Another garden I visited at Oklahoma State University was next to the Engineering Building. It is composed entirely of native plants. There is a nifty garden directory sign so you can identify every plant if you feel like it. It was getting pretty hot, so I did a quick walk through and got back into the shade of the Student Union.
I love the Redshift Tickseed (Coreopsis); I could make an entire bed of various coreopsis cultivars. Our side yard is filled with Plains Coreopsis and we let it bloom for about a month every summer.
Once it goes to seed and looks really raggedy we mow.
Since these are Oklahoma natives, they are well suited to our, shall we say, extreme weather conditions. Once established they are fairly drought tolerant and attract our native pollinators.
It was nice to see an entire garden of Oklahoma plants to get an idea of just how many there really are. I’m especially intrigued by the Tiger Eye Sumac and am thinking about adding one to our landscape someday. It reminds me of a Japanese maple, but one that might actually survive in my yard.
Last week my younger son attended a one-day engineering camp at OSU in Stillwater, Oklahoma. I hung out on campus all day and took lots of pictures of the gardens and flower beds. After a day of breathing the “O State ozone”, I’m ready to pack up and move to Stillwater. (Just kidding.) Our family has a running joke about being on the OSU campus. Something in the air makes us really happy to be there so we think they must be pumping ozone. Or is it the Eskimo Joe’s cheese fries? (According to my older son, the ozone effect does wear off after you have been there for a while.)
Anyway, I had a full day to hang around and wander through the plantings on campus, read, and people watch.
The Price Family Garden is outside the Rancher’s Club, a steakhouse on the OSU campus. It combines edibles and ornamentals and is just gorgeous. They list descriptions of the plants along with planting diagrams on the internet. Here’s a link to the summer 2018 plan. They have a sign with a QR code you can scan and download this PDF with the plant descriptions.
I can’t tell which variety of eggplant this is. There are two listed on their PDF. One is ‘Barbarella’ and the other is ‘Galine’. If I had to pick, I’d say this was Barbarella based on the leaf shape.
If you are in Stillwater, take some time to visit the Price Family Garden and get some ideas. My plant list is super long already!
I just made another loaf of this bread today and thought perhaps the recipe might be worth sharing. I haven’t made bread like this in ages since my husband and I have been mostly low carb for years.
However, my older son is home from college for the summer and was blessed to be hired as an intern at an HVAC company in the city. He is working full time (yay!). In order to save as much of his salary as possible, he is taking his lunch every day (thanks Dave Ramsey!). Initially, he was taking turkey and cheese tortilla wraps but had a hankering for a peanut butter and jelly–tortillas just won’t cut it for that, so I whipped up a loaf of homemade bread with my “go-to” recipe. It’s based on an old bread machine recipe and I adapted it for the KitchenAid mixer. Super easy, this is neither keto, low carb, nor gluten-free. It IS pretty tasty and arguably healthier than most of the bread from the grocery store. You can make excellent sandwiches, garlic bread, or the absolute favorite around here, cinnamon toast with it. My younger son is reaping the benefits of older brother needing good sandwich bread and he is definitely not complaining.
Ages ago when my husband and I had only been married a couple of years we splurged on a bread machine. And made tons of bread. And ate tons of bread. During this time I started developing the recipe for my cinnamon rolls (that’s another post)… Luckily we didn’t actually WEIGH tons (not quite) after several years of this, but finally the bread machine was put away and eventually donated. Meanwhile, I had acquired a KitchenAid mixer and found that it worked great for mixing and kneading homemade bread without needing to proof yeast or anything fiddly like that. This method is very forgiving as it allows you some wiggle room with the temperature of your liquid. You can still kill the yeast if it’s way too hot but it is less likely. Another benefit of the mixer over a bread machine is being able to double the recipe and make 2 loaves of bread or 2 dozen cinnamon rolls with one batch of dough. I think this would also work with a good food processor but I haven’t tried it.
The ingredient list is simple: All-purpose flour, powdered milk, sugar, kosher salt, butter, water, and yeast. That’s it. I buy the yeast in bulk from Sam’s Club; you get a boatload of it and if you wrap it tightly and store in a jar in the fridge or freezer it lasts for years. If you want a higher rise you could use bread flour but it isn’t really necessary.
This is a very basic white bread made with all-purpose flour. The kneading is done with a stand mixer so it's super easy.
3cupsall purpose flour
2 tbspdry milk
1 tspkosher salt
2tspactive dry yeast
Combine water and butter in pyrex cup and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave. You want it warm to touch, not hot, around 110 degrees or so.
In Kitchenaid mixing bowl add flour, dry milk, sugar, salt, and yeast. Mix with the dough hook then slowly add warm water and butter. Knead on low for about 10 minutes.
Remove dough hook and cover dough with clean cloth and place in warm area to rise for at least 30 minutes. It should double in size.
Prepare a loaf pan by spraying with Pam.
Punch down dough, then knead by hand for about 5 minutes. Shape into a thick rectangle slightly larger than the pan by flattening a little and stretching, then roll the long ends inside and tuck the short ends under. Place in bread pan seam side down. Cover with a cloth and leave to rise again about 30 to 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake bread for 40 to 45 minutes or until it tests 200 degrees with an instant-read thermometer. Brush with butter after removing from oven. Allow to cool before slicing.
If your dough is too sticky, add a little flour.
Slicing is easier with a long serrated bread knife.
My boys like simple food and this definitely fits that description. This will keep in a large ziploc bag on the counter for a couple of days but for longer storage, you should refrigerate. This will mold quickly because there are no preservatives, unlike store bread which seems to have the half-life of uranium. This will also freeze well, if you wrap it carefully in plastic, then foil, then place in a freezer bag with all the air squeezed out.
When the first loaf I made was all gone I was short on time so we picked up a loaf of “butter bread” from the grocery store. My son ate it for a couple of days then last night told me it really wasn’t very good compared to mine… So of course I baked up another loaf for him this afternoon! Flattery will get you everywhere in this kitchen. 😉
I hope you give this easy recipe a try! It will make your house smell amazing –we actually sold our first house to the very first people who looked at it by setting up the bread machine to have fresh baked bread when they came over. I read somewhere that fresh baked bread smell was the leading cause of people buying a home, with chocolate chip cookies a close second. If we ever sell this house I will bake cinnamon rolls and see how that works out.