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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Kickin’ it old school

January 10, 2017

Old school sho' nuff dinner, right here.

Old school sho’ nuff dinner, right here.

Because sometimes, you just want a throwback dinner.

And when you’re feeling throwback, there ain’t much more throwback than meat loaf, mashed potatoes and green peas.

Which is exactly what we had. Because, throwback.

I made my standard meatloaf, which involves a pound of ground beef, a panade of some bread crumbs or cracker crumbs with milk, some onion powder, garlic powder, seasoned salt, and an egg. Patted it out in a pie plate; I like a thin meat loaf, with more area of crispy outside to tender inside, because I like it that way.  Coated it down with ketchup, and into the oven it went.

Mashed potatoes were, well, mashed potatoes. With a little butter, a little sour cream, a little half and half. Mashed with the whisk attachment to my new immersion blender, which I dearly love, because you can take the little attachments off and throw them in the dishwasher, and that’s just a fine thing.

And the peas were peas. Steam ’em in the bag; dump ’em in a bowl, add butter. Eat.

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Puttin’ up

July 26, 2016

Pickles! First of several batches to do this week.

Pickles! First of several batches to do this week.

It’s that time of year.

Produce is flowing in (well, not really from my garden, but everyone who didn’t break their ankle and screw their garden for the year), and it’s time to fill up the canning shelves and the freezers for the winter.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing, little bits at a time, so’s not to put too much stress on the recovering leg. I’ve put up enough peas, I think, for the winter, just a few packages of peas at a time (not that peas are much work to put up). I’ve done eight pints of corn, and have corn to work up tomorrow that’ll be about that much more, which will be about all the corn I have room for. I’ve put up three half-pints of tomato sauce from the back yard garden, which is at least still yielding me lots of Romas, grape and cherry tomatoes.

Tomato sauce. From my own tomatoes!

Tomato sauce. From my own tomatoes!

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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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H’mmm. Place looks familiar

February 14, 2016

Healthy food for dinner.

Healthy food for dinner.

I seem to recall my way around the kitchen.

Seems like I haven’t been in it in ages. A trip to New Orleans, four King cakes on Saturday, pancakes at church for Fat Tuesday. I don’t know that I remember Wednesday, on the road all day Thursday, left Friday to head to Mississippi for the weekend.

So, culinarily, the week was singularly unremarkable. I guess I cooked, but I’m doggoned if I remember what it was.

This afternoon, I got home and decided I needed to cook. So I did. Healthy stuff. Tilapia in lemon butter sauce. Sugar snap peas, steamed until they were just crisp-tender, butter and sea salt. Wild rice. Dinner was under 350 calories, too; a good thing, as I overate a couple of days. Steak-n-Shake availability at the new basketball arena at Ole Miss will do that to you.  Double steakburger, with cheese, and a small fry. They don’t sell singles, which I think is a plot to make us all fat.

Working on eating more veggies, thus the peas tonight. I fell a bit short in the veggie department this week. So I bought the peas, and broccoli, and cauliflower, and cabbage. I just haven’t had time to cook any of it yet.

This week promises to be a busy one, too, but I’m hoping I’ll get a little more kitchen time. I’ve got some things I want to try. You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em stand by, and I’ll try to get to some of them this week.


I mean, seriously. Can you get any cuter? No, you cannot.

OK. I admit it. I’m whipped.

If this child could speak, and asked me to go to the moon, I’d be looking for a space capsule.

See this curve in my spine? It’s where I’m curled around her finger.

The kid rules.

But her mama ain’t bad, either, which is why I fixed us cool munchy girl stuff for lunch, and salmon with peas in sage cream sauce for dinner. Well, that, and because I could.

I went to the local Publix (I do love me some Publix; wish we had ’em!) to get the makings for dinner, which I wanted to try because Lynne Rosetto Kasper had e-mailed me the recipe for salmon with peas in sage cream sauce. Well, me and the rest of the world that subscribes to the Splendid Table newsletter, but let us not quibble. But I got that recipe, and recalled how much Child B loved salmon, and I thought, well, why not?

Grocery store lunch. Compiling beats preparing, some days.

But I went there hungry, at lunchtime (OK, late lunch, but the pancakes from  Pfunky Griddle were wearing thin). And I thought, well, we need something betwixt now and dinner. And so, I picked up hummus with Kalamata olives (all FoPro’d up in it, and it was GOOD, let me tell you!), and fruit salad, and carrot sticks, and cheese, and crackers to go with the sheep’s milk ricotta we got at the Farmers Market last night, and it was a most excellent lunch. And then my best-friend-from-when-I-was-a-kid, who was in town to get her roots done, called to come by, and did, and we had a wonderful time talking about back-in-the-day, and we drank wine, and then I cooked.

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Or at least, on one grill.

I’m cooking for tonight, and for tomorrow, and for most likely several tomorrows after that.

Pork tenderloin for the lake. Burgers left over after the thundering herd got through.

Pork tenderloin for the lake. Burgers left over after the thundering herd got through.

On the grill (or already off the grill): burgers, pork tenderloin, barbecued bologna (which I got sidetracked and burnt, but that’s OK because I was really cooking it just to get it out of the fridge. And two or three pieces, which are all I want, are salvageable. I like it just before burnt.

On the stove are squash and onions, and purple hulled peas. I’m going to slice the kernels off the left-over corn on the cob from last weekend, mix it with some black beans, roasted red peppers if I have any left, and if not I may saute the half one I do have left, and douse it with a lime viniagrette with a tad of cumin and some pico de gallo seasoning. Read the rest of this entry »