Update on the HeatCageKitchen garden (with pictures)

Good evening, Dear Readers:

I’ve got a busy week this week, and possibly next. Five, possibly six interviews–something’s gotta hit, right? Cross your fingers.

It’s late at night, so I could make a big boo-boo. It happens. Still trying to get up early in the morning, and now my head is telling me to go to sleep. I will, shortly.

Today I went into Wal-Mart for a few things, and, while I rarely shop there, I went in out of convenience–I had just returned from my second interview today, and it was easy. While I frequent Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond and other stores that carry housewares, I am often fascinated at Wal-Mart’s varied and interesting culinaria. (Kitchen stuff.) They carry the famed breakfast sandwich maker, but I am no longer interested in it, even though it’s a neat little item. No, today’s fascination is with a weird little item that takes frozen bananas and turns them into a dessert resembling ice cream. No kidding, check it out:

Yo, what?

Yo, what?

I didn’t form much of an attachment when I saw that price tag, but if you have someone in your household who has a dairy allergy, or just can’t stomach regular store-bought ice cream (get it? stomach?) this little item might be just what you need.

Let me point out that one of the reasons I don’t mess with bananas anymore is because they are very high in starch, which translates into sugar–very important for diabetics, too. I guess you could toss some cocoa powder in, too, and make. . .chocolate banana frozen dessert, too. Like I said, I didn’t fall into mad love with it, so I probably won’t be getting one even if I do find myself working soon. But I’m passing along this info to my readers for anyone who might be interested. I’m sure you can find them at nearly any Wal-Mart in America.

Oh, and my current gotta-have-it food is now. . .popcorn. Yes, for some reason, I’m now in love with hot-air-popped popcorn, and I eat plenty of it. At $1.88 a bag at Wal-Mart, and likely less elsewhere, it’s an affordable indulgence. Contrast that with my former can’t-get-enough, dark chocolate Mounds bars, and you’ll see that I’ve moved up. I went about 2 weeks without one of those bars, and then had one, and now can’t stand them! Last time I was in Wal-Mart I got one of their double-sized packets for $1, and I gave the second pair to Neighbor K who had just finished a grueling semester. And that’s it, I don’t want Mounds or Almond Joy anymore.

The garden is humming along, although our erratic rain amounts means I water a lot, and even then sometimes, it’s not enough. I forgot to take a picture of the hanging basket, but the replanted strawberry plant is producing flowers. I hope it grows out of the pot and gives me lots of berries, but we’ll see. The mint plant is doing well:

Mojito, anyone?

Mojito, anyone?

No kidding, that’s like a foot high. I’d better cut them and do something with it, right? Admittedly, some weeding needs to be done, and soon, but for now I gotta keep watering.

My longtime web friend R didn’t take my advice and put his mint in a container. Now he has a carpet of it in his backyard. Good thing it’s a big backyard! He could make mojitos for a week and still have a lot left over.

I have two pepper plants, one bell, one Anaheim, and so far, so good:

Peppers--I hope!

Peppers–I hope! Garlic scapes just to the left.

Now, if you’re wondering what that white stuff is, it’s very simple–that’s crushed up eggshells to keep the snails out. They won’t cross them, because the sharp edges can cut them. I don’t mean any harm to any snails, but I want them OFF my plants, darnit! Anyway, I also purchased a pod from Lowes’ that was guaranteed to grow lettuce, and it’s starting to sprout, finally:

Lettuce. From a pod

Lettuce. From a pod

To the left is a little green stem that is the regenerating remainder of the previous lettuce I planted there that I. . .ate recently.

Next up: BASIL!!



Got smart, planted more than one seed, I want a bumper crop this year. The snails got to them before, so I have to make sure there are no spots for them to crawl through safely. By the time these little seedlings make it to two feet, I don’t think it’ll be a problem.

My little citrus plants are doing the best they can in pots:

Lime and Meyer Lemon trees

Lime and Meyer Lemon trees

Unfortunately, while I do have four Meyer lemons with one on the way, many of my little lemon sprouts fell off, leaving me with four. I’m guessing that the swath of blooms didn’t all get pollinated, so that’s why I’m left with. . .four. Take a look, I’ll at least get some this year, although I can’t say when.

An unripe Meyer lemon. When ripe, it will be four times that size and yellow.

An unripe Meyer lemon. When ripe, it will be four times that size and yellow. The surprise flower is just above my hand.

Check out the closeup of my lime tree–yes, it’s going to produce, too!

See the tiny limes?

See the tiny limes? So far, I’ve counted three, but you can only see the two in the middle in this picture.

Next up, my four-year-old batch of regenerating spring onions, complete with weeds:

Green Onions

Green Onions, fresh anytime!

I know, I know, I need to get some weeding done. I’ve been busy, OK?

What I forgot to take pictures of were the three containers of garlic with huge, long green scapes, and the rosemary plant, which is now pouting because I moved it to the corner. It gets plenty of sun and water, it’s just not right in front of me.

This week I received the June issue of Martha Stewart Living, and in one of the pages of short blurbs, there is a small article on garlic scapes, those long green things that grow out of the ground. Wait, let me explain it this way: you know how when you keep garlic in the fridge a long time, it starts to sprout? That’s called a garlic scape, and it can be used just like regular garlic. Yes, you can plant them, but you have to be very, very patient. I might have accidentally dug up one of mine while checking to see if it was ready to harvest. It wasn’t. Darnit.

Anyway, the blurb said that Martha pickles the garlic scapes. Well, go for it. . .I’m waiting for the darn garlic to be ready to harvest. But I do go out and nibble them occasionally–they’re not as strong as regular garlic, and it’s right tasty. Just don’t expect anyone to snog on you until you use some strong mouthwash, OK?

I am still being a good, gluten-free blogger, haven’t been tempted in some time. That’s OK, I’ve got plenty to tempt me in-house. I over-shopped while I was working, so that I wouldn’t have to buy too much when the unemployment was done. Just things like milk and eggs, and popcorn, for now.

Cross your fingers.

While I don’t do much to promote this humble blog, it has a following, and I have actually told a few folks about it in interviews, mostly because there is an expressed interest in writing, or writing is part of the job description. I do have a few more topics to tell you about, like the chorizo I tossed into a meatloaf, but. . .maybe tomorrow or this weekend. I took pictures of that.

And for those of you above the Mason-Dixon line, please sit tight, spring will be at your door in about a month, and you can put away your snowshoes and heavy coats, finally. If you’re lucky. Stay warm until it does.

As always, Happy Dining!







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