The New Old American Dream

Carrot Beauty Contest

In gardening on August 28, 2014 at 10:19 am

IMG_1014In a blind taste test, all of our carrots tasted pretty much the same.  But in terms of beauty and interest?  Wowzer, there was some real lookers this summer.  So I thought I’d line ‘em up here for you and let you have a look.  Which is your favorite?

The Swan-lake carrot

The Swan-lake carrot

the transgendered baby--just not sure which way it wanted to swing.

the transgendered baby–just not sure which way it wanted to swing.

Two hearts beating as one.  Or the mirror of the first photo!

Two hearts beating as one. Or the mirror of the first photo!

The Tri-Pod

The Tri-Pod

Of course all this carrot craziness is my fault for not thinning them better in the spring.  Things–not just the garden–just seem to get away from me, despite my best intentions.  

Tomatoes, Okra, and peppers continue to pour into the kitchen.  I’m looking forward to the three-day holiday so I can make some salsa and do some more freezing of okra and peppers.  How is your kitchen and garden?  

First Day of High School/Chickens in our Language

In chickens on August 26, 2014 at 11:00 am


She survived the first day of high school. Whew. A full schedule of classes, plus volleyball.


And the view from my office window this morning. Several chickens scratching outside. It made me think of all the chicken in our vernacular. Why is it that we have so many phrases related to chickens? For example, “running around like a chicken with its head cut off” or “chicken flesh” when the hair on ones’ arms stands up.

Once upon a time, everyone had chickens scratching outside their windows. It wasn’t unusual, like it is today. Chickens pervade our language because they pervaded our lives. They were common. Just like they are here, now, on this little patch of ground.

Preparing the Fall Garden/Rouxbe Cooking School

In cooking, gardening on August 22, 2014 at 2:20 pm


Images of prepped garden beds are not that exciting. Regardless, I was pretty excited to knock out two of our beds this morning. E and I pulled weeds,turned over the soil, pulled the last of the onions hiding out, and hauled in six wheelbarrows of leaves. We wet the soil, turned under the leaves, and left sweaty and satisfied about the same time the temps were getting too hot to be comfortable working. A good morning all the way around. And as long as I don’t look around and see how many more beds there are to prep this weekend, I’m feeling satisfied.


Here’s a gratuitous shot of okra in bloom. The okra is the only thing looking really happy still in the garden. Even the peppers are stressed from the heat and squash bugs. But not the okra. It’s quite happy.

I’ve got a plan for caging off the greens I put into the garden next week to keep them safe from the chickens. I’ll include a photo as soon as I’ve started planting. This year the chickens have done as much damage as the grasshoppers. I with they’d focus on the bugs instead of the spinach, kale, and lettuce but I suspect they like a balanced diet, too.

Speaking of, I’ve been roaming through the plant-based cooking program at Rouxbe Cooking school. You can sign up for a one week free trial, and I’ve really enjoyed the voyeuristic view of what an online cookery program would be like. I’ve learned several new things already. But I’d best get with it because my one-week free trial ends soon. If you are interested, go here: Rouxbe Online Culinary School.


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