Spinach, spinach, and more spinach

We are enjoying a great crop of spinach in the main garden, Woody’s garden. I have to freeze about 12 or 13 lbs to last the winter. Frozen spinach is great for many dishes. But freezing spinach is one of my least favorite chores. I usually end up soaked to the skin and have to change everything, including panties. The floor gets soaking wet and slippery, so I have to be ultracareful not to fall. I’m handling boiling water that drips on me if I’m not careful. During the first two sessons of freezing this wek, I burnt myself. Plus, spinach takes a lot of washing. Leaves love to collect mud or sand.   As Woody pulls the spinach for freezing, he plants bell and frying peppers.

I finally froze enough spinach yesterday –actually probably too much. 14 lbs. and 2 ½ lbs. Now we’re done with that. There’s still a lot left we can eat fresh, although it’s beginning to bolt today. I have two standard ways of cooking frozen spinach – creamed or with garlic, pinenuts, olive oil and currants. We have spinach salad frequently this time of year. With so much fresh spinach, I’m trying different things. Once this week I did a mushroom spinach stir fry. I’ve found some good egg-spinach recipes to try. I used to make eggs Florentine often, but have fallen out of the habit.

I am almost through reading, rereading and annotating the fifteen poems for each poet in my June workshop. Yesterday I finished the 11th. Monday Dale is not coming in as it’s Memorial day; he’ll work Tuesday. Besides the usual laundry, I hope to read the twelth and final manuscript on Monday. Then Tuesday we can put in work preparing the handouts.

Woody moved all the plants out of the greenhouse as it’s gotten warm enough in there to cook them.in there.  We’re gradually planting them. I haven’t planted some of the herbs yet that don’t go into the herb garden but into pots. I find rosemary seems to survive better in big pots. I’ve planted the purple basil I started in the herb garden, but the Genovese basil goes into Woody’s main garden. I also have two miniature basil plants that will grow to a pot together so I can bring them in the house. I had one last year that lasted into February.

I have to plant marigolds either Monday morning or Wednesday. I started three kinds. I need to soak nasturtium seeds so I can plant them Wednesday too. I am looking forward to having more time to read books instead of mss. and to write more. I need to get warm weather clothes out of the storage closet and put more clothes appropriate for cool weather in there instead. I started doing that, but then it got cooler and everything in the greenhouse demanded to get into the earth or they would die.

In winter I read at least a book or two a week and watch more TV. By the way, I am giving up on Westworld. What made the show runners believe piles of bodies of people we know nothing about would be fascinating? In the first season, we got to know characters and liked or hated them. Now they keep throwing in new characters, killing them, bringing more in. I don’t really need it. I have less time to spend on the couch. The outdoors is more appealing. My peony garden is producing gorgeous flowers; still have white lilacs and blue wood scilla everyplace. Thirty-five years ago, I planted three bulbs. Now we must have at least a hundred of them whenever they decided to plant themselves, in the woods, by the paths, under trees, among patches of weeds. The scillas siberica do the same. I applaud.

Schwartzie has taken a fervent interest in the mice – we live in the woods and they move in regularly. The house lacks a basement and there are many ways to get in. The girls, Xena and Willow, are fine hunters and kill at once. They don’t play with mice. Schwartzie has decided that mice are the perfect toys and when he can, he puts himself between the girls and the mouse and protects it. He picks them up gently and carries them around in his mouth, then puts them down where they promptly run under something. When we finally catch them and put them out, they are uninjured. We prefer the girls’ approach. Mice are the most important hosts for ticks, much better than deer for the ticks. I’ve already had three ticks embedded in me this spring. I’ve had lyme disease twice since I moved here, and I was the first person on the Cape to have babesiosis. I almost died. Nobody knew what it was then, 2001 I think it was. Now at last 500 people on the Cape have had it.


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