Tuesday, September 18, 2007

He & I Will Both Laugh

music garlic
Originally uploaded by Contrary Goddess.

That is music garlic in it's sexual and asexual reproduction modes. My friend Susan gave us one clove last fall and we planted it. It turned into five magnificent plants, beautiful growth habit, a stalk shaped like the treble clef before it straightened to flower. And it made these really nice bulbs. This year we'll actually eat one.

You know the old joke about how you make God laugh? Tell him your plans. Well, that's why I blog about what I am doing not what I plan to do. While preparatory socialization is important, imagination vital, vision essential, one thing is for sure -- however you imagine it is at least one way you can count on it is NOT going to be.

Originally uploaded by Contrary Goddess.

Oh, I've told you about plans. I have plans on how to finish the upstairs and for the milking parlor. Or I might tell you we've planted carrots. But I don't count my carrots before the drought gets them. Not that this was a bad yield for a little four inch by three foot planting. These are in the dehydrator to add to the winter soup mix.

limas & corn
Originally uploaded by Contrary Goddess.

But sometimes things will surprise you too. This is sweet corn off the last sweet corn patch for the year (it too is destined to be dried) and a few pods of lima beans. Now, those limas. We've had sh*t for a bean year. When I was getting the corn one evening, I asked husband, "What are these beans over here?" He said, "What beans?" "These in the bed past the corn?" "They didn't make anything," he said. "Well, there's beans on them," I said, and I proceeded to pick them off and put them in my pockets. "At least you'll get your seeds back," I said. Sure enough, they are little white limas, and sure enough, if we keep the bugs out (which means, dry them thoroughly and put them in the freezer twice and maybe just keep them in the freezer because beans are really bad to get bugs in them I don't know what they do to commercial beans), we'll have the seeds for next year. And IF we carry out our fence plan to thwart the deer, we just might have beans next year.


arcolaura said...

We had pretty good beans this year except I kept forgetting to eat them. But the Old World beans, the Windsor broad beans, they went brown and shrunken and soft just when they were getting full. Same thing last year. I was hoping to let them dry, but now I'm thinking maybe I have to pick them green here.

Alecto said...

So tell me, what do you do with green tomatoes because that's all I've got (not counting the cherries which are prolific and yummy)? I am loathe to pick them and let them try to ripen in the window but they're just hanging out there being green. They got planted in the lower part of the garden which has less topsoil and more clay. Or it's just not a good year, not sure. I've had one, just one go red and it was quite good, no thick skin and very tasty. But that was it. So what to do with the green tomatoes? Tell the Damn Yankee, please.

Cielo Singer said...

Fried green tomatoes?

CG said...

Let me just refer alecto (you do know what they are, don't you, cielo?) to the movie (everyone up north didn't watch this one 15 times like we did in the south?) Fried Green Tomatoes. It is truly a wonderful film.

And on technique, I'll tell you it is a trick. Best to do tomatoes without a core, sliced thick, dunk them in egg/milk, batter (flour, masa, seasoning), and fry in oil. Heat is trickly. Too low and they won't brown and will cook too much, too hot and they will burn. We do summer squash this same say, especially yellow crook necks but they all will work. And as with all frying, don't turn only once if possible.

This hasn't evidently been a great year for tomatoes. We've had tons green sit there. The italian drying ones are supposed to all ripen at once but haven't so I've picked those as they ripen and dried. They are smallish. We've had mostly San Marzanos to eat, which are great but aren't slicers. And lots of tommy toes as they are known around here (anything small).

You can also make chowchow with green tomatoes, but that takes a whole lot of other stuff too. You probably don't know what chowchow is either, but it is a condiment and you eat it with beans mostly.

arco -- are Windsor broads favas?

Alecto said...

I did watch that movie 15 times mostly so I could watch Kathy Bates ram her car into the two nasty little girls. I didn't get it about actually frying and eating the tomatoes but I will tell you that movie was the basis for how I learned the difference between barbeque and grilling!

Chow-chow sounds like salsa.

Ren said...

Is it like Mufallatta? Don't even know how to spell it, but it's yummy. I can't remember if there were green tomatoes in in, but I remember lots of olives.

CG said...

It's more like a chutney, except less sweet I think. It isn't like salsa at all really, although it does have green tomatoes and green peppers in it. It is sweet and we eat it especially on soup bean type beans but also maybe with a roast beef (or deer or goat) and it especially goes well with dried green beans (leather britches or shuckey's we call them).

But I'm remember a scene alecto where they discussed proper frying of the tomatoes technique in that movie! I think it was when they had the food fight and both ended up covered in flour? Mary Stuart Masterson is so beautiful.

I love that movie.

Cielo Singer said...

CG: I have my own personal copy of that movie, thank you very much!

And I think the food fight is the scene w/ instructions on how to fry green tomatos (ok, is there an 'e' or not?)

Seems like my great-grandma used to pickle green tomatos too, but fried is my favorite. Nothing better than a BL(F)T.

Alecto said...

I did find an actual recipe for chow-chow. Had to go through about ten pages of dog links before I got to food!

I will fry the tomatoes this weekend. I will make an attempt to get NoMans to sit down and watch the movie with me again (he goes to sleep on me, it's terrible).

CG said...

We're watching some tv series of the Black Stallion, which were my favorite books when I was a kid. It was cheap.

I have a great chowchow recipe. If you want I'll send it to you. And standard spelling is over-rated.

arcolaura said...

Favas, yes. I heard they were good for northern gardens, and they look great in the spring, frost-hardy and vigorous, but I haven't had a bean off them yet.

Moonbear said...

I have just read your chicken butchering tutorial and wanted to thank you. I have hens and will be harvesting the older layers eventually. Since I have never done it before, your instructions are invaluable. Plus, I feel encouraged. My fear is not about killing, but about losing confidence mid-process, and deciding to throw everything out. I would hate that. I know of no one living nearby who has any experience in butchering at home. So thanks, Your Contrariness, for sharing this useful information.

CG said...

cool moonbear. There really isn't anything hard about any of it past the making sure of that first chop. Let us know how it goes.