Re: [gardeners] Sunday in the garden and kitchen

penny x stamm (
Sun, 6 Aug 2000 18:15:46 -0400

Gardening today consisted of pulling my hair out -- again. 
We've spent so much time messing with the irrigation lines
that I did not realize that my rose bed was in trouble. I have
18 roses in a high raised bed which backs up the big annual
flower bed with wonderful rose views. And every single rose
has defoliated 80%, from black spot. Don't know how anything
can happen that fast! 

True, our weather has been anti-rose and anti-flower for 
weeks. But those roses were in perfect condition as of last
Thursday, when we were working nearby. 

Too bad -- every failure in the garden hits a gardener hard.
But as soon as the drizzle stops, I'll go back out and begin the
cleanup. Probably won't see any more roses for about 4 weeks.

The tomatoes, now that's another story. I've always used a
tomato cage in the past, but this year I decided to put in a 
heavy stake at planting time, and keep the tomatoes tied up --
mostly because Jimmie always gets mad at the tomato
cages being underfoot.  Well, today we had to go out with a
ladder and bring along 6  8-ft stakes and the hatchet Jim
prefers to hammer them in with, because they have simply
skyrocketed!  May the Lord keep them in their present state
of perfect health . . .  and gosh, anybody nearby need some
tomatoes...???  It looks as if my cousin gave me 2 Big Boys,
2 cherry tomatoes, and 2 medium salad size. They're just
turning color now. Jim is very wobbly on flat ground, so
climbing the ladder wasn't fun -- but we worked it out
so that he could hold on to me as he went up, rest his knees
against one of the rungs, and then I would go behind him
and place my head underneath his rump, for stability. 
Don't knock it -- it worked!  

I decided to make some gazpacho soup, which I adore. 
Spent hours dicing green peppers, cukes, onions, and
some delicious New Jersey tomatoes.  My recipe called
for Kosher salt, and I had some on hand.  Separated 
about 1/3rd of the cubes for garnish, and then put the rest
into my Waring Blendor and whipped it up. . . . apparently
that is NOT what I was supposed to do?  I ended up with
what resembles Campbell's Cream of Tomato soup. Was
I supposed to pulse the machine lightly...? 

Wouldn't have minded that, only one taste threw me
10 feet backwards across the room. The salt.  The
recipe said put in 1 tsp.  I think that must have been a
typo in the book. Evidently Kosher salt (Sea Salt, mine
is called) is 10 times saltier than fine table salt.  And
Jimmie wanted a taste, so he spooned two tablespoons
of it into a custard cup. Great day in the morning! He 
thought he had been poisoned!

OK, so we both went about making the best of it. I filled
a mug with the raw veggie mix, and poured some of the 
puree over the top. Making sure that every spoonful had 
LOTS of veggies and not too much puree, it became 
palatable. More or less. 

Jim took another tack. He poured beer into the custard cup,
right on top of the soup, and drank it down. 

 It takes all kinds . . .  

RED ALERT!  Jimmie has just thrust his head in the front door
to announce that the front sidewalk has caved in where 
Con Edison fixed a leaking gas line, 2 years ago.  Out we
go once more, Stamm's Emergency Squad, to avert a
Postal Employee (or other visitor) catastrophe. 

Life is exhausting.

Penny, NY 

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