Tuesday, June 17, 2008

crepe myrtle blooming...

well, if you live in this part of Texas, Crepe Myrtles are a neccesity. They bloom during the heat of summer, and it's pretty difficult to kill them off...

I have two varieties here... one was a mistake... Natchez white... Mom gave me the plant years ago and I had to plant it... unfortunately these are one of the huge tree varieties. I know, all the garden writers insist that it's not a tree. But these things can get 25 feet tall and can develop trunks as big around as my thigh, and I call it a tree... It takes constant trimming to keep it in check...
The other one here is Dallas Red... (that's how neccesary Crepe Myrtle is in Texas, we have varieties named after us...) This pic was taken in too bright light, the blooms are deeper and a bit bloody looking... but it's a nice plant, topping out at 6 to 7 feet... This is the plant that I have the egyptian onions planted underneath... I talked about them in a previous post...

I always trim the bottom of Crepe Myrtles out, making them a little more tree-like... this is because I have a small yard and the width of a plant really matters. It also gives me a place to grow annuals underneath, most of which appreciate the protection in the middle of the day.

Very tired tonight. Another 12 hour work day. Came home a cooked what my Grandma used to call a "bachelors skillet"

Turn oven to 450 degrees.

Put empty cast iron pan in oven to get hot...

Cut up 1 onion, 1 small potato and add whatever veggies were on sale at the grocery store this week... Hard veggies cut small, softer veggies cut big or leave whole... Tonight I used edemame beans, frozen sweet corn, cherry tomatoes and a yellow squash... I also can recomend using whole green beans, asparagus, whole mushrooms, eggplant, brocoli (stems and all) literally everything. Except cabbage, which turns to water when it cooks, and most greens will over cook.

add enough olive oil to coat everything, and whatever seasoning you like... curry powder, lemon pepper, cajun spice mix, whatever you're in the mood for. Toss it good.

When the skillet is hot, carefully pull it out and pour in the veggies... then push to one side and throw in a couple of chicken thighs, or any meat you want, keeping in mind that it will end up well done. (you vegetarians can skip the meat...) Put pan in oven and cook 25 minutes. You can give it a stir and turn the meat halfway through, but you don't have to.

Pull it out and eat.

Pretty good, and not that difficult.


  1. Once again you give us a wonderful fast and healthy recipe!!! Who are you and where have you been all my life??? LOL. Hey...my husband has gotten into using Garam Masala, an Indian spice on stuff like this...have you tried it??? It is really wonderful, and not spicy...you can add spicy with something else if you want, but I highly recommnend this seasoning. Thanks for another great cooking idea!

  2. Oh and BTW...we have Crepe Myrtle TREES here...they are serious trees after years of growing with huge trunks! I know what you are talking about with this!!!

  3. julie... I've seen Garam Masala, but I haven't tried it yet... In the Indian Market, the spice aisle confuses me... there seems to be hundreds of different packages, I don't think I could ever try them all, and I don't know where to start! But, on your recomendation, I'll try it.