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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Yes, well, I do still exist, and I do have a kitchen. Here are a few odds and ends that have been traipsing through it.

I picked tomatoes Monday. On Halloween. I still have green tomatoes, and may perhaps get a few more ripe ones before it gets cold the end of this week. (So the weatherpeople say. I’m not real sure I believe them.)

But there's no global warming...oh, no!

But there’s no global warming…oh, no!

As I had them, and needed to use them, I figured I’d convert them into tomato sauce or soup or something. I cut them up, along with the last few of the Farmers Market tomatoes I had on the counter, tossed them all into a pot with some diced onion and some garlic, and set them to cooking. When the tomatoes started to break down, I added some sherry; at that point, I was heading in the direction of soup.

I decided soup wasn’t really what I wanted, so after that simmered a while, I added some basil and a little oregano and went looking for my immersion blender, having forgotten that it seems to have taken feet and walked away. (How in the name of God do you lose an immersion blender?). So I wound up transferring it all to the big blender and pureeing it. It needed the addition of some tomato juice to thin it down, so I did that.

It’s a quite lovely sauce. It’s in the fridge. I’ll get in a pasta mood eventually, or I’ll freeze it.

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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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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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At last!

July 2, 2016

About damn time. Fresh veggies dinner.

About damn time. Fresh veggies dinner.

Had pork chops thawed. Didn’t cook ’em. Didn’t want ’em. Didn’t need ’em.

Because the above, you see is the first farmers market dinner of the season, two or three weeks late because today was the first day I’ve been able to GET to the farmers market since I’ve been hobbled by this damn ankle.

And tomatoes by God and me. Out of my very own, terribly grassed-over, garden. That was possibly the best tomato I ever ate in my life. Seriously. Perfection in a tomato.

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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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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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