Category Archives: Garden
It’s a dreadful day, heat and humidity off the charts, and a little pop-up shower that just added steam, like a bucket of water on the hot rocks in a sauna.
I think a large part of the tomatoes we harvest this year will go towards making more of this fab tomato soup to can. There’s just something about tomato soup and grilled cheese. I would hate to run out.
I’m in charge of watering the yard at the new house, since the seller has moved out of state. Bixby is clearly enjoying it. I keep discovering all kinds of fun things while I’m wandering around the yard. Sweet, golden raspberries, concord grapes, a tomatillo, rhubarb…the list goes on.
The world is rushing at me, mostly with really good stuff, and I’m struggling to keep up. I suspect it will be that way until mid-July. I am also finding myself inundated by kind, unexpected deeds that have buoyed me at a time when it would be so easy to become cynical and disillusioned with the world. The house is almost a done deed, too, so I’m feeling hopeful.
I will try and have some July 4th ideas later in the week. But no promises.
I have one last hurdle and then I’ll feel comfortable saying the house is mine. Just don’t want to jinx it – though packing has started, the moving crew and truck are reserved and closing time is set. But anyone who has gone through this knows there will be a flurry of paperwork between now and two minutes before close. I guarantee you there will be a celebratory post the moment keys are in my hands.
This wire cage was a part of a live trap, intended to hold bait but keep trapped critters from eating the food. Seems kind of mean, trap them and then not even let them have the bait for a consolation prize.The live trap was bought when Katie was on the loose and we had hopes of catching her with it. We caught Buddy……and Jack but Katie was on her guard and never set foot in it. Anyway, the little cage adapted easily to the feeder mechanism. I hope to keep the raccoons from destroying it trying to get more corn out of the bin.Finally some ripe tomatoes! These are Cherokee Purples. I’ve heard they were good eating and the big box store had some this spring along with the usual Beefsteaks etc.More pork bbq with a different potato salad. We were growing tired of the bacon dill potato salad so I went with a classic mustard dressing this time. I left the skins on my potatoes because I’m a lazy man.This is a version of the classic Miami Cuban sammich. I made the pork with a mojo marinade but sliced it too thick for a sammich when I put it up so I broke the slices up when reheating them.I have managed to grill a few burgers this summer.Contrary to appearances, this is not an all sammich alla time blog!Mrs J didn’t eat all of her steak so I made veggie beef soup out of her leftovers and served it with grilled cheese sammiches, because that’s what one does.
Sammich! Kroger had a sale on deli sliced turkey and I’ve been piling it on.The patio jalapenos are finally getting big enough. I’ve been slicing them for sammich toppings.My dill hosted some caterpillars for a day. Two days ago they weren’t there, yesterday they were there, today they are gone. I have no idea where they headed. If I remember correctly, they are Swallowtail caterpillars. (Google says yes!)Random turtle. She was headed back to the pond. This one is a Red Eared Slider.Mmm… roasted chicken with steamed broccoli and a wilted lettuce salad.One end of my herb bench. In the center is Thai basil. Clockwise from the right: Italian parsley, thyme, sage, and chives. In the background are some of Mrs J’s Impatiens.
These day lilies have been in bloom for a week or so, this hummer thought they looked pretty good. I think the lilies are a tad too deep for his tomgue to easily reach but he did spend several minutes checking them all out.These impatiens are more suitable but none of the garden flowers are as attractive as the nectar feeders which must seem a bottomless miracle to hummingbirds.
Homer is a tad grumpy over Mrs J turning on the fountain/bird bath. His favorite perch is all wet now.We found some big shrimp on sale the other day, I used half of them in a gumbo, along with some of the Andouille we’ve had in the freezer for a while. Alas, I added the sausage too soon and boiled all the good times out of it.We found this fellow enjoying the sun-soaked warmth of the road on our way to town the other day. I shooed him back into the grass on the shoulder so he wouldn’t be flattened by someone less considerate. I think it’s a black rat snake but I could be mistaken.Lunch pr0n! More of the bacon dill potato salad, some of the beans I made the other day, and a sammich of chopped pork with slaw. In the background is a small bowl of cucumbers and tomatoes in rice vinegar/canola oil vinaigrette.We finished the infrastructure at back garden – the spot is surrounded on all sides with aged railroad ties. Most of the creosote preservative has leached out of these, new ties with fresh creosote are not plant friendly. We’ve planted some tomatoes, and have a couple of fig trees going in the back that aren’t showing up well right now. They were started from clipped branches off a more established planting. Rabbits seem to really like the leaves and twice ate them back before we got the wire up. Longer term plans include roses. We are starting them sometime this week, replacing the pepper plant starts in the mid-section.A little better look at those beans. I just started opening cans of beans: Navy, pintos, black beans, cannellini beans, cheap store brand pork ‘n beans – just whatever I could find in the pantry. The rest of the recipe is the old familiar one with ketchup, bbq sauce, onions and green peppers, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, etc.Here are some flowers for you. Mrs J combined several varieties in one big pot.
Here’s a nice kitteh to start with. Mrs J is running an errand so I can’t ask her for any particulars.Her flower garden is shaping up nicely. She has a few perennials but she’s been doing them in containers more and more. We’re both down in the knees and digging in the dirt is harder and harder.We had a relatively cool day a while back and it seemed suited to chicken dumplings. We hadn’t had any for ages. I’m a spectacular failure at the drop dumpling game so I go with the old fashioned rolled kind, made with an egg. Here’s a look at more of Mrs J’s handiwork. The Eskimo Viburnum, filling the right lower quadrant, is not doing well, it’s been in the ground for a long time and it’s due for a radical prune job.More sammich pr0n. This one is pretty much identical with the one the other day, hard salami, pepperoni, prosciutto, provolone, with fresh salad stuff and olive oil.Here’s a different angle on the same area as the photo above. The day lilies have busted out. This is the nesting season for the hummers, they absent themselves from the feeder almost entirely while they raise their young ‘uns but they’ll soon be back. We’ll end up with five feeders and they’ll empty them every day. Homer can’t wait for the hummer show, the scamp.The local Kroger had small rib roasts on sale a month or two ago for cheap. I bought several, cut into steaks like this they are great on the grill.I make a stab at cooking Asian style dinners every so often with middling success. This is chicken broccoli over noodles. I have a smear of sambal (chili paste) over mine. I’d cook it into the dish but Mrs J would have my hide.