Pro Tips For Planting Herbs With Crafty Kitchen, LLC

Spring is here! Crafty Kitchen will soon be planting several potted herb plants and thought we’d share some tips with you!

The great thing about herbs is that generally, the more you pick, the fuller and better the plant will look. (However, don’t pick so much that you leave a giant hole in your arrangement!) Many herbs also have beautiful flowers and some are edible and delicious. Some herbs, like basil, become bitter once they flower.

Here are six especially attractive herbs to grow.

1. OREGANO (Origanum vulgare)
Golden oregano is a favorite because it can add a bright spot to any container as it will drape over the sides of containers. Don’t overwater and keep pruning back. Oregano needs good drainage. If the plant starts getting leggy, cut back and wait a few weeks for recovery.
SUN EXPOSURE: Full sun to part shade
SOIL NEEDS: Any well-drained soil

2. MINT (Mentha)
Most mint types are tasty and beautiful but they will spread and try to push into other plants so it’s better to keep them to one container and they’ll need regular pruning. I’ve listed a refreshing recipe to utilize your mint in. Find this Mint Cucumber Lemonade Recipe below, and enjoy!
SUN EXPOSURE: Full sun to part shade
SOIL NEEDS: Moist well-drained soil

3. SAGE
Golden, tricolor and purple sages are as beautiful as they are fragrant and easy to grow. Let the soil dry out a bit between waterings. Sage doesn’t need heavy feeding and too much fertilizer will dull the taste.
SUN EXPOSURE: Full sun (enjoys some shade in very warm climates)
SOIL NEEDS: Dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil.

4. THYME (Thymus vulgaris)
This woody perennial is a hard-to-kill plant that needs very little care. It is drought-tolerant, fragrant, and great for cooking. Thyme doesn’t spread quickly so it can be planted with other plants. Prune it back if it becomes leggy.
SUN EXPOSURE: Full sun
SOIL NEEDS: Dry, well-drained soil; prefers a slightly alkaline soil

5. ROSEMARY (Rosemarinus officinalis, Salvia rosmarinus)
The two main types of rosemary are upright and prostrate. The upright will behave like a shrub, and in warmer climates can get huge. Prostrate varieties creep along the ground and some can get quite large and drape over the sides of pots. All rosemary can be used in cooking, but the uprights are thought ot have a slight edge in flavor.
SUN EXPOSURE: Full sun
SOIL NEEDS: Dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil, prefers slightly acidic conditions.

6. DILL (Anethum graveolens)
Dill is a tall herb and goes to seed pretty quickly, but one great thing about dill is that it attracts swallowtail butterfly caterpillars and other pollinators. You can let the herb flower away and watch the beneficial bugs feast on it.
SUN EXPOSURE: Full sun
SOIL NEEDS: Rich, light, well-drained soil.

Here is a refreshing way to use your MINT by making this
MINT CUCUMBER LEMONADE
(Adding your favorite alcoholic beverage as you wish!)

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We hope you enjoyed this guest spot from Chef Julie at Crafty Kitchen, LLC.  Be sure to consider Crafty Kitchen, LLC for your Personal Chef needs and check her out by visiting her website and Facebook page.  As Chef Julie always says, stay safe, be well, and always celebrate life!

Seven Ways to Celebrate Easter at Home

Celebrated around the world, Easter is one of the most important holidays and is a time for family gatherings, colored eggs, and celebrations. With the changes brought on by COVID 19, we are all going to be celebrating differently this year.

We won’t be going to our church services and food blessings.  We won’t be gathering at our favorite restaurants for brunches, or congregating at grandma’s house for dinner.  We won’t be visiting the Easter Bunny or hunting high and low in community Easter egg hunts.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate on our own.  As we prepare for the holiday, check out our seven suggestions for celebrating at home:

1. Make a Classic Easter Recipe: White-Chocolate-Crockpot-Candy.jpgWith everything being so different, some things don’t have to change. Why not whip up your favorite family treat? There is nothing like a classic family recipe to make everyone feel a little closer! Plus, it’s an easy way to keep favorite traditions alive, even when the usual gathering has been canceled. Be sure to order your specialty grocery items from Lake Geneva County Meats for curbside delivery.

2. Attend a Virtual Worship Service: Many churches have now made their services available online, either through live stream events or prerecorded podcasts. First Lutheran Church in Elkhorn posts lenten scripture studies to Facebook daily, Calvary Community Church posts weekly services on their website, and First Congregational UCC in Lake Geneva live streams services to Facebook every Sunday. Head over to our website for a full list of local houses of worship.

3. Plan a Virtual Hangout With Loved Ones: family-facetiming.jpgWith technologies such as Facetime, Zoom, Houseparty, and Google Hangout, it has never been easier to feel close to loved ones when you’re miles apart. Organize a hangout with the cousins, or choose to tune in to the same worship service together. Just because we cannot be together in person doesn’t mean we cannot be together in spirit.

4. Give a Springtime Offering: Springtime is a season of renewal and new beginnings. If you are able to, consider donating to an organization meaningful to you.  Whether it goes to the local food pantry, or your own hairstylist who is out of work, a little generosity goes a long way.

5. Have a Backyard Egg Hunt: easter-egg-hunt-kids-photo.jpgKiddos will likely be disappointed that there won’t be a local easter egg hunt this year.  Bring the hunt into your own backyard with their own Easter Egg Hunt.  A little sunshine is a welcome distraction, plus you can raise the stakes with the special golden egg.  Check out some tips for a new twist on the classic Easter egg hunt here.

6. Make Candy Art: img_4733.jpgMom always told you not to play with your food, but now we’re giving you full permission! Candy art brings sweet treats and creativity to life with just a little bit of imagination. Using colorful peeps, bright jelly beans, and chocolate bunnies, you can create some festive and fun works of art to be cherished for years to come.

7. Establish a New Tradition: Rather than focusing on all of the ways the holiday is different this year, take this time to start a new tradition. Maybe try your hand at baking that layer cake you saw on Instagram.  Or hand paint eggs for a more flair.  Perhaps curl up with your kiddos to read The Tale of Peter Rabbit checked out from an online library.

We hope that these activities will help brighten your Easter activities amidst the uncertainty of the times.  What are your Easter plans this year? Tell us in the comments below!

 

Five Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Walworth County

Top o’ the morning to ya! You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Don your shamrocks and pour yourself a Guinness, its time to paint the town green. Join the fun March 13th though 17th with these five festive events to help you celebrate just like a leprechaun.

 

1. Drink around the Ring of Kerry: You can’t celebrate traditional-irish-coffee-nutmeg-nanny-1518198304Saint Paddy’s day without a little spirit(s)! Join the Delavan Lake Store & Lounge for their Irish Cocktail Experience: a sampling of four classic Irish cocktails Friday March 14th at 7:00 pm. Be sure to purchase your tickets early, as this is always a very popular event. Sláinte!

2. Bag Pipes and Pub Bites:  If you love the bag pipes and traditional Irish music, come on out to Postscript Pub in Delavan for a St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Celebrationdownload.jpg full of live music and delicious food! Let your ears savor the tunes while your taste buds enjoy classic corned beef and cabbage and lamb stew. And if you prefer to leave the cabbage to the more adventurous eaters, you can still order off their yummy regular menu.  Don’t forget to pair your meal with some green beer.

 

3. More Than Small Potatoes: You’re in luck, The Abbey is once again hosting their St. Patrick’s Day Buffet Saturday March 14th. The culinary team has prepared and expanded their menu to include Shepherd’s Pie, Irish Cheddar & Stout Mac n’ Cheese, and Corned Beef & Cabbage, among other traditional flavors.  Make your reservations soon, as they can disappear as fast as a rainbow.

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4. Lions and Leprechauns: DgAMiKpgamXNHORWnYYUSK6B.jpgThe Irish love their traditions, and so do the Delavan Lions Club. Join them on Sunday March 15th for the 57th Annual Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner.  Delight in all you can eat Irish fare or take it to go as a carryout at the Village Supper Club.   Tickets are available at Stienbrink’s Piggly Wiggly, Bradley’s, Nobel Insurance, and the Village.

5. A Walk in the Irish Woods: Did you know that Lake Geneva has a rich Irish history? Join historian Pamela Meyers at the Geneva Lake Museum for Tuesday @2, March 17th at 2:00 pm for a special presentation about the Irish settlers of the Irish Woods!

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So go out and channel your inner Irishman or Irishwoman and have a shamrockin St. Paddy’s Day weekend here in Walworth County.