Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cajun Corner – Vol. 4, No. 24 – June 24, 2012

Bon Jour!  Welcome to Cajun Stitchery’s weekly email and welcome to our family.


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My poor cat, Tigger, went to meet his maker this past Monday.  This one really hit me hard and I cried all day.  He had the loudest purr of any cat that I’ve ever heard.  He was very cuddly and would curl up on the sofa with me while I watched TV or in bed at night.  I do miss my Tigger.

Hurricane season is June through November.  Tropical Storm Debbie is passing by Pensacola as I type.  We don’t have rain yet but it looks like any minute I’ll be able to use the phrase -- Merde! Il Pleut.  George is outside doing some rush lawn work right now.  My friends and family in and about Tampa have informed me that they have had about 20 hours of rain.  My son says they really need the rain, so it is not necessarily a bad thing.

Yesterday, I hosted a delightful lunch for two of my friends.  I cleaned house all morning and I’m feeling really good right now because I don’t have that on my punch list today. 

During our luncheon, the girls asked me to take them on a tour of our gardens.  Oh, how I love our gardens.  George and I are in the garden doing something everyday and we notice things like “shouldn’t this plant have fruited by now” or “we need to fertilize”, etc.  My friends made me step back and say, “Wow!  This is really cool.”

Everyone should have a garden.  It takes nothing but effort because it sure doesn’t have to cost anything.  Seeds are easy to find.  Lots of our seeds come from the grocery store.  A bag of dried beans are simply bean seeds.  Yes, you can plant them.  Beans are wonderful to grow because they add nitrogen to the soil and nitrogen is very important.  I like to plant beans in all of my beds.  Pepper seeds are easy to find.  If you buy a bell pepper, for instance, or any fresh pepper for that matter, just scrape out the seeds when you open the pepper and plant those seeds.  You would scrape out the seeds anyway.  Plant the root end of onions.  You cut them off anyway.  Just plant them rather than throwing them away.  The same is true for the root of celery and tops of carrots.  Sometimes the seeds take and sometimes they do not, but what the heck, it is free.  It is usually something that you would simply throw away.  Squash, cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe, any fruit or vegetable that has seeds or roots can be used.  Sweet potatoes and white potatoes will grow from the eyes on the potato.  We used to use toothpicks to suspend the sweet potato in a jar of water and let the roots grow.  The sweet potato vine is beautiful and very big.  Just remember that some things turn into trees and some into smaller plants.  Plant accordingly.

Insofar as containers are concerned, the sky is the limit.  Open a can of food and poke a few holes in the bottom of the can.  Fill the can with dirt and plant a seed.  It isn’t even necessary to clean the can because whatever remains in the can will be used as fertilizer for the plant.  One of my gardening periodicals is selling burlap bags as containers for gardening.  Yes, you can use fabric or even plastic bags as containers.  I’ve seen people use old shoes, pots, pails, PVC pipe, anything with a depression where you can fill with soil.  Recently, I saw a photo on Pinterest where the trunk of a VW was used as a planter.  As with the seeds, know how big your plant is going to be and plant in a container large enough to contain the fully grown plant comfortably.

Soil for the plants is everywhere.  I love planting in sand because it is so easy to till.  Of course, you have to realize that sand has absolutely no nutrients and you must fertilize frequently.  I remember an experiment from when I was a little girl learning about plants.  Take a piece of paper towel.  Wet it.  Put a seed on it. Fold the wet paper towel over and put it in a jar, plate, whatever.  Just make sure the paper towel remains moist.  The seed will germinate in a few days.  Beans are the most fun for this experiment because they are large enough to see what is happening.  Wet the paper towel and put it in a glass jar with the seed against the glass on one side and the wet paper towel on the other.  You will be able to watch that seed germinate because the seed actually carries the nutrients required to germinate.  Of course, once it does germinate, you need to carefully plant it in a growing medium.  It won’t last long on just a wet paper towel because there are no nutrients.  You can plant the paper towel with the germinated seed.  The paper towel will decompose.  Since plants grow in any organic material, your soil can be sand, water, dirt, clippings, newspaper, coffee grounds, etc.  Some of the best tomatoes that we have ever grown came from the sewage treatment plant in Orlando.  Humans cannot digest tomato seed and the sewage treatment plants grow tomatoes all the time.  I have often wondered why the government doesn’t use the tomato plants for the hungry or even to make some cash to defray expenses.

Fertilizer is easily accessible.  From humans to plants, we all need to be fed to maintain life.  Eat unhealthy and you are unhealthy.  Eat healthy and you are healthy.   As I said before, planting beans adds nitrogen to your soil.  If you compost, which is really easy, (your yard clippings, your garden debris, and your kitchen scraps) you will have a very nice compost pile full of all of the nutrients and minerals required by your plants.  Use your compost as your planting soil and your plants have a head start in life.  Even ashes from your chiminea or grill would be good additions to the compost.  Please don’t forget your coffee grounds because plants love coffee grounds.

Space should not be too much of an issue.  Perhaps your space availability does not allow for a large garden, but as long as you have a window with sun, you can grow plants.  Most plants like ample sunshine but there are some plants that thrive in the shade.  Even if you do not have sun, there are grow lights used for growing plants indoors.  Patio and balcony gardens add beautiful ambiance.  Even roof top gardening works well.

If all of that isn’t enough, plants expel oxygen (which we need) and take in carbon dioxide (which is poison to us).

That is more than enough about gardens and plants.

 The shabby chic, ruffled purse with flowers and rhinestones has been listed in our Etsy Store for $10.  Geez, a lot of work went into that purse.

This week food tents have been on my mind.  We are having company for the 4th of July and plan to entertain under our Live Oak tree.  Years ago I purchased a food tent from Dollar Tree.  It opens like an umbrella but doesn’t have the rod down the middle.  The purpose is to keep insects off of food outdoors.  Since I plan on entertaining, and Dollar Tree no longer has food tents, I began an online search of food tents and patterns.  There were a few patterns.  Pinterest has a wealth of photographs of all kinds of food tents.  Now the decision is how to design the food tent(s).  We have our Cajun Stitchery canopy tent and the tables.  Do I want to design a large food tent for each table?  Or, do I want smaller food tents for each dish?  It would be nice for our guests to see the food in each tent.  Therefore, the tent needs to be transparent enough to see the food.  If clear plastic is used, the dish could be seen but moisture may accumulate.  Depending on the dish, that could be good or bad.  However, plastic may off gas.  Plastic is not an option.  Netting and/or tulle would work but could be too light and flimsy.  Fiberglass screen appears to be our best bet.  It should hold up fine outdoors and it is see through.  One pattern had a 6 inch bias tape edging the sides which looks really nice.  The tent and table clothes are royal blue, so a bright red edging would be nice.  The problem with the red edge is that I could not locate solid, bright red cotton fabric at Wal-Mart.  They had a red fabric that I almost bought but when I saw it in the light, it had more of pink look than bright red.  Now I’m considering blue jean fabric.  My scraps contain bunches of old blue jeans and denim is very sturdy.  I’m seriously thinking about the blue denim for the edge.  I am still pondering on the design.

Have a wonderful week.

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You know you are from Louisiana when you see something cute and say, “Aw sha.

The Atakapa were the Native Americans living in what is now Southwest Louisiana:

Atakapa oral history says that they originated from the sea. An ancestral prophet laid out the rules of conduct.[11]

The first European contact with the Atakapa may have been in 1528 by survivors of the Spanish Pánfilo de Narváez expedition. Two barges were blown ashore. One met the Karankawa, while the other probably landed on Galveston Island. The latter recorded meeting a group who called themselves the Han, who may have been the Akokisa.[1]

In 1703, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, the French governor of La Louisiane, sent three men to explore the coast west of the Mississippi River. The seventh nation they encountered were the Atakapa, who captured and cannibalized one member of their party.[1] In 1714 this tribe was one of 14 who came to Jean-Michel de Lepinay, who was acting French Governor of Louisiana between 1717 and 1718,[12] while he was fortifying Dauphin Island, Alabama.[13]

The Choctaw told the French settlers about the "People of the West," who represented numerous subdivisions or tribes. The French referred to them as le sauvage. The name Atakapa is a Choctaw name meaning "people eater" (hattak 'person', apa 'to eat'),[11] a reference to the practice of ritual cannibalism. The Gulf coast peoples practiced this on their enemies.

A French explorer, Francois Simars de Bellisle, lived among the Atakapa from 1719 to 1721.[1] He described Atakapa cannibalistic feasts which he observed firsthand.[14] The practice of cannibalism likely had a religious, ritualistic basis.

Found at:


C’est tout, mes amis

Peggy Henshall

Cajun Stitchery

(850) 261-2462

P.S.  You are always welcome to stop by and look at all of the catalogs and pass some time with me, cher.

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