I wanted to make a peach pie this weekend, for Dale and Stephen for Saturday supper. But all the peaches available in late late August are little hard balls suitable for braining someone. They have no aroma, no flavor even if they soften a bit. The peach used to be a sweet treat, juice running down your chin, taste buds alight. My mother and I used to can ripe peaches that we ate all winter. Agribusiness has destroyed fruit. Strawberries are large woody things with little or no flavor. We are told to eat fruit and I used to eat lots of fruit. But now what they call fruit is inedible and tasteless. It was probably shipped from California or Chile. It has all the food value and flavor of pasteboard.
Finally, the tomatoes are slowing a bit. We canned nine pints of simple tomato sauce. I dried three containers of tomatoes. We canned hot sauce. We continue giving many away, but that will be diminishing. This week has been intolerably hot and humid. This is the hottest August and the hottest summer on record here. And idiots still deny global warming. It’s coming to get us and already seriously attacking. We have many different insects and weeds than we had ten years ago. When I moved here, there were hundreds of butterflies; now it’s a treat even to see cabbage butterflies. Thursday evening it began to cool down and dry out. Today is wonderful but the heat and humidity are supposed to return Labor Day.
It was 100 degrees on the road Wednesday. I had never experienced 100 degrees here and I’ve lived on this land since 1971. It was 98 on our partly shaded road. Even my oldest and smallest cat, Mingus, who loves to bake himself on the sunporch went out, lay down for ten minutes and fled inside. The others wouldn’t even go out there. It’s murderous weather for those without airconditioning, the poor in cities particularly. I remember in Chicago our apartment would heat up unbearably. I saved and saved and got a used airconditioner for my room. It was clunky, huge and noisy but it meant I could write and I could sleep.
The beans are almost done this year. Something got them. I think it’s the rabbits. For the first time in years, we have a plague of rabbits. They ate my brussels sprout plants. I love brussels sprouts. When the cats could go out, we never had rodent problems – no rabbits eating our veggies, no chipmunks nibbling on our tomatoes. They were trained not to kill birds and generally they were good about that. We had some quarrels about quail, since they walk on the ground and rarely fly. By the way, I haven’t seen quail here in fifteen years or more.
I have a poetry group that meets the last Wednesday of every month except July. We met this week. I love having a group. I revised the three poems of mine from comments in he group. Good suggestions for the most part.
We’re having a plentiful harvest of pumpkins and winter squash, but the borers got a couple of the small pumpkins and the rabbits have been biting into some of the squash. They won’t keep that way. We stored two shelves worth yesterday of intact and ripened pumpkins and squash, but kept out the bitten ones. Yesterday I started baking and pureeing and freezing them injured ones. I puree them for pies, cakes, whatever. I also cook with pumpkins, something I learned to do in France. They’re not just for desserts. Then there four kinds of winter squash I planted. The pumpkins and winter squash are very early this year. We’ve never before harvested them while we’re still harvesting zucchini, yellow squash and pattypans.
I am reading Florida by Lauren Groff. Obvously she doesn’t like that state any more than I do. I’ve spent a lot of time there to visit my parents, for many gigs. The only time I enjoyed it was when we got into the Everglades. My parents retired there at my father’s insistence. My mother hated it and missed all her friends back in Detroit. She had two friends there, the librarian at the local public library and a neighbor’s cat who visited her every day. My mother, like me, was a cat person.
It was a real pleasure to sleep the last two nights without air conditioning, with the windows wide open. It’s in the low seventies and while not bone dry, much more comfortable. Today I will make sesame lamb, tabouli and Greek salad. Woody will make bruschetta for an appetizer. I’m hoping to get some weeding in and also put a little time into preparing for Erev Rosh Hashonah, nine people here.