Friday, April 13, 2012

Garden Tour of the Shumack Home

     For the April meeting, the Monroeville Garden Club traveled to Lenox, Al. to tour the garden of Ron and Jo Ann Shumack.  Nineteen members and one guest participated in the tour.
     Jo Ann greeted everyone with coffee to take the chill off the morning.  Members then leisurely toured the yard admiring the many blooming plants.  Red poppies seemed to be a favorite of everyone.  Jo Ann explained that she saves the seed pods each year and then in September she scatters the seed in her flower beds.
     Jo Ann fertilizes her plants with a 50/50 mixture of 13-13-13 and cottonseed meal.  Everyone made note of this with plans to do the same in hopes of growing a garden like hers.
     After the tour, everyone gathered on the screened porch to enjoy a box lunch of chicken salad croissants, fresh fruit, and cookies.  Hostesses were Jean Booker, Bev Colquett, Dotsy Compton, and Patsy Wadlington.
     Ron, who retired from the Auburn Horticulture Dept., finished up the meeting with a talk on composting and then answered gardening questions.

Coffee Break

"Red Hot Poker" plant

"Old Gardeners never die...they just spade away"

Chestnut Rose


JoAnn shares her fertilizer secret:  50/50 mix of 13-13-13 and Cottonseed meal.

Box Lunch

Ron talks with members about composting.

Lunch on the porch

Chicken Salad with Pecans and Bacon
(recipe from At the Table with Patty Roper)

1 cup pecans, chopped
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 cup mayonaise
4 cups chicken breast, cooked and diced
1 cup celery diced
1/2 c. sweetened dried cranberries
salt, pepper to taste
lettuce leaves
1  3 oz. jar real bacon bits

Toast pecans in a 350 oven for 10-12 minutes.  Set aside.  Combine lemon juice and mayonaise.  Blend well.  Combine mayonaise mixture with pecans, chicken, celery, cranberries and seasonings.  Serve on lettuce leaf and sprinkle with bacon bits.  Yield 8-10 servings.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Multiply Your Plants

     The Monroeville Garden Club held their regular meeting on March 8th at 1:00 p.m.  at the home of Voncile Stringer.  Dana Shinholster served as co-hostess.

   Eleven members and two guests attended the meeting.  Guests were Jane Adams of Mobile and Casey White of Excel.
  Jane Adams, Master Gardener, presented information about the Mobile Botanical Garden and gave out applications for membership and a calendar of upcoming events.
 Horticulture Chairman, Voncile Stringer, gave the following gardening tip:  Put sweet gum balls around plants to keep slugs away.
     A very informative program was given by Evelyn Bond on plant propagation.  Methods include stem cuttings, root division, leaf cuttings and ground layering.  Evelyn brought a number of plants to demonstrate these methods.

     Following the program, members had a gardening book and magazine exchange and enjoyed refreshments.

Multiplying your plants by root division.

Brownie Raspberry  Parfaits served in mason jars with mint garnish.

Brownie Raspberry Trifle
(From Paula's Best Dishes Episode:  Dinner Party, see

Servings:  4-6   Prep Time:  10 min.  Cook Time:  30 min.


1 Brownie Cake, recipe follows
3 cups heavy cream
3 tbs. instant vanilla pudding mix
1 tbs. confectioners sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup raspberry jam, divided
3 medium bananas, thinly sliced, divided

Brownie Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 tbs. unsalted butter
3 oz. chopped unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup plus 1 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbs. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt


Cut the Brownie Cake into 1/2 inch chunks, about 4 cups.  Set aside.  Using an electric mixer, whip the cream, pudding mix, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form.  In a large bowl, place 1 cup of the whipped cream mixture.  Cover with one third of the brownies in a single layer.  Top with 4 tbs. of the raspberry jam, then one third of the sliced bananas.  Repeat with 2 more layers of each ingredient, ending with sliced bananas.  Finish off by topping it all with the remaining whipped cream mixture.  Chill in the refrigerator for 30 min. and up to 8 hrs. before serving.

Brownie Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare an 8 x 8 square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  In a double boiler, or a microwave set on low power, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring frequently.  Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large bowl and let cool.  Whisk in the cocoa until smooth.  Whisk in the granulated sugar.  Whisk in the eggs and vanilla.  Fold in the flour and salt until just blended.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake until the brownies are slightly overdone (they should be gooey inside), 20 to 25 minutes.  Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.