Polar Vortex on the Way

Tom and Tina got us a set of Blue Apron meals as part of our Christmas. We’ve made the first two (of three), a Ragu dish and a chicken dish. We’ll finish the last one today, a pork dish. The first two were delicious and in both cases, were meals I could prepare without assistance from the head chef. We have the ingredients for the Ragu on hand most of the time – well, during kale season anyway. With the chicken was a vegetable side roasting (read Holland grill) cabbage and bell peppers coated with olive oil and then when cooked, finished with a sauce that uses sugar, rice vinegar, water, and one that will require some research to duplicate, something called Golden Mountain Sauce. Apparently it’s used in Thai cooking so I’m hoping it’s available in the oriental section of local markets. If not, Amazon to the rescue.

Simon and Amy visited for a couple days and we had a great time. The weather was yucky by Florida standards – overcast and mostly in the mid 50’s – but we managed to visit Persimmon Hollow and troll once around the lake for spec’s. The beer was good, the fishing not so much. We took Simon’s dog, River, out in the boat which could have been a serious mistake if Simon hadn’t made an all star catch when she decided to jump overboard. They went back to Lake Mary where we’ll see them again tomorrow at a New Year’s day party at Tom’s. It’s billed as a Peach Bowl event which this year pits UCF, Tom and Olivia’s school, and Auburn, Amy’s alma mater and where Simon is getting his master’s. My head tells me Auburn, as an SEC team, will dominate but my heart is with UCF. So depending on your outlook, this is either a win-win or a lose-lose for me.

Getting ready for the polar vortex now clobbering the north to make it’s way here. The weather guru’s are forecasting a freeze for Thursday which means I have a few days to prepare. I have plenty of covers and plenty of time but the forecast also calls for rain on Wednesday so if I put the covers on too soon, the wet covers will crush the plants. I have everything stationed and ready so I’m hoping that as the front get’s closer, a window opens to let me cover up without the rain. The only thing I’m most likely to lose are the tomatoes and peppers. We’ve harvested so many green peppers that even with a total loss, the crop still registers as a success. Of a dozen tomato plants, we’ve been picking cherry tomatoes for about a month – that’s 3 of the 12 plants. There are green tomatoes on another 6 and just blossoms on the remainder. What I really should plant is an earlier variety – something that produces in 60 days -rather than the variety I chose, 90 days. Seems obvious but the 90 day variety is the most disease and nematode resistant whereas the early varieties are not so hardy. I’m going to really study the catalogs in search of a new hybrid that fits the bill.

I hope the global warming crowd is happy as we enter a new ice age.

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