Seeing Red

Roma tomatoes and Chinese Pistache leaves

Roma tomatoes and Chinese Pistache leaves

I’m seeing red.

I like it! The cherry and heirloom tomatoes died back a month ago, but our Roma tomatoes continue to grow unabated.

In November.

This is Silicon Valley after all, originally known for its rich, agricultural roots.  But I’m still amazed at the prolific production of this plant.  I did a bit of reading and learned that the plant will continue to produce, as long as daytime temps remain about 60F  (15C).  That explains it.  We’ve had a mild autumn so far.

While the Roma happily churns out fruit in the back garden, the Chinese Pistache flashes red outside my kitchen window.

Pistacia chinensis (Chinese pistache)

Pistacia chinensis (Chinese pistache)

The Pistache’s slow, beautiful descent into dormancy is under way.  The colors are magnificent. I’m grateful to live in this beautiful valley with such optimal growing conditions.

roma tomatoes

Seeing red

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Further Reading:

Sweet Clementine…Candles

Today’s weekly email from Pinterest suggested “Pins You’ll Love.” Boy do they have my number. One of the pins was a do-it-yourself candle project from Apartment Therapy. The title: How to Make a Clementine Candle. I watched the instructional video and headed straight for the kitchen. I had a basket full of Clementines just waiting for something fun.

My first attempt was a bust, as you can see below, but the second one turned out okay. What a fun project.

You simply cut around the middle of the Clementine with a small knife, careful not to cut into the fruit.  Then gently remove the fruit from both sides, leaving the internal stem intact. The stem acts as a wick for your candle.

Clemintines

Clementines

The instructions say to cut an opening in the top half using a knife. I’m not the best carver, so I improvised instead, using a small, sharp, cookie cutter shaped like a snowman.

Cookie Cutter Top

Snowman Cookie Cutter creates a vent in the top of the “candle”

You fill the bottom half with olive oil. I pushed the stem into the oil for a few minutes to make sure it wicked properly.

Clementine Half filled with olive oil

Clementine and Olive Oil

Clementine Candle

Clementine Candle

I’m ready to host a dinner party, just so I can line the table with these fruity delights.

Snowman "Chimney"

Snowman “Chimney”

Let me know if you give this a try!

Be sure to check back tomorrow to see my Granny Smith apple in action.

From Apartment Therapy:

Dressing The Table on Thanksgiving Day

New Zealand Flax with Grasses

New Zealand Flax with Grasses

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrated today. Our day flew by. We spent the morning in a flurry of cooking (Chef Mike) and cleaning (that would be me) but took a few moments to toast each other with a glass of champagne. It was a gorgeous fall day, with bright skies and moderate temps. We couldn’t have asked for better.

I promised to share a photo of my tall arrangement (if it turned out). Though the New Zealand Flax has brilliant shades of orange and peach, it seemed a bit bland. I added tall grasses for movement and shape, but it still lacked color. I was okay with it, but when my husband went out for olive oil, he brought back a bunch of deep red chrysanthemums. Their brilliant color really made the arrangement pop. I had enough leftover to make two small groupings for the table.

New Zealand Flax with Mums

New Zealand Flax with and mums

The smaller mums, mixed with the last of the dried Allium and a few greens worked well together.  The dried Allium has an almost silver look.  I’m glad I saved so many seeds. I’m looking forward to growing more of it next spring.

Interspersed with the flowers, are small pumpkins. We had a few small ones left over from Halloween.  I added my new velvet pumpkins to the display, and a cherished clay pumpkin, handcrafted by my twelve-year-old son.

Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.

-William Shakespeare

Mums' Allium and greens

Mums, Allium and Greens

Napkin Rings

Napkins ringed with raffia and tulle

I put the finishing touches on the napkin rings, made from left over pieces of raffia and tulle. I punched and decorated tags in lieu of place cards, adding them to the rings. Inspiration for the final detail came from Kelly over at Boomdeeada. Earlier this month I “built” tiny chairs for my fairy garden using  miniature spools. Kelly suggested wrapping the spools with a tiny greeting.  They were easy to make and a fun conversation starter.  I wrapped the saying around the spool, then sealed it with a tiny sticker.Tiny scroll

Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving Table

In the end, it was an eclectic table, just like me!