Tag Archives: squash

Two Thanksgivings, A Quarantine, A Helicopter Attack, and A Giant Pumpkin…

So, this was our Thanksgiving weekend…it was a busy one.  On Sunday night, we went to Jim’s parents for a combination Thanksgiving/birthday dinner for Jim’s son, Devin.  He turned 17 on October 4th.

The Birthday Boy...

We had a lovely meal: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, rolls, green beans, gravy, cucumber/tomato slices, and a delicious turnip puff that Jim’s sister, Kim, made.  I had two helpings!

Unfortunately, Jim’s dad only joined us for a few minutes, sitting way over in the corner by himself…he was suffering from a bad cold, and didn’t want to give it to anyone.  He had spent the past few days in the basement.  Kim’s husband, Chris, pointed out that Gordon couldn’t have been suffering too much…he had the big screen TV, computer, and a fridge nearby.  Gordon came up to watch Devin open his presents: he got some clothes, lots of money, and a remote control helicopter that Jim bought for him.  It was fun watching it fly around, although it didn’t fly very high on the first night…it wasn’t fully charged.

Dessert was yummy…my blueberry pie, Jim’s mom’s pumpkin cheesecake, and purchased carrot cake for the birthday boy, who doesn’t like chocolate.   Jim’s sister, Tracy, had to wait for a minute to bring Devin’s cake out…Jim wasn’t ready with his camera…

Kim invited us to her Halloween party: “Everybody has to wear a costume!”  I have no idea what I’m going to be.  Halloween isn’t my favourite holiday…Jim the smartass suggested I go as a “party pooper.”

We got home just in time for Amazing Race.  I was so happy it turned out to be a non-elimination leg…I like Kevin and his dad!

I woke up Monday morning feeling like a dump truck had driven over me several times…my cold was back!  Jim didn’t feel much better.  I dragged my butt out of bed, made a bagel and tea for breakfast, and started getting the stuffing made for the turkey.  Kaylee, Scott and Elise were coming over for Thanksgiving dinner.

I got the turkey into the oven by noon…then I went out to the garden to harvest some vegetables for dinner.  I got a couple of Red Kuri squash, some beets, three rutabagas, and some mutant-looking carrots (average 4″ long, but fat little things).

Carrots, Rutabagas, Squash, Beets from the Garden...

I took a little break and sat down at my computer to check e-mail and Facebook.  Jim and the kids were playing with Devin’s birthday present again.  It went really high – almost up to the ceiling!  I was sitting there minding my own business when I felt a breeze over my head…a couple of seconds later, there was a helicopter entangled in my hair!

The Killer Helicopter...

Jim swears it was an accident: “It just lost power!”   I think he was secretly getting revenge for the times I injured him earlier in the week…an elbow to the nose (“It hurt for two days!”), and a whack to the temple with a snow brush handle (we were cleaning out the car, and he asked me to hand it to him so he could put it in the trunk).   I apologized profusely, both times, but warned Jim that there probably would be a third time…these things always happen in threes!

It took a few minutes to free my hair from the vehicle nesting in it.  It was at that point I decided it would be a good idea to have a shower.

Devin and Brianna went to their mom’s house for their second Thanksgiving dinner of the weekend.

Kaylee and family arrived about 4.  Elise is now taking a few steps on her own, and asking what everything is.  I didn’t have much time to spend with her though, because I was busy cooking (and also didn’t want to reinfect her with another cold). 

Kaylee wanted some pictures of Elise with a pumpkin, so everybody trooped outside, leaving me in the kitchen with the food.  Jim took the photos below:

Elise and the Pumpkin...

"Let's see how it tastes..."

"Yummy!"

Apparently, Elise couldn’t wait for supper.  She also sampled some fall leaves…I let her take the pumpkin home, since she’d already licked it!

Our Thanksgiving dinner was also delicious, if I do say so myself!  In addition to the turkey, stuffing, and vegetables from the garden, we had whipped potatoes, broccoli, and corn.  Jim made his Grammy’s dressing (which Hope loves), gravy, and a sauce for the beets.

Elise was falling asleep, so Kaylee and Scott left before dessert…I sent them home with a blueberry pie.  The rest of us ate pumpkin pie…it was yummy!  Devin and Brianna made it home just in time!

Jim and I packed the leftover food into lunch containers…Jim is planning a turkey stew for his night to cook…looking forward to it!

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Filed under cooking, family, food, gardening

Hammond River Harvest…

I spent most of yesterday in my garden…it seems the work never ends!  I pulled out some of the lettuce greens that had gone to seed, picked beans, blueberries, black raspberries, zucchini, swiss chard, beet greens, and more lettuce for supper.  I also harvested my first yellow cherry tomatoes!

This yellow cherry tomato was about 1 1/4" in diameter, sweet and mild!

This is the first red tomato to begin ripening...it's Scotia Red, I think...

Tonight, I will make chocolate zucchini bread with the zucchini I picked.  All the squash and pumpkins are doing amazingly well.

Two Red Kuri squash, about 7" in diameter...

Uncle David's Dakota Dessert Squash, about 6" diameter - should be ready to harvest in a few days...

There are at least three pumpkins the size of a basketball already...

This little pumpkin is growing on the fence, about two feet off the ground...not sure how long it will stay up there!

The Autumn Beauty sunflowers have surpassed the height given on the package by several feet…it said they were 5′ high, and many of mine are 8′.  This is with no fertilizer whatsoever…I wonder how big they’d be if I’d put manure in the soil?

My "Wall of Sunflowers"...

I’m really excited that my first broccoli head is nearly ready to harvest…I’m trying to hold off until it’s a little bigger.

My first broccoli head...

Also imminent is the harvest of the first rutabaga.

This is Gilfeather rutabaga, named for John Gilfeather, a bachelor farmer from Vermont...it's about 4" in diameter...

I still have a little while to wait on the cauliflower and the purple Brussels sprouts.

You can see a head forming in the center of this cauliflower...

This Purple Brussels Sprout plant is about two feet high, but still no signs of sprouts!

My shell beans are coming along well too.

These are Italian Borlotti beans...

These are called Orca or Yin Yang beans...the seeds are black and white...

I will harvest these later in the fall when they have dried, and then use them for chili and other soups.

I’m off to make tonight’s supper – corn on the cob (from the store), and chicken thighs, with green beans from the garden.

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Random, Rants, Roughage, and Rodents…

This is going to be a very random post, as we are heavily into planning for our upcoming 10th Anniversary Open House at the bookstore this weekend (http://bit.ly/aZc2SH ), and I’ve been busy trying to get the stacks of books under some sort of control…

1. Ridiculous customer: We have a really BIG Bible: about 6 inches thick, and at least 10 lbs.  On this Bible, there is a small plastic tag that reads in BIG RED LETTERS: “DANGER – Do Not Touch.”  On Friday, I watched a woman move the tag off the top of the Bible, set it on the shelf, and proceed to haul the big honkin’ Bible off the shelf and down on to the FLOOR, so she could look through it!  Apparently, she could read the word “Revelations,” but could not comprehend the shorter ones: “Do Not Touch.”

2. Reluctant body fluids: I am an occasional blood donor – I had an appointment to make a donation on Friday.  I made my way through the incredibly detailed questionnaire designed to safeguard our blood system (no, I’ve never visited Africa, been in prison, or worked with monkeys or their bodily fluids).  Unfortunately, I hadn’t had much water to drink (“I drank tea,” I reported hopefully, but that was no good), so they had a terrible time even finding my small “rolly” veins.  Apparently, it helps to be hydrated…they did finally find a vein, and got the process started.  As usual, my blood flowed as slowly as molasses…after about ten minutes of me squeezing a small rubber ball, the flow stopped completely.  I felt like an utter failure: “Sorry about that,” I mumbled dejectedly.  “I’ll try to drink more water next time.”  The nurse told me not to worry about it.  As I nibbled a cookie, I chatted with an acquaintance of mine, who has over 600 donations under his sleeve, and volunteers at the clinics when he’s between donations!

Canadian Blood Services logo...

3. Rampant greed: I made my first visit to our new Costco on Saturday (Jim had already been there a couple of times with the kids – one trip yielded the biggest jar of olives I’ve ever seen – I don’t even like olives!).  I was amazed when the cashier informed us that she had to take some money out of her till, because earlier she’d had a customer pay for a $2400 order in CASH!  We bought a few useful things, including giant boxes of cereal, rechargeable batteries, 300 ZipLoc freezer bags in two different sizes, and a 36-double roll pack of toilet paper (that should last a couple of weeks!).

The toilet paper we got...I'm sure that embossing will make all the difference...

4. Rodents: Anna informed me when I got up Sunday morning that she had seen a BIG raccoon on our back deck during the night…he was apparently enjoying the eggshells that I have in a bucket out there for the garden.  Jim’s bird seed is also attracting other critters: in the morning, Anna saw a big RAT!  She snapped a picture of it, but deleted it before I told her I wanted it for my blog! 

5. Roughage: I spent Sunday in the garden, harvesting various vegetables and greens.  We had company on Sunday night, and I served salad which was a combination of stuff from my garden, and purchased ingredients.  We also had Swiss chard/beet greens, mixed snap beans, and my first Red Kuri squash, which I picked even before it had a chance to turn red!  I was also thrilled to discover at least one baby pumpkin, a couple of Dakota Dessert squash, and three decent-sized zucchini.  The best news was finding out that my broccoli is finally forming tiny heads!   I also picked more blueberries and a handful of blackberries.

Red Kuri squash before it got red...

Baby pumpkin...

This zucchini is destined to become chocolate zucchini bread...

Uncle David's Dakota Dessert squash...

Baby broccoli head...this is only about 3 inches across...

6. Recognition: My blueberry pie was a big hit with our company https://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/08/08/i-owe-it-all-to-pig-fat/:  Jim’s parents complimented me on how tasty the pastry was, and Jim asked for seconds after they were gone!

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Filed under books, food, gardening, nature, rants, self-discovery