cup Sugar
A Pinch of Salt
5 Egg Yokes, lightly beaten, at room temperature
Meyer Lemon Zest, from 3 lemons
½ Cup Meyer Lemon Juice (2-4 Lemons)
½ Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
¼ Cup Limoncello
2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
Prep all the above ingredients.
Place the egg yolks in a large bowl and give them a quick stir just to beat up the yolks.
In a small heavy saucepan, heat the milk to 175 degrees. Stir in the sugar until completely dissolved and add a pinch of salt.
Very slowly whisk the hot mixture into the egg yolks a little at a time. Then return all the mixture to the pan, add the lemon zest and whisk the mixture constantly.
While stirring constantly, cook the custard over low heat until it’s just thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon and a thermometer reads at least 160 degrees.
Remove from heat immediately, and run the custard through a fine mesh sieve setting over a bowl to make sure there are no lumps.
Stir in the vanilla, lemon juice, and limoncello. In a separate bowl whisk the 2 cups of heavy cream by hand for 3 about 3 minutes, just until it starts to thicken. Pour the heavy cream into the custard mixture and stir until combined. Cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate over night.
Fill the cylinder of your ice cream maker about 2/3 full and freeze according to the directions of your machine. It takes my machine about 30 minutes to churn the gelato. Transfer to a large container and freeze for 2-4 hours.