Thanksgiving report

Thanksgiving was a great success. Good mix of friends and family so the conversations were wide and varied. Good food. We ended up staying overnight at Tom’s so that Nancy et al could do Black Friday. Unfortunately that seems to be a bad tradition forming. Everyone except Tina and I, actually made 3 shopping excursions. The first was to hit the 9PM Thanksgiving sales somewhere; then the midnight outing which had them back by 2AM to get rested up for the main thrust at 5AM. I nominally slept through the whole thing.

I’ve always enjoyed being around the grandkids but if anything, it gets better the older they get. Their interests are wide ranging and it’s fun to get their political opinions (I had none at their age), campus news, and hearing the trials and tribulations of everyday living on tight budgets and class schedules they deal with on a regular basis. I’m impressed with how well versed they are on current events but also how so many things have not changed at all in the 50 years since I was in school. Tommy brought several of the weekly magazines that he worked on this semester as Editor and I went over them with a fine tooth comb – while the others were out shopping. Other than some of the content, overall you would never have guessed it was a student produced publication. I guess next Thanksgiving we’ll be listening to first year at a job stories – at least that’s the plan for now.

You probably wonder how the cole slaw worked out. Maybe even lost sleep wondering about it. We brought a substantial bowl full as a side to Tom’s smoked pulled pork. I’m probably biased but thought it was better than good, approaching perfection. Looked to me like everybody chowed down on it pretty good with no complaints and rounds of second helpings. Definitely plan to do it again, and again, and again – so long as the cabbages hold out. I’ve already got another variation planned using shredded broccoli stalks along with the cabbage. Bet shredded kohlrabi would work too and nobody would ever guess what the secret ingredient is.

I thought I was done mentioning the ghost peppers since I pulled them from the garden the other day. The final batch I picked filled on of those plastic Wal Mart bags, at least 5 pounds worth. On a whim, I looked them up on E-bay to see if they had any value. What a shock – the seeds, not the peppers themselves but just the seeds – are worth ten cents each; the peppers 1$. I didn’t want to cut into a pepper for a seed count (or any other reason) but I know there will be at least 10 seeds in each pepper and probably more. There’s a couple of peppers per ounce so you can do the math on the value of this small crop. Another reference point – one of the seed companies I buy from is now offering the seeds in their newest catalog – $3.95 for 10 seeds. I didn’t count them but, over the season, I had to pick over 1000 peppers, at least 10 pounds, from just 3 plants and they were no where near finished producing. I looked back in my records and saw that I planted the seeds indoors 4/24 and then outside on 7/18, that’s a very slow start. The plants never wilted but seemed not to grow at all for the first couple months. I assumed the soil conditions were just not right but didn’t pull them. Then they started a growth spurt that brought them to full 3′ tall bushes. The first peppers were picked in October, that too is slow growth and probably why they’re expensive. The number of peppers and blossoms kept accelerating so, weather permitting, I probably could have filled another bag in the next two weeks. The other thing different about this variety compared to other peppers I grow, the roots really go deep. I couldn’t actually pull the plants but rather ended up cutting them off right at the base and then overfilling the roots with nearly a foot of compost. That should kill them but I guess it’s not impossible they’ll pop back up. I’m pretty sure I won’t grow new plants next year but, just in case, I saved a few peppers to collect the seeds.

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