First Tomato!



Worm sign!  Mrs J drew my attention to this Swallowtail caterpillar on one of the parsleys, it  appeared suddenly and was gone the next day.   Moar kittehs!  Mrs J brought back several good pics of the current kitteh crop at the shelter from her last volunteer stint.We decided it was time for another smoked pork shoulder.  This one spent the day with peach chips smoldering under it, then it finished in the oven.I made a batch of buns for it, I think I’ll do some tacos later.A couple of times a year I’ll trundle the mower down to the back pond to knock the weeds and grass down.  The pond is murky from recent rains, it will clear up over the summer.  We have it stocked with bass, redear and bluegill.We both favor these BLTs and are satisfied to make them for either lunch or dinner.Moar kittehs!  As TaMara once quipped, “it looks like the kitty printer is running low on toner”!


Mrs J adds Russian Sage to her garden.  She has been looking for it a while and finally spotted a set at a big box store.More naan pizza!  These are closer to pitas than the last batch we bought and a bit smaller.  I made a white sauce with garlic and stirred in provolone to make it a mornay sauce for the base.  Chopped roast chicken was the main topping with Brussels sprout slices and a bit of balsamic glaze.  More cheese was sprinkled on before these went into the oven.They worked out very well.  I added some red pepper flakes and a grind of black peppercorns to mine.Some BLTs with my own homemade bacon.  Too early for fresh garden tomatoes so we went with some from the Kroger garden.More breakfast for dinner.  We love those little sausages.Kittehs!  These are two of our own kittehs – Ginger Boy and Ollie.


IMG_2378 [1600x1200]Sleep Hard!  One of the kittehs is tired from all the playing and fussing and is taking a nap on the arm of a volunteer at the shelter.DSC_3909 [1600x1200]We have a few tomatillo plants growing in the back garden with the tomatoes.  This is the biggest one so far and rivals the size of some I’ve bought at the grocery.  Looks like there will be plenty of tomatillo salsa canned later on.DSC_3921 [1600x1200]My patio container garden is coming along nicely.  These jalapenos are ready for picking now and I expect them to produce throughout the summer.  Some Anaheims are close, and there are lots of green cayennes.DSC_3902 [1600x1200]Here’s a Tiger Swallowtail visiting the bee balm.  Their caterpillars have stripped my curly parsley down to the bare stems.  They haven’t eaten the flat leaf parsley.DSC_3906 [1600x1200]I love these Hummingbird moths, hate the hornworm caterpillars they develop from.  Haven’t picked any of those from my veggies yet but I’m sure they will be there before too long.DSC_6342 [1600x1200]Here’s a fish sammich with slaw and a side of potato salad for you folks that tuned in for that sort of thing.  LOL!DSC_3903 [1600x1200]Momma Barn Swallow kicked her youngsters out of the nest the other day.  They were mostly content to sit on the floor or on the ladder.  We did our best to keep the cats indoors after we noticed Homer stalking them with the parents swooping and squawking.  Last I looked this morning they were all out.  DSC_6349 [1600x1200]Mmm… candied pepper bacon makes awesome BLTs.  Let’s not let awesome be enough, though…DSC_6346 [1600x1200]


That sunflower is starting to attract attention from the bees.  I am seeing several species crawling around it or hovering nearby.  I saw a hummer cruise by this morning and give it a glance so I staked it out with camera in hand hoping for a shot but he didn’t return.

There are several precincts around Blogville where “Pink Himalayan Salt” is a punchline due to an unfortunate association with a well known and much mocked blogger.  I noticed this jar in the International Grocery while browsing around the shop as is my usual practice when I have a chance.  I had to try some, dumped the usual sea salt from my trusty salt grinder and refilled it with the pink stuff.  I immediately put the grinder to good use.We bought the sweet corn at the farmer’s market yesterday and had some last night – it was so good we were determined to eat it all up as soon as we could.  There is enough left for one more good session.  You want to eat this super sweet corn soon as you can because it doesn’t age well.

Here’s another hummingbird feeder shot from earlier this morning.  Pre-coffee early.  And I’ll close this out with a sammich:


My tomatoes in the back garden are struggling in the heat but a couple of the plants are finally yielding some ripe tomatoes.  I’m not sure what variety these things are, just some of the plants the local big box store was offering.  Better Boys or Big Boys or some such thing.  I always swear to myself that I will record the names and draw a nice little garden map but I never do.  I have a few Romas coming along fairly well, they seem to not be affected by the heat (or fungus or bugs or whatever..) as badly as the table tomatoes.  Lots of leaves and plenty of green fruits.  There are a couple of them just about ready.  There are a few cherry peppers ready, and the cayennes are maturing.  I need to look at some recipes.  I really like pickled cherry peppers.

Candied Bacon with Cayenne

I was at Balloon Juice last night and a commenter mentioned “candied jalapeno bacon” but never answered my plea for a recipe.  I went to teh Google and found a recipe or two but they didn’t seem all that.  I was of a mind to do the candied bacon thing again so I puttered about in the kitchen this morning for a while.I dredged some peppered bacon through some pancake syrup, sprinkled on some maple sugar, and dusted the strips with cayenne.  I had a few rashers left over after covering the tray so I popped those into the microwave atop a cushion of paper towels.  Mrs J had those with her breakfast this morning.  The microwave worked pretty well, I kept giving them and extra 30 seconds and lost track of the time but they came out fairly crisp.  Mrs J said they were fine.The rest spent some quality time in a 425 oven, I gave them 15 minutes and then turned them over, sprinkled a bit more sugar and returned them for another 15 minutes.  The oven was starting to get a little smoky so I pulled them and let them cool a bit.  I turned the oven down and returned them for another few minutes until they crisped enough to suit me.I think they turned out very well, and the cayenne was just the touch extra that they were needing.  Mrs J announced herself ready for lunch so I made her a quick BLT.All-in-all an enjoyable morning in the kitchen.  I guess I need to start thinking about dinner…