Thank you, Silvia and Willie!

JenPeteFLOctober 22, 2011

Silvia, your gardens are inspirational. I learned so much, and enjoyed meeting so many awesome people. Thanks for your kind hospitality today!

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whgille(FL 9b)

Jene thank you for coming and it was a beautiful day today and we had a great time! I am glad that you enjoyed the garden and the wonderful company we had, I lost count on the people that came but they told me that both streets were lined up with cars.
I was so busy that I did not take any pictures, hopefully others did.


    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 6:58PM
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What an great time Terry and I had meeting so many amazing people.

Silvia and Willie - Wow! Your hospitality was so much appreciated. Your home was lovely and your gardens, jaw dropping. What a wonderful turnout and we couldn't have had a more beautiful day to gather and get to know one another.

Thank you for opening your home.

& Terry

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 7:23PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Kathy

It was great to meet you and Terry and thank you for coming. Like you said it was a great time to meet and talk about plants and food, time flew!
In a week or two, the garden is going to look a little different with all the tomatoes ripening at once, I will be posting pictures to share with garden friends,:)


    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 7:37PM
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Silvia and Willie - It was great to see you again. It was a lovely day out in the garden and nice to rub elbows with other gardeners.


    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 8:57PM
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Dear Silvia and Willie,

I am so happy that I came today and viewed your gardens. I am inspired to do more in my own garden. I am going to make use of some of my shadier spots as I noticed that you do. It made my weekend to visit with everyone and learn!

Silvia, If you are willing to share your recipe for your cucumber relish, I would love to have it. It was fantastic.

To the person who made the sweet potato or butternut squash cold salad: I know there are many of us who would love the recipe as well.

Thank you everyone,

Laurie (mystery tomato trader)

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 9:41PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Christine - I was very happy to see you and Bobby, and we all had a very nice time with other gardeners as well. Cannot wait for the next garden party! :)

Hi Laurie - It was so nice to meet you! and I am glad that you had a good time meeting other gardeners.
I am going to look at the recipe for the cucumber relish and I will post it. And is also good to know that you like the sweet potato salad that I made with the sweet potatoes from the garden. I did a little bit different, I double the amount of sweet potatoes and the same amount of dressing, so I used half. Also I roasted the sweet potatoes already cut up small in a 325 oven till they were tender, it depends on the size of the cubes. And the good thing is that it can be done ahead of time, if you want for Thanksgiving for example. I had the sp roasted and covered 2 days before, the same the onions and the poblanos put in different plastic wrap, had the pre made dressing in a bottle. The night before the party I mixed everything and the day of the party only add cilantro.


Here is a link that might be useful: sweet potato salad

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 8:14AM
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Thank you, Silvia!!! And thanks to Willie and Cheryl, too! It was great seeing you all.

I love my new heirloom seeds, avocado spread, and artichoke plant. I've been wanting to try growing an artichoke for a long time. I'm going to plant the artichoke today, and have some avocado for lunch.

Thanks again for the beautiful garden party.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 8:50AM
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Thanks for sharing your recipes, Silvia. I'll be including the cold sweet potato salad with our Thanksgiving meal!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 1:15PM
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Thank-You Silvia and Willy and Cheryl and Ivan

What a wonderful day of Friends, Food and Gardening.......

I'm voting for the HotPepperJelly.........MMMMMMmmmmmm

Thanks for the swaps.......dougandpam

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 3:36PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Bill! I was so happy that you and Ana came to the party! it was so nice to see both of you and it is great to hear that you had a good time. I am only sorry that I did not get to try your tortilla Espanola, it was so good that it went very fast just like Doug and Pam quiches.
And I am trying one artichoke plant too, we will see how we do it. Louie is trying 3 plants of the same, I will keep checking his progress also.

Jen - here is the cucumber relish for you


Classic Cucumber Relish

2 pounds cucumbers, unpeeled
12 ounces celery
1 medium green bell pepper, cored and seeded
1 medium red bell pepper, cored and seeded
3 cups diced onions (about 2 large)
1/4 cup pure kosher salt
2 1/4 Cups sugar
2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)
1 tablespoon celery seeds
1 tablespoon mustard seeds

Trim and dice the cucumbers and celery and pulse in a food processor until finely chopped but not pureed. (Alternatively, use a blender or grind them in a food grinder.) Transfer to a very large bowl and repeat with the peppers and onions. Sprinkle in the salt and cover all the vegetables with cold water. Set aside at room temperature for 4 hours.
Working in batches, scoop the vegetables into a sieve to drain them, squeezing out as much of the liquid as possible. Dump them out into a bowl.
Prepare for water-bath canning: Wash the jars and keep them hot in the canning pot, and put the flat lids in a heatproof bowl. In a wide, 6- to 8-quart preserving pan, combine the sugar, vinegar, celery seeds, and mustard seeds and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Acid the vegetables and bring to a boil; lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

Ladle boiling water from the canning pot into the bowl with the lids. Using a jar lifter, remove the hot jars from the canning pot, carefully pouring the water from each one back into the pot, and place them upright on a folded towel. Drain the water off the jar lids.

Ladle the hot relish into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space at the top. Use a damp paper towel to wipe the rims of the jars, then put a flat lid and ring on each jar, adjusting the ring so that it's just finger- tight. Return the jars to the water in the canning pot, making sure the water covers the jars by at least 1 inch. Bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes to process. Remove the jars to a folded towel and do not disturb for 12 hours. After 1 hour, check that the lids have sealed by pressing down on the center of each; if it can be pushed down, it hasn't sealed, and the jar should be refrigerated immediately. Label the sealed jars and store.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 3:42PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Doug and Pam

Thank you so much for coming to the party! This morning when I woke up I went to look at the beautiful plant that you gave me! I found the perfect place at the entrance of the house, I just love it! you are so creative!
Good to know that you like the hot pepper jelly, it is not really that hot because I used the yellow hungarian peppers but next time that you come I am going to make you one really good and hot with the french peppers that I am growing now. Did you try the Madras eggplant? that one was hot. And yes it was a perfect day for gardening and friends, hope to see you again soon!


    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 3:53PM
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gardengimp(9B Seminole Cnty FL)

The Madras eggplant was my favorite of the relish's. And, I'll chime in with the sweet potato salad was fantastic. I'm going to be making your recipe for my in-laws when they are here in a few weeks.

Thanks again all of you. It was a wonderful day at a garden party.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 6:45PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Dianne - Thank you for coming and the nice pot that you left for me, I think is basil.
A lot of people have the same taste like you, they voted for the Madras eggplant. If we cover our Orlando eggplants in the winter we can have eggplants for a long time.
The relish is also nice as a side with BBQ chicken or other meats or roasted pork in a banana leaf, that is my next dish to try.
Sorry about not answering your question on the cucumbers, here it is after me looking at my seeds, they are all from Johnny's and all the cucumber pickles were made with a combination of all.
The white one you asked is Miniature White, on the left was Rocky F1, on the right was Diva, and the one next to the eggplant was Corinto F1. They are all worth of trying.

And finally I got some pictures to show that were taken by Cheryl

Thank you all that came to the party!


    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 7:09PM
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Silvia, Willie and Cheryl thank you for a wonderful time..
Silvia everything was fantastic from the garden to the delicious food..
The sweet potato salad is also on my list for Thanksgiving..
It was really a beautiful day spent with an awesome group of gardeners..
I am enjoying my new plants..
Thanks everyone..

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 7:49PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Maxine - You are welcome and we all had great time! When you make the sweet potato salad for Thanksgiving, if you like spicy food you can also add with the roasted poblanos some roasted jalapenos that would be good, one thing that I forgot to say is when you roast the cut sweet potatoes, cover them with foil, this way they don't dry out. And we were all happy to meet your friend, very nice and knowledgeable lady!
And I already planted the sugar cane, thank you. I will let you know when I go to the u-pick farm next time.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 8:25PM
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Maxine, I want to add to what Silvia said--it was so great to meet you and Claudette! You were both so helpful, especially in teaching me about the sugar cane. Now I'm much more confident in planting growing more patches of it.

I don't remember when to plant the sorrel seeds, though. can you remind me?

I also picked up some chamomile from Rick and the Vicks plant from Carmen--both have already doubled in size.

Silvia, the two Dinosaur Kale are happily planted and I can't wait to try it. I didn't think to ask when it was planted and when it should be ready.

Again, thanks to all of your family for your kind hospitality.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 12:24PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Jen - Soon they will reach some good size where you can start harvesting only the leaves and the rest will grow back again. They get tall and are good in stir fry or soup, very nutritious. It will be good for a long time, they love the cold weather.

And I forgot to thank Doug and Pam for all those newspapers, now I can mail to the family, you guys are so thoughtful! Cannot wait to see you again, next time I will be making more pickled veggies for all of you to vote again.:)


    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 1:09PM
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You're welcome Silvia........Perfect Party!

"Did you try the Madras eggplant?"....NO :-(

"SweetPotatoSalad"......No!....where was I ?

doug and pam

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 9:22PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Doug and Pam

We hope to do better and better the next parties, we will be more organized. This time went so fast! I looked at the time and it was 10.45AM and Carmen arrived to help me, next time that I looked it 4.30PM, lol. There were over 50 people at one time.

And I had the same questions,lol

Did I try the famous quiches from Doug and Pam? NO...

Did I tried the best tortilla Espanola from Bill and Ana? NO...

Promise is promise next time we will get better!


    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 8:31AM
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gardencraze(9b Groveland FL.)

Silvia it was truely a great party, I was so busy talking to people that I totaly forgot to eat, by the time I realized how late it was and I was hungry there wasn't much left.LOL

Thank you all that shared plants I'm so happy with I traded.
Thank you so much for the tomatos, I am enjoying them with my family.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 8:00PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Carmen, we were both very busy! I only took time off to feed 2 hot dogs to my dogs, they were hungry too!
Did you see the hamburgers and hot dogs in the picture? just few people ate them, they were already full with other food, there were trays leftover and potato salads galore, also pasta salads. There was some very good hummus made with sumac, I got to try that and most sweets were left except for the meyer lemon bars that I made, I cut them small enough for just a bite. And your rice with pigeon peas was very good and I got to eat that. One of my neighbors made a delicious pasta and shrimp salad that was in the fridge.
Carmen, next time we will do a program with hours and everything.
Willy was talking to the chief of police tonight and he said that next time let them know and they can help with parking if needed, that everything went nice and smooth and since a lot of the neighbors were invited we were all happy.:)
Did you meet the friends from the farm? next time that I go there we can go with Maxine, I will let you know.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 8:41PM
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Thank you for having this party Silvia! Your gardens were beautiful as always and all the food was yummy! My parents and I had a great time.

Maxine, if you or anyone else nearby would like some of the actual miracle fruit berries to try, I have about 10 ripe on the tree now. Just my luck they ripened up right after the party! :( Anyway, I'm happy to give them to anyone who wants to try them.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 9:14PM
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Jen - the sorrel seeds should be planted in the Spring.. I have rooted sugar canes you can have if yours don't root.
Amber - I sent you and e-mail...
Carmen we get to go to the farm with Silvia, yeah!!!!!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 10:11PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Amber - I was so happy to see you and your parents! Don't forget to give them the name of the place where I buy serenade and spinosad. They have so many products there and I get to try new ones all the time, Willy said that I am there like a child in a candy store,lol.
Thanks for the offer to try the miracle fruit, I tried it when I went to Excalibur in South Florida. The owner made me try and after he gave me a grosella that I know they are very sour because we had them in my father's garden, after eating the miracle fruit they tasted sweet.
Thanks for the seedling that you gave me.

Maxine - Yes, we have to plan more fun trips. This weekend is the Oakland Heritage festival and I will be there.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 8:14AM
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gardencraze(9b Groveland FL.)

Yeahhhh! we get to go to the farm with Silvia!!!!
when, when, when,!!!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 6:26AM
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annafl(z9b/10a Sarasota)


Sounds like the party was fun. So nice of you and your family to do this. By the way, that sp recipe sounds delicious, and I thank-you for posting it. I've copied it to try sometime. Hope you are enjoying this beautiful weather.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 7:07AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Carmen - The fruit farm always let me know when the fruits are for picking, then I will call you and Maxine to go picking the fruits with me, it is a lot of fun!
Tell Rick to contact me before the next tomato starting season, I can give him some varieties that he does not have to try.

Anna, I wish that you were at the house for the party, we had a great time, it went really fast! The recipe was liked by a lot of people, if I knew I would of made it more, I have all my sweet potatoes in the closet.:)
The one thing that I forgot to add is when I cut the sp I also added a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper before roasting them. That is the reason that after they only needed half the dressing.
One of my neighbors that is an excellent cook and does French cooking, complimented the Meyer lemon bars, she said they were the best she tasted! She also asked me for the recipe for the Zuni Cafe zucchini pickles.
Next time we will do something different.:)


    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 8:49AM
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coffeemom(Broward z10)

Finally got back home and to my computer to let you know what a fabulous time Kat and I had at your garden party, Silvia! It's always fun to meet new plant lovers. The tour of your garden? well let's just say it's as awesome up close and personal as it is in pictures! Ripe tomatoes in Oct? Who knew? Willie was griller extraordinaire and Cheryl made us feel right at home.
Christina, I'm sorry I missed you. I had met you at the Deland swap a while back. Wanted to ask you about the Deland Orchidoberfest, however...
Diane, sorry we didn't hook up. We spend so much time in Deland buying orchids that we went straight to the hotel and crashed!
Carmen thank you for the lillies. They will be pampered. Same for abnormal's staghorn pups. It was great to meet all of you.
It was the beautiful start to our road trip. Gracias!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 9:21AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Kristi - It was so nice to see you and Kat and I am glad to know that you got home safely.
And you have been very busy! going to Deland and buying plants, good for you. And I agree with you it is great to be around plant lovers. We will get together again soon and I hope that you and Kat can come again, the house is always open for you and the garden always look different from season to season.
And it looks like the tomatoes decided to ripen all at once after the party, made a lot of salsa yesterday.
Coming spring all the pickles will be new, hope to have pickled beets, carrots, romanesco cauliflower. The front bed has all the cauliflowers...


    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 9:36AM
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