Few women appreciate the importance of mending, forgetting entirely the old proverb, “A stitch in time saves nine.” Every housewife should form the habit of doing the weekly mending each week instead of allowing it to accumulate until it becomes a burden. Carefully mended garments denote thrift, industry, and economy; therefore, every woman and every girl should take pride in knowing how to darn a pair of stockings, to patch a worn garment, and mend a tear. Mary Brooks Picken (Woman’s Institute Library of Dressmaking: Sewing Materials, 1923)
Thrift, industry, and economy. Pride.
I must admit I don’t think I could darn a pair of socks very well. But I have a set of old books written by Mary Brooks Picken. So if worse come to worst, I can learn.
Moving on to more important matters… .
A protester at Occupy Cincinnati. She has a job.
And an iPhone. Good for her.
Please note that these photos were grabbed from this web site. I’ve included the citation information in the screen shot itself.
I just got off the telephone with Daughter C who had called to ask if we had any extra watermelon because she was “bartering”– her word: Eggs for watermelon.
Are you kidding me? Of course! I just happen to have a couple watermelons on the picnic table. See?
Two watermelons. Tomorrow there will be one watermelon and one dozen fresh eggs.
Fresh eggs rule. And it gets better… . Eggs come from chickens. If you have chickens, you have chicken poop. It is October. There’s plenty of time for me to compost chicken poop before next spring. Whoo hoo!
Quarts: Pickled green tomatoes; Pint: Pickled jalapenos
GARLIC DILLED GREEN TOMATOES Makes 6 pints
3 quarts green cherry tomatoes, approximately 12 cloves garlic 6 sprigs dill 1 1/3 quarts white vinegar 2 C water 1/3 C canning salt
Wash and pack tomatoes into hot pint jars, adding 2 cloves garlic and 1 sprig dill to each jar. Boil vinegar, water and salt mixture about 5 minutes, or until salt is dissolved. Pour over tomatoes, seal jars, and process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
75 days. This heirloom blend brings you both red and yellow, very attractive fruit that can be eaten like grapes. Sweet, mild flavor and low acidity make these tomatoes great for hors d’oeuvres, salads, canning and relishes. Produces clusters of fruit all summer long. Cherry Red Pear seeds are dyed red, while the Yellow Pear seeds remain natural so you will know what tomato seed you are sowing produces which color tomato. Provide support for vigorous vines that easily reach 6 feet.
We are still eating pickles from last year, so we haven’t gone hog-wild with the pickling this year. But since we had some jalapenos to pickle, we decided to put up a couple jars of green tomatoes, too.
It’s nice to have pickled green cherry tomatoes around when you want to make some fancy schmancy hors d’oeuvres, or when you feel like a saltine and a pickled green cherry tomato.
No photos. Sorry. Maybe I’ll update after we have supper. It’s some chicken casserole dish that’s already baking.
We had a very busy week. I wasn’t able to spend nearly as much time in the garden as I usually do, especially since I knew we wouldn’t be around much late in the week and so I spent one day cleaning the house. And Mr. Big Food wasn’t able to do his chores, either. So we were outside today. Nice day. Also, Daughter C is here today to take care of Rocky. (I spend too much time with Rocky.)
Today I picked
two three watermelons (one is rotten so we’re going to shoot it)
a few beets and
baby lima beans
(I don’t know what he’s going to do with the beats, but the limas are going in a crock pot Tuesday morning. Limas are not called for, but we have too few to freeze so we might as well eat them.)
a little French melon (not sure it’s going to make the cut; we’ll look at it tonight
That’s right. We are pickling tonight. Pickling jalapeno peppers.
and a nice batch of cherry tomatoes.
And I almost forgot the white winter radishes. I pulled a handful of white carrots on Thursday. We actually have a lot of radishes on hand right now. I should announce this.
That was satisfying. And now, while supper is in the oven, we will clean the kitchen. This will be satisfying in it’s own sort of drudgery way.
I cannot put it off any longer.
Preparing to freeze some French melon
We did it! We got just about everything done. The only thing that remains for this evening is stewing the tomatoes. But the melons (there were two, not one, aas I reported earlier) and tomatillos– which I think I forgot to mention yesterday– are in the freezer. The jalapeno are pickled, as are the two quarts of green cherry tomatoes that I picked just as it was getting dark.
90 days. Charentais melons aren’t found in your grocery store — they’re too fragile to ship. A true cantaloupe, the fruits have smooth skin with light green stripes, maturing to creamy yellow. The delightfully scented, creamy orange flesh is filled with unsurpassed flavor. One of the sweetest rewards of home gardening!
Imagine two sets of 10 numerals that were specified to code for strength of a positive emotion/opinion versus strength of a negative emotion/opinion, such that “5” coded for “strongly disagree.” and “1” coded for “strongly agree.”
When you sum the numbers that the numerals stand for, the total is 30. There were ten participants. What’s the average response?
Stop right there. If this question makes sense to you, go back to bed.
Look at the data!
In A, each of the five responses gets two “votes.” That is what a null hypothesis looks like. There is not a consensus opinion. Respondents are just as likely to be neutral as they are to have a strong opinion.
In B, there is strong (dis)agreement.
To mistakenly report a statistic that cannot truly be reported, given the nature of the data, is a crime.
States’ concealed carry permit laws are classified as
UNRESTRICTED– no permit is required to carry a concealed firearm (Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming, but see Wikipedia and the maps at USACarry for more specific information)
SHALL ISSUE– permit required but the state is obligated to issue a permit if the applicant meets certain criteria (age, no felony record, no drug arrests, etc.); i.e., the state has no discretion.
MAY ISSUE– permit required but local authorities (e.g. sherrifs’ offices) have discretion in the form of requirements above and beyond what the state requires. This category is further broken down into Permissive (Alabama) and Restrictive (California) May Issue states.
NO ISSUE– private citizens are prohibited from carrying firearms (see links above)
This graphic plots states’ (categorized by law-type) percentage of the US population (Y-axis) against time, 1986-2011. Bottom line, in the last 25 years, states with more restrictive gun laws have seen a decrease in population whereas those that were, or have become, more permissive have seen an increase in population.
The 4-way stop sign brings out the best in people. It certainly does around here. Not that we aren’t otherwise, but we are remarkably civil at 4-way stops. There are rules. Everyone knows and follows them. (You have to learn them in order to pass your drivers test.) If for some reason you forget your place in the scheme, it’s not long before you are reminded by another driver to take your turn. Indeed, I’ve been staring across the road waving the other guy on just as he is me. “No, no. You go! I’m sure you were here first.” And no one behind either of us seems to mind.
Here are some photos of a 4-way stop at the intersection of a US highway and a main thoroughfare through town.
These were taken over about one full minute, although obviously I didn’t capture every vehicle. I also didn’t count the number which stopped, looked, possibly waited and then moved forward. But you can see that this intersection gets a fair amount of traffic. Also note that right turning traffic has a dedicated lane, with a (not pictured) “yield” sign.
There are 16 signs associated with this intersection, four sets of four:
STOP (2 each)
There are 4-way stops everywhere. (There are only three green-yellow-red lights in the county.) There are 4-way stops in the Big City, too. Really, they are everywhere. I’ve yet to see a wreck, or shouting match. Not much in the way of horn-honking. (Once in a while in the city but I figure it’s coming from someone who’s not from around here). No shootings either, although we are a well-armed bunch.
It’s all very civilized.
Contrast the 4-way stop with the roundabout. Roundabout. Back in the olden times, if we were late walking home from school it was because we went the roundabout way. If our parents wanted to get off the — quicker– interstate, they’d drive home the– slower– roundabout way. Even the name itself if dumb. Why would anyone want to go the roundabout way through an intersection?
This is a roundabout in a certain small city in Arkansas* which probably gets the same volume of traffic as the 4-way stop above.
I do appreciate that if you are familiar with roundabouts, you will know the rules. But not everyone is familiar with them, and my experience in this particular roundabout indicates that even people who know the rules don’t always follow them. (You know who you are. *I* had the right of way. *I* was in the roundabout. You were entering. Jerk.)
There are 26 signs associated with this roundabout, four sets of four:
a sign that look vaguely like recycling signs, but with more arrows and street names
pedestrian crossing (at two)
which way to drive around the median
one way –>
Note that there are only two pedestrian crossing signs. The entry point pictured here is from the side street. You can cross this street, and its mirror reflection. You cannot cross the main street. I mean, you can, and I did, but there are no marked crossings. (There is one pedestrian bridge and I have the same feelings about it I have about the bridge crossing the Mighty Mississippi on Hwy 49. Once was enough.) There are no marked crosswalks at the 4-way stop pictured. But I’ve seen people cross. Just stand there and you’ll be waved across by the drivers. No big deal. The way this roundabout is laid out, it’s fairly easy to cross part of the main street– where traffic turning right is on a dedicated lane. But crossing where traffic is moving out of the roundabout is next to impossible because there two lanes, and a lane that’s turning right.
People are impolite in roundabouts, and not just this one. They honk. They flip others off. And there are wrecks. Roundabouts just do not engender polite behavior.
How much does signage cost? I have no idea. I looked around a bit and couldn’t come up with anything other than that signs are not free.Who is paid for those 10 extra signs?
Here’s another thing that makes these idiotic. Someone devised common sense rules that work well at a 4-way stop– an intersection not regulated by a traffic light. Wait for your turn. Everyone is first in line at some point. Seems fair to me. In a roundabout, if you are going straight on the main street, the hell with you suckers on the side street. Why is this? Why? What is it about you and your presence on a road that carries more traffic than the road I’m on that entitles you to keep moving while I have to wait for you?
See– it’s no wonder people get pissy in roundabouts.
*A certain small city in which the president of a private collage managed to get three of these things located at three corners of campus.
Recipe and commentary from The Big Food Manual and Survivalist Flourishing Guide
This one came from a California cook book I got in the mid 1980s for subscribing to the L.A. Times. (I was a naïve graduate student at the time, which explains why I subscribed to the L.A. Times.) This is an excellent Halloween dish, but be sure that the pumpkin flesh is cooked before your pull it from the oven and serve it. That can take awhile, depending on the pumpkin. The stew is also good without the pumpkin. The variation comes from the season that Marica grew huge Banana winter squash in the garden.
ARGENTINIAN BEEF STEW IN A PUMPKIN SHELL AND VARIATION
2 pounds beef stew meat, cubed
1 large white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 Tbsp oil
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 cup dried apricots
3 white potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups beef broth
1 large pumpkin
Salt and black pepper to taste
¼ cup dry sherry
1 16 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
Cook meat with onion and garlic in oil until brown in large skillet or Dutch oven. Add tomatoes, green pepper, salt, black pepper, sugar, apricots, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, and broth. Cover and simmer 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325o and carve top off pumpkin. Scoop out seeds and membranes. Brush inside of pumpkin with melted butter and sprinkle with salt and black pepper to taste. Stir sherry and corn into stew and spoon into pumpkin shell. Place pumpkin in shallow pan with sides and bake 1-2 hours, checking for doneness of pumpkin flesh after the first hour. Place pumpkin in a large bowl and serve, scooping pumpkin flesh along with stew into individual bowls.
Replace pumpkin with scooped out shell of a large winter squash (keeping some of the squash flesh in the shell).
We ventured off the farm and traveled to and from Arkansas earlier this week.
Some thoughts about what we saw along the way…
I thought there was a lot of cotton around here. I was mistaken. The Mississippi delta has a lot of cotton.
Cotton farmers work on Sunday.
The HWY 82 bridge is far better than the HWY 49 bridge, which is a two freaking lane bridge across the freaking Mississippi River. According to my calculations using Google Earth, the distance across the river on 82 is 0.44 miles. On 49 it is 0.57. The difference may not seem like much to you, but trust me… . I will never cross on 49 again. Never. Even though it’s one third of a mile longer, I’d sooner take the M bridge. (Plus, I’m pretty sure the ladies’ room in the Conoco on the Mississippi side had cameras in the ceiling.)
Roundabouts are dumb. More on this later.
Roundabout related: College presidents in Arkansas wield too much power.
Quitman County (Mississippi) just didn’t look all that poor to me. Jonestown, in Coahoma County, did.
And some questions…
If they can grow tons of cotton in the delta, why don’t folks have veggie gardens? We were on back roads traveling through tiny towns– just collections of houses, really– and I swear, I did not see a single garden patch. I know it’s late in the season, maybe fall crops don’t do well in the delta…, but I didn’t see any signs of gardens. [I tried to find data on food stamps by county and came up with nothing other than that 39.9% of the population in Quitman County is below the poverty level.]
And on a lighter note, is it possible to over-do thematic decorating?
There are a lot of pretty sights out here. This is certainly one of them.
The first fall we lived here was exceptionally wet. You can’t pick and bale cotton in the rain and mud.
From what I can tell, this has been a good year for cotton. Some cotton farmers are beginning to pick and bale. The bales are about the size of– maybe a little smaller than– train cars. They sit out in the fields until a field is completely picked, and then they get loaded up on large trucks.
Contrary to what most people think, Mississippi– at least the parts we frequent– is a pretty clean place. There’s just not a lot of trash along the road side. What there is comes mostly from stuff blowing out of pickup truck beds. (In fact, there are radio and t.v. ads reminding people to not pitch trash in their truck beds for this reason.) If, however, you visited Mississippi soon after cotton picking time, you would think it’s filthy! What you’d identify as trash, though, would be cotton– cotton that’s blown off the bales as they travel down the highways.
I have more thoughts on cotton in Mississippi, but I’ve lost the context in which I first wrote them. I’ve got my cracker-jack research assistant– my son-in-law– (back-)tracking. If he comes up with anything, I’ll post later. But to give a hint, I calculated that if all of the cotton grown in my county went to make T-shirts, there’s enough to make 4,000,000 100% cotton T-shirts.
As I posted yesterday, there’s an article up at NRO about what a great place The South is. It’s gotten a bit of attention in the part of the World Wide Web that I frequent. Here’s Glenn Reyonlds response:
To be honest, we’d rather word didn’t get out. Stay away! In fact, I need to point this out: The South is a cultural desert, across which ride Klansmen on horseback and NASCAR fans in F350 Dually pickups. The cultural center is Wal-Mart, and the occasional tailgater before a lynching. Gunshows are disdained as the domain of pointy-headed intellectuals, because they also sell books. No, really, that’s all true — stay away! For the love of God, stay away!
UPDATE: Reader Phil Manhard emails: “I wish to add that we have fire ants, sinkholes, red tide, shark attacks, huge and regular brush fires, sandspurs, sunburn, hurricanes (though, unexpectedly!, none in the last couple of years). Yes, for the love of God, stay far away!”
And the chiggers. Beastly critters you want no part of. Stay in Massachusetts!
And we are ever so unworldly– which reminds me of a story.
A friend, I’ll call him T, used to live in a very nice older subdivision in Memphis– large trees and big lots separated by fences. T was very good friends with M, a Brit. M is one of the snottiest, most arrogant, insufferable human beings I’ve ever met– Brit or otherwise. How T & M became friends I will never understand.
Anyway, M was visiting Memphis and T had him over for a cookout. T’s neighbor was in her yard, across the fence. As T tells this story, his neighbor was a first-class busy body (as a lot of Southern women are). So she hollers over the fence, “Hey, ya’ll,” and T is obligated to introduce M.
She proceeds to chat it up with M, finally asking, “Where y’all from?”
To which M, in his snotty, most arrogant, insufferable British accent, replies, “Oxford.”
The neighbor gets a funny look on her face and says, “Funny. Ya don’t sound like yur from Mississippi.”
Oxford, Mississippi is so backward it still has phone booths!
I’m a Jersey boy. I was born there, went to high school and college there, and assumed I’d spend the rest of my life there. But though I loved the people and food, the Jersey Shore summers, and short rides through the Lincoln Tunnel to Broadway shows and Madison Square Garden, I gave it all up and moved south. Very far south. I’m not alone.
And he likes it here! Funny part? He lives in Oxford, Mississippi.
As of this writing there are 35 comments. A significant number of them are from long-time Southerners asking him to pipe down. Shhhh. Be quiet. We don’t want damned Yankees coming down here and Yankifying (i.e., liberalizing) The South. I didn’t feel the need to comment because I feel the same way. It’s bad enough that credentialed smart people are crossing county lines to get their kids into my county’s good school system. The last thing I want to see happen to Mississippi is what I saw happen in North Carolina. So Lee, hush up.
All in all, it was a good article. BUT, this was his set-up:
The economic and cultural forces driving this migration south have been ignored by the press. And by the Obama administration. So I figured this Jersey boy who now calls Oxford, Mississippi, home could explain why. This Yankee turned good ol’ boy could explain the pull — no, the tug — of the South.
[My emphasis.] Oxford turns Yankees into good ol’ boys? I suppose that’s possible if you are from Jersey, land of no left turns.
I do actually have a soft spot for Oxford. But Oxford is Mississippi only insofar as Oxford really is in Mississippi. Which is why I love Mississippi. Go Dawgs.
If you don’t know what the Egg Bowl is without looking, stay where you are. Go Dawgs.
Radish Daikon Miyashige White Organic Heirloom Seed
60 days. Young shredded daikon radishes are often used in sushi, but their light, crunchy, slightly spicy flavor is a unique addition to many other dishes. Mature daikon is pickled or cooked; add to stir-fries or soups. Daikon is a “winter radish,” requiring a longer time to develop than spring radishes, and cool temperatures to mature the edible root. To grow successfully, sow in mid- to late summer or early fall. This packet plants three 5 foot rows.
Let’s think this through. Fifteen feet of 7″ radishes is A LOT. Fortunately, if stored in a cool dry place, radish seeds have a shelf life of about five years. (More information of seed storage longevities here.)
In Chicks with Guns, Lindsay McCrum has created a cultural portrait of women gun owners in America through photographs that are both beautiful and in a sense unexpected. The book examines issues of self-image and gender through the visual conventions of portraiture and fashion, but the guns are presented here not as superimposed props but as the very personal lifestyle accessories of the subjects portrayed. And it defies stereotypes often associated with aspects of the popular culture of both guns and women. Like the 15-20 million women gun owners in this country, the women we meet in Chicks with Guns ( their portraits are accompanied by their own words), reside in all regions of the country, come from all levels of society, and participate seriously in diverse shooting activities. The women here are sportswomen, hunters, and competition shooters. Some use guns on their jobs and some for self-defense. They may not all be classically beautiful, but in these photographs they all look beautiful, exuding honesty, confidence, poise, power and pride. They are real women with real guns that play a part in their lives. By focusing her camera respectfully on this particular aspect of the American scene, gun-wielding women and girls, Lindsay McCrum sheds new light on who we are in America today.
There is no such thing as LESS than 10 items. The number of individual items that are smaller than 10 are counted in whole numbers: 1-2-3… 9. When you count such items– those that we’ve already stipulated can only be counted by whole numbers, — “equal to,” “more than,” and “fewer than ten,” are the only grammatically correct ways to make comparisons.
“Fewer” modifies a noun that can be subdivided into whole number increments, even though those increments could be further divided into smaller whole number increments. I have one cup of sugar. You have two. You have more than I. I have 1 1/2 cups. You have 3/4 C. I have twice as much sugar as you do.
On the other hand…
“Lesser” modifies things that really are not describable in terms of whole numbers.”This glass is less full than that one.”
I do not expect this blog to get a whole lot of traffic. But I do hope that some who I cajole into stopping by, will. In this post, I’m talking to you.
I know I’ve asked a lot of you over the years. Thank you. If you could get the fewer than/lesser than thing and spread it around, I would appreciate it. I’m not asking that be grammar Nazis, just that you help me maintain some standards. 🙂
Croquembouche, from The Creative Cooking Course (1982), edited by Charlotte Turgeon,
Weathervane Books, New York, p223
Mr. Big Food has just finished the desserts section in The Creative Cooking Course, a cookbook that weighs seven pounds. By the time he’s finished with the book, he’ll have spent nearly a year working through every page, culling every recipe deemed fit for his Big Food Manual and Survivalist Flourishing Guide. He’ll type each recipe or tidbit of information into an individual Word document. I do not believe this is the most efficient strategy– you should see the structure of the folders under the main “Recipes” folder!– but with more than 15,000 recipes, it’s too late for him to change his strategy.
I’m not going to post the recipe for this beautiful dessert but please click on the photo to enlarge. Those thin threads are spun sugar. The book contains instructions for making spun sugar. Those are creampuffs, with butter rosettes defining each individual puff.
Mr. Big Food was excited to show me this particular photo this morning. Our wedding cake was a croquembouche. 🙂 We then skimmed through the desserts section, looking at the pictures. We are talking about some serious cooking and baking here. Does anyone these days do this sort of thing– in their own home? To me, 1982 doesn’t seem that long ago, and yet looking at those pictures of steamed puddings, fondant trimmings, and Christmas frozen custard cake, it seems worlds away.