Thursday, September 30, 2010

cayenne now?

Or, depending on what you mean, not until they've dried and been ground up.

The little one at the top gave me the clue that it was time to harvest them. I went to check on how ripe they were and saw that it had fallen off the plant, harvesting itself.

Based on previous experience, these five should give me about a year's worth of cooking, since I cook only for myself most of the time.

Drying is advancing in the second picture. It always reassures me when they fail to rot.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunday morning coffee with tomato sauce

I spent an ambitious and focused day trying Daryl's tomato sauce recipe. Here.

I didn't have half a bushel of tomatoes, because it's so late in the season that I couldn't buy that many local tomatoes. I kept waiting for the weather to cool off some (at least down from 90F!) so I could stand having the oven on all day.

That's about half of what my friend with the produce stand had left of their own home grown (not seven miles from me) tomatoes. I was too late to get any of the heirloom ones. Next year I will just tough it out and start earlier in the season.

My two roasting pans are rather shallow. Before next year I'll have to find something larger.

More ingredients.

The basil was really fresh.

Yes, there was coffee involved in this marathon of chopping.

Beautiful colors. Too bad they will disappear with cooking.

I ended up with less than two quarts of sauce, more of a paste consistency. Next year! With more tomatoes! It's delicious. I didn't take any pictures of the finished product because plastic freezer boxes look much the same whatever is in them.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


The camera does not see what I see. I was enchanted by the gleam of dew on the foxtails in the rising sun.

The light shows up well, and a few drops on the leaves, but each whisker on the seeds was outlined in reflective wetness.

The little beads of dew on the leaves look flat, barely visible.

These clover leaves, which is real life were far less impressive, show up much better. I'm pleased with the pictures, as pictures, (I can't tell you how many hundreds of pictures I must have shot of foxtails over the years) but they don't show what I saw.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

flowers unknown

I've never seen these growing anywhere before. Many things that don't have names are familiar to me as "that stuff" but not these. I've looked in my Kentucky wildflower books without finding them.

They look a bit like coreopsis, but the leaves of the ones I've grown are not quite like that, and I've never seen coreopsis grow higher than my head!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


It's poisonous to humans, but the birds love the berries. (Humans can eat the young shoots, which are said to taste like asparagus--they certainly look like them--but not the berries, or the roots and leaves. Or so I was told, growing up.)

The birds are the reason I let this plant grow up to block the kitchen steps. (I don't go out that way often; the kitchen door is parallel to the living room door. The laundry room door is the "mud room" entrance.)

The beautiful purple stems are about the color of the ink you can make from the berries. I experimented with this as a child, once I acquired a quill pen. The dye is permanent. (Which is why I don't go out the kitchen door right now.)

Once the berries finish turning from green to purple-black, the birds will finish them off. They're getting started. These, on the other side of the house, are quite ripe.

I think you can see the little bare stems where the birds have pulled the berries off. I can see a few in this picture, but I know what I'm looking for.

It all means fall is coming, and I dread the return of cold weather, but I always find fall beautiful.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

stopping at the mill

On my way home from the dog show I stopped at Weisenberger Mill, where I buy my flour. I make a trip there about four times a year to get it because none of the stores near me carry it. It isn't as old as the mill my father grew up in, owned by his father and grandfather, but that one no longer exists. As the granddaughter of millers I'm particular about my flour, and consider driving forty-five miles (instead of ten) quite reasonable.

The building is a nice example of early local concrete work.

Here's the water that used to power the mill. There's been very little rain lately, although we're not officially in a drought. Usually the water spills over the entire expanse of dam:

I was sitting on a guardrail with my back to the one lane bridge to take these and there was an amazing amount of traffic for a Sunday afternoon, so I was glad to get the angles I did get.

This is where I ran out of memory, something that has never happened before in the four years I've had this camera. Sunday was just full of good camera-fodder.

Sun bathing:

Monday, September 13, 2010

you know you live in the country when...

...the radio in the grocery is playing a very twangy version of Elvira and as you go through the aisles more than three people are singing along. (They aren't together. They know all the words.) The other woman in the ice cream aisle and I weren't singing, but we were dancing.  The non-singing, non-dancing shoppers don't seem to find this evidence of insanity.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

dog show color

Even though dogs generally come in black and white and brown and mixtures of those, there was plenty of color to be found at the dog show.

On people:

And equipment:

I have no desire for colorful pooper scoopers:

But I never saw rally cones in anything but orange before. What can I think of to use them for? (Since I don't do rally.)


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

morning visitor

One morning last week as I was hanging the laundry out before I left for work I heard an enormous crashing in the woods behind the house. I wondered what it could be, because leaping deer don’t make nearly that much noise. Shortly after that I saw my neighbor's paint mare trotting down the "road" through the grass south of the house. She stopped about two-thirds of the way to the woods, looked around her, took a few bites of grass, and turned and went back the other way. This time I heard the chink of horseshoe on gravel as she took the easy way back. When I left a few minutes later I drove out somewhat slower than usual in case there was a Sudden Horse Event. When I reached the road I spotted her grazing with the J’s horses, only on the outside of the fence. I wonder if she went home or if my neighbor had to go fetch her home.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sunday morning coffee at the dog show

Only fifty miles on a beautiful clear morning and even so I was late. (Of course the cup is empty; what did you expect?)

These springers were in the wrong ring at the wrong time, according to the program, but that's what being late gets you.

I was looking for poodles, though, and eventually they turned up:

Not the size I was looking for, but still.

There were plenty of dogs outside the rings, too:

This Bassett was relaxing before entering the ring.

Photographing the photographer, I had serious Hat Envy, especially as I'd left mine beside my lunch on the kitchen counter:

I gave up waiting for standard poodles to show, and went home for a very late lunch, through beautiful country that I don't travel through often enough, not stopping to take many pictures.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

not cayenne yet

The peppers are working at being ready to harvest, though.

The big one has almost finished turning red.

The smaller ones are imitating a traffic light: red, yellow, green.
Fortunately I still have plenty of cayenne left, and can refrain from nagging them.
In this very hot summer I wonder how long it will take them to dry?