What I Did on Saturday

Yesterday I began the day by gathering some plants together for a galpal to pick up.  She recently bought a home with a big sunny yard and I had lots of cuttings and seedlings for her.  There were loquat seedlings, 2 big aloe plants, 2 pineapple plants, an areca palm, a live oak and a laurel oak, some jatropha almond, lemongrass, ginger and night blooming jasmine.  Yin Yang followed us as we wandered through the yard, but Izzy was nowhere to be seen.  He’s such a fraidy cat, but once he meets this pal in person, he will want to climb in her car and go home with her.  We found out that little oak seedlings have a long tap root and that aloe stays shallow.  The areca palm was remarkably easy to dig up, as were the two pineapple plants.I have a lot of ginger and as we cut a few new ones for her, we could smell the fragrance.  Mmmmm, nice.

She left and I watered my cuttings and new plantings and began moving some plants and rocks to the front driveway area where I built the new bamboo fence.  That’s one thing I love about my yard: I have so many plants and rocks and decorative wood that it’s easy to move it around when I want to create new vignettes, new little scenes.

I hesitate using too many big rocks next to plants in sandy areas and full sun since I feel it dries the soil out even more, leaving the plant too dry.  But those are the areas that need the makeover right now, full sun and right out in front, the first thing someone sees when they drive up.

But using the big rocks in areas that get a lot of leaf fall is not wise either.  I just dug out a dozen big rocks that I’d forgotten I had, that were under 6″ of pine straw and oak leaf mulch.  But I like the big rocks where I can see them, because I like the natural look of them.  I staged an area just off the driveway with big rocks and potted spider plants on top of pine stumps.  That makes the scene very portable.

I’ve planted a nice wall of loquat trees that I water each day.  I should have thought of this 10 years ago and I would be completely hidden by now.  They are growing really fast.  Tomorrow’s rain should make them really take off.  The two eleagnus plants I bought from Home Depot look like they’re doing fine and coming back strong.

I came inside and had an email from a friend I’m doing a new website for, so I worked on that for a few hours.  I enjoy that a lot, choosing images and thinking up text, trading ideas and concepts.

Then it was time for dinner, so I made my newest favorite way to cook chicken.  Here’s the recipe:

An hour ahead of dinner, marinate 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs in pineapple juice with a splash of soy sauce in it.  If you have fresh rosemary, throw some of that in there too.  Shake it together to blend.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare a bowl with seasoned bread crumbs in it.  Add a 1/2 teaspoon each salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried basil, tarragon, cumin, oregano.

Drain the pineapple marinade off the chicken and pat it dry.  Place the chicken into the bread crumbs and press the bread crumbs into the chicken.

Take a metal cookie sheet (for better browning than non-metal) and spray Pam with olive oil onto the surface.  Place the breaded chicken onto the Pam coated cookie sheet and place it in the 375 degree oven for 12 minutes.

At 12 minutes, turn the oven down to 350 and turn the chicken over.  Bake another 10 minutes then turn the oven off, keeping the door closed.  Let it sit another 10 minutes in the oven before serving.

Squirt fresh lemon juice on it.  These are delicious, cooked perfectly, juicy and tender, the best chicken I have ever been able to make at home.

All in all, yesterday was a stellar day.

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