Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day

Boy you can sure tell the 4th of July has come to the Heartland. The neighbors must have spent their entire paycheck on fireworks this year.  Could be a long night...

I spent a lot of time in the garden today making sure everyone had a good drink of water.  We've reached what I think of as roughly the midpoint of the growing season here at our little hacienda on the plains.  The next 40 or so days are going to be hot and difficult.

This time of year is known as the Dog Days of Summer (03 July to 10 August).  So named for Sirius, the Dog Star and its prominence in the heavens.  Way back in the day of the pharoahs, Sirius was believed to be the force behind the heat wave by virtue of its proximity to the sun.

Still, it's hot.  Damn hot.  So hot the corn is popping in the fields or so the farmers say. I didn't try frying an egg on the sidewalk, but I have no doubts it would work eventually.  This afternoon I watched as a robin hopped and skipped down the sidewalk in front of the house, panting like a dog.  Yes, I filled the bird water dish immediately which he (she?) promptly ignored.  There is no pleasing some birds.

The tomatoes are loving the heat though.  There are dozens of greenies out there just biding their time and getting ready to turn a beautiful red.  I have my knife and my salt shaker at the ready for the first sign of ripeness in totality.  I cannot wait. I was going to take a picture of those green tomatoes, but I'm going wait until they turn red.

A few days ago, after I determined that I absolutely could wait not a minute longer, I dumped out one of the four buckets of potato plants.  The potato vines have been slowly turning yellow and shriveling up and drying out which is a sure sign that the 'taters are just about ready.  I found, much to my husband's delight, about two pounds of potatoes where I had planted about a half pound of seed potatoes.

They are beautiful!  We cooked them up tonight with a couple little bitty onions from the garden after obtaining careful instructions via email from my good friend raptorunner.  She suggested that I cook them on the grill by making a packet from aluminum foil and filling it with chopped potatoes, onions, garlic and butter.

So that's what I did and, after a while, they came out pretty tasty except for the ones on the end that basically turned into cinders.  What can I say?  I'm no backyard grillmaster. Next time, if my husband lets me near the grill again, I won't cook them quite so long. I'm much better at growing potatoes than cooking them.

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