[gardeners] Fourth of July in the garden

George Shirley (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Wed, 04 Jul 2001 21:42:04 -0500

We played in the garden a bit when it cooled off this afternoon. Harvested a few
more eggplant, one giant zuke, about a half gallon of various tomatoes, and one
little cucumber. Not to mention the Giant Marconi sweet chile I found hiding in
the bush plus a few Longhorns off the bush too.

Decided to take all this wealth and make a ratatouile for dinner. So, into the
pot went peeled and chopped eggplant, zuke, peeled tomatoes, scallions, garlic,
leaf celery, chiles, basil, oregano and a wee bit of olive oil. Simmered,
stirred, and allowed to make its own juice in the covered sauce pan. For go
withs we had leftover eggplant and sausage dressing from last night with a nice
grilled sirloin. Followed with a small plate of cheese and apple slices for
cleansing the palate. Must say it was a nice dinner, even if I did cook it
myself. One of the longhorns had a little bite to it so added a little piquancy
to the ratatouile.

We watched Cirque du Soleil on Bravo interspersed with Pop goes the Fourth on A
& E and had a most enjoyable evening at home. Sleepy likes the ratatouille (with
the onions carefully picked out), the eggplant dressing, and the small bite of
sirloin she was given. She has always liked cheese and apple and the crackers
too. Now she is sleeping the sleep of the trusty garden dog who stayed busy
running squirrels and mockingbirds out of the garden this afternoon. We're not
far behind her as it has been a long but lovely day.

As a part of our day we went to Home Depot and paid for our new front door. The
old one is 27 years old and, while the door itself is in good condition, the
frame has dry rotted in critical places. All of this is being replaced with a
good steel door with leaded glass inserts, Miz Anne picked it out for herself.
It will be installed in a couple of weeks. 

After that we spent a couple of hours with good friends, admiring the remodel of
their kitchen which was necessitated by a grease fire. Other friends came by
during the day to check out Miz Anne's allimagator. She's doing an alligator for
the local symphony. Think of Chicago and Zurich's cows, and New Orleans fish,
this time as 5 foot tall alligators. There will be seventy of them in Lake
Charles, LA in a few weeks. I'm proud of her as the artists had to be juried in
and then their design had to be purchased by a patron. Her patron is a family
trust that owns about half the land, oil, and cattle in our area. The lady of
the family is a well-known local art patron. Not much money in the gator but
lots of exposure. O'fish-al-gator will be in place in about a month. He will be
wearing my old straw hat, carefully fiberglased to last, bib overalls, holding a
cane pole with a wooden fish on the line. His skin will be gator green with grey
fish here and there. If you get to Lake Charles, LA this year look for the

Life is good.

Happy Birthday America!

George, Miz Anne, and Sleepy Dawg Shirley