Friday, July 10, 2020

I Don’t Want to Go Out, I Want to Stay in. Get things Done.
The last of the holiday fireworks have exploded leaving the neighbourhood peaceful again in the evenings. Omaha is experiencing a record stretch of heat and humidity that’s bad enough to keep tomato plants from setting fruit. I don’t ever remember that happening. In a normal, non-pandemic summer I would feel trapped at home with the extreme weather,  but in our current reality I’d hardly noticed. Most of my walks are at dusk.
Some plants clearly like the heat. Tropical ones anyway.
Cardoon staus is excellent.
Lemon cucumbers and sweet potatoes are doing great as well. We had a bit of a Japanese beetle infestation, but I plucked them out by hand with a torch in the dark. They were small, so hopefully that was just a recent hatching,  and it is now under control. They demolish leaves, but don’t do too much damage to the plants otherwise. I suppose pestilence just goes hand in hand with plague. Perhaps the new comet being seen in the sky will turn out to bean  asteroid racing to earth. We’d probably admit we deserved it, if we were being honest.
Trips to the grocer are very much a matter of buying what’s available rather than what I’d prefer. This is celerac/ celery root/ knob celery. It wouldn’t be my first choice of root vegetables, but we were happy to have it.
I prepared it by tossing the peeled and cut root in lemon juice to keep it from browning. After 30 minutes I boiled it in salted water for another 10. Rinsed  in cold water to stop the cooking,  it then dries on a towel. I heated some olive oil in a frying pan and before frying tossed the celery root in flour. Fried a few minutes until golden and served with a tomato, caper, and olive sauce it made a
Lovely accompaniment for a fish dinner.
Smaller celery root can be shaved thinly and used in salads. Anyway, I’m not going to limit myself to whatever is on my monthly list as there’s a good chance of it being unavailable.
I’ve had no such difficulties finding chicken from a small local producer.
I don’t let my inexperience with poultry ( I’ve been vegetarian since the early 80s) stop me ftom cooking for the meat eaters in the family. My chicken recipe is this:
Let chicken warm at room temperature 30 minutes before cooking. Salt, pepper, tarragon, thyme, and rosemary if you like it. Rub the chicken with olive oil, season and then shove two cut lemons inside. This solves the need to truss and also flavours it. For a 5 lb. chicken, give it about an hour. That’s it. I don’t bother basting. This will give it crisp skin without drying it out.
I’ve also been putting the fresh basil to good use! This was a simple sauce made with fresh tomatoes and onion.
In addition to the cherry vinegar I am making, this is a jar of nasturtium vinegar. I’m rather excited for it.  Sometimes all a sautéed vegetable needs is a splash of vinegar to season it. I like this sort of thing on greens, carrots, etc.
Clothes this week have been random. I haven’t bothered planning outfits and have taken an improvisational approach. This dress almost certainly began life as a bedsheet.
I was wearing this blouse the day I found out I was pregnant. Obviously it is sentimental to me. The skirt was thrifted ages ago.
I bought this mask from SewingbySelena on etsy.  It is beautifully made.
I’m still not seeing very much mask wearing in Omaha, and am terribly disappointed. I was especially upset by the schmuck standing behind me in Walgreens screaming (unmasked) into his phone about how he doesn’t want to be “cooped up at home with a screaming baby”🙄. The cashier pointed at him and scolded, “You! Six feet!”, but he continued spewing into the phone. I reckon thst baby doesn’t want to be with him either.  People are such assholes.
This dress is so sheer it can’t be worn without a slip, but is so lightweight it still feels like wearing almost nothing. I’ve owned it close to 40 years 
and never tire of it.
And that’s about it for the moment. I continue to plod along with the novel, cook, clean, and do the shopping once every few weeks. We still haven’t heard much guidance from the schools about autumn, and will probably have to be flexible day to day. Deadly Dan the future exterminator took out a wasp nest for me, so his summer is now complete 😂. He’s careful
, I promise. 
If only he could do something about the Japanese Beetles. 


Beth Waltz said...

Gorgeous summer colors! And I recognize the sheer dress fabric (almost). I owned a shirtwaist version and bought a pale yellow slip to wear under it. It was my "summer wedding guest" dress for years. Back then, not all small country churches had AC and I dared to wear it with sandals and !no stockings!

I have only mini-cukes this year, but like yours the plant is thriving, gobbling up her corner of the Victory Garden and climbing over the privacy fence. Her name is Audrey.

bahnwärterin said...

lately i brought out my inner walkyrie against a 60something old lad (the typical right corner type) not wearing a mask in the local train - after i did friendly asking him why he does´t wear his mask he came much to near in a impending manor... but not with me: took a deep breath, showed all of my 1,70m and broad sholders and shouted (deep voice) at him. result: he fled. never underestimate a very feminin looking woman - ha!
felt better after.
the chicken recipe sound yummy and easy - right my cup of tea.
garden pests - eh. every other week another. but the happiness is great if a plant is growing and fruiting and you can eat the fruits - or the plant like my chard now :-D
again - no photos. but i love your posts even without!

Polyester Princess said...

I don't envy your hot and humid weather. We've had grey and rainy weather for the last couple of days, which isn't fun, but much preferable to what you are having. Glad to hear that at least some of your plants are doing well in the heat. Nasturtium vinegar sounds interesting! Have your plants flowered yet by now? Love your outfits, even though they might be random. Also love your mask. I have now about 8 different ones to choose from. Wearing masks in shops is compulsory here as from today, but of course I've already been doing that all along. You wouldn't believe how much of a big deal this is for some people, though. You wouldn't believe how many times I've had to point out the distancing rule to people either. Sigh. xxx

Mim said...

Nasturtium vinegar looks interesting - I keep thinking of pickling some seeds as they're supposed to be usable like capers. I hadn't realised tomatoes wouldn't set if it was too hot.

Augh to people not behaving safely. The news coming out of the US sounds really alarming - and that's coming from someone whose government is a bunch of total idiots that still hasn't got a grip on things. I hope you, Mr ETB and Dan all stay safe!

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

The dress you've had for almost 40 years is superb; what gorgeous colours and I loved your accessorising.

I cannot cope in the humid hot heat so I am feeling very sorry for you. I amazed you've manage to do as much as you have; gardening; pest extermination; cooking; preserving; looking fabulous, walking, writing, IG and blogging. I think you deserve a medal!

Hope the weather breaks soon for you.
Take care

Vix said...

I love the blouse you were wearing when you found out you were expecting Danny, a beauty with lovely memories.
Send some of that humidity my way, will you? We've had bikini weaher today but I'd rather it was hotter! xxx

Emily said...

OMG, I nearly spat out my tea from laughing so hard after you made that comment about the asteroid that is going to wipe out humanity because we deserve it. It wasn't just the comment that was funny, it was the photo that appeared directly underneath when I scrolled slowly down the page. I could have sworn it was an asteroid, or perhaps a planet that was full of craters caused by asteroids... but it was an extreme close-up of your celeriac!

The jar of nasturtium vinegar is beautiful, like one of those fancy herbal teas that contain whole flowers and stems and which are served in clear glass tea pots so you can admire how lovely they are while they infuse the water.

The garden is looking good. So are you. Stay safe, dear!

Bibi Maizoon said...

I am loving the crewelwork on the pregnancy blouse as well as the hellatiously huge earrings you are wearing with it!
Crimsoneyed rose mallows are one of my favorite flowers. Your garden looks fantastic, mine has rotted in the pre-monsoon & now monsoon downpours & resultant humidity :( Only the cannas have survived.
Mask wearing is about 50% here in Nepal despite threats of being slapped or arrested by police. Lockdown fatigue has set in, I doubt much compliance in mask wearing unless people start dropping dead in the streets.
Hang in there baby!

Goody said...

Naming your plants is a great thing to do. What a strange summer this has been.

Hopefully you scared some sense into him! I'm going to need to get bolder to survive in this crazy world of ours.

They did flower! It took long enough.
I understand that wearing a mask is uncomfortable but good heavens, it is better than potentially killing someone. I will never understand the selfishness of some people. I'd almost prefer it were ignorance as that I would be able to forgive.

If you have loads of nasturtium buds it is worth pickling them but otherwise it is probably easier to just buy capers.
I'm really frightened by the disinformation, lack of guidance, and outright violence we're seeing. Yes, a lot of it comes straight from the administration, but this sort of behaviour has been building for years-they're just enabling it. It comes as no surprise that people don't trust science in the US as we've been undermining science education for years by making it a question of religious liberty. It started with evolution and progressed to vaccines.

If I didn't have the air conditioning running constantly it would be unbearable. We've been very lucky.

You would love Nebraska in the summer (not the winter though, definitely not the winter).

Flower teas are so beautiful, but I've never found one I actually enjoyed drinking. Going out for tea seems like such a distant memory now. If I have to go, death by a giant celery root hurtling to earth would be as good a way as any.

I completely understand the lockdown fatigue. I'd still wear a mask though. We'd get through this sooner if everyone would.
Hope the monsoon is bearable this year. Take care.

Señora Allnut said...

Totally agree with Emily, you've made me laugh! with your comment on plagues and pestilence and asteroids which are actually a celery!, it's obviously a leap year!.
Thanks for sharing your recipes, they're really inspiring: I've never eaten boiled and then fried celery. And your chicken sounds really tasty.
This jar of vinegar looks really beautiful and delightful! (doubled fabulousness!)
Lovely dress and lovely embroidered blouse (particularly because of the nice memories!) and also lovely mask. Here it's compulsory to wear one if you go into any shop, and even outside where 6ft distance is not possible. But there are assholes everywhere.
Love your lightweight dress and cute green accessories, so summery!