Today’s Ham day

Took the ham out of the refrigerator on Friday. It had been soaking in the brine for a week. It looked just like a ham should look – pinkish. We were concerned that it might be too salty after soaking so long in the brine so I cut off a slice and fried it for a taste sample. Way too salty. The remedy is soaking it in water so that’s what’s happening now. Every several hours, we dump the salt water and replace with fresh water. We have two days to make it right. I’ve always heard that if you add potatoes to anything that’s too salty, the potatoes will pull out the salt. Trying that too. After about 12 hours did another test and sure enough, not too salty. Next step is the smoker job on Sunday. That’s a 4 hour process that involves a coating of mustard and brown sugar with an occasional spritz of pineapple juice. Seems like quite a lot to go through but now we can say we’ve done it all. Plan is to turn the smoker on about 9AM and put the ham in at 9:30. At some point along the way I’m going to put a rack in with a couple of turkey wings that are supposed to take 2-2 1/2 hours. Those are not for the Easter feast but as long as we’re smoking, might as well take the opportunity for the next day.

Picked the last two broccolis which leaves 4 more cabbages and a single cauliflower of the winter stuff. As hot as it’s been, I’m amazed that any of it is still living. My planning had this all happening in April but I never anticipated a summer like March.

My neighbor observed that the garden seemed to be producing a fine crop of PVC pipe, steel rods, and bamboo sticks. I have to admit when I looked at it, sure enough all the trellising and staking stands out. What do you think? Within a few weeks it will all be well hidden by the foliage. I’ve actually got tomato bushes approaching 6′ tall and the cucumbers are halfway up one side of the trellis and loaded with baby cuc’s.

pipe-farmgrowing-stakes

Getting amazing growth from the squash plants under the insect covers. I originally set up the cover about 30” tall but a week ago the plants were bumping up against the covers to I added leg extensions to lift the height to 4′. Within a week, they are bumping up against the top again and sporting several small squash fruits that should be pickable next week. My concern about heat build-up under the covers was unwarranted.

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