Visit a garden


Celebration tomatoes. That’s the name of the hybrid, not just the feeling we get at the end of July when ripeness comes.

Large, firm fruit, disease-resistant. Best eaten fresh-picked in warm sunshine (so they are warm too), sliced and lightly salted.

Ronde de Nice, a French heirloom summer squash.

Also known by the less-glamorous moniker “eight-ball squash.” I think they taste better than plain old zucchini. I’m going to let one get really big and tough and see if it can be decorative, like a pumpkin. You can’t decorate with giant zucchini.

That other, smaller one I need to eat very soon, maybe when John gets back from London tomorrow, maybe stuffed and poached in olive oil.

Sometimes the idea of how I’m going to prepare and eat something from the garden is better than the reality of it.

Swiss chard and kale.

Also falling into the category of it-looks-great, now-what-do-I-do-with-it. Well, the kale is reserved for making John’s favorite soup, Provincetown Kale Soup, with spicy linguica sausage. But, chard?







Capsicum, my favorite members of the nightshade family.

It’s a mad world of peppers: Hungarian wax grow UP and mariachi grow DOWN.

Hungarian wax are sweet with a little bite when young and yellow. When they turn red, that’s where pungent paprika comes from.

Mariachi peppers are also a bit hot and will turn orange, then red if you wait. I’ve been eating them in omelets and bean salads. I would plant this variety again.

One eggplant plant.

Another member of the family Solanaceae, the (deadly-good) nightshades … and maybe my least favorite. But they’re pretty cool looking.

Juliet tomatoes.

Shaped like a plum tomato but really a sweet cherry tomato. Crack-resistant because of its shape. Part of my omelet. And yesterday I used them in a cucumber and feta salad.

I’m into the little tomatoes this year.


They must be more alive when first plucked from the plant, don’t you think?

Green pepper, mariachi pepper, Juliet tomato and Sunny Boy tomato for yesterday morning’s omelet. A fine way to start the day.


That’s a jar of Sunny Spain Seasoning ordered online from The Spice House. It’s Tellicherry black pepper, powdered lemon peel, citric acid, garlic powder, and white onion powder, hand-mixed. It was also superb the night before, brushed with melted butter on corn, foiled wrapped and grilled.

I’m addicted to Spice House spice blends and chili powders. Current favorites are Jamaican Jerk, Chesapeake Bay, and Back of the Yards Garlic Pepper Butchers Rub.

Today’s forecast is 84 degrees and sunny, with a pleasant west wind. Nice.

What a blue

Cornflower, aka bachelor buttons.

Amazing how many plants and flowers I got from one seed packet. They’re blooming now in the big garden, and out by the mailbox too.

Waiting for corn

Corn, dog.

(And pumpkins.)

Our little corn patch needs weeding. And it needs watering, or rain. But not desperately.

In the big garden, I spent time dealing with the carrots today.

The first Sungold cherry tomatoes are ripe. I’m going to try this recipe soon: Mario Batali’s Pasta with Sun Gold Tomatoes.

Husband just home from some backyard excavating for a friend. Time for watermelon-tequila cocktails! The drink of summer 2011.

How’d it get to be the last Friday in July already?

HOPE merchandise 95% off

Breadlines teeming with jobless Outreach Coordinators, Diversity Liaisons, and Sustainability Facilitators.

Cowboy poetry utterly lacking in metre.

General Motors unfairly forced to build cars that people want, for a profit.

Chaos reigns at Goldman Sachs, who no longer knows who to bribe with political donations.

Mankind’s dream of high speed government rail service between Chicago and Iowa City tragically dies.

New York devolves into a dystopian hellscape of sugared cola moonshiners, salty snackhouses and tobacco dens.

At-risk Mexican drug lords forced to buy own machine guns.

Chevy Volt rebate checks bounce, stranded owners more than 50 miles from outlet.

Potential 5-year old terrorists head to boarding gates ungroped.

Defenseless mortgage holders forced to live in houses they can actually afford.

– Excerpts from Iowahawk’s Twitter-length consequences of Washington failing to get its bar tab raised another trillion.

In the Whites

View from our picnic area along the Kancamagus Highway, in New Hampshire’s White Mountains yesterday. We’re having a spell of fine weather.

To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.  – Jane Austen

“Shared sacrifice”

Roger Kimball: Speaking of Shared Sacrifice…

So the president wants “millionaires and billionaires” to “share in the sacrifice everyone else has to make.”  Right.  A couple of points: by “millionaires and billionaires” he means middle-class folks with a family income of $250,000 or above. By “sacrifice everyone else has to make” he means everyone except the 43.4 percent of tax filers who pay no federal income tax — many of whom, in fact, get a check from the government, i.e., from the other 50-odd percent who do pay federal income tax. (Remember this: the government has no money of its own: what money it disperses it gets from individuals and businesses.)

A “sacrifice everyone else has to make.” That sounds nice. What do you suppose it means? And what sacrifice do you suppose the president himself is making?  Here’s an idea: Why doesn’t he figure out how much it actually costs to run the White House and then indulge in a little shared sacrifice  by cutting (say) 20 percent.  And why doesn’t he order his cabinet to make similar “shared sacrifices” in their own departments?


During the 2008 campaign, Obama famously, or infamously, told Joe the Plumber that he wanted to “spread the wealth around,” i.e., take money from person A and give it to person B. He wasn’t usually so candid, though he did make it clear that individual economic success was something he despised. In the infancy of the United States, Chief Justice John Marshall observed that “the power to tax is the power to destroy.”

I used to think that it would be a good idea to acquaint Barack Obama with that saying. The alarming spectacle of his administration lurching from one disaster to the next  makes me suspect that he knows it all too well.  The power to tax is the power to destroy, and there are things he wishes to destroy, above all wealth independent of the state.  One other observation from Chief Justice Marshall: “Indeed, in a free government almost all other rights would become worthless if the government possessed power over the private fortune of every citizen.” Keep it in mind as you ponder the rhetoric of our masters in Washington.