Hello Maysayers, and happy Friday!

Welcome back to the Good To Grow site, and thanks for being here.

Ah, the beautiful month of May. So popular for so many reasons. May flowers, Mother’s Day, the end of school, the unofficial start of summer, fast cars and swimsuits, and everything in between. Yes, May is a good month to be alive.

And today is a good day to be Friday. Let’s get our Friday antics started by saying hello to our Experts. Hi Experts!


“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

Ya’ll are so cute! From left to right, that’s Andy Williams, Tim Thackaberry, EZ Ed Johnson, Dottie Correll and Lewis Casey. If you’d like to know more about them, please click here.

Since May is on my mind, I decided to ask the Experts the following question:

Q. Cinco de Mayo is this Sunday. Tell us five things you don’t want to have to live without.

Expert Andy, please start us off this week:

A. 1.  My parents.
2.  My health, most particularly my eyesight and limbs.
3.  The Indy 500, for this will be my 31st straight race!
4.  My best and closest friends.
5.  Cold, delicious beer.

Numbers 1., 2., and 5. are in order of personal impact.  3. and 4. run neck in neck.  (Kentucky Derby style.)

A. 1. My daughter. It’s hard to imagine life without her.

2. TV. I’m kind of a TV junkie.

3. The Internet. I remember life before it, and I don’t want to go back.

4. An interesting job. I would not enjoy going to a job every day that I did not enjoy.

5. Good friends. They make life tolerable.

A. 1. The magnificent sky, with its warm sun and icy stars.
2. Football.
3. Words.
4. Laughter.
5. The anticipation of great love.

A. Oh that’s an easy one!—Mint Juleps and the Kentucky Derby!  My father and mother in-law, Daisy and Harvey Correll made the best Mint Juleps north of the Mason-Dix0n line.  Grandmom made the Mint Juleps and Pop and the rest of the family enjoyed her secret recipe and always celebrated the “Kentucky Derby” with great panache!  We continued the family tradition as best we could.  I never did discover Daisy’s secret recipe but copied it as well as I could.  After all, we had barns and horses and mice and cats and six kids and grew our own Mint and all that!

This is a wonderfully refreshing drink and think of all the vitamins from the fresh mint!  Derby Day is this Saturday, May 4th.  The Kentucky Derby is hailed as the most important horse race of the world.  Thousands of visitors come to Louisville to experience the Derby, always held the first Saturday of May.  Millions more watch around the world, —-  on TV or whatever vantage point they may have.

Traditionally, Mint Julep is served in silver or pewter mugs, although it is by no means essential.  If you are lucky enough to own such heirlooms, chill the cups thoroughly before mixing your mint juleps – they must frost over.  According to true imbibers, a Mint Julep is not the product of a formula, but a ceremony. They have been served in the south since the 1700’s.  They maintain when a julep is made right, you can hear angels sing!


Well here we go—I have tried several recipes and found that I like making a mint syrup first, They say a Yankee can’t make one properly.  Since I am a Yankee—you be the judge.  I just say “Watch Me”!

Ingredients for each serving:
Fresh mint leaves
2 TBS. Mint syrup (see recipe below)
Crushed ice
2 TBS. water
2 ounces Good quality Kentucky bourbon
Fresh mint sprig

Prepare the Mint syrup.
Crush or muddle a few mint leaves in the bottom of an 8-ounce Mint Julep Cup (using the back of a spoon to crush mint leaves) until mixture forms a paste.
Then fill the MJ cups ½ full with crushed or shaved ice.  Add prepared Mint Syrup, water, and bourbon.  Stir until the silver cup is frosted on the outside.  Note:  A glass tumbler will not frost on the outside. However, since we had such a large family, we frosted the glasses in the freezer first)
Serve, garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.

Mint Syrup:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 bunch fresh mint sprigs

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water.  Boil for 5 minutes, without stirring.  Remove from heat and pour over a handful of mint leaves and gently crush the mint with a spoon.  Refrigerate syrup mixture overnight in a closed jar.  Remove mint leaves and continue to refrigerate.  ( Me thinks the longer this steeps-the better) The syrup mixture will keep for several weeks.  It will serve about 8 drinks.

For non- bourbon imbibers, you could substitute any variety of herbal teas.

Caution:  This drink is not intended for a big gulp!
It is to be sipped, aromas inhaled and allowed to scintillate the imbiber.  If you ignore this warning & gulp –you will probably end up in a heap on the floor and miss the whole day of Derby excitement

An interesting aside.  In 1774, this drink was served at breakfast as it was thought that a julep before breakfast was believed to give you protection against malaria!  Who knows what health benefits may be in store for you!!!
Those were the days my friend, we thought they’d
Never end!



Here is my weekly fish to fry, but you should have seen the one that got away, crazy as a loon that guy

Five things in life that make life / life

Wonder, I sit pondering, in thoughtful discordance wondering, Do we really have a clue of where we are in the universe when we look into a dark night sky, WOW

Hope, The sun lightens my room awakening me  I try not to think “Crap another work day”  but hope for promise, cheer, strength, prosperity, health for my universe

Progress, That I may learn something, share something, do a small justice for others less blessed then I

Prose, For I may stand for greatness but I strive not to be great for we are only dust and until dust we shall return

Love, How far is forever if we had not LOVE, Family hugs, joys, laughs and tears,

Friends embrace, smile, words of wisdom bestowed, Neighbors greetings of good cheer

If Love was not near, dear and clear and the power from the Son

Forever would be way to far

Fantastic, everyone. Thanks so much for sharing your five favs, your thoughts, your opinions, your recipes, your passions. I agree wholeheartedly with each of you! I love how interestingly different you are from each other, yet how you are still aligned as a group. Well done!

That does it for this week’s Panel of Experts.

The Experts will return in exactly one week, they hope to see you back here.

Up next, the answer to the puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Last week, I asked if this Aloe was real or fake:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Let’s see how you answered:

Joseph Brenner wrote, “As Real as they come.(B>{D)>”

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “That aloe be real. you got aloes on the mind lately? speaking of aloes, I need to find one. not an aloe to be found around here.”

Steph from Indianapolis wrote, “Aloe be thy name…real.”

Martha from Plowing Through Life wrote, “Looks pretty real to me!”

Jason from Garden in a City wrote, “I agree … real.”

Ivynettle from Letters and Leaves wrote, “Another vote for real.
Oh, and before I forget again, I’ll e-mail you the puzzler picture I took last week!”

Alissa wrote, “Ooo real and beautiful. Aloes make me happily stare!”

That’s seven votes real, zero votes fake.

What’s the correct answer? Let’s take a look from a wider angle:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Real! And pretty! Aloes are pretty plants.

Claude, you really can’t find any where you are? Another reader is waiting for me to sending Aloe cuttings across country, maybe I should send some to you, too. Shoot me an email. I’m surprised that they aren’t all over the place because they’re so varied and versatile.


Joseph, you were the first with the correct answer, which makes you the best answerer. Again! Congratulations! For being so swift this week, you’ve earned the title of “Unstoppable, Unfloppable, Unflappable, Unbelievable, Unbeatable, Unfazed, Superiorly Fast and Grandest Champion of the Houseplant Blog Universe and Beyond.” Good job! You may multiply all the prizes by tacos.

Everyone’s a winner this week. To show my gratitude for your participation, I’d like to award each of you the following prizes: Six May flowers, five favorites, a baked potato, 12 3/4 extra credit points, two May Maybes, unlimited left turns, a coupon good for half off, 14 bragging rights, warm tea, four silver stars, a conservative puppy, a golden moment, seven cincos, eight sinkos, three green lights and one whoop-whoop. Congrats, and thanks so much for playing!

Up next, the new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

As mentioned above, the following formidable puzzler was submitted by the mighty Ivynettle from Letters and Leaves. Let’s see how many people you can stump, girl!

Is this plant real or fake:

Good To Grow To Grow, Ivy's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Think you know the answer, smartyplants? Leave your best guess in the comments section or on my facebook wall. You have until midnight next Thursday, May 9th, MST (that’s 2a.m. EST) to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the answer and the winner(s) after next week’s panel of Experts. Remember, the prizes may be imaginary but the link to your site and the glory of winning are oh-so-real.

I’ll be back manana, hope to see you here.