At the risk of appearing smug, I have to report on my wonderful snow-bound last weekend.
Every summer I toss containers of eggplant, zucchini, celeriac, and peppers into the freezer. I usually make too much for supper and freeze the extra. Also, when I’m in a rush and do not have time and/or energy to process tomatoes, I cut the cores and freeze them raw. They take up a lot of room in the freezer. When I want to use them, I plunge the still-frozen fruits into boiling water which immediately removes the skins. Then into the crock pot they go.
Because I was concerned that the power might go out, I tossed several of the aforementioned containers of vegetables into the mix. I chopped everything to a puree with the handheld blender, hoped for the best and went to bed. Fortunately, the power stayed on and by midday we enjoyed a great spaghetti sauce. I out-and-out lied to Violet. I would always deny serving eggplant in any form. She’s psychologically allergic.
The state snow plow left an enormous mountain of pure ice across my driveway. I hacked away in vain with a garden edger until grandson Christian showed up to shovel. As luck would have it, he flagged down Joey Andrade in a front-end loader, who cleared the entire drive in under a minute. Thanks, Joey. There’s nothing quite like a man and a machine at a time like this.
I was able to get my car out in time to attend Sunday’s matinee performance of Cats at the high school. A huge crowd attended. The cast did a great job. They obviously put a tremendous amount of time and energy into it.
Besides shoveling and tending the chickens, my only outdoor activity has involved knocking snow and ice from my favorite shrubs. Some branches are cemented into snow banks. I have been pretty careful not to further damage the bushes and ornamental trees.
For years Jack Reed sold wheat grass juice at the Farmers’ Market. Sometimes he would add tiny snips of corn plants. It would sweeten the juice. Corn is, after all, a grass. I came across some Golden Bantam seeds easily five years old in my seed box. I planted them thickly into a flat and placed them on a 65 degree propagating mat. They have just sprouted. I think I’ll cut them at two inches tall and add to a salad. They might be too fibrous and should go into the juicer instead. Will keep you posted!
I’ve been growing pea shoots, broccoli, alfalfa and fenugreek sprouts on my window sill. I hate to buy fresh produce when I can grow anything on my own. We should all be thinking along these lines. Soon, with the terrible drought in California, our store-bought food will be way more expensive grown in foreign countries under questionable circumstances, and possibly harder to come by.
The growing of sprouts in jars and colanders is ridiculously easy. They require a simple rinse twice a day and then floating in a pan of water to remove the spent seeds. They keep up to a week in the fridge.
My onions, hollyhocks, leeks, gaillardia, oriental poppies and snapdragons have all germinated and are off the propagating mat. Several flats have gone over to Marie’s basement under her grow lights. So much for carbon footprints. These plants will go on several road trips before they land in their permanent location.
Thanks to Joann Mettler. She sent me some information on a book titled Eradicate Invasive Plants by Teri Dunn Chase. I’m going on the search, Joann. I would love some practical solutions when people want to use poison.
Joann’s last sentence, “This note might not have been written if it weren’t for another snow day” got me thinking. Receiving a handwritten note or letter in the U.S. mail is one of life’s pleasures. I think I’ll pen a letter to my cousin after this.
For all you folks out there who are at the end of your patience for the winter weather, I have a few thoughts: poison ivy, sunburns, fleas, mosquitoes, ticks, Lyme disease, lack of parking spaces, traffic and short tempers.
I was fascinated by the heat New York city mayor de Blasio took for his failure to close schools during last week’s storm. Growing up in Rew, Pa., (in the snow belt) we never had a snow day from school. They put chains on the buses and off we went. (I know . . . I walked uphill both ways, too.)
Anyway, those people who were so aggravated should just keep their own children home. I thought he had a valid point. Many have to go to work no matter what and need their children at school.
Honestly, I would hate to be an elected official. No one is ever happy.