Father’s day at the beach

We had a great father’s day. Tom suggested we all do a day at the beach. They have the beach gear including a large canopy, portable gas grill, and boom box. The water was perfect and it cooled off nicely mid afternoon. I had guessed that we’d make it half a day but it turned out we were all having such a great time that we didn’t pack up until late afternoon. Even caught a small pompano. We topped it all off with dinner at a little country chicken restaurant in Bunnell. Missed Chris and little Tommy.

Just spotted something that surprised me. A large, green grasshopper flew out of a grapefruit tree about 20′ from me with a Cardinal in hot pursuit. The Cardinal caught him in mid air with some really fancy flying. Here’s what surprised me. I thought Cardinals were seed eaters, exclusively. Looks like an occasional grasshopper fills the protein requirements or maybe this guy was a rogue, rebelling against the vegan bit.

And another wildlife event. I’ve mentioned a couple of times that our trash can and the neighbor’s has been dumped. We’ve bounced between thinking it was a bear or a raccoon with the raccoon being the most likely suspect. More evidence today that it’s a bear. George’s can was dumped last night but this time it looks like the culprit decided to bed down in the vicinity of the trash. A circular area about 5′ in diameter in the jungle right behind the can was flattened – a clear sign of a sleeping spot for something larger than a raccoon. Our guess now is a small bear.
Another 20 pound basket of San Marzano’s, another 16 quarts of spaghetti sauce – just in time for some eggplant parmesan. (That’s Olivia holding a couple freshly picked Lavender Touch eggplants.) By my count we are now up to 72 quarts. Looking at the withering plants remaining, I suspect we can do this one more time next week before it’s all over. I’m starting seeds for another 4 plants to hit the garden mid July. Instinctively I suspect it will be too hot but the cherry tomato plants I put in a few weeks ago are showing no problems at all with the heat so why not try a few regular varieties. I’ll do the same in mid-August and hopefully we’ll have a continuous supply on through Thanksgiving this year.

Got some reinforcement on the San Marzanos. I was watching an episode of Man vs Food taped at a Brooklyn pizza place called Spumoni’s. Supposedly they have the best Sicilian pizza in the galaxy. They asked the chef what the secret was to his sauce and he said they used only San Marzano tomatoes. Nothing else met their standards. Everyone around here who’s tasted it agrees it’s awesome sauce.

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