Monday, April 30, 2007

Last Frost Date in New York

Every year since I've had this blog, I get hits for "last frost date" for springtime planting. I Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucketwrote a blog about how I planted my entire annual and vegetable garden before that date one year. Of course, right after planting, I heard that frost was on the way. My choices: losing my whole crop if I left them, covering the whole lot of it or digging them out before nightfall.

I dug. It was not fun. I placed all my little plants in a wheelbarrow loaded with potting soil. I watered them in and wheeled it all in the garage overnight. Never again.

My neighbors thought I was nuts...plant them in, take them out, plant them in. Come to think of it, she still thinks I'm nuts, but that's a blog entry for another day...

So here it is, for all you beginner Hudson Valley gardeners, according to the Cornell Coop. Extension, last spring frost date or planting date, in Dutchess County is........*regal trumpeting*

April 30 - May 10th.

I'd wait a bit...or, if you feel lucky, g'head. You'll have tomatoes a week before me. Maybe. (Tomatoes like warm dirt to're not gaining much by planting early!)

Impatiens really hate frost. Don't plant those even if you do feel lucky. They look so pathetic dead and shriveled. If you care anything about impatiens, leave them at the garden center for another week. Or buy them, let them sun in the day and bring them in at night if you have room.

Of course, go ahead and plant your perennial herbs, hardy perennials, rose bushes, spring flowering trees, shrubs, and even some lettuces and peas. Divide your rootbound perennials and those hostas which seem to grow like they're on steroids. So back away from the tender annuals. There are plenty of other things to keep you busy in the garden this week.

Hudson Valley Gourmet

Hey, I just found this site when I was looking for biscotti online. Hudson Valley Gourmet's site features a wide variety of Hudson Valley-based food products including Bella's Famous Biscotti (love it, love it - try the vanilla!).

It would be great if they could get a more eastern location ( me) for sales to the slews of weekenders traveling the Taconic from the city to weekend homes here.

Coming best picks for food in the Hudson Valley...when? I dunno...soon. I'm busy!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Hoops Kids

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A shot of my son's basketball game. What form! What grace! Where's my Windex - that backboard needs a cleaning!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Happy Anniversary, Maya Cafe & Cantina!

This past Thursday was the two-year anniversary of the opening of Maya Cafe & Cantina on Route 9 in Fishkill. I didn't get to attend the festivities but I heard the party was memorable. The empty tequila bottles on the bar shelves spoke volumes. Best wishes for many more years of prosperity, Luis!

Luis Pinto has been busy during these two years and opened yet another restaurant at 294 Main Street in Beacon. They're still awaiting the liquor license as of this writing (4/23/07), so BYO.

Cafe Maya 294 Main Street, Beacon, NY 12508 845-838-4901
Maya Cafe & Cantina, Route 9, Fishkill, 845-896-4042
Cafe Maya, Route 9 Cold Spring, 845-265-4636

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Garden Visits

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If you haven't been to the NY Botanical Gardens, now would be a good time. Like, right now. Spring is in full bloom there and the weather is supposed to be great for a few days. If our daffodils are just starting to bloom here, that means they're in full bloom one hour south in the Bronx. So are the dogwoods, Bradford pears and other flowering trees I haven't put a name to yet.

Here are some photos of a trip I took there two years ago when I had time to visit. Worth the trip if you can sneak out of work. Take a short side trip to Arthur Avenue, just a few blocks away.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Spring Is Here

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Well, after a week of witnessing nature's fury with the Nor'easter and subsequent flooding, there's a calm in the weather and a fireball in the sky. I do believe it's called "the sun." It's apparently going to be up there for a few days in a row this week. Imagine that.

Random garden notes:

The deer ate the crocus but the daffodils, of course, were spared. Now, if they could just create daffodils that look like tulips, we'd have it all.

The glory of the snow flowers are up all over the yard. Makes me feel guilty for not raking out the woods since there are so many in there peeking up from under the brown leaves. Let's see...I've correctly identified the sneaky weed that took over my flower garden last year...haha! You're not a flower, not a flower! It shall be evicted forthwith.

I got dirty in the gardens this weekend, digging up raspberry bushes (again) that still want to live in my veggie garden. I chopped down some thicket and burr-bushes near the road and planted what should be a lovely berry hedge...for the deer to nibble on. Sigh.

Got half the veggie garden turned over...planted pansies by the mailbox, added mulch to that (OK, it was only a square yard of mulch, but it's inspiration to mulch the 100 or so square yards in the other gardens).

I think two of the three baby birch trees my friend gave us last fall will make it. One is destined for kindling.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My Recipes

I've been remiss in gathering the recipes I've shared here on PftW. Here's a clickable list of some of my recipes...more to come! Happy cooking!

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Zucchini Bread
End of Summer Pasta
Turkey Stuffing

Helpful cooking sites:

Produce Pete - taking the mystery out of produce
Recipe/measurement converter - good for changing quantities in recipes
Cook It Simply converter - helpful with recipes in non-US measurements

Some favorite food/recipe sites:

Pinoy Cook - Filipino recipes - just like my mom used to make
Good Home Cookbook Blog - homestyle recipes
Chow - all things food and foodie

Coming top ten local food/restaurant picks in Dutchess County!

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Monday, April 16, 2007

LaGrange Flooding

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That big Nor-Easter came through with a wollop today. Flooding everywhere. Every road that accessed my daughter's school from the south, where we are, was flooded. After trying three different routes, I ended up driving through a shallow washout over the road. Today of all days, I offered to drive her to school.

Some more photos here.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter

How chocolate bunnies came to be associated with the risen Christ is beyond me, but OK. At least I like chocolate...and bunnies. Apparently, it's of German origin...

Look! You can take a quiz to find out what kind of person you are based on which part of the bunny you eat first! I'm an ear-lover, myself.

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Spring...Indoors Anyway

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Spring bulbs, Adams Farm Market Flower Show

It is so cold...I'm wondering if Al Gore had a typo in his reports...not global freezing. snowed in April. The Mets game in Atlanta tonight looks like they're playing in November! It's all my fault...I packed my sweaters away last week. Apologies, northeast.

My daffodils are still closed tight. They're not stupid. I fear my crocus will die before they ever open. Their little purple buds are up but slammed shut. The hyacinth that poked up in last December's heat spell are finally blooming, albeit shorter than normal and the tips are yellowed from exposure to January/February's snowfalls.

I wonder what will happen to all those forsythias that bloomed in December...will they bloom again? Second chance spring? Wacky weather. Spring is hopeful but completely confused this year.