mellowtigger: (gardening)
[personal profile] mellowtigger
I spent some time in the garden today and yesterday. I got eaten by mosquitoes both times. I'm one of those people that mosquitoes favor, which can make life annoying here in Minnesota, "The Land of 10,000 Lakes" (and 10 billion mosquitoes).

A month ago (pictured left), I had a few pumpkin plants in the top right corner of my front yard. Now (pictured right), those same pumpkin vines have taken over nearly the whole front yard. I already see 2 pumpkins, although they're still green and not ready to harvest yet.  The dwarf sunflowers are also nicely lining the walk to the front door.
front yard 2016 June 28front yard 2016 July 27

The flowers by the front patio are also finally blooming.  It seems a little late for these plants, but I got them into the ground late too.  Next year, I'll move them elsewhere, so the rose bush has more room to grow unimpeded by taller plants throwing shade.
flower by front patio 2016 July 31 Sunday

I have cucumbers. I've been eating them in salads, and they're tasty. I have golden zucchini; it tastes good, but somehow because it looks like gold squash, I expect it to be something other than zucchini. I think I'll grow regular squash (or regular zucchini) next year. I have celery, but it's a little bit "woody". I may try a different variety next year.  I took some of all 3 to Marie today, an old retired black woman across the street and a few houses north of me.

I still have no air conditioning.  I'll call the installer one more time on Monday before giving up.  At least July has now passed, which is traditionally the hottest month for Minnesota.  I've slept in my bedroom during the last few nights, instead of the basement where I had spent the last 2 weeks or so.

I still have no battery chainsaw (to cut down trees) or fire pit (to burn the cut down trees).  Maybe in August.  For now, I'm just glad that the weather is cooling off a bit.  I walked for a few blocks around my house today, and many people were enjoying the relative cool while sitting on their porches.

Pokemon Go has been in the news a lot in recent days.  I have it, but I can't say that I'm a regular player or a good one.  I caught Krabby as soon as I walked out to the sidewalk today, which surprised me, since Pokemon Go creatures and sites seem quite rare in this poor neighborhood of the city.  Still, this game seems a good excuse to go take a walk... which is a good thing.

Date: 2016-08-02 05:56 am (UTC)
bitterlawngnome: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bitterlawngnome
Do you blanch the celery?

Date: 2016-08-04 04:43 pm (UTC)
bitterlawngnome: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bitterlawngnome
The blanching I'm talking about is not a cooking process but part of the growing. For a week or ten days before you intend to harvest, you exclude sunlight from the lower 2/3 of stalks, by wrapping them in newspaper, mounding up soil, or putting up boards along the rows. This has the effect of making the stalks less fibrous and less assertively flavoured. Most of the celery you buy in the supermarket is blanched, or a self-blanching variety.

The biggest problem for celery though is hot weather, and there's not much you can do about that. Hot weather just makes it tough and stringy no matter what. The upside is that the tougher celery is also more flavourful which means it's extra good for cooking.

If you have a juicer - you can freeze the juice and use it in any recipe that calls for cooking celery. It's a way to preserve an overabundance of celery.

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