Weatherford Living

Perennials can make your garden beautiful year after year

You are invited to attend an inspiring program on raising perennials in your garden. Years ago, I didn't know what perennials were, and that the investment would help the garden to renew it's beauty year after year. When I buy annuals like Begonias or Marigolds, it's for one season only. Learn more about perennials from an expert, senior horticulturist Steve Huddleston of the Botanic Gardens in Fort Worth, when you attend a free meeting of the North Texas Daylily Society at 7 p.m. on Thurs., April 17, in the Camellia Room. His program will be "Perennials A-Z." This is the perfect time of year for this presentation. Meet our members and enjoy a meal prepared by our many good cooks. It's all free! During the month of April and May, I will be featuring a few of the perennials I learn about at this meeting.

Spring has arrived; beware of buying plants except when the crowds are not at your favorite nurseries. Try and get out to buy during the week, even ask when the trucks are coming in. Because the weekends, to me, are not as relaxing. And on Mondays a lot of things are gone or picked over. I have invested in a small garden cart that I can easily work with and today, I filled pots with new organic potting soils and managed to get more daylilies planted as well as cannas, hot and sweet peppers, tomatoes, herbs and a lot of sun-loving Portulaca in hot pink. Both Portulaca and Purslane love to spread and require little water and thrive in pots in a sunny location.

Here's some more of our favorite recipes that we think are worth sharing.

Dee Dee Easy Pork Spareribs

1. Brown the spareribs in olive oil until both sides are brown.

2. Place the ribs in a baking pan and cook in the oven at 300 degrees for about an hour.

3. Then pour over half a bottle of Stubb's Smokey Mesquite barbecue sauce.

4. Cook about 3 hours at 300 degrees, or until meat is tender and falling off the bones.

5. Baste at the end of cooking with the rest of the barbecue sauce.

This is sure good served with a side of pintos and a little potato salad.

Thompson's Root Beer BBQ sauce

• This is an easy, yet a delicious sauce good over ribs, burgers, or with your favorite roasted chicken or steak.

• 4 cups (2 and 1/2 cans) your favorite brand of root beer

• 1/3 cup your favorite BBQ sauce

• 2 Tablespoons tomato paste

• 1 Tablespoon vinegar (Can use white or red wine)

• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

• 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1. In a large saucepan, bring root beer to a boil and boil for 20-25 minutes until it has been reduced to 1 1/2 cups.

2. Stir in remaining ingredients and boil to desired consistency.

Hawaiian Island Chicken

This is so good and easy to do. I like the "paradise" smell; maybe if I close my eyes I can imagine this on a grill in Hawaii. I make two batches of marinade. One I use for marinade and then discard it before placing the chicken on the grill. I use a fresh batch of marinade to baste the chicken. The original recipe allows one to baste with the marinate used for marinating the chicken, but I don't want any chance of "raw' chicken even though it's being grilled. And, yes I know the grill should kill any salmonella, but that's just me cooking.

• 1 whole chicken cut up

• 1/2 cup soy sauce

• 2 Tablespoons brown sugar

• 1 teaspoon cooking oil

• 1 teaspoon sesame oil

• 1/2 cup orange juice

• 1 large clove of garlic

• 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger (Cut away the outside of the ginger root, then finely grate 1/2 teaspoon.)

1. Arrange chicken in a shallow baking dish.

2. Combine all remaining ingredients and pour over the chicken.

3. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator or at least for several hours.

4. Grill chicken basting with extra marinade that wasn't over the chicken.

5. Grill until the chicken reaches a safe temperature.

This serves 4-6 adults.

Tip of the week:

For the best selections of garden plants, shop early or during the week.

What my grandmother didn't teach me:

Marinating chicken and grilling it is really delicious.

Have a good week in Parker County. And I hope you'll enjoy more perennials in your garden this spring.