Sewing central

Today the new sewing table set up was delivered. Everything fit just the way Nancy wanted so no telling how much more production will come out of it. It’s actually a little smaller than the previous arrangement which gives more room to move around. The biggest difference is the tables have cutouts for the sewing machines so the sewing surface is right at table level allowing the material to flow more smoothly – or so I’m told. The other difference is that these new tables are much more stable. One of the machines is really heavy and would actually rock the table during operation. No more. Steady as a rock. That makes me a happy camper because the big machine is much quieter than the featherweight but it was not convenient to use sitting up on the table and doing the shake, rattle and roll. I took the picture before all the ancillary equipment was placed so you could actually see the tables. The orange piece between the two tables is a built-in ironing board. The second picture is a fully integrated sewing area. Not much more to go.
You may have seen that a plane crashed into a Publix grocery store in Deland Monday night. It made national news. Turns out that’s Nancy’s Publix – the one she patronizes on a frequent basis. They have a nice deli and we eat there often. The deli is where the plane crashed. There were 3 casualties in the store. Interestingly Nancy knows two of the people – a nurse from her primary doctor’s office and a worker bee in the deli. All three are out of the hospital without spending a night so that’s good news. Nancy will now have to shop in Ormond Beach for a while. That’s about 10 miles farther away but almost as fast time wise from here.

Need a meeting of the rules committee. I mentioned the gift I gave Nancy for Christmas that once a month, I would make chicken cacciatore – from scratch. She has made sure that I don’t miss a month but here’s the point of contention. I make enough for two meals and probably a lunch or two. So if we eat it twice, not in the same month, the second meal should count as that month’s obligation. Nancy thinks left overs are left overs, no matter when eaten.

Curing a ham

I was surprised today when I checked the progress on the sweet potato vines I started rooting 5 days ago. Lo and behold, they were not just starting to sprout but were sporting really nice root clusters. So these guys, 10 plants, were stuck in the garden muy pronto. Also new, I planted a few tomotilla seeds for Tom. He wants the product to make really authentic salsa. Speaking of tomatoes and potatoes, most people wouldn’t guess they are related but you can sure see it when the plants are young. The leaves are almost identical. That’s the Idaho’s not the sweets. Also surprising is that the squash plants I had under covers for insect protection are actually growing up against the top of the covers so those plants are over 2′ tall. They’re really looking good with a few baby squash already developing. I’m going to lengthen the legs of the cover supports and try to keep them covered as long as possible. What really makes me happy about this particular squash is that it was a variety that I tried before here with zero success. Fingers crossed that the trend I’ve got going this time holds.

Put out more green beans, a variety called Derby that I’ve never tried so long but was enticed to from the catalog description. Also planted the winter squash seeds in between the rows of corn. The corn has reached a height of 6” or so and by the time these new seeds germinate and develop real leaves, the corn should be well over a foot tall and in no danger of being shaded. I put in two types of butternut squash, Waltham, an old heritage variety that I’ve bent my pick on before and a hybrid that has provided good squash here for the past couple of years. I also put in a few spaghetti squash seeds. No history at all on this variety, named vermicelli, but sounds like a good name for spaghetti squash to me.

At Tom’s urging, we’re curing and smoking the ham for Easter this year. The curing process takes about a week so we put it in the brine on Saturday. The smoking part is only 4 hours so we’ll pop it in the smoker about 9AM Easter Sunday for a 2 Pm chow down. He had one of these home cured hams at a friend’s house and said it was the best he’d ever eaten so here we go. I’ll pick a couple cabbages and make Dutch cole slaw and a large bunch of carrots for shredded carrot salad. We’re expecting anywhere from 15-20 people but won’t know the final head count until it actually happens.