Saturday, June 6, 2015

Invasion in the garden and a yummy appetizer.......

First of all thank you so much for the lovely well wishes for my son.  Graduation day is such a happy day, so full of promise and wonderful possibilities ahead to all those fresh and shinny graduates.

Now onto reality and the reality of my container garden is not good.  I admit I am not that quick on the draw lately, I have seen some signs of damage to my tomatoes and have peeked around but could not find the culprit.  I was beginning to think it was some of the small lizards we have in Florida, boy was I wrong.  This morning when I went out to see my garden disaster had struck.  

This is what it looked like two days ago.  I can't even stomach a photo of it now.  It is a chewed up, brown leaf, mess. 

Not only have my new little friends been eating my tomatoes, but all the cucumber and cantaloupe leaves are a brown, munched up, disaster.  There was quite the party here last night.

After some careful inspection I found 12 of these cutworms on my tomato plant and about 10 more crawling happily along the cucumber leaves and vines.  I picked their little fat bodies up and tossed them in the woods with some of the rotten produce they have made.

I know I am a bit sick, I can't even kill caterpillars that are eating me out of house and home.  I also stop to save worms on my driveway or on the sidewalk.  I can't think about them drying up on the pavement so I toss them into the grass.  So much for my crop this year, first it was stem rot and now caterpillars that eat up a whole plant in one night and frankly don't even turn into pretty moths, I checked and they are just brown and boring.  I actually found a pupa, it got tossed into the grass too.  Live and learn I guess, I have a lot to learn in the veggie gardening department.  Now onto more yummy things...................

I was asked to a friends house with a few other ladies last night and we were asked to bring an appetizer.  I tried a variation on something I usually make.

My sister Claudia gave me this shrimp dip recipe years ago.  It is my go to appetizer.  But this time after viewing many different recipes on Pinterest I decided to make it with a twist.  I spread it on crescent rolls and baked it a 375 degrees for about 15 minutes.  They were yummy!

I rolled them up lengthwise and then popped them in the fridge for about 30 minutes to harden a bit so they would be easier to cut.

Slice into sections, lay flat on the cookie sheet and bake.

They were a hit and let me just tell you not much that I make is a hit.  I was actually asked for the recipe!!!!!  I know that even shocked me.

I used two containers of crescent rolls and we had extra dip left over to eat with pita chips, even Little Buddy liked that.

Here is the recipe for the shrimp dip.  I know Claudia won't mind if I post it.

8 oz of soften whipped cream cheese
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 to 1 cup of shrimp cut up into small pieces
1/4 cup finely cut up onion
dash of garlic salt (I add a wee bit more than a dash)
1 to 2 Tablespoons of freshly cut up Dill

Mix all the ingredients together, add the shrimp last.  I usually double this recipe it goes fast as it is so yummy.

Eat with pita chips or crackers or spread on to the crescent rolls, roll them up and bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown.

Let me know if you give it a try, I'd love to hear what you think.

I am off to find more caterpillars.


Claudia said...

I don't mind at all if you post it. I'm trying to remember who gave it to me in the first place! It's so long ago. And since I don't even eat shrimp anymore...have at it. That does look yummy, by the way.

So sorry about your garden. I think that's why I don't do vegetable gardening. Too many pests and critters that would eat it here.


ellen said...

Dear Meredith, I am shocked that you even had any of those yummy shrimp dip-rolls left to take to your evening festivities. They do look delish.
I am sorry as well that you have had the attack of the Killer Caterpillars. It is disheartening. I am with you on the rescuing of all things living (with one exception...flies, especially flies in my kitchen. I do swat them.) I rescue worms too and try very hard to release spiders I find in the house to the outdoors. I felt awful just the other day..I gently removed a spider out onto the deck, only to watch it being murdered by another spider. i felt like a wretch.
Wishing you a lovely rest of the weekend. xoxo, Ellen.

Amy at love made my home said...

Such a shame about your tomatoes!!! Too unfair after all the care that you have given them. It really is hard working growing things in your part of the world isn't it. I had no idea that it would be so difficult.

The dip sounds delicious and even better baked into the rolls!! That is a great idea for taking it somewhere as they are easier to transport and to leave out for people to eat. I am not at all surprised that you were asked for the recipe. Thank you for sharing it with us too.

I hope that - veggies excepted - you are having a good weekend! xx

mamasmercantile said...

Such a shame about the garden. At least you have got some tomatoes for them to eat mine are weeks behind and have only just flowered. The appetiser looks delicious, I am a great fan of shrimp so will be giving it a go. My go to appetiser is asparagus wrapped in ham with cheese sauce.

CJ said...

The rolls look delicious. What a shame about your tomatoes and other things. Pests are so frustrating aren't they. But like you, I tend not to kill things. We have lots of snails here and I usually relocate them to the back lane. I'm sure they all come back again, I've heard that they "home". Sometimes I don't even send them as far as the back lane. My hostas are in shreds. Wishing you a good Sunday Meredith. CJ xx

20 North Ora said...

Those darn cutworms. Better leave my tomatoes alone!! First time in probably ten years I have had tomato plants and they are going gang busters. I will definitely keep an eye out for those varmints.

Have a great weekend.


Teresa Hennes said...

That looks so good! Yum!
That is awful about your veggies! Here you were doing so good. What a disappointment!

Teresa Kasner said...

Oh dear.. I do detest worms and caterpillars.. icky things that are destructive. Sorry they did that to your garden. Now your appetizers look yummy.. shrimp is a favorite of mine. I just made 2 big salads for D and I for lunch, crispy lettuce, beet slices, chopped tomato, little corn chunks, sliced olives, 1,000 dressing and a huge bunch of salad shrimp with hand grated cheddar on top. Num. Hope you get some downtime this weekend. We're a pair of slugs, watching HGTV and I'm crocheting. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Betsy said...

Oh my! Those appetizers look delicious. Since we love shrimp I'll be trying this soon. I'm so sorry about your garden Meredith. It amazes me that we can work so hard and so long on our little gardens and in a matter of hours, something as small as those worms can destroy it. So frustrating.

Géraldine B. said...

Oh dear ! What a shame for your garden ... That's why I don't do veggies gardening ... Thanks for the recipe I love shrimps ! HAve a lovely sunday !

moonstruckcreations said...

I have had similarly disappointing things happen in my garden too - last year I had lovingly grown a huge pot of sweet peas - only to find that one morning, just as they had been coming into flower "something" had come along and munched them all :( not happy. My friend tells me that I need to put down slug bait, but it is very toxic and I have 2 cats so that is out of the window.

Your cooking looks super, I bet it didn't hang around for long!

Enjoy your Sunday, Helenxx

gilly said...

Well firstly congrats on your son's graduation - I'm a little behind with blog reading! And I wish him every success for his future path. That shrimp dip sounds just yummy and your appetisers look just too delicious, thanks for sharing the recipe, I'm going to make a note of it :-)
And lastly, this time because those horrible little worms should not be given top spot, so sorry to read of the demise of your lovely tomato plants at the hands(?!) of those pesky critters! It's so annoying , especially when you take such good care of them. It's an awful disappointment - I had a whole bed of beautiful daffodils decimated by porcupines years ago, and I cried!
Hope you're having a lovely weekend now though - have a cuddle with little Buddy, I'm sure he'll restore your smile :-)
Hugs xx

linda said...

Aw what a blinkin shame we tend them and watch them grow waiting with bated breath for a lovely harvest and then get invaded! I have fallen to to the same plight many times Meredith, that's why I don't bother trying anymore, it's usually slugs in my garden. The dip looks yummy, have a lovely Sunday. :) xx

Babajeza said...

Those tomatoes and cucumbers must have been very tasty. Sad for you. But don't give up. :-) Hugs, Regula

Linda @ A La Carte said...

GRRRRRR you have to be aggressive to combat those awful bugs on veggies! I think I'll stick to some flowers! That dip looks so good and I do love a shrimp dip!

Anonymous said...

Oh Meredith, I'm so sorry about the cutworms and other munching critters. You can't just throw them into the woods or grass sweety because they will only multiply even more and be worse next year. Just get a coffee can or some such fill it with warm soapy water and plunk them into that can. I say can instead of a glass jar that way you don't have to look at them. Growing veg is not an easy project on any level but the organic way is what I just described. It just has to be done if you ever want to be successful with your veggies. I know it's hard and squeamish work but... You get those buggers cleaned up now and you still might have a crop.

Sorry, I couldn't get past the bugs to your recipe which looked tantalizing but the bugs grossed me out. Yes, they gross me out as well but since being introduced to ticks I feel no mercy for the dastardly type of veggie attackers. It takes too much work and expense to allow some uninvited creature to eat my garden. Speaking of which, today the raised beds go in and I will be working on continuing the mulching of the garden beds... first some weed whacking with my nicely cleaned up from last season work on it this morning.
Hugs and enjoy the rest of the weekend,

Jennifer said...

Your shrimp dip sounds really delicious, Meredith. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I can see why it was so popular! I'm sorry about the caterpillars, how disappointing. I can't grow tomatoes here for several reasons, but tomato hornworms (those huge, fat green caterpillars) are one of the major ones. I hope you have a good week.

Mindy said...

That recipe looks yummy!

Ugh--sorry about those worms. I've been fearing for our garden this year. We had bunnies OVERTAKE the neighborhood last summer, so I've basically resigned myself to knowing that nothing will survive this summer. Hopefully I'm pleasantly surprised! ...but we'll see.

kathy b said...

mmmm. crops are tender and those creatures want them too! I have great access to Farmers markets locally so I only grow flowers in my yard now.
Mmmmmmm , your contribution to the party...looks amazing

kathyinozarks said...

Oh, so sorry about your veggie damages. here in missouri we have to watch out for these giant green horn worms that will totally devastate a plant in nothing flat-you have been so busy I wouldn't think you would have top to catch those guys.
your food looks delish though!

Anonymous said...

Oh yucky, yucky caterpillars. I had hornworms get on my tomatoes when they were in our screened in area. How the heck do they get IN here?????

Sorry to hear that your garden was so damaged.

We tried growing stuff out in the yard and the deer had themselves a good ol' buffet every night.

I finally realized that buying at the farmer's market would be the only way I was going to get fresh veggies.

My Garden Diaries said...

This recipe looks delicious pal! Oh my!!! I will have to give it a go for sure as I LOVE apps!!! And I am so sorry to hear about these buggars eating away on your crops! It is ever so frustrating when you work so hard just to have your veggies eaten....take all of my peas that my daughter and I planted so lovingly....GONE! The bunnies came in and had brunch. My daughter was heartbroken but it is a life lesson to keep on going! Your fireplace in that shot is beautiful!!! Wishing you a creative week ahead Meredith! Nicole xo

Caffeine Girl said...

Oh, dear! Those garden visitors are not welcome ones at all. Is there a way to prevent any future parties? I hope so.

Thanks for sharing the shrimp recipe; it looks like a keeper!

Annie Cholewa said...

Oh no! Your poor garden. What a shame :(

Gillian said...

What a shame about garden. It's horrible when that happens. Your appetiser looks yummy.

Tammy said...

Darn! What a shame about your garden plot. I made the huge mistake of putting one of my office plants in the car and then going back in to say goodbye to everyone. It was 113 degrees, but I didn't think I would be that long. Poor, poor plant. Have a good week. Tammy

HollyM said...

Hi Meredith, I've been woefully absent from lots of my favourite blogs lately. I guess I've been slowly lured away by fb and occasionally Pinteresr and life in general. I feel just read through a few of your posts. Lots going on in your world!
I'm so sorry about the Little Buddy thing. I just watched a show about all the ways scammers are using the Internet now . They will do anything it seems.
I have small vegetable gardens too. Last year I lost a few tomato plants to a fungus so I've moved everything this year. You have to keep watch though and you have been busy! I move worms too!

Congratulations to your son.

Chris said...

Grrr on those cutworms , it is so maddening! The magpies just ate up my jake seedlings and a deer just walked down our street looking for a buffet!!! I know it's a part of gardening but it is hard. It's bad enough with Archie cruising around too. I do feel bad for you. Thanks for the great recipe, It's too hot to do much cooking here this week. Good luck with your bug hunt!

Judy S. said...

So sorry to hear about your garden invaders, Mere. I am convinced they either come in the seed packages or in the dirt as every plant seems to have something that gets it! You are definitely not alone. Your shrimp dip looks tasty, wish I could eat cream cheese. Hope your day has improved!!!

Mrs. Micawber said...

Oh those little shrimp rolls look smashing! Brilliant innovation and no wonder they were a big hit.

So, so sorry about your plants - that is just sickening. But I don't blame you for not killing the caterpillars. I wouldn't be able to either. (I'm like ellen - I carry spiders outside and release them there.) As annoying as the cutworms are they're not being malicious ... they're just being themselves. Id only they would go be themselves somewhere else ... where only weeds grow.

I hope that perhaps you can re-plant and have better luck the next time around.

Becky L. said...

The garden pests....oh dear! I do not like! My daughter is taking care of the garden this year. I hope she finally plants the bean plants. The shrimp roll appetizer sounds delicious. I would make that as I love shrimp! Take care and I am sure you make more good things than you think you do! Hugs, my friend!

Sue Pinner said...

Hi Meredith...haha i love the way your pictures go from grubs to grub....and congratulations to your son xx

Wainwright and Wright.Co said...

I do like the look of your appetiser - sounds yummy! It is frustrating isn't it when you lovingly spend hours caring for plants only to find you have actually been preparing a meal for caterpillars. You've helped the insect collection survive!
Caz xx

elns said...

Okay the caterpillars weirded me out. I don't know why. We saw centipedes on our hike and I was fine with it. Maybe because they were in your garden eating your things. Invasion!!

That shrimp dip crescent roll is a great idea! Not surprised they were a big hit!


Carla from The River said...

I posted an organic homemade spray today that helps with deer. Maybe it will help with caterpillars. Last year it worked on our potato bugs!
Keep us posted on your garden and any remedy you find.

Thank you for the recipe.

Willow said...

SO I don't check my fave blogs for a week or so and what happens? You are scammed in a horrible way, your boy graduates. I am horrified at your go fund me story and yet not surprised by anything any more. (People have taken my knitting photos and claimed them as their own--grr)
However, like you I decided that the benefits of blogging still outweigh the cons.
And I'm sorry about your garden, too.

Anonymous said...

oooo I pinned that. It looks deeeelicious!

Toni said...

Oh no!!!!!!!!!!! I am so sorry about your garden! I haven't experienced cutworms yet--hopefully we don't have them here as I have conceded defeat to the squash bugs and no longer try to grow spaghetti squash. I rescue worms as well, but I will attempt to kill bugs that attack plants. I don't share well........:)