I could never live in Florida or Arizona. I’d rather it snow than be 90 degrees and humid. The Weather Channel reported 117 degrees in Phoenix. Have mercy! I hate it when people say it’s dry heat. I only hear heat. I will say the warm, humid days are finally forcing some real growth to peppers, tomatoes and squashes.
I finally pulled up the fava beans. Thanks to Nancy McMillan for help shelling them. They are quite large. They are similar to lima beans but much more flavorful. After cooking, the outer skin needs to be removed. Violet helped me. Marie made a great batch of fava bean hummus. The beauty of them is that they are planted early along with the peas. They have an interesting black and white flower. I thought of them as Italian but found them to be popular in Middle Eastern cooking as well. They are worth the effort.
I enjoyed the row of scarecrows flanking the edge of the Edgartown School garden. The children certainly have put effort into their garden.
Lani Carney phoned about bugs eating her sweet potato vines. I wish I could respond with a remedy that does not involve poison. I find that the lime green ones are particularly vulnerable. They seem to be covered with gold ladybug-type insects. I confess I stopped planting them as I hated all the holes in the foliage. By the way, in the fall when taking the pots apart there will be sizable sweet potatoes. I ate some once. They were bland and flavorless but I ate them anyway. If the holocaust comes we can raid window boxes!
This must be a week for reader involvement. I love it. Jeannie Gionfriddo sent a Monet card, Poppies: Near Argenteuil with some kind words. She says her son swears by San Marzano tomatoes for his sauces. I couldn’t agree more. They are a prolific paste tomato related to the Romas.
I have yet to return the call from David Morris. He says he has a solution for my vole problem. I need all the help I can get. Looking forward to our conversation.
It’s a great year for potatoes, onions and garlic. Apparently potatoes just got a bad review from some study out of Harvard. I don’t care, I’m Irish and I love them. Until his dying day, my dad ate potatoes that my mom fried for him. In fact I remember only a few meals growing up that did not involve potatoes.
I am growing quite a few varieties. The early Red Norlands are as big as tennis balls already. Most of the others are blooming, which is an indication that the potatoes are forming.
The first of the dilly beans has been made. I know I have published this recipe many times. It bears repeating. It’s the best way to get children to eat green beans. Boil three cups of water, a cup of good apple cider vinegar, two tablespoons kosher salt and several cloves of garlic. Add the beans briefly so they will stay crisp. Toss in several heads of dill. They will keep in the fridge for months. If you wish to process them, pack the sterilized jars with raw beans and dill, cover with the hot liquid and process the pints in a ten-minute water bath. They will keep for years.
I’m jealous of the lucky folks who live within hearing distance of the Federated Church bell tower. Last week at nine as I drove South Water street the chimes were belting out Eternal Father, Strong to Save. You know the hymn of the Marines offering comfort for “those in peril on the sea?”
I honestly feel sorry for John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives. I think he may be a reasonable man. All the top economists believe that the debt ceiling must be raised. It’s been raised 54 times since the Kennedy administration, including seven times under George W. Bush. Eric Cantor is pushing Mr. Boehner into an ideological corner. It seems the Republicans are willing to take this country down, including the poor and middle class, to make the President look bad. Mr. Obama is too right wing for me but I believe he wants what is best for the country as a whole. Time to call those congresspeople.