Sunday, June 28, 2009

sunday brunch

Homegrown black beauty zucchini and early golden summer crookneck squash, sauteed with vidalia onion from the farmer's market, and served with yellow grits. I love it when Lee cooks.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

green things

I wouldn't necessarily say we're winning the battle against the squash bugs, but we are managing to pick a few squash here and there ~

The tomatoes are growing like mad, and we are growing impatient as we wait for them to ripen ~

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

best guacamole ever

Wait until it's really hot outside. Go to the store. Buy five perfectly ripe avocadoes. A perfectly ripe avocado is like al dente pasta, where your fingers are your teeth. One tomato, garlic, lemon. Be sure you have salt, black pepper, and cayenne in your pantry.

At home, pull out a cutting board, two knives (okay, I'm picky with the knives; I like a regular steak knife for cutting the avocadoes and the lemon, and a serrated bread knife for cutting the tomato), a soup spoon, a garlic press, a masher, a big bowl for the guacamole, a medium bowl for the scraps, and a very small bowl for the lemon juice.

Cut the avocadoes in half lengthwise. Squeeze the seed out of the side it ends up on. Use the soup spoon to scoop the avocado meat out of the shell and into the big bowl. Press two cloves of garlic into the big bowl. The best thing about a garlic press is that you don't have to peel the garlic. Cut the lemon in half widthwise and squeeze both halves into the very small bowl. Use the soup spoon to remove the seeds, and then dump the juice into the big bowl. Dash of salt, three turns of the pepper mill, and three shakes of cayenne.

Mash it all together. It's okay to leave some chunks. Chunks are good.

Cut the tomato in half widthwise and squeeze all of the seeds out into the scrap bowl, which by now also contains avocado shells and seeds, the remains of the garlic (which you have immediately scraped out of the press in order to immediately rinse the press, because lord knows there is nothing harder than removing dried garlic from a press), and a spent lemon. Chop each half of the tomato into chunky pieces and throw it on top of the guacamole. Use the soup spoon to lovingly mix the tomato into the guacamole.

Eat with tortilla chips and maybe a Corona. I'm not a big Corona fan, but it seems like the right thing to do.

Oh yeah, the scraps: put them in your compost heap!

I would have included a picture, but it's gone.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


On Saturday, we all wished Mister Neal a very happy fifth birthday. He is freckled and dimpled and fresh, unfurling green, like the bean sprouts reaching upupup toward the top of the tepee.

He got his first real bicycle, with training wheels, a helmet, and some pads. There is nothing like that gasping moment of excited big kidness spinning around in spokes and pedals and tires.

We are clearing the downed hackberry from the yard, trying to make way for his party.

Before ~

After ~

I don't think a helmet and pads would have saved this old lady. But she grew big and strong, and she lived a good long time. And that's how things roll.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

maters! and other stuff

The tomatoes are getting bigger every day ~

I think these are Royal Hillbillies, but there's an element of surprise to this particular crop. I cut up a bunch of old plastic containers to make markers for them while they were seedlings, but the ink faded while they were in the cold frame. They could be Royal Hillbilly, Yellow Brandywine, St. Pierre, Black Cherry, or, apparently, Arkansas Traveler, although I don't remember labeling any as such. I seem to recall reading that tomatoes aren't worth the effort of starting from seed, but as a first-time seed-starter, my experience is that they are just as easy as any of the other things we started.

~~~ other stuff ~~~

These magnolias were blooming on a tree at Lee's grandmother's house in Montgomery ~

This luna moth was on the side of a building ~

This pretty perennial is tucked into the periwinkle ~

These feet are happy in their Merrell's ~

Sunday, June 7, 2009


I put these Chinese yellow cucumber seeds in the ground last Sunday, and here they are as of last Thursday. Amazing what four days can do!

White bush scallop squash ~

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

you might not be a domestic goddess if...

~ You find yourself eating yogurt with muesli out of a Christmas mug using a fork.

~ Days later, you still have little white dots all over the floor from when your four-year-old made shaved styrofoam with the shaved ice machine.

~ It doesn’t bother you one bit to leave the clothes on the line in the rain. The sun’ll come out tomorrow.

~ Your idea of clearing the recycling out of the kitchen typically results in the recycling clinking in your car trunk for, like, a month.

~ You have quilts hanging up in your windows instead of curtains, just like when you were in college.

~ A friend recommends the Roomba for daily maintenance, but notes that it doesn't replace your weekly deep cleaning, and you think, Good Lord, what IS she talking about?

~ You notice there is a spider’s web between your guitar and the bookshelf it’s resting against when you pull it out to put some stickers on the case. Wait a minute: this means you’re not a rock star, either. Damn. What the hell happened?

Monday, June 1, 2009

things that happened over the weekend

1. Made important business call from home while kids played outside.

2. Received note from kid number one during important business call: Come outside! Giant tree down in back yard!

3. Mourned loss of big, old hackberry.

4. Went to Montgomery to help with yard sale. Return on investment for yard sale: not so hot. Did manage to come away with this and this.

5. Mourned fact that kid number two expelled almost every known bodily fluid onto places it didn't belong while in Montgomery helping with yard sale. Return on investment for kid number two: still crunching the numbers.

6. Learned enough about wild plants that I am now enjoying home-brewed sassafras tea. See more here.

7. Planted cucumbers.

8. Displaced camera purchase with purchase of one full sized violin for kid number one, and one quarter-sized violin for kid number two. Totally okay with that.