Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pot-pourri means spoiled pot

...or rotten pot, but whatever, 'tis but semantics en francais...

I've been overly busy of the sort that happens when you think your life is about to slow down and then - wham. Random things demand your quick attention.

Like piano moving, for instance. Everyone's favorite scorching July afternoon activity. But I realized something this time around (my piano has moved at least a dozen times and three times overseas and back...it's a long story)...you have truly reached a different kind of adulthood when you are delighted to pay someone else to move a piano for you. There was a time when I was 22 or so when I would have thought it was an extravagant and asinine waste of money to pay some big dudes to move my piano when I could just round up enough beer and burly guys to do it for me. These days brawny guys willing to move pianos for beer are in short supply in my life. At this point they'd rather I just pay someone to do it, too.

So that's what I did on this glorious Bastille Day. I loaded up a trailer and some ratchet straps, watched two guys move it onto the trailer in 10 minutes (that'll be $90!), drive up the turn pike, rinse, repeat. Truly different sort of adulthood. And now we have a spinett piano shoved into our adorable little pink house. For you and me.

We also went camping over the weekend which was delicious. It has been way too long since I camped. Last summer I got to spend a weekend in Arches National Park so this was ... quite different ... but fun and pleasing nonetheless.

The garden has me overloaded with tomatoes already and is also demanding a lot of 90+º day-attention. So far the heat and the accompanying spider mites are winning an ugly battle, but I don't give up easily...Well, I fade a bit when the weather is hot but I come back like a raging bull come Indian summer.

I'm still way too busy trying to save seeds from onion heads and radish pods. That is some tedious work. I need to figure out a threshing mechanism because I felt like an uber-chump picking out those damn seeds for three hours. Chumpsville. Population: me. Help needed if you got it!

The squash vine borers also took out (in the mafia sense) two of my four jumbo pink banana squash. They were 2 feet long and beautiful - they'll be missed. I'm nervous for the remaining two, as well as the Black Futsu and Chicago Warted Hubbards. I've been looking for some Bt to do a syringe full of intervention but I can't seem to find anywhere around here. Is that weird? Not at the big garden stores and I can't locate a good local supplier here. There are some boutique greenhouses but no medium sized supplier like Horn's in OKC.

The compost volunteer butternut squash is rokken like dokken, though! So far untouched by those damn diamondback thugs. We've harvested 7 of those delicious squash to date and one was 3 1/2 pounds. Notice the difference here?

Freaky genes
One normal sized, one talked to Rogers Clemens...what can you do? Squash these days, it's really a tragedy. A national tragedy.

More recent harvests...

There's tomato creole, tomato gumbo, pan-fried, deep-fried, stir-fried...

...pineapple tomato and lemon tomato, coconut tomato, pepper tomato...

...tomato soup, tomato stew, tomato salad, tomato and potatoes, tomato burger, tomato sandwich...
and...that's, that's about it. (Merci, Forrest Gump!)

On this one you get produce and a whiskey chaser

...and it's almost time for pickles!!! I'm planning to make fridge pickles tomorrow. I don't eat so many that I need to actually can them but I came up with a mean dill fridge pickle featuring habañero and garlic. Simply smashing!

These guys are destined for brine

And I guess that's pretty much it for now.

That's all folks!


Verde said...

Wow, we're just barely beginning the harvest here.

Funny you mentioned Arches NP. We lived in Moab for 20 years when we were first married. I attribute any marital problems to location. I had to travel the 120 mi to Grand Junction (before cell phones - no towers) to deliver babies.

We've been more itenerant these last few years and I've always missed the places we've left...except the 20 years in Moab.

Meryl said...

Goodness, what a wonderful harvest! So many pretty tomatoes!

Tara said...

I too have found that as you get older and more solvent, burly guys to lift and carry seem to vanish into thin air. ;-)

Try a feed store for your Bt. Feed stores = goodness.

I miss camping. It's bee WAAAAY too long.

I'd love to know your fridge pickle recipe, if you're the type that shares.

That's one amazing butternut!

And finally, you said "rokken like Dokken". You are my hero.

Bee said...

This, I think, was one of the most entertaining posts I've read in a long time. Your harvest continues to make me green with jealousy. Thanks for making me smile. =)

Hausfrau said...

I'm with Tara, what's the fridge pickle recipe!! I have too few cukes to really pickle but too many to eat normally.

Lewru said...

Verde - Moab was other worldly - like Mars. I thought it was beautiful but, yes, remote. Not sure how I would like living there.

Meryl and Bee - thanks muchos! I am so pleased with the tomatoes - much sauce and salsa to can.

Tara and Hausfrau - you bet I'll post the recipe!

And to all - I think I have found the secret to blogging...being ever so tipsy while writing helps. :)

Lewru said...

Oh, and Tara - rokken like dokken...you know it.

Tara said...

And to think I've been wasting my wit by blogging at work...

That's it - it's wine-induced blogging for me from now on.

anajz said...

Great Harvest! I am still a couple of weeks behind you, but we are finally getting at least something now and again.
Would love the recipe and to know where you camped this weekend.

Lewru said...

Hi Anajz!
We camped in Paul's Valley on some people's land. It was next to a wooded area and a swimming hole, which was fun and there was a giant tee-pee on the property, too, which was cool. But the 4:30 a.m. rain that lasted until almost noon sort of dampened things ... no pun intended. :)

Recipe up soon!

Jenny said...

I like your vegetable pictures! And hilarious about the co-workers...I'm wondering who the culprits are. My vote is boo on the lights, unless you're in the little windowless office. Just open up the blinds!

anajz said...

Hey, I know where Paul's Valley is! I love to camp in the rain. We have a farm about an hour south of Wichita, that we rarely get to visit. Because we travel so much for daughter's sports, we are so ready to spend a weekend at home when given the opportunity. I suspect that after she graduates this next year, we will get back into the camping swing again.
We built a small covered "patio" that we could park our PopUp Camper beside. We even installed electricity in hopes that we may eventually be able to move there.
I have to say...every time I check in here...I become a little envious of your harvest. My peppers are going crazy, but the tomatoes just aren't doing much.:(

Lewru said...

That's so great you have a farm! I didn't know that!

We had to get back to the camping...I really missed it, as I'm sure you do, as well.

I don't know about the tomatoes. Is the weather considerably different this year? What did you plant them in?