Thursday, July 30, 2009

Police Chase!

What a hoot. True story, this 7 year old stole his dad's car and led police on a chase (pretty good driver too) all to avoid going to church.

I think these parents have their hands full!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Marvin Parker Memorial Garden IX

A basket of bounty from the garden. At this point, I think I have easily broken even between the cost of the seed, plants and fertilizer used and the harvest so far. Anything further is pure profit.

If nothing else, growing and using your own vegetables gives one tremendous satisfaction. I made a spaghetti sauce using some of my romas, onions, peppers and herbs from the herb boxes. Damn it was good. Subtle in taste, but bright and fresh, not sweet and processed like bottled tomato sauce. Only the garlic, olive oil and the Parmesan cheese was not from my little plot of land.

The eggplant, or as I enjoy calling it by its English/French name aubergine, is my first ever. I think she could have stayed on the vine a bit longer, but I didn't want bugs, birds or thieves to get her, so she was plucked and taken home. This one will not be shared, she is all mine to slice, batter, fry, and enjoy... maybe with a bit of fresh tomato sauce?? Don't worry friends, it looks like I have 5-6 more on the way.

I am enjoying the garden. In quite a short time, through trial and error and through the advice and knowledge of my fellow tillers of the soil, I have learned much about the science and the art of vegetable gardening. I know I planted the onions too deep, I realize I need to stake the tomatoes sooner and I certainly know that one Roma tomato plant is sufficient to feed an army.

And the beauty of the plants... I never knew okra had such a striking blossom...

or that aubergine produce beautiful lavender blue flowers,

making these wonderful creatures both tasty and beautiful.

Friday, July 17, 2009

RIP Walter Cronkite

RIP Walter Cronkite Born in St Joseph MO in 1916 died today July 17th, 2009 in New York City

Here is my tribute to him from March 2009

And That's The Way it Was

A great article from The KC Star, the once great paper that started him on his career:

KC Star 7/17

Thanks Walter, it really has not been the same.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mary Thurman's Potato Salad

Bruce's mother, Mary, was frequently called upon to assist with the post funeral meals a family would have. One of the staples of these events was Mary's own special potato salad. A few years ago, Bruce told me the recipe, or at least the basics of it, and I made it for a party. It was a hit. Now every party has to have a big bowl of this frankly unique salad. Since posting about it on Facebook, I have been innundated with requests for the recipe. I kept warning people that it was not an easy thing for me to give the recipe, but they persisted.

So what's all the drama?

I never wrote it down, like most of my favorites. And I never make it the same way twice, like most everything else I make. Plus, I only know how to make huge quantities.

So here it is folks.... as it is. Adapt it to your quantity. And enjoy.. it is good.

Cook potatoes to just slightly underdone, you don't want them mushy. Peel and chop roughly. Place in a large bowl and cover with bottled oil and vinegar type Italian salad dressing. Just the regular old kind, not the balsamic reduction-red wine-shallot-dijon style, just plain ordinary tangy dressing. To give you an idea, for 10 lbs of potatoes I used 1 whole 28 oz bottle. Just enough to cover but not swim in. Got it? Marinate this overnight (oh yes, this is a two day affair).

By the morning, the potatoes should have all absorbed the dressing. Add to this celery seed, a bit of celery salt (not much, the bottled dressing is usually salty enough), raw white sweet onions finely chopped, freshly chopped celery (lots of it, you want it nice and crunchy) and a jar or so of chopped green salad olives with pimentos, drained (Ok I confess, not in the original recipe, I add a bit of the juice from the olives), a couple of finely chopped hard boiled eggs, a squirt or 2 of mustard and a bit of mayo to hold everything together.

I think that is it. If I remember anything else, I'll let you know.

Bon appetit!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ten Years Ago Today...

A small pug puppy was taken from the small village where she was born to the big city. A somewhat overwhelmed single Pugdad wondered what he had gotten into.

He was counseled to be patient and to keep lots of treats on hand, for this pup seemed to be a bit different than the rest.

Soon it was revealed that this lowly little pup was actually a Majestic, Royal Queen who would benevolently rule Pugdom, PugVillage and everywhere she sees.

It is fitting that on this 10th anniversary of her Ascending to the Throne, that she should be pictured upon it, in deep repose and meditation after a long day of repose and meditation, punctuated by breakfast and lunch:

(early pic of HM at home... July 1999)

HM was not amused to be informed it was time to change her 4th of July scrunchy:

The life of a Queen....


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Marvin Parker Memorial Garden VIII

Greg and I both got some pictures of the garden on 7/7. Midway through the season, everything is looking pretty good.

Overview from the street:

Sue was out picking:

View looking west:

The white trellis is on my plot. The onions are done and I am attempting some beans:

Someone has some broccoli coming:

Corn is definitely knee high by Fourth of July!

I have an eggplant coming along, at least 3 actually.

Peppers too, I counted over 20.

These will be fine heirloom tomatoes!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

What I am Listening to Today

For the 4th of July, of course some American music:

Charles Ives: "Three Places in New England"
Carl Ruggles: "Sun Treader"
Walter Piston Symphony # 2
Michael Tilson Thomas
Boston SO Deutsche Grammophone 463 633 2

Piston's Symphonies are frequently labeled "academic", and indeed they are finely crafted works. But they are far from dry, never out stay their welcome and are certainly worth hearing from time to time, as opposed to some of the even more drearily same music our orchestras play.

Ruggles was an individualist, a bit of an iconoclast and quite a personality. "Sun Treader" is given an intense, macho performance that I am sure Ruggles would have loved.

Ives' well known tone poem in 3 parts is one of his most deservedly popular works. This is another exciting, yet frequently subtle performance that never fails to bring out the colorful writing, perfectly capturing the quiet mist of the Housatonic River and the brassy exuberance of "Putnam's Camp".

One of the best, if not the best, compilations of American music ever recorded.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

RIP Mrs Slocombe

RIP. British comedienne Mollie Sugden, best known as the immortal Mrs. Slocombe from the cult classic "Are You Being Served?", died on July 1 at the age of 86.

Quoted in the BBC, one of the writers for "Are You Being Served?" remembered her as a "marvellous character" who would never turn down chances to make people laugh.

"She would never refuse any sort of comedy situation. No matter how undignified it was, she would always go along with it. She was marvelously funny," he said.

I'll get flack for this, but her passing is a greater loss than that freak show that died earlier this week.

Her character, Mrs Slocombe, had some of the best double entendres ever:

I'll have a nip of gin for you Betty... and let your Pussy out when it howls!

Mollie Sugden 1922-2009

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Injustice Files

Make sure you remember two names:

Curtis Mertensmeyer

Judge John Torrance

See why here.

Unfortunately, Mertensmeyer has a rich family who can pull strings and in 5 years, no one will remember this case to vote Torrance off the bench.

The injustice system at its very worst.