Genghis Bone: Steppe Meister!

[A quick little apology: I keep trying new templates for my blog. I rather like this one, but I too am irritated with the stupid flag that keeps asking you the sign up and won't go away--I'm trying to see if I can get them to fix that. I may have to switch to yet another format if we can't change that. Anyway: I'm aware it's there and how annoying it is. My sincere apology. Hang in there--and I'll get it fixed one way or another!]

Plants plants plants, I've heard a few people complain. All you ever show is PLANTS! Don't you EVER show PEOPLE? Well, doh! I AM a plant nerd, not a people nerd...but it just so happens I DO like some people. Everyone in my far flung, fantastic family for instance--every last one of them I adore. And believe me, I have a big family. I work with hundreds of people at a wonderful public garden, and I have deep affection and respect for them as well, not to mention the thousands of volunteers, tens of thousands of members and mil…

"The dead, the gentle dead, who knows?"

"The dead, the gentle dead, who knows?" John Shade A true anecdote
Yesterday we invited three special sets of friends over for dinner. We were inspired. We spent several days actually preparing what I think was a pretty splendid table: we assembled two glass casseroles of Spanakopita and two of Boureki (a special Cretan dish) on Friday. Shopping Saturday and Sunday we cooked up Chicken Kapama in the morning and steamed a large pot of romano beans with dill. Jan cooked up gingerbread from scratch (with whipped cream for dessert) and of course there were hors d'oevres and a splendid salad dished up by Jan.
The entrees were all classic Greek dishes I copied as faithfully as I could from my mother's recipes. I was pleased with the result and I think she would have been. Our guests seemed to enjoy the dinner and were very complimentary. We really had a wonderful evening, I think. It wasn't till they left I realized they were all Jewish (and probably didn't realiz…

Mongolia Redux...camels in the snow!

[Part four in the ongoing saga recounting the trip Mike Bone and I took to Mongolia in July of 2009: there shall be quite a few more posts about this amazing trip!].
Then there were the camels--ten altogether when our train of three combined with a larger group. As a lifelong devotee of Silk Route lore, I reveled in the romance.As an student of Byzantine history, I also appreciated the irony that our silk route trip was organized under the twin auspices of Greentours and Blue Wolf travel. The Greens and the Blues were the two great factions at the Hippodrome in Constantinople after they collaborated peacefully to transport us over the highest pass in Mongolia! Just below the summit, masses of a bright yellow succulent dotted the scree: Rhodiola quadrifida.
I have a hunch that this will prove a challenge when we ever obtain seed: similar to the russet Himalayan Rhodiola fastigiata (which I've grown for years, but not yet successfully bloomed)
We found this on several h…