Prior to moving to Evansville, I lived in apartments so houseplants were the only plants I could really grow. Now I’ve got a garden! And poor indoor light, so after the move my houseplants became difficult and grumpy. After several deaths and the first year in the new house, I discovered that they are much happier outside and thrive. During the winter, they drop leaves and bide their time before they can smell freedom and rainwater again.
I also planted a bunch of crocus bulbs. Spring bulbs make me happy, so nestling these in the ground made me actually wish for the cold sting of March. I can’t wait to see what comes up and can imagine a nice carpet of color–some extremely early and some a little later.
The next day I was picking up some things at Lowe’s and the customer service guy commented, “Yeah, bulbs. I’ve never tried them because of the squirrels, you know.” Right…the squirrels. Maybe they hadn’t noticed me planting yummy treats.
I checked the yard when I got home and found some half-chewed bulbs. I guess the squirrels had been following me with their little hand held GPS devices, noting the location of each bulb. Luckily, the grocery store was having a sale on tubs of cayenne pepper. Hopefully a generous sprinkling will keep the bulb predators away.
With all the chilly weather, it seemed like time for soup. It was also a way to get rid of the final odds and ends from the garden before they went bad in my refrigerator. I started with a vegetable soup recipe in my favorite cookbook, Simply in Season, and adapted it liberally to what I had on hand. I started with two varieties of dried heirloom beans. Then I cooked some onion and sausage from River City Food Co-op, added some garlic from my garden, and then odd amounts of spinach, red pepper from the farmers market, green pepper from my garden, lima beans from my garden, carrots from my garden, and fresh oregano and basil from my garden. I kept all the liquid with the beans, added most of a can of tomato sauce and a bunch of tomatoes from the farmers market, and it was done. I had no idea where it was going when I started but it ended in a great place.
But wait, what am I talking about? It’s Fall Festival time! You get 17 varieties of fried food, 23 varieties of deep fried food, 19 varieties of BBQed food, 11 kinds of corn dog, 12 kinds of pronto pup, kangaroo, alligator, and at least 80% of the entire population of the tri-state. It’s fantastic! John and I ate there tonight: a pronto pup, a sloppy joey (yes, kangaroo), a walking taco in a waffle cone, smoked rib meat gumbo, and fried Coke (not the deep fried Pepsi, though I’m sure it’s good, too). In an interview for the local paper, someone reassured the public that her booth’s “meat wads” and peanut butter and bacon sandwiches were health conscious because they’re not fried. Yes, it’s that kind of awesome. John and I can’t wait to go back.