BarbaraMcGraw

Barbara Lee

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Gardenias

I love gardenias.  Or as my grandfather called them, “gah-deen-yas”.  Grandpa had a peculiar accent formed on the streets of lower Manhattan in the early 1900’s.  It was a different sort of “city accent” which often provided amusement to me and my sister when he pronounced certain words.  Some of these words are now embedded in our family speech, and we pronounce them the way he did.  Gardenia is one of those words....more

Eggplant with Shitake Mushrooms

Eggplants are a versatile vegetable. Stuffed, fried, baked, they conform to almost any recipe. Their deep purple glossy skin and sensuous shape make a pretty still life picture. But this shapely vegetable also comes in softer palettes of lavender, orange, white, and celedon green....more

Throatwort

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Roasted Broccoli Soup

 This broccoli soup is fast and easy to make, it's also very nutritious. March is unpredictable, one day can be warm and sunny, another cold and rainy, a vegetable soup can make for a great meal no matter what the weather. Many soups take hours to prepare but this soup is made with just a few steps. All the vegetables are roasted together to bring out their sweetness. Next I puree the vegetables and add the stock. ...more

Heavenly Horticulture

Flowers have their own language and lore.  The Victorians loved to send “secret messages” within a bouquet to express love or friendship during a time of strict moral codes.   Early Christians used flowers to represent religious meaning in their teachings to illustrate a point since the majority of their followers were illiterate.  The most famous being the clover used by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity....more

What is the Meaning of the Color Green?

Spring makes its entrance dressed in green.  Bare branches slowly unfold their array of lime, olive, pistachio, jade, and emerald hues.  Snow melts revealing green sprouts, mosses and buds.  Green signifies the renewal of life as bare trees leaf out in splendor and sleeping bulbs awaken to poke their heads through the earth....more