Ahhh, but we took some with us as we fell!

The cucumbers…the cucumbers are at the gate. The timbers are splintering. Defenders are falling rapidly. I do not know how long we can withstand. We have picked, we have pickled, we have made salads, we have made cucumber dip. We have wielded knives and graters and boiling brines. We have lined and stacked their corpses up on shelves in the pantry, against the long winter to come.

And still they come. There is no end to their ranks. When one falls, two take his place — two, three, a dozen! We cannot hold. We CANNOT HOLD! 

With apologies to whatever writer of adventure fiction I was channeling. But These Damn Cucumbers, y’all!

Saturday, I made seven pints of horseradish sweets, and got rid of the backlog of cucumbers that had been occupying my countertop. I was congratulating myself.

Pfffth. Until Sunday morning. When I went to take the dog out, strolled out back to enjoy the cool of the morning and check on the garden and …….AAAAIIIIIEEEEEE! THEY’RE BACK!

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A peck of pickling

June 27, 2017

Here. Here’s a post I wrote four days ago, but didn’t have the photos edited to go with it. Here it is, with photos. Also, Good Night.

Pretty bread-and-butter pickles in Weck jars!

How it was, was, like this.

I had been out of town for a week. Before I left, I checked the garden. Picked a handful of tomatoes, a couple of banana peppers. Took them with me for a hostess gift.

It got hot while I was gone. Gardens, and things growing in them, like hot.

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This just barely missed being a Swee

Doggoned excellent dinner, despite skimpy scallops.

Doggoned excellent dinner, despite skimpy scallops.

t Baby Jesus meal. I mean, it was close enough it was definitely contending for sainthood.

My Memphis Guinea Pig was coming for a visit, and this weekend is his birthday, so I wanted to have at least semi-special meals for him. Balancing against that is the fact I still get tired and get into achy territory when I spend too much time on the bum leg, so I needed semi-special meals that didn’t require a great deal of time in the kitchen.

Working within those parameters, I came up with the above: Scallops, over just about the best grits I ever made, with sides of cucumber and tomato salad.

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Trying a cobbler with a biscuit crust.

Trying a cobbler with a biscuit crust.

I have been released from some of my restrictions that had hampered my cooking activities. None of us here in the Mid-South, however, have been released from the sufferin’ heat that has clamped down on us like it’s making up for giving us an easy time last year.

In other words, Whooo, Lawdy, it’s HOT, folks!

Hot enough I don’t want to turn the stove on, much, although I am celebrating my semi-release from captivity with a blackberry cobbler that’s in the oven as we speak. Type. Whatever.

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First crop of the brand new garden -- yellow cherry tomatoes.

First crop of the brand new garden — yellow cherry tomatoes.

We have harvested.

The first fruits of the garden are two lovely little cherry tomatoes, which started turning yellow the end of last week and which I judged to be perfectly ripe today.

I ate ’em. They were glorious.

I started, in fact, to eat them freshly plucked from the vine, cool from the morning shade. And then I remembered Child A’s warning: “Don’t you eat those tomatoes without washing them first. You know Jack pees on them.” (Jack would be the 13-year-old attack Yorkie, who hoists his leg indiscriminately, indoors or out.)

Having remembered this in time, I brought them indoors and washed them. And ate them standing at the sink.

And I repeat: They were glorious.

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One more time

May 30, 2016

Bring it, bunnies! I'm ready for you!

Bring it, bunnies! I’m ready for you!

We are going to try this green bean thing one more time. And if the bunnies-from-hell brave this stuff successfully, a fence will be in the offing next year.

On the advice of several friends, I am trying Liquid Fence to keep the predators out. Fortunately, I still have a good window of time in which to plant my Kentucky Wonders. They’ll just bear a little later. No matter; they’ll be absolutely wonderful whenever they do.

I am trying to get past the fact I just paid $24 for a gallon of rotten eggs. Seriously. That’s what it is. Some similar products allegedly contain coyote pee. I don’t want to know how they collect that.

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Garden update

May 9, 2016

I’m beginning to be of the opinion new gardeners are about as silly as new grandparents. That is to say, I’m inordinately proud of my tiny little plots, and excited about the progress they’re showing.

Today’s big news:

Where there are blossoms, tiny tomatoes can't be far behind!

Where there are blossoms, tiny tomatoes can’t be far behind!

Tomato blossoms! Much earlier than I expected. Must find some aluminum pie tins and tie to the cages to keep the birds away. Will turn Jack, the Yorkie granddog, out into the back yard and let him keep the squirrels and rabbits at bay. He thinks he’s a Rottweiler anyway, so he can work out some of his aggression and earn his keep.

They're tiny, but they're there! The promise of beans to come.

They’re tiny, but they’re there! The promise of beans to come.

And Kentucky Wonders! A few are still to come through the dirt, but at least it looks like I’ll get a decent stand. I know my Daddy is proud. I suspect, if these bear worth a flip this year, I’ll plant one whole patch in them next spring. I may perhaps need another plot tilled up for more tomatoes and/or something else. These will need to be thinned, but I’m waiting until after today’s expected rain and to let things dry out again.

Looks like a bumper crop of squashes in the making.

Looks like a bumper crop of squashes in the making.

Yellow squash and zucchini are thriving.  I’ve thinned them once,  but may need to thin them again. Looks like we’ll have plenty of squashes this summer. I’m going to try my hand at frying zucchini blossoms, too.

Cucumbers need a helping hand keeping the bugs away.

Cucumbers need a helping hand keeping the bugs away.

Cucumbers aren’t doing as well. Some critter is nibbling leaves. Must figure out what kind of insecticide I can use that will chase away the pesky little things.

Wish I had room to plant a few rows of corn, and some peas. Yes, I think I sense another garden plot in the making for next year. English peas. Please.

I will keep you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em posted as progress at Keyboard Plantation continues. Y’all be ready to come help when it’s time to can tomatoes.