Green Bean Casserole

My bride and Joanne are in Chicago visiting Chris and little Tommy. She’s made sure there was plenty of food in the freezer so it won’t be her fault if I starve. The weather there is supposed to be “seasonal” which means cold for a couple of Florida girls.

Never seen so much rain without a hurricane. Daytona got over 18” for the month which is a new record – 4” more than 2004 when we had a triple header hurricane month. It just continues to build up and we’re starting to see some rivers overflowing. George’s yard is squshy up past the garden now. (the spell checker doesn’t like squshy or squooshy or squoshy but you know what I mean.) Our property is higher than either side of us, a foot or so, which makes a large difference in terms of drainage. I went down to the dock yesterday before any rain and got trapped down there for a couple of hours when it started coming down big time. Nancy rescued me with an umbrella. I did see something that surprised me while down there. I had been watching an eagle occasionally fly down from a perch in a tall pine and grab a fish swimming near the surface. It was a couple hundred feet away so I could see the fish in his talons but not what kind. The rain started and was coming down fairly hard – maybe an inch per hour – so I was surprised to see the eagle drop down out of the tree and grab another surface swimmer. I couldn’t imagine he could see anything under these conditions but he sure did.

On the negative side, just about all the winter stuff I started is history. I was worried when I started it so early that the heat would be too much but it turns out the problem is a lack of sun and way too much water. If you think about it, when it’s too dry, you just water but when it’s too wet………….. So I’m restarting broccoli, Kale, kohlrabi, and collards in the house.

I also decided to start spinach earlier than usual. I tried an experiment by starting some seed indoors and some directly into the garden. The indoor seed was soaked for about 8 hours; the outdoor seed for 24. That was two days ago and I already have results from my experiment. Germination started in 48 hours, both with the outdoor planted, 24 hour soaked seed, and the 4 hour indoor seed. So at this point the difference is the indoor seed will be at a nominally continuous 78 degrees with controlled moisture while the stuff in the garden is subject to whatever nature brings on. Update – decided difference between the indoor and outdoor plants after 5 days. Only a few of the indoor plants have germinated (so far) and they are decidedly spindly whereas their outdoor siblings have germinated 100% and the plants look strong. What’s been lucky for the outdoor plants is that it’s been cool and wet (for Florida) and no critters have found them.

We’re picking green beans in copious quantity now and hope to continue through Thanksgiving. The game plan is to make the green bean casserole for that event using fresh, picked that day, green beans. It just so happened that Nancy got a magazine with several Thanksgiving meal recipes including a green bean casserole. Tom was stopping by for dinner on his way to Gainesville so we decided to do a dummy run on the recipe to make sure it was ready for prime time. There were a couple of the ingredients that we didn’t have but Nance came up with acceptable substitutes so we went ahead with it. Really, really good. We used 1.5 pounds of fresh beans and that would have fed 4 people with good appetites easily so I’m thinking it will take about 5 pounds for the Thanksgiving crowd.

How stupid was it for Obama to throw the Intelligence folks under the bus – on national TV? He’s losing the mainstream liberal media quickly since commenting that he didn’t have a strategy for dealing with ISIS. The interview with 60 Minutes was embarrassing.

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