Another ugly Gator win. They have to be the worst 8-1 team in the nation – for sure the luckiest. I thought for a while I was going to have to spend a full year hearing about the game from little Tommy. The way it ended was perfect – I get to claim a real victory and Tommy can go the moral victory route.
Before leaving the beach, Tom and I tried a few hours of morning fishing to top off the week. The only action turned out to be chasing down the cooler top which had washed into the surf and having a large manta ray bump into one of the lines and get tangled for a few seconds. Did have a good breakfast though. Our local early morning joint had scrapple on the specials board and I can never resist that – Philadelphia genes kick in.
I wasn’t sure what to expect in the garden after a week’s absence. George assured me that he kept it well watered and picked plenty of green beans so I was sure things would be fine. First thing I did was head for the beans to see if any were left. Not to worry – I picked what must have been 15 pounds of 3 different varieties and by the looks of the plants, they will continue coming for a good long while. It wasn’t supposed to be like this because I had stagger planted and picked varieties with different maturation rates but for some reason they are happening simultaneously. We’re going to buy a special tool that French cuts beans and then go back in the vegetable freezing business. Aside from the beans, there were some nice peppers and a significant load of eggplants so the total haul was impressive. Nancy right away decided to make a large pot of vegetable soup which put a small dent in the harvest and I decided to use the peppers and eggplant in my world famous cacciatore tonight. Probably nobody cuts up ravelli eggplant in their cacciatore but it was sitting on the counter just begging to be part of the action.
There were two small surprises. I had planted a row of peas which should have popped up while we were away. Nothing. In fact I was suspicious since the seed was two years old and they actually should have been showing before we left. I was smarter in this case and had bought a packet of fresh seed just in case these didn’t germinate so I planted those right away. Should be picking in early January. I was also surprised that onion bulbs I put in the day before we went to the beach were 100% up and doing well. Much faster than I expected.
I had a large backlog of seedlings to transplant-40 plants in all. They were too small to transplant before we left and I was reluctant to put them out with George in charge since young plants need a little TLC for the first few days but they were perfect and looking good in the flats today. It was a mixed bag of lettuce, cabbage including Chinese cabbage, a heritage Italian broccoli and a variety of cauliflower that is a mint green color instead of white. These days you can get cauliflower in just about any color you want – orange, green, purple – with new ones popping every year. I ended up having to yank out a couple of aged eggplant bushes and pepper plants to make room for the new winter plants. They were way past their prime and will add some flavor to the compost pile.
So by the time I caught up with all the gardening, I was pooped and late for the start of the Sunday football games. The only thing I didn’t get done that was on my list was planting some beet and spinach seed. Tomorrow will be just fine.
My generation was smart enough not to reelect Jimmy Carter.