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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Monarchs, Milkweed and Pizza

~ milkweed, food of monarchs ~
When we first moved to the farm, a well meaning neighbor urged us to "git rid o'tha weeds" which, to his way of thinking, was everything other than what could be fed to cattle, horses and other livestock. 
 ~ Bouguereau's L'Innocense ~
We, babes of innocence, obeyed and have rued our decision since! The most commonly accepted definition of a "weed" is, "a plant where you don't want it", so, according to that rather loose definition, a rose could be a weed (and is in our yard!) or burdock could be a weed. According to one source, burdock may be used to treat staph infections, gout, skin ulcerations and so much more. The rose? Well, the rose is pretty, but pretty is as pretty does as the old saying goes (smile).

It's my firmly held position there are no weeds; there are, simply, plants for which we've not yet discovered their use, or, perhaps have lost knowledge of their use.So it is with milkweed, the food of monarchs; The King of Butterflies, the Monarch, adore milkweed and, in fact, it's their only food source. Fortunately, there are many varieties of milkweed and all of them, to my mind, beautiful. Now, we're encouraging milkweed to grow all over the farm and I'm planning a butterfly garden and hope to have humming birds and butterflies from April until Autumn. If you're interested in planting seeds, this site will send you free seeds especially for your area, if you send them an SASE, but they suggest a $3 donation. This site charges and offers many different varieties. I'm not recommending either but am simply letting you know of a couple of places on the web that can help. I'm digging up side of the road milkweed and re-planting on the farm and in the garden for the sheer joy and beauty of Monarch Butterflies. Oh, and the beauty of the milkweed as well; it's not a weed, it's a beautiful, and needed, plant! 
~ pizza makings ~
Do you find meal planning and preparation to, sometimes, be simply w.o.r.k.? I do better when, at the beginning of the week, I plan meals and keep the list handy on the refrigerator. It does make meals simpler, easier, less expensive and, generally, tastier but some weeks I just can't finish all the work and meal planning goes by the wayside. We're getting ready for house guests, arriving tomorrow afternoon, and I've been in a tizzy cleaning the house and all the porches, doing laundry, barn and farm chores and totally forgot to meal plan. Today, at lunch time, I was standing, looking into the refrigerator (and greatly enjoying the coolness!) and waiting for inspiration to light.
~ fresh off the grill ~
Too frequently, so much of what I prepare is based on what's available. Today it was thin, whole grain tortillas spread with some bits of Hunt's diced tomatoes flavored with garlic. A block of cheese of unknown origin was grated over the tortilla, topped off with some Parmesan cheese and then pepperoni laid atop.  To finish, fresh mozzarella balls flavored in oil and with herbs were placed on each pepperoni slice; the pizzas were grilled for maybe 6 or 7 minutes on a low heat. Everything melted perfectly, the tortilla browned just right and the flavors were fabulous! This was so good, I could see making it for our Saturday Dinner and a Movie afternoons. Seriously good eating, as someone said.
I'm playing with The Shabby Cottage again and putting off getting ready for company; it may not be the right thing to do but it sure feels good to take a break! 

Blessings ~ pizza ~ milkweed ~ monarch ~ sunshine ~ clean house ~


  1. Mmmm that pizza looks delicious! I've neglected menu planning this week as well, and it sure does make life a bit harder!

  2. Hello Sandra and Dave:
    We really do admire your very relaxed approach to life on a day to day basis which, we are sure, leads to far less stress and greater enjoyment.

    Encouraging the butterflies, and indeed all wildlife, has to be a good thing. We all need to try harder in that direction.

    We do hope that you will have a very happy time with your friends - meals planned or no meals planned!!

  3. PIZZA?? There's pizza??
    Since I'm involuntarily retired and easily bored I do most of the cooking here and, if I do say so myself, I am an excellent cook. Now I have another recipe to add to my cooking file. I learned how to cook from my dad who was a cook in the Navy for 26 years. My wife really enjoys coming home from work and being able to just sit down, relax and enjoy a good meal. She also enjoys the fact that dad taught me to clean up and do the pots, pans and utensils as I use them, leaving her with a clean kitchen to admire.

    The milkweed info and link is much appreciated. Mom has been asking us to send her some pods she can harvest the seeds from for her garden so she'll be getting a surprise delivery of seeds as soon as THE BOSS (my wife) sends the SASE and donation. I would do it myself but I'm not allowed to have cash or play with the check book since THE MADNESS seized me at the local gun shop 7 years ago.

  4. Hi Sandra, I was just reading about milkweeds and monarchs in someone else's blog earlier in the day. How interesting that much interest is being focused on a 'weed'. I so agree with you about every plant having their useful purpose. In the tropics many of our plants have medicinal properties but unfortunately a lot of knowledge about traditional herbal medicines has been lost.It's sad. I'm glad you are replanting milkweeds, even if just for the sheer joy and survival of monarch butterflies!
    God bless.

  5. I love milkweed, it's hard to come by here.

    And that pizza looks amazing!

  6. Great pizza, awesome words.

    My mother always said "God doesn't make junk" . Lots of stuff growing out there we need to learn of.

    Salad at our house tonight. Very toasty and the newest kids Liberty and Justice are holding there own.

  7. I gather "weeds" all the time for little "canning jar pretties"! They are the best.
    I am going to make your "pizzas" for dinner tomorrow night :) Sounds yummy!
    Kiss all the critters for me!
    xo, misha

  8. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM..good and good for you despite what a lot of people say.....we are so fortunate to have an abundance of milkweed down by the lake..not too happy about that 14 foot python that has settled there..YIKES...
    Hugs, to you from all of us ( always in our prayers, both of you!)
    NEBS, G-dog and Beckers

  9. In the desert anything green stays...I don't care what it is! am going to try that pizza using a brown rice hubby decided last week (via Dr. Google) he might be gluten makes thing a little different cooking wise...but you know what...I think I feel a bit better.

  10. Interesting about the milkweed. Everything I'm cooking these days is based on what's ripe in the garden. I love how much my grocery bill is reduced!

  11. I agree!!!

    and I love pizza- no matter what kind it is. Yum. Yours looks delicious.

  12. Anonymous6:39 PM EDT

    I agree "there are no weeds" just different kind of plants.. and they all have a job.. I really like the first photo ( a LOT).. hugs

  13. I think I like my yard much better already, beautiful weeds and all. Your photos are awesome, and that pizza looks delicious.

  14. Hi, My old friend...:D So nice of you to stop by! Sorry I haven't stopped by sooner to say Hi..Enjoy your tips and all your loving blog posts...It is just what I need!
    I have added your blog link ...I hope to read more of your posts and be inspired by you and thoughtfulness :D
    Smiles and a Hug,

  15. I don't have milkweed, but understand. However, there are two weeds that have completely taken over my yard - crabgrass and dollar weed. Since the past two years have taken over our lives, it was bound to happen. Now, I'm in a fix - thinking about just letting it grow for now, and planning for next spring. :)

    So glad you posted about the pizza, I have some tortilla's that I didn't know what to do with; now I do!!

    Enjoy your company this weekend!! :)

  16. I make a two week menu and get groceries every other Tuesday for the four of us. I keep things organized and as planned as I possibly can....and it's still hard for me. I would be happy with a bowl of oatmeal so I would have more time to pull weeds. Too bad we can't eat flowers.

  17. Sandra, have you ever thought of blending a little milkweed into your pizza mix? You never know... it might become the next big crop for our farmers :-)

  18. we grow dill every year in our garden - swallowtails seem to prefer it for their gustatorial enjoyment just prior to going to chrysalis and emerging as beautyflies. We did a frozen pizza (I have no shame) the other night on our grill and it was fantastic!

  19. Oh how I love visiting you my dear ~ every photo, word, and recipe for sustenance awakens my senses. This pizza looks mouthwatering delicious!
    Blessings my friend ~ Katie

  20. Hi Sandra -
    I love milkweed - it is one of my favorite field flowers ~~

    Love that pizza - what a wonderful dinner that would be!

    The photo on your blog header is unbelievable - you have the most beautiful view ever!


  21. Now you've gone and done it! You've "flung a cravin' on me" and now I'll have to get up and make one of those pizzas - yum! K


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