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Bitsy is a fan of boxes but she deemed this one too small.It’s really too soon for B(E)LTs but I was in a hurry and they make quick lunches.  I made do with a Kroger tomato.  They can leave the vine on, connecting a half dozen tomatoes, and call them vine ripened but that doesn’t lean for a minute that they taste good.We have puppies too!  A trio of picnic side salads.  A bog standard potato salad on the left, a copy-cat slaw on the right, and a mish mash of a bean salad in the middle.  My usual recipe calls for chick peas but I was out of them and subbed in great northern and black beans.  I though it needed more color so I sent Mrs J to the freezer for corn.  She said it  was white corn but it might do, so we tossed those in as well.  It didn’t hurt it.Beans!  I made a double batch because I figure we are heading into peak container garden planting season and they would go well with the other stuff. Kittehs!  A brand new batch.A sloppy dog, now with extra slop.



DSC_4847 (1600x1060)Lots of praying mantises today.  This one had a hold on a hummingbird before Mrs J, hearing a small commotion in the bush, reached in to rescue it.  She said she thought it was hung in a spiderweb at first and only saw the mantis when the bird’s foot didn’t come clear.DSC_4857 (1600x1060)This fellow is in the coleus but isn’t the same one from the other day.  That one had green eyes.  I’m not sure if mantises can change colors, a quick search found answers all over the map.  Some said yes, some no, and a few were firmly in the sometimes camp.DSC_4855 (1600x1060)I’m pretty sure this one is the same one from before.  He is in a green coleus right next to the vari-colored one, both of them in pots Mrs J has set in the shade of a small crabapple tree.DSC_4858 (1600x1060)My habaneros are loving this August heat.  I picked this bush once already and there are as many ripe now as before.  These are more than I will use.  Need any?DSC_8964 (1600x1060)We’re loving the big slicer tomatoes the garden is producing.  They are perfect for BLTs, or BELTs, as is the case here.DSC_4845 (1600x1060)Toby is still not sure I won’t do something to him he won’t like.  Ginger plays with him quite a bit and Toby doesn’t seem to mind, but let Homer come by and there will be trouble.  Toby has taken a serious dislike to that boy and we’ve had to separate them lest fur fly and the dogs become fearful for their own safety.DSC_8971 (1600x1060)I’ll close with a few more sammiches.  I fired up the panini press for this reuben and all the cheese ran out.  The pickle is a bread and butter spear.  Tasty!DSC_8968 (1600x1060)Last is a mushroom Swiss burger.  I sauteed some brown buttons in butter and olive oil, added beef stock with cornstarch for a thickener, and ladled them all over the cheese covered patty.  It’s a classic burger recipe, and for good reason.


DSC_4734 (1600x1060)Our cherry tomatoes are doing great.  I’ll have to start freezing or drying some soon.  I didn’t make a dent in them with this pasta dish:DSC_8721 (1600x1060)This is an easy dish and it tastes great but we can’t eat it every day.  Unlike the BLTs:DSC_8717 (1600x1060)Mrs J has named these her all time favorite sammiches.  This one is a BELT, it’s topped with an egg.

Our Vitex nearly didn’t survive the winter, it did die back to the root but it is coming back.  They are late bloomers and are just now producing something to catch the eye of a hummingbird.DSC_4752 (1600x1060)This is a Ruby Throated Hummingbird – the gorget really catches the light when the angle is right.DSC_4753 (1600x1060)The little peppers are coming along, plenty of red ones, a few orange, not seeing any yellow one so far.  Of course they all start out green.  DSC_4737 (1600x1060)The dill in the background is pretty with the yellow flowers looking like bursting fireworks.  This is the first time we have had luck growing dill.  Aphids and caterpillars usually make short work of it.  I’ll try to collect the seeds for baking rye bread.

Sammich Pr0n – The BELT

DSC_6324 [1600x1200]Mrs J spotted one of these things online somewhere the other day and called my attention to it.  BLTs are a summer favorite and the egg just seemed a perfect addition.  I crushed some garlic into a bit of mayo, added a squeeze of lemon juice and a bit of the zest to make a quick aeoli.  I wish the tomatoes were fresh from our garden but we’re still buying them at the grocery.  Soon!DSC_6325 [1600x1200]The poppy seeded onion rolls put these right over the top.  Iceberg lettuce doesn’t get near its due – I like it for these over any of the others.  Sue me.

Mmm… BLTs

Mrs J strolled around back to the big garden and pulled a few tomatoes – our first of the season from there!  Yay!  Mrs J was adamant: “We’re having BLTs!”  I baked a loaf of white bread for the occasion.I used the Pillow Soft Rolls recipe.  Works great, a really useful recipe for all kinds of basic loaves, rolls, and buns.  It’s my go-to recipe.


Classic sammiches.  The bread was still warm from the machine.  Tomatoes  still warm from the sun.  Good stuff.

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