Plan A, B, C….

Yesterday we ate the Ground Beef Wellington I had made the day before. As he ate it, my husband kept saying “Oh, wow, this is good…This is DELICIOUS…Oh, wow.” I must say that it was really very good. I will be making it again.

Bronze Fennel
Bronze Fennel

One thing I really liked about the Ground Beef Wellington is that one of the ingredients in the recipe is fennel. I have grown bronze fennel in my garden for a couple of years. It is very pretty–all bronze and delicate and feathery. It tastes like licorice. Yum. But other than breaking off a piece now and then and eating it, I have never really known what to do with it. None of my regular recipes called for fennel. So it was fun to finally have a reason to use it.

Borage
Borage

Another plant in my garden that I think is fun is borage. Borage has pretty flowers that can be eaten. Yes, you can eat the flowers. I think they taste sort of like cucumber. They are nice to put in salads for a pretty and unusual touch. I have read that you can freeze them in ice cube trays for pretty ice cubes, although I have never tried it.

Yesterday my son and I went shopping for a couple of things, and on the way home he wanted to buy some fireworks for Independence Day tomorrow–the little sparklers and noisemakers, not the big stuff–so we stopped at a roadside stand outside of town. We have gone there many times over the years. The guy is nice and always charges less than the stores. On top of that, he also usually gives us a deal. Like yesterday he asked JJ if he knew the total of what he had chosen and when JJ replied “Ten dollars,” the guy asked JJ for only five dollars. JJ protested that he was willing to pay the full ten dollars, but the man insisted on only five. We set off a few tonight, just for fun. We plan to set off most of them tomorrow night. After JJ had lit a few smoke bombs and those little snake things, we hurried inside because the mosquitoes were so bad. Those horrible mosquitoes. They are my enemy.

Homemade Mosquito Trap
Homemade Mosquito Trap

Yesterday I made the mosquito trap that I have been reading about on the Internet. There are different variations of the recipe, but basically you take a 2 liter soda bottle, cut off the top right below where it starts to narrow for the top, invert and place it inside the lower half. You mix 1/4 cup of brown sugar (some recipes say regular sugar) with a cup of hot water. When it has cooled, you pour it in the bottom half of the bottle. Add a teaspoon of yeast. There is no need to mix. It creates carbon dioxide, which attracts mosquitoes. The solution has to be replaced every two weeks. I made it and placed the trap in the garden. The next day I checked it. There were a variety of dead bugs in it, but I couldn’t tell if any of them were mosquitoes. There certainly weren’t as many as in the picture. I am a bit disappointed. I was  imagining mosquito traps all over the yard luring millions of mosquitoes to their deaths…

Rosemary
Rosemary

I decided I will have to try Plan B. I read that you can make a mosquito repellent by boiling rosemary, putting the rosemary water in a spray bottle, and spraying it on your body. Apparently mosquitoes hate rosemary. I, on the other hand, love rosemary and grow it in my herb garden. I use fresh rosemary in recipes in the summer and I dry rosemary in my dehydrators to use in the winter. I figure that it’s worth trying to repel mosquitoes with the herb.

However, just in case the mosquito trap and the rosemary doesn’t work, my husband and son just left to go to the store to buy Independence Day supplies, such as citronella oil and mosquito spray. We have not yet given up the battle against the mosquito horde. We will not be hostages in our home…

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