The graduation came off flawlessly. The hotel was conveniently located for barbecue and campus activities – what more could you ask for. Joey and Tommy joined us for breakfast and then off to the UCF basketball arena for the ceremony. Listened to all the traditional music, all the traditional speeches, and the seemingly endless stream of graduates individually walking across the stage. Olivia, being a Carbone, was among the earliest to walk but we still managed to stay in our seats until the “R’s”. Reconvened outside for the traditional picture taking and then to a family luncheon in Lake Mary. We were home at the lake by 5PM. The next potential graduation is Tom’s next August.

This morning when I went up to get the paper I got a pleasant surprise. By the mail box was a family of turkeys, 2 adults and 5 little ones. They let me get within about 30’ before they started walking away. No panic, just keeping the distance right for them. I started wondering if baby chickens are called chicks, do you call baby turkeys turks?

Two crops are coming on in industrial strength now – green beans and cherry tomatoes. I can easily pick 3-5 pounds of large green beans every other day and the plants are still loaded with blossoms. And I’m still working the first batch planted with the second batch starting to put out blossoms. With regard to the cherry tomatoes, we’ve moved from using them for salad decoration to full meal status – cherry tomato pizza and Nancy’s favorite corn, cherry tomato, shrimp dish. These are pint of tomato kinds of dishes.

Nancy is out quilt shopping so I was left alone in the kitchen with this pile of newly picked goodies and decided to remake the green bean salad with some new information. I think for Mother’s Day, Tom bought his mother (my bride) a sampler set of olive oils and vinegars. I’m sure I mentioned that in an earlier post. Turns out this has complicated my life more than you would have thought because it introduces the concept of “pairing”. Certain olive oils go with certain vinegars. Being unaware of that, it just so happens that I made a wrong pairing the last time green bean salad. We visited the specialty shop right after Olivia’s graduation luncheon and Nancy mentioned to the proprietor that I had paired lemon oil with blood orange vinegar (or maybe it was blood orange oil with lemon vinegar). The guy just kind of looked down at the floor and shook his head like he was truly hurt. And there were other customers in the store looking at me, rolling their eyes. For years I’ve been a full Kirkland kind of guy. This guy now has Nancy totally hooked and reels her in for a small bottle of “dipping” oil at $12. I think that would be a dollar’s worth of Kirkland. So anyway, today’s green bean salad is a technically correct pairing of lemon oil and garlic vinegar (or is it garlic oil and lemon vinegar?). Do I need this complication at my advanced age?

Got something interesting going on in the garden, an actual melon on a vine. Since garden #1 about 5 years ago I’ve tried melons of numerous varieties with absolutely zero success. I don’t want to jinx this but today there are several hanging on the vines. This is the first time I’ve tried letting them climb a trellis so maybe that will do the trick. They’re a small, individual serving style melon which means they ripen quicker than monster melons and my thought was that these guys could hang on a trellis and perhaps ripen before the critters found them. Fingers crossed.

Want to see a pretty orchid? We’ve had this for years and never seen it bloom before so we were really surprised to see how large and bright a bloom was produced by such a spindly plant.

Orchid's first bloom ever
Orchid’s first bloom ever

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