Gardening Backlog

There was a fairly strong easterly wind all day Sunday and overnight so the surf was much rougher and the tide higher on Monday morning. It still looked fishable so I gave it a try, switching from mullet to shrimp for bait. Nothing. And the reason you’ve not been flooded with big fish pic’s is that the fishing remained poor until Thursday. Caught lots of fish Thursday but nothing worth taking pictures. So this week has been lots of eating out. We’ve hit all the favorite haunts – Wacky Wing Wednesday on the pier, Fish and Chips at the Golden Lion – and a few brand new ones – Hidden Treasures, Metro Diner and Beach Burgerz so we’re running out of days before we run out of places to try. On Tuesday Joey came up and we drove to St. Augustine to try a landmark shrimp place – O’Steens. People have told us about this place for years but all cautioned that it could be a wait of a couple of hours which is a large turn-off for me. Then someone said that next door to O’Steens was a British Pub and that if you signed up for O’Steens they would page you at the Pub when your table was ready. As it turned out the wait was only 15 minutes. The food was very good but I wasn’t hungry and decided on the Majorcan (spelling?) clam chowder. Really, really good. Tom came up Friday and we hit our favorite burger joint – the Turtle Cafe. This is one of those places with a menu to satisfy every taste but a place that you would absolutely drive right by without a second thought if you didn’t notice the number of cars parked along the road on both sides of A1A and the number of people just mulling around outside waiting to get in.
Lots of catch up gardening. The zucchini had grown to football size so designated for cattle feed and/or zucchini bread. Transferred sweet potato slips from the water jar on the window sill to the garden. I planted 4 slips and have about twice that many ready to go depending on how the first ones survive. Sweets are a 90-100 day crop which makes it an August harvest, one of the few things that can handle the August heat. I did lose quite a few seedlings – mostly peppers and eggplants – but since these guys do so well in the summer heat, I’ll be able to plant some seeds and still get in a decent crop. Pulled out the last of the winter peas, the last of the kohlrabi, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage. A few baby cucumbers started while we were gone and should be pickable within a couple of weeks. There are 6 plants and hopefully they will produce until late June. They are somewhat like zucchini in that if you don’t stay right on top of them, they turn into footballs but unlike zucchini, they are easily distributed to neighbors and friends. The other thing that thrived in our absence was green beans. The plants are knee high and loaded with blossoms so we’ll be doing beans in a couple of weeks. I’ve been stagger planting beans to extend the harvest and the ones with blossoms are the first planted.
All of this harvesting is fostering some kitchen togetherness for Nancy and I. She has trouble reading some of the recipes or lifting things so I’m involved as an intern or apprentice basis. Today we made zucchini parmesan, roasted cauliflower soup, and 3 loaves of zucchini bread. I made a great catch today. We put the loaves of zucchini bread in the oven and I went out to dig around in the garden. I came in and found Nancy sound asleep on the couch and just as the beeper went off on the timer, signaling the bread was done. Save!!

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