Friday, November 02, 2018

Under My Apple Tree


The honeycrisp apple is delicious, although I have to trim off the imperfect spots. I don't spray.
I have no idea whether the mushrooms are good to eat.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

30 Years From Now

Will you still be alive 30 years from now?
What will the world be like then?
This election is about a lot of things, but one thing is not getting enough attention: the Trumpist party is at war with our environment.
It's tearing down our growing Green industry and bringing back pollution sources such as coal, which would make the future a very nasty place.
If you have any doubt at all about whether to vote, think about your own self interest.
Invest an hour to vote: the future you save may be your own!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Mrs. Zardelli's Ghost Zucchini

Mrs. Zardelli lived in a small house behind a tall fence where she tended the Victory Garden her parents had planted the year of her birth: 1942.
She lived at the opposite corner of the block so I never saw her except at Zucchini Season.
You know Zucchini Season?
That time of year when the summer squash is busting out.
If you stand in one place too long, a gardener will hand you a bag of produce.
Every last Saturday in August I'd hear the clack-clack-clack of her little old lady shoes up my wooden steps.
Bang-bang-bang! on my door.
Thump! she set down a bag.
I'd get to the door and open.
"Thank you Mrs. Zardelli!", I'd say.
"You're welcome dearie!", she'd reply over her shoulder,
As off she'd go clack-clack-clack
Cutting across my tulip beds.
No harm done; that season the tulips are sleeping;
She had been cutting that corner since before I was born:
Not gonna change!
Every year the bag had something different:
Green standard Zucchini,
Yellow Crookneck,
Chayote,
Cocozella di Napoli,
Pattypan and the little round Eight Ball Zucchini,
Canadian red (which isn't really red),
The spicy Green Houdini,
Last year the newly developed Hogwarts: lumpy but so tasty! 

This year I was in the basement folding laundry when I heard:
clack-clack-clack
bang-bang-bang
Thump!I called "Thank you Mrs. Zardelli!"
I heard "You're welcome dearie!"
clack-clack-clack
By the time I got to the front door
She was gone, but for footprints in the tulip bed and the bag on my porch.
I picked it up.

You've all heard of ghost pumpkin: a fairly ordinary pumpkin except the outside is white as bone.
This year the bag was full of zucchini pale and white as Death.

I sliced one open. Inside was firm fleshed and flavorful.
I gave them the usual treatment:
I sliced them into spears and pickled them in a long bath in vinegar and spices, and canned them in those pint mason jars with the waffle weave design,
Carefully labeled with the variety and year:
Mrs Zardelli's Ghost Zucchini 2018,
saving some for Neighborhood Night Out.

Neighborhood Night Out is a citywide event,
where you block off your street
and have a party to meet or catch up with the neighbor as you haven't seen all year,
to break bread and share a drink.

I boxed a dozen pints, put the loosies on a nice plate and set out for the potluck.
I put the plate on the table, slid the box underneath, and started circulating and saying hello.

Potlucks are not supposed to be competitive.
But you can't help looking now and then to see if people at taking yours.
Be honest - you do it too!

I just finished saying hello to everyone there when I looked back and saw: my pickled zucchini spears were gone!
FIRST HA-HA!

I trotted back to get the box of jars to hand out
I saw Mrs DuPree from down the block

Me: "Would you like some?"
Her: "Ooh, thank you hon, we always love these. And, ooooh hon, it is so sweet of you to remember Dolly with these."
Me: "Dolly?"
Her: "You knew her as Mrs. Zardelli. We were girls together. It is so sweet of you to put her name on the jars."
Me:  "Well I had to. She grew the zucchini!"
Her: "Ooh, young man don't be so silly. She passed away over Christmas. That garden has been empty all year."
Me: "I see...............................
Would you like the whole box?"

Saturday, October 27, 2018

It Is 1932 In 2018

What with the synagogue shootings and the assassination attempts on Democratic Party leadership and Trump's praise of body-slamming reporters and his alliance with those who cut up another reporter like a side of beef (...and this is just the last couple of days...), you no longer need to ask yourself what you would have done in early 1930s Germany. You're doing it now.

Friday, October 26, 2018

The constellation Berryanis

The constellation Berryanis is most visible in the Fall (Northern Hemisphere)

Thursday, October 25, 2018