Hi there! Welcome to my very miscellaneous blog. Here, I write about everything from mis-used words to gardening, to bad habits in society to going places and seeing things! Enjoy my ramblings.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Garden Grows Apace

It would seem that my experiment with pre-sprouting some of the seeds has gone well.  I now have some new corn coming up from that second planting,

as well as a couple of the radishes. Yippee!

Some of the tomatoes are starting to turn red already.  I didn't bend over far enough to see if those were the "Early Girl" variety, but I would suspect so.  However, they seem small.  I don't know if those are like cherry tomatoes, or what.  At any rate, I'm getting excited, and my mouth is watering for fresh veggies!

I finally have a blossom (that means fruit veggies on the way) on my lemon cucumber. 

The bell pepper is also endowed with several blossoms,

 and the herbs are thriving.

 The eggplant is finally getting to a good size,

  but the indoor-starting experiement does not seem to be working with either the eggplant or the green onions.  I wonder what's up with that?  A bad bunch of seeds?  Not a single onion ever sprouted, either in the ground, or in the house.

Ah, well, I am still excited--this is the first time I've ever tried to grow vegetables since the first time, when I was about 8 years old, and the second time, back in the 1970's when I lived where neither the soil nor the climate were suitable.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

That Whole Other Article

     The great promise of progress has somehow gone awry.  Many great new inventions have come, and some have as quickly gone.  Others have hung around, though I cannot fathom why.

     Some were crazy crazes, toys and games; some were household gadgets, meant to ease our work.  Progress for its own sake alone, I think is foolish.  Just because we can do something, does not mean we should! 

     I submit for your consideration the old-fashioned ways of saving food.  Surely you recall.  Mothers saved glass jars to keep leftovers fresh.  As a child, you could not trust the labels in the 'fridge.  Just because a jar said "peanut butter," beware--it was as likely to harbor dreaded vegetables!

     Then there were the bowls of mystery food.  Who knew what lurked therein?  Covered up as they were, in plastic hats like shower caps,  (do they even make shower caps anymore?) you could not know what the content was; the bowl was opaque.  Good bet, though, it was something liquid and likely to spill.

     Accidents were common--these containers all were glass--which we know does not bounce well.

     And then the 1950's hit, and Tupperware hit the scene.  Oh, joy!  No more broken glass--drop it and it bounces--just like a rubber ball.  The early stuff, though, still opaque:   mystery foods remained.  My mother, though, remained immune to the lure of bouncing bowls.  Nary a single piece of Tupperware ever graced her shelves.  Steadfastly she clung to her second-hand mayonnaise and peanut butter jars, and a few glass bowls.

     And speaking of cling, we come to the next fad to hit the market.  Plastic cling wrap in various brand names.  The stuff is still around, but for the life of me, I cannot imagine why.  Touted for its strength and mainly for its ability to cling to all those bowls...it supposedly solved the problem of mystery foods, for it was clear see-through!

     All well and good, but I must ask, is it worth the pain?  The stuff is tough--doesn't want to tear.  And as you try to rip a hunk on the handy serrated box edge, it's as likely your knuckle you'll rip, and bleed all over the food.  The plastic wrap, though stretched all out of shape, steadfastly in one piece remains.

     And next, the cling, ah, the cling, that miracle cling.  Yes, it clings.  It clings to the box, it clings to you, and most of all, and best of all, it clings unto itself!  Once folded over, toss it out, for each attempt to pry it apart results in only more corners coming in to the clotted mess.  Ah, rats!  You'll have to try again.  A new sheet tear, with any luck, comes off the roll and lays all flat.  Wonderful!  Now to apply it to the bowl.

     If luck is with you, you get it across the bowl...and pull the sides to stick it down.  It does cling beautifully to glass and china plates and bowls.  (Not to plastic, though, oh no!)  Ah, but woe is you and woe is me, if  one drop of liquid soils the edge..for now it's all about slip and slide and grip-me-not.  Toss it out, dry the bowl, and start again.

     Working with a bandaged knuckle, again you pull a sheet.  Using both hands to foil the stuff from self-clinging, now how do you cut it off?  An assistant is needed at this point.  Oh dear!  It seems the stuff is full of static, and a second person's presence adds to the charge.  Now they are caught up, too.  It wafts toward your faces, threatening suffocation..and still it's attached to the roll..which now, 'helpfully' tumbles out of the box, and unrolls toward the floor.

     Caught up in the static cling, trying to free yourselves, around your ankles now it rolls.  Bending over to free your feet, and up it leaps, lusting after its kin in your hands.  Round and round you wrestle the stuff, until attracted by all the yelling, another party enters the room, and finds you and your helper tied up in some kinky bondage scene. 

     Then how do you explain all this when calling 9-1-1??

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Garden Update

Things are a-growin' in the vegetable garden.  Not as fast as I would have thought, but they are growing, and starting to make obvious progress.

My eggplant is finally of a size to actually be seen in the plant pot, although, it seems something unseen is eating at its leaves.

There is one corn plant that is really taking off skyward!  It is now about as tall as the 12" marker flag next to it:

The tomatoes are a poppin' out:

And last but not least, the bell peppers have now put in an appearance:

And so the garden grows.  I don't know if we got "old" seeds, or a lot of 'duds' in the package, or what, but of 8 eggplant seeds that were sown, I have but one plant; of 24 corn seeds that were sown, I have but 5 plants, only 1 of which (shown in today's post) has reached any size;  and of a small handfull of green onion seeds sown, I have gotten no plants at all. 

I make no claims or pretenses of being any kind of expert gardener.  The class I took years back was about landscaping and ornamental plants, not vegetables.  This veggie garden was planted more or less as an experiment.  So, I'll sow another round, in an attempt to have a continuous harvest, but judging from current results, I don't know if that will work.  C'est la vie!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Men in the Kitchen

Let me begin by saying that my hubby is a gem.  Unlike many men, he actually enjoys cooking, and is more than willing to help in the kitchen, including with clean up.  He even takes it upon himself to bake cakes now and again, all by himself.

That said, he is oh, so like so many men in one particular way when it comes to operating in the kitchen.  He is Tupperware-challenged.  I don't know what it is about men that makes them almost universally 'hate Tupperware,'  and declare their hatred in those exact words.  Most of us women know and love the stuff for its ability to both preserve food longer than the original cardboard box or plastic bag, and the way it stacks and nests to allow more food in the same space.

It mystifies me why men do not understand that there are some containers you 'burp,' and others you do not.  It's really very simple:  round burps, square or rectangular does not.  Center-seal 'push button' ones are 'self-burping.'  (Although I'll admit to an exception--those new ones with the expandable lids, in case you mis-judge the size bowl you needed, do not require 'burping' even though they are round.)

And get the containers sealed properly?  OY!  You might as well try to teach a Chimpanzee how to play football.  Come to think of it, that might be a simpler task.

I have lost track of how many times I've gone into the 'fridge to find food somewhat dried out due to an improperly closed lid.  It is most often the square or rectangular ones--the men just can't seem to get that last corner down!  It certainly is not a matter of muscles--we women do it quite effortlessly all the time.  Even the 'how to' analogy presented at the in-home demos should appeal to men, as it's baseball-themed:  "Start at home plate with both thumbs, work the seal down in opposite directions toward 3rd base and 1st base, meet at 2nd base and snap shut."  Simple, eh?  Apparently not for the male of the species.  Funny, as all it requires is opposable thumbs.

Men also seem to have problems with the center-push-to-snap-shut seals.  They just don't push quite hard enough, and the seal does not go all the way down.  This has led to more than one surprise spill on reaching for a bowl and finding out the hard way that the lid was not all the way closed.  Maybe I should have made hubby clean the resulting mess.  "If you don't hear the 'snap,' it's going to be in your lap!"

Many moons ago, I used to be a Tupperware dealer.  As a result, I own more of the stuff than should be legal.  Even I will admit to an excess.  I don't have room for all of it in my kitchen, and frankly, there are pieces that were not my favorite.  These items have found their way into the attic or are boxed in a closet. It was quite the joke for hubby when we moved in, and were opening boxes labeled 'kitchen.'  After most of the boxes were open and the items stowed in cupboards, yet more boxes appeared.  I'd hear him bellow from the other end of the house:  "Moooorrrrrrree Tupppeerrrrwaaaaaarrrrre!"

Now, do men simply feel that learning to use Tupperware containers is beneath them?  Undignified?  Un-manly???  I can't figure out the problem.  It is really very easy to use, and saves a lot of other kinds of bother.  It certainly beats trying to go 3 rounds with a roll of plastic-cling wrap.  But that's a whole other article.