Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fourth of July

Since it is almost the Fourth of July, I'm going to share an excerpt from my great unpublished novel, "It must be the altitude". It is a passage about how the holiday was celebrated in the eighties in Jamestown, Colorado.
Jamestown Fourth of July always did its fireworks in a big way. I was inside the family house eating spare ribs when I heard a loud crack in the air that made me think the whole town had been attacked by terrorists. A giant boom, an earth shaking sonic boom. Louder than anything I had ever heard at that point in my short sweet life. A great, astounding tremulation that sent every rodent in town up into the high country.
Yes, it was the great, stupendous, annual BIG BOOM of Jamestown. An annual ritual, with origins dating back to the last century, when miners had lots of dynamite on hand, together with bellies full of whiskey and patriotic fever. For this great thundering event, the locals would assemble one hundred pounds of dynamite and place them over a two hundred pound lead anvil. On top of that was more dynamite, and another lead anvil, about the size of a Bronco. This would all be assembled behind second base in the baseball field. Someone would light the fuse and KABOOOOOOM the top anvil would hurl two hundred feet up into the air. The bottom anvil just went vertically about one hundred feet, towards the stands. Now that was the Fourth of July. "Oh, they're doing that again, Aunt Melray remarked." I was impressed.

The tomatoes are doing well, now with bird netting draped over them. These are going to be one group of expensive tomatoes.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My first tomato

There it is. A closeup of my first tomato.

Back to the squirrel. Remembering something I read on the Internet, I bought some hot peppers, they were unnamed at the supermarket and were checked in by the supermarket kid as "chilli peppers". I cut one up and sprinkled it over the ground of the pots and nearby on the wooden floorboard.

Then I rubbed my eye. In agony, my eye full of capsaicin, I ran to the bathroom and poured water all over my face. Hope the squirrel likes the peppers.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I have a visitor

I saw two tiny tomatoes coming out this morning. This afternoon I opened up my shade to see how they were doing. The whiny tomato has a visitor. A squirrel. He looks so innocent. Keeping out of the sun in the nice shade I created with the chicken wire.
Editor's note: I can now count the number of visitors in Sitemeter. What an international group! Small but international.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cape May tomatoes

Here is one of my progeny that was imported to Cape May. It almost died in the recent storm, but appears to be doing well. My balcony plants are flowering but so far, no fruit.

Two free events that may be of interest to some of you, the second annual twenty four hour Trenton art festival is this weekend. Sort of fun. Last year featuring dollar beer.

Further afield in New York, David Byrne of Talking Heads has a weird installation where an organ is played and sounds of jack hammers and other noises recorded in New York are activated, depending on the keys hit by the player. In a real funky location at the Marine terminal near the Staten Island Ferry. You can always tell a good show. It's free but you have to sign a waiver. Guess if there is falling plaster that hits somebody David Byrne doesn't want to get sued.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The peppers

Having grown up with a Texan for a mother who made notorious chilli I developed a taste for Tex Mex cuisine. This was augmented by my years in Denver and weekly visits to the famed Satire bar on East Colfax. Moving east, I discovered I couldn't find fresh cayenne peppers in the market so I grew my own from seed.

As you can tell from the picture, last year I had a very large crop of cayenne peppers. I offered them to people but usually they told me, " I have ulcers" or " I have a bad stomach" or "I can't eat peppers, sorry". I ended up freezing most of them and I ate them all winter. Of course there were the ones I put out in the break room at work. The break room vultures took them.

Editor's note: Some tiny peppers are emerging. Pictures to follow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I ate a tomato

Last weekend I bought three tomatoes at the Shop-Rite. I used two to make a spaghetti sauce and saved one to slice up for sandwiches. I had tomato on my sandwich on Monday. On Tuesday I dallied. I looked at the two slices staring up at me between the provolone and the salami. I tempted fate and kept the tomatoes in the sandwich. I lived to tell the tale. Thankfully you cannot get salmonella from tomatoes you grow yourself. So they say.

Editor's note: Welcome to those of you introduced through the Jersey Blogs column. Contrary to what you may have read, we do go off topic occasionally.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

We finally got that hot weather

The air conditioner is on and the tomato and pepper plants are luxuriating in the heat on the balcony. I had some milk that was past its expiration date and I added it while I was watering. Tomatoes supposedly like calcium.

It's farmer's market time again in New Jersey. Hip intellectuals discussing crops with farmers while fingering white zucchini. Here is this year's schedule.

There is an interesting history of Ramapo tomatoes in Dig it magazine. Happy weekend.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

They've gotten big

A little rain and some sunshine. Not bad at all. Yes I've seen Sex and the City. Liked the tv show. Like the movie. I never knew it was about fashion.

If you look real close, you can see the blossom on the plant. The plants in the collards garden are getting big too.