The start of the garden! Can't wait.

The start of the garden! Can’t wait.

Complain about the US Postal Service all you want. I love ’em. And UPS, and FedEx.

The proportion of my shopping that’s being done online is growing steadily, a trend that reflects the national move away from brick-and-mortar stores. I still do my grocery shopping in person (though I expect I’ll be using the Kroger ClickList function sooner rather than later, just for the convenience of it), but increasingly, everything else comes online.

Except shoes. I want to try shoes on before I buy ’em.

Anyway, one of the great things about online shopping is when you reach into the mailbox, or look out in the carport, and get that little frisson of excitement before you remember what you ordered. “Oooohh! Packages!” It’s like Christmas.

Today, my mailperson (he actually is a mailman, at least most days) brought me two food-related packages: the first of my garden seeds, and a collection of produce bags for storing the yield from said garden in the fridge.

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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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Learning my limitations

June 21, 2016

Standard breakfast: yogurt, fruit, granola. Good stuff.

Standard breakfast: yogurt, fruit, granola. Good stuff.

Stuff I can do in the kitchen, in my currently handicapped state:

  • Scramble eggs
  • Make a sandwich
  • Direct the preparation of dinner
  • Fix my yogurt, granola and fruit for breakfast
  • Prep veggies
  • Empty and reload dishwasher
  • Make granola
  • Make coffee

These are all critical things, and not to be taken lightly. However, there are also things I CANNOT do, that just aggravate the living hell out of me, such as:

  • Gather the goodies from my garden. Fortunately, I have a friend who loves fresh veggies like I do, and is sharecropping the harvest for me.
  • Get stuff out of the freezer or the outside fridge. There is most of a chicken out there that I need to get Child A to bring in so I can make chicken salad, as well as some veggies I want to cook this evening. If I want something to thaw for dinner tonight, I needed to think of it last night so I could ask for it to be brought in.
  • Easily navigate from the stove to the sink to the counter to the fridge in the course of cooking. You just don’t realize how much you move around, even in a little kitchen like mine.

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More leftover salad

June 13, 2016

Yum. Fine lunch, even if it was mostly leftovers.

Yum. Fine lunch, even if it was mostly leftovers.

NOTE: Here’s a post I mostly wrote before I got all crippled up, so y’all won’t miss me TOO much. In other news, I successfully cut up a canteloupe this morning. Carry on.

I put the rest of that leftover roasted corn to good use today, and will have another lunch or two off of it before it’s gone.

Together with the rest of the sliced tomato I had on a BLT yesterday, and the remains of a fresh pineapple that MIGHT have one more day left in it, it was a fine leftovers lunch.

Not to mention another fine use for roasted corn. This is a minimalist version of a salad I’ve made before, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with it. I was going to make up another batch of the corn/avocado/bacon salad, but the remaining avocado had reposed too long on the countertop. So I stuck the corn in the microwave to nuke for a minute and take the chill off, and contemplated the pantry.

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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.


Crop report

May 3, 2016

Yellow squash on the left, zukes on the right.

Yellow squash on the left, zukes on the right.

Cukes just starting to peek through.

Cukes just starting to peek through.

The weekend’s inch and a half of rain has encouraged a good stand of yellow crookneck squash and zucchini to show its first new shoots in the garden. Cucumbers are a little slower, but there are four or five peeking out, and out back, the tomatoes are thriving, but the pole beans have yet to show up. That’s not really surprising; they were planted several days longer and take significantly longer to germinate, so I won’t worry until this time next week. And by that time the rest of the cucumbers should be making their presence known, and I’ll need to get everyone thinned out.

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