6/18/08

There's not much going on w/ me.

But I feel that I should post something. I have that sense even when I'm sober, tho' I tend not act on it until it's absolutely necessary. Alas, the Syrah I had before, during, and after dinner* has rendered me sl. gregarious. So, voilà. A post about nothing.

*An omelet. 6-8 fingerlings sliced and sautéed 20 minutes in oil with half a red onion, diced. In a separate bowl combine 5 eggs + 1 egg white (a little idiosyncrasy of mine, when scrambling many eggs, to omit the last yolk, and just use the white) with a commensurate volume of milk and beat well. Pour egg mixture over potatoes. Add ample amounts of sliced roasted red bell pepper, and some rosemary. Cook on med-low heat until set, lifting the sides with a spatula to let the runny parts go under the omelet and get cooked. When it's set, turn down the heat and add grated cheese. Cook until the cheese is melty-good. To make it better, add sausage chunks when you add the pepper. Serve with Syrah.

At this exact moment, in the background is playing the Penelope Hobhouse's DVD, The Art and Practice of Gardening, recommended here by a commenter at Garden Rant, a blog I hardly ever read anymore (What, does Michele Owens have some new batshit complaint about California that my life won't be complete without? Oh!).

The DVD's been playing for only a few minutes, but I love it. This conversation, between Penelope and some stiff Englishwoman strolling a garden, is quoted verbatim:
Penelope: And you have such a good selection of red dahlias [pronounced "DAY-lias"] too.

Stiffy: I love them. Aren't they beautiful?

Penelope: They're beautiful. And I can't see any staking for them, either. Are you not staking..?

Stiffy: I have a marvelous husband who discretely stakes. They're hidden in there.

Penelope: I wish I could borrow him...

Both: [unintelligible mumbling]...

LOL. All my gay readers have watched this DVD several times, haven't you? I'm the last to know.

Speaking of omelets, and the vegetables you might put in them, I'm rather envious of Frances' and Christopher's vegetable gardens, off to blazing starts. Frances even reports harvesting peppers already. Half my tomatoes look good, and a pumpkin* vine is going strong, and the Phaseolus coccineus** are idiot-proof. The rest of the vegetable garden--i.e., the other half of my tomatoes, and all the squash--not so much. I find all the plants that I grew from Territorial Seed are doing well. Plants grown from other sources suck. I'm especially disappointed with the progress of the 'Black from Tula' tomato. The 'Stupice' are more than three times as large. I'm left with a difficult decision: let it go and see what happens, or rip out the underperformers and replace them with...something else.

*Most sources I've seen say pumpkins need heat to do well. Yet all up and down Highway 1 between San Francisco and Santa Cruz, farmers grow pumpkins in cool, coastal fog (much cooler and foggier than Bernal Heights). Half Moon Bay even has an annual Pumpkin Festival in October. So, whatever to pumpkins-need-heat.

**Some species of Phaseolus were recently moved into the genus Vigna. Or maybe I just recently read that. Note to self: Get to the bottom of that.

Speaking of Christopher and Frances, I took some pictures of Dierama pulcherrimum for you/us today at the Botanical Garden.

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This is either a young or recently divided plant. The clump of foliage is rather compact, and for some reason I felt like I should show you that.

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Foliar clumps on older plants is much bulkier, flatter, and generally less appealing. So know that.

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Pink Dierama + dark Eucomis = nice.

9 comments:

Frances, said...

Oh Chuck, I was just thinking about you as I harvested two Magda squash, wondering how yours were doing. It was your post about a talk you attended mentioning that variety that made me decide to devote more time and space to food and it's been wonderful. The sugar snap peas were so many and so tall, we ate them in every meal and finally I had to freeze the rest before we went away, knowing they would be done while I was gone without the daily picking. The sweet peas are still blooming though, but not for much longer. Didn't you get the gold raspberries also? I have been eating the few as they ripen standing right in the garden bed. We have picked little grape tomatoes, golden gems, a little yellow, cucumbers, onions from sets, not the ones from seed yet, harvested all the garlic and braided it. Hmm, what else? Strawberries are good, but need many more plants. They are taking care of that though sending out lots of runners that are rooting in the straw mulch. Pole beans are flowering, bush beans just sown. More banana peppers picked and a couple of jalepenos. For tonight I made cucumber, red onion and banana pepper salad with salt, pepper, olive oil and malt vinegar. Your omelet sounds dreamy, making me hungry! I would love that DVD too. ;->

Frances, said...

Oops, I forgot to mention the dierama. Thanks for showing it. My babies look good, but small out in the erygium bed. My variety is not pulch., but rather galpinii. It was supposed to be more upright. Are yours blooming? Are they small or large?

gintoino said...

Some one offered me a dierama, Its in its pot where it will spend all summer (its too hot to plant any thing around here). Also all the info I'm finding about it are a bit contradictory, some say it is a drought tolerant plant while others say it should be watered regularly and even be planted by a pond. I guess I will have to look further before deciding where to plant it. The omelet sounds delicious BTW.

Christopher C. NC said...

Is it possible for me to make a comment about nothing?

So far there are six Dierama seeds sprouted. I had confused them initially with the Darmera we had discussed earlier. Dierama Darmera. I often think I have a mild case of everything, dyslexia in this circumstance. Fairy Wands would be much easier to remember. There are also several rows of what I am guessing are the Clematis stans germinated. They match online leaf pictures better than the Eryngium so far.

I am jealous of Frances greenhouse in the house. I now have trays and pots scattered all over, with plants, seeds and cuttings. I need warmth and I need organization. Seeds of the same plants I have planted out are still sprouting in the trays I sowed in February. My mild case of early onset Alzheimers coupled with pour labeling leads me back to the boxes of organized seed packets.

What did I sow?

Sometimes I wonder if I am properly tethered to the earth.

Phillip said...

Well, your posts about nothing are entertaining. I have not seen the Penelope Hobhouse dvd but I'm going to Netflix immediately after this post to see if they have it. I can only take so much of her though (kind of like Garden Rant!)

chuck b. said...

Phillip, by now you will have found the Hobhouse DVD. The good news that Helen Dillon makes an appearance and she's much easier to take.

Christopher, Ah dierama-darmera. Actually I thought you were confused with Gunnera, but I didn't want to say anything. :)

I know what you mean about needing organization. It got a little crazy for me this year with all my seed trays and cuttings, which are everywhere. Guy's been urging me to restrain myself and try to contain the "projects" to a small area, and he even let me have a whole 25% of the garage just for me. As soon as I got the space, I filled it up to overflowing and now I need another 25%. I also ran out of labels at one point so I used just one label for each type of plant and tried to tell them apart by foliage. That works okay.

Gintoino, I have also heard conflicting information about Dierama. I think it looks better with some water, but can go without if you don't mind the foliage dying back. The root is quite bulbous--which makes me think it's drought tolerant indeed. From experience, I know the four-inch pots I grew it in for several months dried out completely several times, and everything's okay. The foliage got brown at the edges, but the plant is fine.

Frances, I forgot you have the galpinii. Mine are not blooming; they are still much too small. Perhaps next spring. Strawberries, I don't have room in the ground for. I grow them in pots, but they need watering, and I hate to water pots all the time. Sigh. I've decided to grow only winter-bearing strawberries. I didn't get the gold raspberries, I got Caroline (I think), a fall bearing kind. Tho' I see some green berries now. My Magda squash went out late, and they seem alright. But I'm not saying they're fabulous. More news as it develops. Have you eaten your Magda squash? How is it? My snap peas were a total dud this year. It went from being too cold to being too hot very suddenly. Then cold days came back, but the vines seemed too overtaxed to rejuvenate themselves. Sigh. I'll start some more in the fall and maybe have them over the winter.

Frances, said...

Hi Chuck, we had magda last night in a pasta dish and they were great. The two that were picked were small, about six inches so not big enough to eat alone for three people. There was a crop failure of one of the magda hills so there won't be as many as hoped. The successful group, replanted seeds later when the ground was warmer is getting extra water, that seems to be key. Your peas started in the fall sounds like a good idea. In Helen Dillon's Down to Earth book, she states about the dierama that it is often shown by water with the rods hanging down, but that is misleading as it likes it dry. To Christopher: buy more tags! They're cheap.

lisa said...

Heh...I like your post about "nothing"! I'm happy for your squash sucess, I feel sad that I didn't get any veggies going this year as I'd hoped. Too much drama early in the year and I got thrown off course. Luckily seeds keep quite well, and there's always that Aerogarden. (Which I haven't set up yet...sheesh! :) Yummy omelet...could I have some wheat toast with mine please? ;-)

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I like your post about nothing, but I think Christopher C. one-upped you with a brilliant ending to his comment. Sometimes I wonder if I am properly tethered to the earth, too. Which then leads me to wonder if I would really prefer to be tethered such.

I hardly ever read Garden Rant anymore, either. Hmm.

By the way, I have a dark eucomis growing in my yard! 'Sparkling Burgundy,' from Plant Delights... we'll see if it really is hardy to zone 6. I'm about 50/50 on my "I'll take a chance on that" zone-bending plants in this garden.