Sunday, August 09, 2020

Leaves Stuck Out of the Arms Out of the Stem, Gestures From the Sawdust Root


I'd love to enter a pie like this in the State Fair. I wouldn't, but I'd like to. I meant to cut it from the top to expose the "brains" of blueberries and rhubarb, but I forgot. Next time!

Well would you just look at that, we've made it to August. Seems like just yesterday it was February. I never did pack away most of my winter items, so I guess that saves me the work of un-packing come autumn. See? Wait long enough, and you're right on time. 

This sunflower is close to ten feet tall and is well on the way to the second floor windows of our home. No flower yet, but it ought to be spectacular when it goes. I planted several different varieties this year hoping for some variety in the late summer garden. Neighbours keep stopping to tell me how much they enjoy the garden, which makes me feel great. If you enjoy someone's gardening-tell them! It will make their day. They're pretty after they die as well, and birds will continue to peck at the stem for unseen bugs. 
Climbing up poles in the front garden there's lemon cucumbers and sweet potato vines. It all makes for a colourful looking display. The tumble dryer repairman was quite taken by the cucumbers and was asking my husband about how it was working. 

We haven't had many pollinators this year (it gets fewer each year no matter how much borage we plant for them) but recently a couple of bees have made their way to the garden. It is so sad. We all know what's killing them (less wild spaces, increased industrial pesticides, etc.) but don't seem inclined to do much about it. I guess in a society that has so little value of human life, we can't expect much worry over insects but be assured, when crops start failing and people can't have their almonds, there will be a panic. 

I haven't cooked any of the cardoons as they're so beautiful, and the few insects we get seem to enjoy them so much. I don't have the heart to take away their source of food. As they go to seed, I'll try to re-scatter them in a corner that looks a bit bare and hope they take for next year. A few re-seeded from 2019 and are doing well. 

What is this colourful dish, you might be wondering? Have you ever had carrot croquettes? This is just the same, but in loaf form. Mine is made with crushed up soda crackers, oat milk, vegan cheddar cheese, and egg replacer, but if you wanted to use heavy cream and eggs it would be just as delicious. When it gets to the end of my fresh vegetables before shopping, I like to make things that use up the remaining root vegetables, onions, and herbs. Not sure why, but baked carrots and onions always smell so good. Perhaps because they're the foundation of so many recipes. Anyway, you don't need a recipe for this sort of thing-just add enough liquid until you have something that can bake for an hour in a moderate oven without drying out. Treat it like a meatloaf. Do line your pan with parchment so it can be lifted out for slicing easily. 

There's been bread baking as well, but of a much more utilitarian type. No, the challah did not have a baby! The small loaf is something I started doing when Danny was small so he could have his own little loaf baked harder for teething. These days his teeth are all in place, but he still likes having a "Dannycake." The bit of foil is wrapped around some dough to be discarded. You can read an in-depth explaination of this Jewish ritual HERE but the short version is that it is a symbolic offering. We are an interfaith family, but I still think it is good for children to understand these traditions even if neither parent is particularly observant. The rolls in the bottom photo were for sausages. Unlike frankfurter buns, these were crusty rather than soft-better to withstand a pile of fried onions and mushrooms. 
I have a collection of Gourmet magazines from the early 70s I purchased years ago. Mostly from 1970-1973 (with a few later ones scattered in) they are filled with the most amazing advertisements. I  wouldn't mind going back in time to buy the silver lined Georg Jensen cookware! I used to walk past their store in Downtown Chicago and admire the windows knowing I would never be able to afford those luxuries. In all my time thrifting, I've never found a piece of Jensen.If you're lucky enough to own things like that I guess they get  handed down in the family. 
Went out to do the big grocery shop last Tuesday. The store opens early, so by 7:30 AM it was completed and I almost made it to the car before the skies opened and it began to rain. Torrential rain. Several inches in a few minutes rain. Water spouting OUT of storm drains raining. On the one hand, Nebraska has been in a drought and really needed the rain but on the had all of the last two weeks to rain when I wasn't frantically trying to keep my more-precious-than-gold flour dry. In the end, nothing was ruined save for my outfit, but I looked rather nice before the deluge. 

It has now been a year and a half since I let my hair go natural. No straightening, blow dryers, etc. I've quit the regular shampooing in favour of conditioner once every 5 days and a gentle shampoo every few weeks. I'm staying in anyway, so it doesn't get terribly dirty. Overall, it seems healthier. Eventually I will want to do something more with it, but not having to spend all that time fiddling with it is so nice.

Most days, I do get dressed whether going out or not. Recently, I've started doing my Instagram posts with bags and shoes knowing full well that as soon as the photo is snapped they will go back in their storage spots. It somehow feels wrong to show a half-put together outfit, but it also seems a bit silly to go searching for the right bag and shoes when staying in all day. If nothing else, it gives ideas for accessorizing once this is over. It will end eventually, I hope. 

Let's have a quick look at the outfits that went with the bags. 70s, 80s, and 90s represented. The black and white linen dress had shoulder pads but I removed them, much as I would have done in the 80s. I'm too short to carry off giant shoulders effectively. The dress could do with being shortened as well, which after looking at these photos, I've decided to put it on the to-do list for the week. That doesn't always ensure something will get done, but it has a better chance than being completely forgotten without. The pink polyester tunic and wide trousers is more peach-coloured in life. I doubt I'll wear it again as it felt like wearing a costume all day long. Some vintage really ought to stay in the past, forgotten. 

Finally, what I like to think of as, Three Generations of Emeraude. This is probably a case where I prefer the modern formulation to the vintage. I remember not liking it much in the 70s, and while I don't actively hate the older formulations, the modern version has just enough citrus in the top notes to keep the heavy, resinous perfume from becoming suffocating. I have a few bottles of the modern version stashed away just in case they change it again. At some point in the mid-70s I was given a bottle for Christmas by my sister (who probably went to the drugstore trying to find something for under a fiver). I remember it being a deep green-almost like Prell shampoo, but I've never run across one like that in the vinatges.I wonder if perhaps the yellow chartreuse colour of my older bottles is just oxidation and they were once brilliant green as well. similarities they're really different fragrances. Emeraude is, in my opinion a little easier to wear. Shalimar announces your arrival before you enter the room. That's not necessarily a bad thing-it just lacks any subtlety. Emeraude, applied with restraint can behave nicely in public. 

No idea what this week will bring. The Omaha public schools are going to start with 100% remote learning, but no word from Westside schools as of yet. Danny is on extended campus anyway, but it would be good to know if they plan to keep that, or put everyone on it. Our cases are surging in Omaha because of all the nonsense over not having a mask mandate. That, and opening everything back up at capacity. I take back everything nice I said about our governor early in the pandemic. After a few weeks of doing the right thing, he went back to playing politics and now we're in this mess that could have been avoided. He had the opportunity to do the right thing, and for a while it really looked like he was going to set politics aside and just govern by doing what was best for the people-it didn't last long. So yeah, , this current situation is on him, and his attempts to bully the medical professionals and public health administrators into doing what he thinks the president wants. We have teams of infectious disease experts here in Omaha at the medical center. Unfortunately, that doesn't do much good if they aren't listened to. It does feel like the last five months of  isolating were for nothing. Hopefully we can learn from it, but perhaps that's optimistic. I have a dentist's appointment on Tuesday, but other than that I'm staying in. And I'm completely pissed off about it. 

Stay safe everyone. 


Emily said...

Bless you for leaving the cardoons for the insects to enjoy! I'm sure if they had the ability to speak, they would express their appreciation for your garden, just like the humans do. For what it's worth, all of us who read your blog enjoy your garden too. : )

I think you're right about the oldest bottles of Emeraude being more likely to be brown rather than green. Luckily, the color change has no effect on the scent.

Your croquette loaf looks so delicious. Your never-ending creativity in the kitchen always amazes me.

I feel your pain regarding the failure of local politicians to get the pandemic under control and keep it under control. I just read an article saying that Oregon has messed up its contact tracing by NOT asking people if they've been to any restaurants, bars, or gyms lately. Seriously??? The interview process is 60 to 90 minutes long, and of all the questions you think they would find the time to ask, this one should certainly make the list.

The article even said that should an interviewee mention the fact that he or she has gone to a bar, restaurant, or gym, the interviewer would have no way to record that extra information in the computer system so that someone can follow up on that lead.

These are my tax dollars at work. *sigh*

Stay safe and thanks for blogging more often these past few weeks. It's always a real joy to see news from you.

Bibi Maizoon said...

The pie looks like a rather disgruntled sun, great tie-in to the mammoth sunflower?
We are suffering a dearth of pollinators here in Nepal too- crops have been severely diminished. All this even with Sir Edmund Hillary's beekeeping promotion campaign in the 90s. Sigh :(
Whiskey & instant coffee do not remind me of Marilyn?
I do the conditioner only "cowash" with infrequent shampooing also- has made quite the positive difference in my naturally curly, bleached platinum hair (less breakage, frizz & better curl pattern). I do have to layer on the serums & curl styling creams in this stifling humidity to weigh it down though.
I am loving the peachy pink 70s pantsuit! Wish it was my size, I'd wear it!
I recall Emeraude being Prell/Palmolive green too, green dyes are notorious for migration & degradation.
We just had our first C19 death at our local hospital in our district of 300,000 people. The powers that be didn't listen to their infectious disease experts (including WHO) and lifted lockdown entirely on July 21st. Panic has ensued as 14 days later cases & deaths doubled. We luckily have had only 75 deaths but I fear if they open Nepal's borders & the airports to international flights - disaster is inevitable. WHO has recommended avoiding further financial & economic devastation by enforcing "cluster" lockdowns.

Vix said...

Who knew Georg Jensen made saucepans? Not me!
The sunflower looks magnificent and I'm liking the look of that carrot loaf, a great idea.
The first dress is a stunner and your hair just keeps on looking better and better. xxx

bahnw├Ąrterin said...

a miracle happened - i can see all your pictures!
that pie is cool - save the idea for halloween :-D and your garden looks so good, all the tall green and the purple cardoon - you´r so lovely the let the plants to the poor bees!!
"gem├╝sekuchen" is something i should try too - the BW would like it. esp. with carrots. all your baking looks very yummy.
in germany we see some vintage georg jensen items on sale here&there - but very expensive as the midcentury style rage has its peak at the moment - here.
fabulous outfits - love the folky *colors on black* dress and the white one most.... gorgeous handbags! and congrats to the healthy and beautiful wild looking hair!!!
i would buy the perfume just for the green color!

our government changes position every other day.... i´m so tired of it. thankfully we live at the arse of the world and as long as we stay away from the tourists flocking to our national park it seems relatively safe here.
all my best wishes to you! xxxxxx

Polyester Princess said...

Your pie made a chuckle, especially as I couldn't stop thinking of how it would look with the exposed brains :-) Those sunflowers will be magnificent when they're finally in flower! It's always a great source of fun looking at the ads in old magazines. Lovely round-up of outfits as usual, the bright pink pant suit being a particular favourite! Our government keeps making a mess of things as usual, doing about turns every couple of days. And as for our virologists, I saw one of them of the cover of a magazine today. Enough said! xxx

Beth Waltz said...

Now that you mention it, one doesn't spot Georg Jensen in the odd lots of silverware in the charity shops. (Found an late 18th C sterling silver fish fork once in the spatula tray 'tho.) Like Vix, had no idea they made cookware.

I know several beekeepers whose tales of impending ecological doom should scare even politicians -- but that won't happen. It's yet another inconvenient scientific fact. So. I congratulate you on those handsome cardoons, and I raise a big stand of borage in my own patio garden.

There used to be two commercial beekeeping operations in this area: hives that were transported to pollinate apple orchards. They're gone, but the orchards remain. Now I'm wondering "how?"

Se├▒ora Allnut said...

Lovely to see your garden growing and looking lush!. Admiring your skills!
And also lovely to see all these baking and delightfulness!
And so fabulous that you're so kind to put on a complete outfit with all the trimmings!, love your handbags and love your fab style!. And I also like the peach tunic and trousers, but I think that the tunic looks too long over these trousers. Anyway it's a cool ensemble!
Love the dress you wore to do the groceries shopping, really fab colors and style!. Sorry you got soaked. We're having some wild storms here too, hail and torrential rains included!

Goody said...

Thank you! I sometimes wonder if I'm boring people with cardoon status photos. Glad to know I'm not.
It is probably too late now for contact tracing to be effective and without any way to enforce a quarantine, toothless. I know when my dad had scarlet fever as a kid in the 30s, the health department came and put a quarantine sign on the door and they couldn't leave. It was a real hardship for my grandparents not being able to work for a week, but they did it. I can imagine the chaos if they tried enforcing that today.

I'm sorry you are getting what the rest of the world has-I was hoping Nepal could isolate the way New Zealand did. Hopefully they won't open the border, but there's so much economic pressure everywhere to try and return to a normal that no longer exists. Fingers crossed for you.

The sunflower is still growing taller-I might have a record breaker! None of them have bloomed yet, but I'm really getting excited. I do kinda fear waking up some morning and finding every neighbourhood Influecer posing in the garden! Wouldn't that be a trip?!

I had to basically take all the photos off my computer and the load ten at a time from my camera. It wouldn't load everything, but it is better than nothing. It is however very time consuming, so I hope I can figure out something better.
I'm glad you can stay in a corner of the country without much outside contact. Stay safe.

The virologists are going to go down in history as the Cassandras, but there's no good being right if everyone's dead.
School started last week and the infections in children are up 90%! I mean, any idiot could see that would happen but...ah well.
Stay safe.

You can rent bees from beekeepers far away, and it is a big business. I'm told you can hand pollinate some trees by shaking the branches but that doesn't seem reliable for an orchard.

@Senora Allnut
I feel naked without a handbag! I still wear lipstick at home, but no idea why.
Stay safe (and cool!).

Mim said...

It's sad that you're seeing fewer and fewer pollinators. It must be really worrying. There's been a movement more towards supporting them in this country, and it's lovely to see.

I'd never heard of that Jewish custom when baking bread. It's amazing to think of a custom lasting so many centuries.

I like Shalimar; maybe I should try Emeraude too.

Argh to your governor. You're doing right by staying in! Our contry's relaxed restrictions and cases are already rising again. Deaths are stable, but it probably won't be long before those start rising too.

JanF said...

Great pie!
If you entered it, it would make everyone smile.
I like the idea of the carrot loaf, do you grate the carrots?
I have a Georg Jensen brooch bought for my mother in my flying days. I had forgotten all about it so thank yo for mentioning the name. They were a classy outfit. The store in London gave me a brochure without prices which I mailed to Mum and so she chose what she wanted without price being an influence.
Sorry not to "get" the joke about the pie. Can you give me a hint?