Cooking up a mess of blues

Seems like every day’s another record day in the temp department. At least it doesn’t have to be extra hot to establish a record – 90’s enough this late in the season – and I’m ok with 90. It feels especially comfortable when I’m watching 3′ of snow falling in Denver. I’d kind of like it to hold in the mid to upper 80’s for another month. We have a week scheduled at the Beach starting Nov 7th and I much prefer plenty of heat there.

The garden seems to be liking these temps and with just a few exceptions, everything is thriving. It’s hard to appreciate that in about a month, two of the eight rows planted will be finished and replanted with a new crop. A couple of rows will hang on as long as it doesn’t freeze and continuously put out veggies so you really can’t plan on an end date for those. Last year I had a couple of pepper plants that made it more than a year and only crashed when we flooded in July. I have about 20 pepper plants growing but am thinking about pulling 8-10 because they are a hot variety that turned out to be more than I can handle. That will leave a mix of a dozen or so green bell peppers and Jalapeno plants. The onions are really looking good and my staggering strategy seems to be working, so far. Last year I bought sets at the appropriate time and we had way more onions that we could deal with all at one time. This year I shifted from sets to seeds which adds about 2 months to the process but lets me plant a couple dozen every month to spread out the crop.

Tom and I hit the beach this week to check if the blues were still there. The wave of blues that George and I got into last week had moved on but we found another batch had taken their place. I could tell the difference because the ones last week were mostly in the 2# range whereas the ones this week were less than 1/2# – too small to keep. We had a good day and caught plenty of fish but nothing big enough for the pan. That was disappointing because we had some of the bigger ones for dinner the other night and they were great. Many people think blues are not good to eat – too strong, too fishy tasting. If you don’t clean them properly, I guess that’s true but the trick is to deal with them correctly as soon as you catch them. You have to cut them through under the gills to drain out the blood. If you don’t do that the flesh is dark and they do have a strong flavor. Bleed them, and they’re like mountain trout. Nancy wrapped them in foil along with a couple slices of lemon, butter, salt and pepper – grill ready. I put them on the grill for 20 minutes and they turned out perfectly.

People ask me how I can possibly get by with dial-up internet service. I got to thinking about it and there’s a couple of answers. First, I’m a patient guy. Second, about all I do is check my email, which is fairly efficient, check the market, and pull up my blog. With the mail, anything that has a picture or video attached or sends me off to another link or advises me to listen to something really sweet is trashed unless I really, really want to retrieve it. Which is why I take a book over to the computer with me. That way I am, in effect, killing two birds with one stone. I also open iTunes if I see a long download in my future and put on some soothing sounds. And then there’s a glass of Cab. What’s the rush?

The Gators looked a bit better against GA. Not good, but much better. Now I root for Tennessee to beat South Carolina tonight. That clinches the SEC East for Fla.

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