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Sunday, November 05, 2006

First frost and November rain...


It's been a notable weather week... October ended with an early surprise frost (in the eight years we've lived here, we rarely have a frost before January. And then only for a week or so all winter).


Therefore, I hadn't expected it to get so cold so quickly. I had to do some scrambling with the few spare studio minutes I scrounged to rescue a few of the tender herbs before their imminent death. My scented sages did not fair well with their first brush with below freezing temps. They are SO fragrant, I always wish their leaves tasted better. The blossoms, luckily DO taste about as good as they smell. Unfortunately, the pineapple sage took all season to work up to flowering - and I was disappointed in my efforts to harvest any.



I did manage to cut the remainder of the lemon and rose scented geranium leaves. Another fabulously fragrant job. Piles and piles of greenery that smells even more intensely and yummy than actual roses and lemons. They are now undergoing some sort of mystical alchemy which transmutes their intense scent into exotically flavored jellies, syrups and sugars.



So we had a few days of frost, immediately followed by our more-normal Seattle autumn overcast - which has turned into an intermittent yet ongoing deluge. We're expecting 6 or more inches again this evening.

On studio news - I'm just about finished finalizing all the color comps for book #1. Transfer to watercolor paper should begin tomorrow. It will be a busy, paint-filled month. We'll see if I get much in the way of computer/blogging time - or get much to see outside my studio window besides curtains of rain...

6 comments:

miss*R said...

so, with the geranium leaves - do you put them into sugar? I haven't heard of that, but what a marvellous idea. I must do it with my rose geranium leave.
do you grow lemon verbena? that is a wonderfully aromatic herb.

PG said...

What a lovely idea, I haven't had a fragrant leaf geranium for a couple of years, but reading this I can just conjure the smell...

tlc illustration said...

Hi Robin - yes, you can layer leaves with sugar. Cover airtight, and leave to infuse for several weeks. The sugar then has a delicate aroma and flavor of rose or lemon, or whatever you used.

I DO grow lemon verbena - one of my favorites. I cut it fresh all summer and use it for tisanes, so I rarely have enough left by fall to do the sugar thing - but I'm sure that would work as well. I *have* made syrup, jelly and sorbet with it.

PG - it has the advantage of being ridiculously easy. Makes great shortbread, or poundcake or tea sweetener as well.

miss*R said...

thanks Tara! I use my lemon verbena leaves in cakes - they give the cake a subtle lemon flavour!

Caty said...

wonderful ideas for the jellies! a recipe?
I LOVE frost! so magical! I just discovered your blog, I will read it carefully!

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

What a clever idea, I cannot wait to try.

I hope the sun shines on you and gives the rain a break!!