A life under the Pink Umbrella!


I’d like to think that I got my green thumb from my mother, a master gardener and my father, a forester! However, since I currently live in a condo-it can make using the green thumb a little tough. I have a patio that’s about 10 x 15 feet and from Spring till late Fall I can be found on the patio. Also on the patio is a bistro table set, bird bath, bird feeder, humming bird feeder, Day lily’s, Zinnia’s, Cherry Tomato plant and an extensive herb plant collection.

While the flowers are beautiful-my garden herbs are functional for cooking and baking and is pennies on the dollar for what the same herbs would cost fresh in a store! Every spring I look forward to the garden centers bringing out their new plants-thus signaling Spring has officially arrived! I typically grow Rosemary, Parsley, Sage, Thyme, Mint, Oregano, Basil, Chives, and Lavender. Because my kitchen is close to the patio, when I am cooking I’m able to quickly cut some Parsley or Rosemary to add to my dishes.

This fall before the first freeze I looked out at my patio and wondered what to do with my Herb plants? I had recently done some shopping at Aldi and picked up Herb shears and some Olive Oil and decided to freeze the cut herb’s, so I was able to use them cooking out of season.

I was able to purchase what I needed at Aldi, which is one of my latest favorite places to shop! (They have some pretty great deals!) I was able to find herb scissors, Olive Oil and a silicone container to freeze the herbs and Olive Oil in.

*Please note that Aldi has a lot of seasonal products that are not available year-round-so when you see a good deal there-be sure to grab it-you might not see it again! *

Steps for how I preserved my garden herbs in Olive Oil:

  1. I cut my herbs down to the soil as there was a freeze warning for that night-no better time than the present?
  2. I rinsed off all the herbs to make sure I wasn’t bringing in any friends (bugs) or anything else yucky and let them dry on paper towels before cutting them up so they would not clump together.
  3. Next, I separated the leaves from the branches or stalks as I only needed the tender pieces of leaves. I used the Herb scissors to dice up the leaves into very fine pieces so there were no clumps or large leaves left.
  4. I filled the silicone container slots about ½ full of Olive Oil and dropped in pinches of the cut herbs and put the silicone container into the freezer until frozen solid (1-2 hours).
  5. Lastly, I popped out the frozen Olive Oil and Herb mixture and stored them in a freezer in a freezer container for handy use when I am cooking.
My garden herbs trimmed from the plants and ready for rinsing.
These Herb scissors were very sharp and came in handy to make the time go by faster!
Olive Oil and silicone container from Aldi.
Ready for the freezer!
Garden herbs preserved in Olive Oil and ready to use now or in the future!
Cooking with my garden herbs!

In homes all across the world before a meal is served a prayer is said. So before starting this chapter in my blog about cooking, food, preparation and etc I find it fitting to start with a note about prayer.

Growing up prayer was always said before meals whether in our home or visiting family. My brother and I knew that no matter how hungry we were; the prayers were said first!

My German grandmother or Oma Z would prepare meals that looked as if they had come out of the pages of a European cuisine magazine or cookbook-she seriously gave Julia Child a run for her money! Oma Z would also take the dinner prayer as an opportunity to make it more than just about food. Her prayers were known to include family members back in Germany by name, or thankful that she was able to have all of her children and grandchildren around the table at one time (a rare feat), sometimes it was also keeping us kids in check by praying that we focus more on our studies. Nevertheless, Oma Z was looking out for us in more ways than one and looking back it makes me thankful because it also shaped the way I would pray when I needed help or guidance in my life.

At home I didn’t know it but I was one of the few children in America to grow up with all members of the family sitting around a table for dinner every night. Prayer was there also, usually shorter but just as genuine as Oma Z’s. Looking back I am so thankful for those meals as they not only strengthened our family bond night after night but also appreciation for mom and dad cooking every night and making sure we were all together.

Sharing a few of my favorite prayers growing up and today-

I keep this book (gifted to me by my Mom) on the counter in the kitchen reminding me to be thankful for our blessings.

The Johnny Apple Seed Prayer

Oh, The Lord is good to me,

And so I thank the Lord

For giving me the things I need

The sun, and the rain, and the apple seed

The Lord is good to me.


-Author Unknown

Earth Water Air and Fire combined to make this food

Numberless beings gave their lives and labor that we may eat.

May we be nourished that we may nourish life.

-Joan Halifax

Thank you God, for the food before us,

The friends and family beside us.

And the love between us.

-Author Unknown

Bless Our Home Father

that we may cherish

the bread before there is none,

Discover each other before we leave,

And enjoy each other for what we are while we have time.


-Author Unknown

Thank you for the world so sweet;

Thank you for the food we eat.

Thank you for the birds that sing;

Thank you Lord, for everything!

-Author Unknown

God is good

God is great

Thank you for our food.


-Author Unknown