Lawn Love

I have been sleeping well at night.  Now that SPPC has given me the opportunity to express thoughts, my mind isn’t going crazy with ideas and keeping me awake.  Now it’s my wife’s turn.  She lost a lot of sleep last night thinking about clay projects.  So she left me today to work at Alpha Fine Arts in Sacramento.  (She is coming back though.)  So much creative talent, and so little time.

While playing in the garden today, several thoughts came to mind.  At least some of you have continued to resist removing your lawn to conserve water.  I am one of these.  I love my lawn.  At one time it covered the entire back yard.  Now it’s far less than 1000 square feet.  It contains no weeds, but there are a few brown spots where my son’s dog has done his thing.  I love it best when the grandkids are here.  See, they have no lawn.  Their house is on a steep slope in the hills above Los Gatos.  The creek that runs 100 yards below them represents the line of the San Andreas Fault.  So you see, it is a treat for them to have a lawn to play on.  The girls do cartwheels and wrestle about.  At lunch time they spread out a blanket and they lie on their backs in the shade of the hackberry tree while they eat their Nana special sandwiches (strawberry jam, creamed cheese, and peanut butter}.  This is really why I love my lawn. 

So if you still have a lawn, I hope you have a mower that has a good vacuuming blade.  Practically all mowers come with a mulching blade that does not do a great job at sucking up plant debris.  You generally can order a blade that does a good job at vacuuming.  There unfortunately is no such blade for my Craftsman mower.  What do you do with your clippings?  I hope you use them for mulch around your plants in the vegetable garden.  If your clippings go into the organic recycle bin, I would suggest that you put a layer of dry plant material in first so that the grass clippings don’t form a gooey mess that sticks to the bottom of the bin.  Another suggestion is to leave the bin lid open.  This lets the contents dry out and this eliminates a lot of odor and prevents the condensation on the bin inner surfaces that gathers debris when the bins are dumped.  Now . . . if you just had a power washer, you could keep all your bins clean enough to eat out of . . . Perhaps that’s a stretch.

Stan, The Blog Man

Banana Curd

Since Stan wrote about brown bananas, I am compelled to share a recipe for Banana Curd which appeared in The Sacramento Bee many years ago.   I find myself wishing my bananas quickly turn brown so I can make this condiment.   Enjoy it on toast for breakfast or graham crackers as a snack.  It serves as a chutney for spicy dishes, especially curries.  


Flavor depends on using very ripe, soft and sweet bananas with dark brown skins. If bananas are barely ripe, add a bit of sugar.  A hint of allspice or nutmeg is also good.  

2 or 3 very ripe bananas
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
Dash ground cloves
Dash ground cinnamon

Mash bananas with fork or potato masher, leaving a few lumps, to make 1-1/2 cups. 
Place mashed bananas in a small saucepan.  Add lemon juice and zest along with cloves and cinnamon.

Bring to a boil and simmer gently about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  While simmering, bananas will slowly heave up into mounds and then spout little puffs of steam, like simmering oatmeal.  
Cool.  Pour into a jar, cover, and refrigerate.  Curd will keep about 2 weeks.  

Per 1/4 cup:  47 cal; 1 g pro; 12 g carb; 0 g fat, 0 mg chol; 1 mg sod; 1 g fiber; 9 g sugar

Linda Hax