Garden update

April 20, 2017

Pea vines, growing apace.

Well, we’re all duly planted and mulched, some herbs replaced that I, ahem, got a little over-enthusiastic with on fertilizer, and now we can sit back and wait for (more) growth.

The tomatoes are coming along nicely, as are the peas and lettuce and cucumbers. Cabbages and carrots and radishes are a bit slower. Today, I planted the remaining three rows in the fenced garden: Lima beans in one, watermelon and canteloupe in one, and yellow squash, zucchini and eggplant in one. That’s all the planting but for the late stuff — pole beans, okra — which will go in after the lettuce, carrots, radishes, and cabbage are done.

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Recycling R Us

April 19, 2017

Deviled eggs in the process of being recycled.

What does one do when one has five left-over deviled egg halves from Easter?

One pops one in one’s mouth as a cook’s treat, and one proceeds to smush up the other four, add a few more ingredients, and have tuna salad.

I was thinking, for some reason, of tuna salad. It just sounded good, and I thought, well, I’ll just boil a couple of eggs and make some.

Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding! I HAD boiled eggs, albeit they’d already been deviled, using essentially the same ingredients I’d be using in tuna salad, anyway. (The eggs had a bit of Dijon mustard and a splash of cider vinegar that wouldn’t normally go in tuna salad, but what the heck.)

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Fish dinner, with a twist, and in a hurry.

If you’re like me, you hit those nights when you’re tired, it’s getting on toward dinnertime, and nothing you have in the refrigerator sounds like what you want to eat.

That’s where I either reach for the phone to order takeout, or for the freezer to get out some fish.

Fish is just a great go-to when you’re in a hurry. It never takes long to cook; it lends itself to all kinds of different preparations, goes with any number of sides. And if you forget to take it out of the freezer, you can soak it in hot water to thaw it.

That’s what I did the other night, and the result was pretty doggoned good.

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Easter dinner. All the faves. It was good. Seconds were had.

Another wonderful Easter in the books, or almost so, as it’s nearly sundown.

We’ve gorged ourselves on a traditional Easter repast of ham, mac and cheese (because I have carb-loading children, and they require mac and cheese), corn casserole, asparagus, green peas, deviled eggs, rolls, lemon icebox pie, and strawberries.

We’ve hunted eggs at church, with the cutest kids on the face of the planet, led, of course, by my very own, because, well, he’s about the cutest kid on the planet, except for my other two grandkids, with whom he’s tied. Sorry. I calls ’em like I sees ’em. YMMV.

Every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man.

I mean, seriously. Are there any cuter kids? I submit there are not.

And the other two, who are right cure, in and of themselves!

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Market goodies. I do dearly love the farmers’ market.

With apologies, of course, to Andy Williams. Christmas is wonderful, too, but Lord help me, how I DO love spring. Not least because of all the food-related bonuses it brings. Gardening, strawberries, salad greens, fresh asparagus, grilling out, draft beer and a cheese-and-sausage plate at the ballpark…

…and farmers’ markets!

Which I love as much as I love spring. Or maybe it’s because I love spring. ┬áMore likely, it’s because I love to eat. And a trip to the farmers’ market means there’s some good eating to be done, either there, or when you get home, or over the course of the next several days.

I made my first market of the year back last month, when we’d gone to Hot Springs for a weekend. Had some time to kill, and our hotel was just down the street, so I walked down. Saw some old friends, bought herbs, and oh my God, there were the first strawberries of the season! I grabbed some. Back to the hotel, stashed them in the fridge, set the herbs on the desk. One of our traveling companions came in, was checking out the herbs, and wanted to go. So we went back. I bought honey that time.

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Head start on Easter: Lemon icebox pies.

And why is ham traditional in the South for Easter dinner, anyway?

(Answer: Because it’s about the time of year that traditionally, hams which were from pigs slaughtered in the fall and cured over the winter were ready to eat. And now you know.)

I have commenced Easter dinner cookery. Easter is another one of those “all about tradition” holidays. There is not a lot of room for maneuvering in the Chez Keyboard kitchen when it comes to Easter dinner. One MUST have:

  • Ham. In my case, sliced, pre-cooked but warmed nicely with a glaze, Honey Baked ham, because that’s just damn good ham, and will serve me nicely for ham sandwiches for a good while.
  • Deviled eggs. Because, Easter. Eggs. Et cetera.
  • Green peas. Because they’re springy. I’ve bounced among several preps, and just tend toward the simple: steamed, buttered, tarragon.
  • Asparagus. Because it’s the first local fresh green vegetable you can get. Because it’s wonderful. Because Children A and C, who’ll be partaking of Easter dinner, and I can eat our weight in it. I will either roast it, or wrap it in proscuitto and then roast it. And there will be hollandaise.
  • Corn casserole. Frozen corn from last summer, Jiffy cornbread mix, eggs, sour cream, melted butter. Ain’t nothin’ no better.
  • Mac and cheese. Because the carb-loading children require it.
  • Rolls. Specifically, Ms. Mary Lloyd’s rolls. Because it’s a holiday. Because a leftover roll, split, toasted, and filled with ham, is one of the finest leftovers on the face of the planet.
  • Lemon icebox pie. There is some wiggle room on dessert, but I was in the notion for lemon icebox pie, so that’s what we’re having. Because I made them today.

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Putting in a crop

April 10, 2017

Seedlings transplanted. Manicure shot to shit.

Things are progressing apace here at Keyboard Farms. Over the last three days, we have planted:

  • 38 tomato plants
  • 4 pepper plants
  • 15 lettuce seedlings
  • 15 radish seedlings
  • 20 carrot seedlings
  • 12 cucumber seedlings
  • 15 pea seedlings
  • 12 cabbage seedlings
  • a dozen or so different herbs

And our back is tired. As are our shoulders and our knees. The slings and arrows of advancing age are not kind to a would-be gardener.

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