By LYNNE IRONS
I am a slave to tradition. For starters, I hate to shop so when I find an article of clothing that I like, I buy four or five so I do not have to buy it again for years. I am a uniform dresser (as was Albert Einstein.) I eat the same foods . . . eggs for breakfast, supper leftovers for lunch, and a chicken or pork roast for supper that lasts the week ending with some sort of soup or gruel. I have a rotary phone, hang my laundry outside, and like only the old hymns at church. I plant seeds from the same place every year.
I use Cook’s Garden for my lettuces and greens, and Pinetree Seeds for all my main vegetables. It is located at P.O. Box 300, New Gloucester ME, 04260.
It uses newsprint paper — no gloss. There is a small amount of seed in, say, a package of Hubbard squash so they can all be used in one year. Four or five plants is way enough. I made my order this week and it came in at under $30. I ordered all non-hybrid seeds as I prefer the old-fashioned varieties. They are often not as prolific but the taste is superior. I ordered Provider green beans, golden acre and Danish ballhead cabbage, Boothby’s blonde cucumber, black beauty eggplant, large American Flag leek, Ailsa Craig exhibition and yellow sweet Spanish onion, knight and Lincoln shell peas, Cascadia snap peas, Carouby de Maussane snow peas, California wonder, orange sun, pimento, paprika and Hungarian yellow wax peppers, cherry belle radishes, black zucchini, Waltham butternut, Tennessee sweet potato, Hubbard and vegetable spaghetti squash, and Mortgage Lifter, Roma, San Marzano and Principe Borghese tomatoes. Space prevents me telling a little history of each of these varieties. Pinetree gives a wonderful description of each.
I received my lettuce order from Cook’s Garden this week and planted into big tubs in the greenhouse. Hope springs eternal. They should be germinating any day now. I also started several flats of peas to be eaten as greens/tendrils, and wheat grass. Wheat grass is a topic for another column, so you have been forewarned.
My granddaughter, Violet, and I spent an afternoon going through the pantry. We rubbed all the eyes from the bushel or so of potatoes stored since fall. We picked out any too-soft onions and looked over the winter squashes.
Which rotten vegetable is the most detestable? My daughter says it’s tomatoes. For me, it is a toss-up: either having your hand go into a black potato (reminiscent of the Irish potato famine) or my personal worst: moving the perfectly fine ornamental pumpkin, finding it completely liquid inside, and having had it remove the finish from the hardwood floor.
Nevertheless, all is well for the next month or so and by then my lettuce should be pickable.
For those of you with school-age children, Sarah Vail has the perfect non-toxic remedy for head lice. Fill a big bowl with vinegar (white is cheapest), dip the child’s head and continue pouring the vinegar through the hair. Do not rinse. Apply straight creme rinse and allow the child to sleep with a tight plastic bag over the hair.
In the morning, use a fine-toothed comb, dipping in vinegar once more. Who wants to put poison on their child?
Last Sunday’s Super Bowl was fodder on National Public Radio for some celebratory trivia. Get this: Americans consume enough guacamole watching the big game to entirely cover a football field including the end zones.
I love NPR. I don’t know if my favorite is Car Talk or Prairie Home Companion. Last week Garrison Keeler had some honky-tonk singers on the show singing one of his favorites: How Can a Chicken Eat All the Time and Never Get Fat in the Face? Oh! He asked this philosophic question: what is time to a pig?
Years ago Garrison told the following joke. I have repeated it several times and found that absolutely no one under the age of 40 ever gets it. What did the Jewish grandmother say to the flasher? “You call that a lining?”