Monday, August 18, 2008

Hazel on Deck

First let me say that Michael Phelps is amazing, and Usain Bolt, also amazing, has me really confused. Is he the fastest man alive even though he's super tall, and had a late start, and slowed down at the end, slapped his chest, waved his arms in the air, and had one of his shoes untied? Wha? Could someone please explain to me? Is it 'roids? Do you think it's 'roids?


An anonymous commenter on a previous entry turned out to be right about the tomatoes. We just needed to give them some time.

They started to show the faintest hint of redness about four days ago and yesterday we ate the first one. It was possibly slightly underripe, but not noticeably so, and altogether delicious. We enjoyed it with pesto and mozzarella. I am telling you. If I could only eat one dish for the rest of my life, home-grown tomatoes with pesto and mozzarella would be it.* There may be more ripe ones today; several of them look pretty red. There are 30 tomatoes on the vines in total, so we're going to have to think about how to use them. Maybe we could do something different with each tomato. Here are some ideas to start off with:

1. Sliced with pesto and mozzarella. CHECK! One down, 29 to go.
2. Tomato sandwich. Oh yeah. Actually, that doesn't sound so great. But maybe it will be surprisingly good.
3. Salsa! We've got a bunch of ripe serranos so perhaps we'll do that soon. And when I say "we", I mean Stanley.
4. Tomato omelette.
5. Stuffed baked tomatoes. With like crabmeat or some crap like that.
6. One thing I've never done in my life is pick a tomato off the vine and eat it like it's an apple. So tomato #6 is going to get a big surprise.
7. On a salad, cut in wedges. I think I might also put a hardboiled egg on this salad. Also cut in wedges.
8. Sliced up and salted or maybe with some balsamic vinegar.
9. Fried green tomatoes!! Never had that before. I have seen the movie. I was supposed to like it, but didn't.

Does anything else occur to you, tomato-wise? I need at least 21 more tomato plans. Please leave a comment.

Remember the fern experiment I started back in June? If you don't, here's the entry where I describe it.

And here are the final results:

They never looked as good as when I first transplanted them. The first fronds died, but others continued to grow and take their place, but they never really took off and propagated, and eventually the only things left were the little nondescript weeds that I only added to keep the ferns company (the weeds did pretty well), and then there was a big rainstorm, and the ground got soft, and the plant stand fell over, and I left it there for a few days, and then took a picture of it, and blogged about it. The end.

Note the bricks at the bottom of the photo. Every other weekend or so, I lay down about 30 more bricks, to make a walkway from the side of the house to the middle of the backyard where it will meet up with another, already-existing brick path. I wish it were the only thing on my to-do list because even though I sweat a lot, and shoveling dirt and lifting bricks makes my back ache, I kind of enjoy it.

We're in the process of building various things onto the deck. This sketch (sorry it's kind of hard to see; clicking on it definitely helps) shows the basic plan, give or take a few details. For example, I just guessed at the number and size of the posts, and we probably won't put finial topper things on the railing posts. Too fussy.

This weekend, Stanley built the bench on the right side of the sketch. Here it is just after he attached the frame. I was so excited I had to sit on it immediately. At this point it was not very comfortable but I was still pretty happy about it.

Here it is, completed.

Isn't it marvelous? It's the appropriate height for dining so we can pull the table over for extra seating. Or we can pull chairs up to it and use it as a footrest or coffee table. It's also ideal for naps. It's going to get stained along with the rest of the deck, and the deck box, sometime this Fall (what color??? Oh, no....).

The sketch calls for another, smaller bench on the other side of the stairs for some sort of symmetry, but it's not really necessary, and this one was kind of a pain to build, so if a stab at symmetry is the only reason to put a bench on the other side, it's not worth it. A long, rectangular wood planter, or three square ones in a row, from Home Depot or Menard's will do just fine to keep the drunks from falling off the deck.

Other plans include copious use of lattice. Lattice, lattice, lattice. Can't wait to get my hands on some lattice.

*Allow me to backtrack, if I may, on eternal meal choices. When and if I have to choose, I might decide on something else, such as tacos from the taco trailer in Gerber, CA, if that's still around. It seems like one could get sick of pesto under extreme circumstances.


Matt said...

Tomato use: Chicago-style pizza sauce! I still haven't figured out a good recipe for this (i.e. crust, baking instructions, etc), but if you crush the tomatoes in your hands, the mush becomes the perfect consistency. Then just add the right blend of herbs, garlic, and olive oil, and viola!

mmmmm pizza!

Lois Rosewood said...

Did you notice that Michael Phelps' arms seem to go slower than his competitors in the pool? Maybe it has to do with his effective technique; perhaps he has a really good kick.

I'm glad the American gymnasts Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin won the silver and gold medals in the women's all-around event. If the Chinese had done better there would probably be more uproar about how they are too young to compete in the Olympics.

Anonymous said...

Add bacon to that tomatoe sand and ya got sompin' good baby.
I like to add fresh tomatoes to my pasta w/basil.