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Food and Garden Book Reviews – A Graffiti Experiment Fence Champion

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Graffiti Fence Shawna Coronado

Springtime has come to The Graffiti Experiment, which is a project I’ve created intended to inspire positive art and community unity instead of displaying hate or negativity in our urban neighborhoods. Champions for the project have donated money to help pay the fines my homeowners association charged me in order to help keep the painted fence experiment up for a longer period of time. In special thanks to the champions who are helping me to save the painted fence and supporting my peaceful protest against gang graffiti, I am writing a “Feature of the Month” blog post focused on the champion or the champion’s blog, cause, or company. Above you see hyacinths and daffodils making their shining debut in front of the fence this month. Love it!

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Paul Kelly, owner of St. Lynn’s Press, and a passionate food and garden enthusiast is sponsoring this month’s fence fines in exchange for my reviewing a few of his books. This is an easy assignment because I happen to really enjoy the review books (see below) and am currently adding spicy jalapeno jelly dollops to everything in my kitchen. Thanks, Paul, for helping with the fence this month; I appreciate your support.

Book Review Heaven is a Garden

Jan Johnsen is a wonderful garden writer friend of mine and the author of Heaven is a Garden, a beautifully photographed garden book that focuses on teaching ideas for creating inspiring and calming spaces for the everyday gardener. Jan’s blog, Serenity in the Garden, really speaks to her fascination with serene and relaxing locations in nature as well; her book is an extension of that talent. Her garden photography is gorgeous and demonstrates simple garden designs that are easy for a gardener to conceptualize and use as a guide for their home gardens. I enjoyed the book and have flipped the pages over and over in quiet reflection of the photos – truly wonderful design examples when I am still in the process of putting together my own spring garden. What a lovely book!

Book Review Sweet Heat Heall Fire Pepper Jelly 2
Book Review Sweet Heat Heall Fire Pepper Jelly

sweetheart is a book based on the line of Jenkins Jellies that are super spicy hot. Hell fire pepper jelly can be used in all kinds of cooking including desserts. My personal favorites are the appetizer recipe ideas — I’m dying to try the jelly in olives for martini’s. Yum! The book has gorgeous photos inside and a foreward written by *thee* Gwyneth Paltrow; how cool is that? Each recipe is easy to understand and very creative, which is fantastic because we all need some new recipes for dinner. You can buy Jenkins Jellies online, or if you’re a really brave cook, you might just try making your own spicy jelly. My favorite recipe for homemade hot jelly is from Carolyn Binder of Cowlick Cottage Farm Blog. Her Badass Mango Jalapeno Jelly is absolutely to-die-for and would be a fantastic partner with the recipes in the SweetHeat book. Follow the link for the recipe – LINK.

Recipes and gardening seem to go hand-in-hand, don’t they? Both these books are excellent and wonderfully illustrated with memorable full-color photos – great spring reads! Special thanks to Paul Kelly for sponsoring the graffiti fence and sending the books out – I’ll be giving them away in a summer give-away later in the season.  Your help, Paul, has kept the fence up one more month for our community.

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