I’ve been pretty busy lately so haven’t had much time to post anything. Brian’s parents are on their grand tour of Europe; six weeks and more countries than I can keep count of. Each afternoon we look forward to his mother’s recap of the day. They make me want to pack my bags. She’s an excellent observer and I hope she takes up blogging when they return – she’s a natural.
Am still playing around with the camera – hopefully I’m getting better. So this is just a lazy-man’s post…throwing up some recent photos. These are mostly of the yard, but some odds-and-ends as well.
A couple of weeks ago, we made beer-can chicken. I’ve always wanted to do that. It came out great, but the rub was ‘blow-your-head-off’ hot; not for the faint of heart!
- 1 can light lager
- 1 3 1/2–4-lb. chicken
2 tablespoons 4-3-2-1 Spice Rub (4 tablespoons kosher salt, 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons paprika, and 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper)
- A foil baking pan (for drip pan)
Pour out (or drink) half of beer.
Prepare grill for high, indirect heat and fit with grill pan (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on 1 side of grill and put drip pan on empty side; for a gas grill, leave 1 burner turned off and place drip pan over unlit burner). Add water to pan to a depth of 1/2 inch.
Season chicken with 4-3-2-1 Spice Rub. Place cavity of chicken, legs pointing down, onto open can so that it supports chicken upright. Place can, with chicken, on grill over indirect heat (and above drip pan). Grill chicken,
covered, until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 165°, 45–60 minutes. (If using charcoal, you may need to add more to maintain heat.) Let chicken rest 10 minutes before carving. Serve with pan drippings.
* Wing tip *
Use a can opener to remove the entire top of the beer can (pour out half). It’ll maximize the boozy vapors that make it to the chicken.
My Evergreen Wisteria (Millettia reticulate) is blooming again. I love this flower – it’s almost purple-black.
My Mexican Firebush (Hamelia patens); plumbago (Plumbaginaceae); lantana (verbenaceae); and shrimp plants (Justicia brandegeeana) are all doing very well. Shrimp plant is another great garden workhorse I highly recommend. It does very well in shade and blooms a dark strawberry colour during December.
Plumbago and Daisy Bush
This was one of my inspiration pieces for the garden design – the “Provence meets Austin backyard” theme. Just a simple fleur de lis garden hose guard, but it really is one of my favourite things.
My inspiration – fleur de lis hose guard
Out front, this is one of my other inspirations…apparently it’s called an armillary sphere – before Google, I suppose these were just thing-a-ma-bobs or doohickeys.
I really liked these photos of my meditating Buddha and one of my Indian stone wall lamps.
Buddha in a meadow. I don’t think Bodhi trees grow in Central Texas.
Indian wall stone lantern
I can never, ever remember the name of this shrub. I’ve taken heaps of pictures of the label when I see it at ‘The Natural Gardener,’ but somehow, the name just doesn’t stick. The blue glass is a shade from the old kitchen light fixtures we had; I love this colour combination.
Shrub whose name I cannot remember.
Just an artsy photo.
Blue glass LED light shade from the kitchen
Yesterday, I hung a newly acquired suet feeder. This one has a copper roof. I’ve gone to great lengths to squirrel-proof it. So far, so good. A few days ago I saw a woodpecker in the tree; I hope this feeder keeps it around.
My new suet feeder – bring on the woodpeckers!
And to conclude… A few days ago, my mother and I went on a driving tour through Fayette County. In Flatonia, I finally found the house my grandmother was born in. The fascinating thing about this house is that the chimney has a rock from each of the states (at that time).
The house in Flatonia, Texas where my grandmother was born – been looking for this for ages.