OK GROWERS – I NEED YOUR HELP!

With the advent of the tornado, lots of our garden produce got lost.  Some has started to come back, but I fear they will need more grow time than Mother Nature is going to provide.  The one thing we do have coming in great-guns yet is zucchini.

Here is my dilemma – what do I do with it all?

We have shredded, chopped, sliced and diced till my fingers are stuck in the hold position.  One of my fav recipes was a simple fried zucchini and onions.  Awesome, but best when fresh.

stuck in holding (stuck in holding position – ouch!)

Earlier this year I found a unique recipe to turn cubed, peeled zucchini into a rectangle pan type of cake that tastes exactly like apple pie, that alone was amazing.  We have taken several of the larger monsters and prepped the peeling, cubing and sauce then froze it.  We did a tester first to make sure it would work well after being frozen, and it did – woohoo!  Twelve biggies down, dozens more to go.

What I am asking for from you, my awesome readers is, please share your best zucchini recipes!

I don’t care if it’s peeled, sliced, diced, canned, frozen, fried, raw, baked, or whatever;  just as-long-as it will help to get rid of the invasion in our kitchen.

The funny part is we only planted three green plants and three yellow plants, yet we have enough food from them for an army (and why is it when you only plant one it will die on you?).

I have a stellar ratatouille recipe from about 12 years ago.  However fresh tomatoes work best for it.  I may have to travel to the farmers market in Denver to seek out some good garden stuff.

Please, if you have the time, share what you make best with your zucchini.  Leave a website or recipe or email me directly – it all works.  Hurry before we are forced to make a movie of Attack of the Killer Zucchini! EEEK!!

You can also check me out on:  www.lifelessonslived.com for all the fun things I have learned in life.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?

Just when I thought there were very few things left in the food processing world that would surprise me, this happened:

LEFT RED RIGHT YELLOW SAUCES(yes, these are two completely different types of tomato sauces, sort of.)

Now don’t be fooled. The one on the right is NOT our normal pasta sauce. The one on the left is.
We began using several varieties of heirloom tomatoes years ago. The mixture of flavors was such an outstanding taste we just kept doing it. Well, now we have some friends and family members that cannot do the normal red sauce anymore. The higher acidity of the red tomatoes does not sit well with their digestion. This year we decided to try something to help them enjoy pizza and pasta again.
PRESENTING: ALL YELLOW TOMATO, FROM SCRATCH, HOMEMADE PASTA SAUCE (which just so happens to also be perfect for pizzas or a dipping sauce for bread, cheese, and veggie sticks.).
Our older sister’s husband happens to be one of the people that cannot do the reds. We gave them a ton of our yellows when they came to visit a few weeks ago. She decided to try to make her own sauce for them to use. She called me and said that it turned red – what? This threw me for a loop, as I had always just assumed that using all yellow tomatoes only would produce a yellow sauce.
I forgot to ask if she used any red tomato paste in her sauce. Well, my Co-Farming sister and I decided to give it a shot. We gathered a ton of our yellow tomatoes (note: this is a mix of several heirloom varieties, and we do NOT use chemicals on any of our foods), and started up a batch. Now, this is where it freaks me out:
LD 7
You can see that we have separated the beauties into three groups:
• All red heirlooms
• All yellow heirlooms
• The back bag is a mix of tomatoes with two varieties of Roma’s for tomato paste
We took yellow only and put them through the food strainer to pull out the skins and seeds. When that was done we put it all in the same canning pot we used for the reds:
yell tom b 4 cooking
Then add the same spices as the red mix, we started to heat it all up. You can see it IS yellow when we started.
Here’s where it gets weird – step 2, starting to boil:
yell tom start to boil
Was it turning orange while boiling?
Step 3 – done cooking and ready to jar it up:

yell tom ready to can up
WHAT THE HECK? WHERE DID OUR BEAUTIFUL YELLOW GO?

I have never claimed to understand Mother Nature in the least. However, this was just crazy. We did not use any reds anywhere in the process, yet the sauce turned out deep orange. Here are the two jars now side-by-side:
LEFT RED RIGHT YELLOW SAUCES
Left is our classic Red Sauce, the right is our new Yellow (or Orange) Sauce.
We decided to force ourselves to do a taste test – just to make sure it was all ok to eat and share. Well, the darnedest thing was discovered, the classic mix of all the heirlooms was a bit sweeter than the yellow only.
That part I can kind of understand. I love eating all tomatoes fresh off the vine. I have found that I appreciate the taste and texture of the darker tomatoes much better than the lighter ones (God forbid I have to give any of them up – eeek!). The Black Krim or Cherokee Purple are two of my most favorites.
The yellows have a much milder taste and seem to have more meat in them like a Roma. They are great on sandwiches since they hold together so well. But when it came down to just eating them, the dark ones are my winners.
I guess this was sort of a surprise to me because I based my original thinking on the smaller “snacking” tomato varieties. I have always loved the small yellow tomato much better than the red cherries. I do enjoy the smaller red variety labeled the “grape” tomato. But my very favorite small snacking tomato is the orange – which, unfortunately, is hard to find.
So my bit to share today is don’t freak out when your yellow tomatoes cook up orange, they are still perfectly yummy.

variety of tomatoes

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Please also check me out on: https://wordpress.com/post/lifelessonslived.com for things I have learned in life.

WHY ARE THERE NO THANKSGIVING SONGS?

I have been digging around, and this is all I found:

1. Food, Glorious Food from the movie Oliver (yes – they consider this a TG song??)
2. Count Your Blessing Instead of Sheep – from the movie White Christmas (Christmas – Hello!?)
3. Funny Thanksgiving Song “Thanksgiving Overture” (done to William Tell Overture – it is funny!)
4. Thanksgiving Prayer by Johnny Cash (this one is a REAL TG song – yeah!!)
5. Thanksgiving Song by Mary Chapin Carpenter (love this one – beautiful!!)
6. My Favorite Things – by Julie Andres from the Sound of Music movie (sort of counts?)
7. Over the River and Through the Woods. Some try to say this is a TG song, sorry but I really think this one is more of a Christmas (especially since they use the words “Merry Christmas” in the song – DUH!)
8. This is a true Thanksgiving song and happens to be one of my favorites: Thanksgiving Song by Adam Sandler.
9. What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. This is also one of my favs, but I use it in many, many more circumstances than just Thanksgiving.

Well, you can only listen to these few songs so many times before you crack! So I am turning to old-fashioned Christmas songs to go with it. These together make me smile and bring back some really wonderful memories.

our-wild-turkey

(Wild Turkey that visited us earlier this year – hope you can see him on the fence?  He is kind of like Where’s Waldo in this pic – hee hee.)

our-turkey-whiskey

(This is our fat bird “Whiskey,” and no he will not be on the menu. He follows me everywhere, and I named him – idiot me!)

I remember helping dad with so many great yummies. Peeling grapes (I hated it), then cutting them in half to go into the fruit salad. We had to open them up back then because there was no such thing as a “seedless grape” – CRAZY I KNOW, BUT TRUE!!?? The fruit salad was always my favorite because I would sample the fruit as it was being cut into tiny pieces. Dad would shoot me a glare every now-and-then, but it would turn into a smile with a “Cut that out” attached to it.
We always had a variety of food, and there were always the potluck’s that came from other family and friends. See, this was also a HUGE football day back then so all the family and closest friends came over. I think it was mainly because of 3 things:

1. All the men fit into our huge living room.
2. All the women fit into our huge kitchen.
3. All the kids had the farm, barns, animals to mess with and kept them away from the parents.

Worked out perfect for all involved!

nice-fall-centerpiece

SO BRING IT ON THANKSGIVING!! I have a lot to be thankful for this year!

 

(Side thought: Has anyone else ever read Stephen King’s The Dead Zone?  What are your thoughts on it?)

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

ALL THIS IN JUST ONE MORNING?

Went to the greenhouse to water and check on things.  I’m pretty sure I have some Elves in there.  I go in one morning, and everything is still green and growing.  Then I go in the next morning and WOW!

I end up in there for about 2 hours, and this is only a part of what I got (ignore the onions – whole other story-darn chickens):

8-27 bounty 1 day

We are going to start (I say “start” because this will be an on-going process for the next several months) with our sauces.  With the variety of tomatoes that we have, it should be awesome!

The little green knobs in the plastic dish are our first real attempt at Mexican Gherkins (the fad now is calling them “Watermelon cucs” and putting them in their drinks?.).  They only get the size of your thumbnail and are really hard to spot on their massive tangled vines.  The variety of cherry tomatoes amazes me this year – especially since we didn’t plant any?!  They are all volunteers from the last year.

full size mexican gherkin    DSC_0011

(full-size Gherkin)                                                                       (mini tomato variety)

The flavors is what is getting me – SOO MANY!  Yellow, deep red, pink, orange, and my sister’s fav – the dark truffle (it’s the oval shaped one – they turn a deep reddish/black when they are at their peak!).  So, the bunch that you see in the top pic will be my breakfast and lunch (maybe I will pick some spinach to go with them – maybe not?!)  We share with family and friends as often as we can.  One friend came over and picked a ton (and amazingly we still have 50 tons left – yes 50?! Hee hee) and said she was going to eat them like popcorn while watching some movies – GREAT IDEA!

Farm fresh eggs pulled just this morning.  (3 chickens playing musical nesting box created this bunch)

Then I also cut some rosemary.  This is just a fraction of a fraction of what is growing in there.  I have two bushes that are about the size of a VW Bug vehicle – really!  They are HUGE.

I think the hardest part of gathering the fresh goodies is making it into the kitchen without eating them all.  Oh well, there will be more tomorrow – – – maayybee?!?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

“SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE” – remember the movie? Now this is scary stuff!

OK, now I’m gonna light some people up.  Maybe it is my age; maybe it is my experience, maybe it is just my love of movies?  When I think of the word “Soylent,” I remember a movie from the 70’s with Charlton Heston called Soylent Green (click here if you want to see a trailer-best part!).

Soylent Green movie poster

When it came out in 1973, it was a freaker.  What a great story line, creepy, but great!  Of course, about the same time, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes came out too (see the previous post) which was a really wild freaker movie.   The whole concept of screwing around with food started coming to light.  This, for me, was the first time I started taking an interest in what goes on (or into) with my food.  I was about 15 then, and we grew our own food on the farm.  Some things like sugar, coffee, flour we bought from the store.  But everything that was possible to grow in Wisconsin.  We did and then preserved it for the year to come.  We saved our own seeds, took our own cutting, and knew what we were eating.

Not anymore.  It’s a scary world of food out there now!  Hybrids, GMO’s, can’t save your own seeds because they won’t grow or because you may be stepping on some corporate’s toes.  REALLY??  How did we come to this?

A company has created a food and used the word Soylent in its title.  I don’t know if they are too young to connect with the old movie, or if they just thought this was a really good idea?  Either way, I just don’t know what to make of it.

They sent me a “request to follow” on tumbler.  Before I agree to any requests, I go and take a look at them.  Well, those of you that know me and know about our farming/gardening methods know that we are “natural” promoters.  We like to do things the normal, natural way with our gardens.  Pull our weeds by hand, use companion planting, save our own seeds, use natural pest control measures – no chemicals allowed here!  So for this company to want me to “follow” them is kind of stupid.  They have chosen to follow me, I’m sure, for marketing reasons.  Trying to tap into a bigger audience.  However, I am thinking that they did not read my fine print (which is actually normal size and ALLL over the place) on my/our decision to be natural in our methods.

They are pushing “Soylent” as a way to feed more people (hmm??).  How about if we teach more people how to grow their own?  Give a man a fish, he eats for a day, kind of thing.

scared fishNow, I’m all for live and let live; this is why I do not usually talk about this type of stuff (along with politics or religion), but they contacted me first.  So, they gave me the opportunity to dig into them (something I love doing – research!!).  They have some good products listed on the back of their bag:

soylent powder

HOWEVER, soy is one of their key ingredients.  As much as I love tofu, I also know that a majority of the crops are now grown using GMO seeds (Go here and check out the info for yourselves!).    So I either do not eat it or find something that is organically grown (even this I have issues with, but that’s another story).

So, unless there is some type of zombie apocalypse and I have no other choice to feed my family, I will not eat people, GMO’s, clones or any other type of un-natural type foods.

  • I will dig in my weedy dirt
  • Create my own compost to throw on my weedy dirt
  • Save my own seeds
  • Grow my own food
  • Process it in as many ways as possible to preserve the freshness
  • And enjoy the fruits of all my hard labor.

I also choose to do the following:

  • Share with my family
  • Share with our friends.
  • Teach others to grow this way
  • Help those that want to learn this method.
  • Encourage more to grow naturally

If you want to follow me, friend me, pin me and request me to do it back; you better have your ducks in a row because I will be digging!

ducks in a row

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

ALRIGHT, JUST WHERE DID THESE COME FROM?

We get a ton of unusual things that happen here on our little farm.  The floods brought up odd looking snakes, beavers, opossum and who know what else has flowed down our way that is hiding yet in the field (we only have about 20 acres).
Every year has brought new surprises.  This year has brought a load of rain.  With the temps we have had, everything should be all dried out by now (that is the ones that are not man irrigated), they are not.  Here is one example of our odd summer season:

8 1 guess we are wet

From far away they just look like little white bumps in our field behind the chickens.  Look again:

8-1 mucho mushrooms

THESE MONSTERS ARE HUGE! (My foot is a women’s size 9)

8-1 size of our shrooms

There are only 4 or 5 of them out there, but the size is what shook my world.  HUGE is putting it mildly.  The sad part is that they are not edible – boo hoo!!  Especially since we love shrooms and put them in everything!  Fresh in a salad, fried loaded on a good steak, mixed with eggs for an outstanding omelet (ok, making myself really hungry now – hee hee), or one of several other goodies.  They just compliment so nicely.

We are lucky, though.  We have an outstanding mushroom farm not too far from us.  They grow several types, and THEY ARE EXCELLENT!  When we go there, we purchase bags and bags of them.  Most of them come home and get dehydrated, but several cups of them get fried up – yummm!

Ok, now I’ve done it!  Gonna have to take a trip there this weekend and get some more.  Since we have a side of beef coming in about a month for the freezer, better have some shrooms ready for it!

sidabeef

(Sorry Vegetarians, but I do love my meat with my veggies!)

I’M SO EXCITED! Can’t believe that it worked?

Our Bee Guy brings up the bees every spring via semi-truck.  When he gathers them all back to our place in the fall to go home to Arizona, he always leaves a case (yep – and it’s huge) full of fresh honey for us.  Well, this year we received a pleasant surprise.  He gave us a 25-pound bag of fresh oranges from his orchard – WOW!  These are some huge oranges:

DSC_0005 (2)

I have no clue why the bag says California (maybe he sells to them?).  I do know that they are fresh sweet and juicy – oh and ½ this bag is now gone (and it’s only been two days – hee hee). 

We sat and discussed different ways to preserve these beauties for future use.  The first idea was dehydrating.  Then came freezing, juicing and freezing the juice, and some other ideas.  Then we hit upon orange marmalade.  We make all kinds of jams and jellies, but never tried marmalade.

I grated the orange peels and froze for future cookie use.  Then we juiced and stewed up a recipe (we love our Ball Preserving Cook Book – woo hoo!!).

It worked:

DSC_0003 (1)

 

Made up a dozen of the cute little ½ pints for future Christmas gifts.  Then had enough for a couple of full pint jars and 1-half of a pint jar.  The ½ pint we now have in the fridge so I can have it on toast with peanut butter later today (yum!!).  I have to taste-test everything we do, wouldn’t want anyone to get sick right?  LMAO!!  Yes, that is my excuse for all of my food testing.  We have to make sure it is good enough to share (ok can’t stop giggling at myself now – sick woman that I am!! Ha ha ho ho ho)

orange marmalade made 5-23-16

These are the two big cuties – yum!  So glad it worked!  Happy, happy, joy, joy (doing my happy dance – hee hee)!

happy ck dance

 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

ARE YOU FAILING ENOUGH? – REALLY??

This is a new one on me. I am signed up with AARP-Life Reimagined (yep, I’m over 50 – eeeekkk!!! Hee hee), and I get regular emails from them…come buy this, come play this game, come take this quiz for fun…well, this recent quiz is titled: ARE YOU FAILING ENOUGH? (click here, have some fun)

REALLY?? That was my first knee-jerk reaction when I saw the title – failing enough?? ENOUGH?? They had me, I had to go take the quiz. It was quick, easy, relatively painless, and did give a polite and helpful answer at the end. Then it got me remembering.

I recalled how everyone thought we were crazy buying a farm. Looking back at it all now, I think they either thought of us as really brave or really stupid (most the latter I think). A farm – in this day and age – what were we gonna do on it AND the one we picked was out in the middle of nothing (almost)? Pretty sure they all thought we were going to fail.

DSCF4878

The big thing they all didn’t know is something that I had learned earlier in my life – anything worth having, I’m going to have to fight to get it. The farm, like every other good thing in my life, took a huge amount of effort and struggle (still does). It wasn’t easy, but we are here! In fact, I have found that If something did happen easy, it inevitably failed and rightly so.

Are you failing enough” – made me think about my/our life here on the farm.

Farming is a never ending process of failure. Growing, crafting, baking, canning, fixing, building, creation – it is all a series of failures. The trick is knowing that all these failures are an excellent teaching apparatus.

We tried several methods of irrigation – still do – most have failed, but we learned something new on EVERY failure! We now know that we can’t have just one system, we use several depending upon the location, in or out of the greenhouse, shaded or full sun areas and, of course, the crop grown.

We both craft various things, both work in the gardens, both love to see things bloom and grow. I can knit – she hates it, but she loves the results I create. I will start to follow directions, decide that there may be another method to my madness. I get really far into it and decide it stinks. So, I rip it all out and try again – DRIVES HER CRAZY! She sees me working so hard at the creation, then suddenly, without warning, I pull out the needles and start re-balling the yarn – EEEKKK!!! At this point I usually start laughing because she thinks I have destroyed something wonderful, but I know different. I tried – it failed – so I will try again a different way.

DSC_0048

(several of my latest creations)

She is just as bad only in a different format. She has the patience of a saint – drives me nuts! But if something needs to be done with a slow, steady and precise hand – she’s got it – hands down! A few years ago we bought several boxes of peaches from the 4-H kids and the bulk of it became peach jam. That same year she found a recipe for peach cookies. Now, being the good obsessed baker that she is, with a bit of narcissism thrown in, she had to make it her own.

She took a regular sugar cookie dough, somehow baked it into little cup shapes. When cooled, filled the cups with the peach jam, stuck 2 halves together and formed a ball. She then colored and painted them to look exactly like tiny peaches. Rolled them in sugar and to top it off, added little fondant stems – UNBELIEVABLE!

We had to taste test a couple for ourselves, but the majority went into our annual Christmas goodie boxes for friends and family. Everyone told us the same thing – “Didn’t want to eat the peach ones – Too pretty to eat – Still have it – can’t eat something so amazing.” She made them to be savored, and the shear wonder of them all came from her and her perfection obsessive passion. Now, the funny part was, not a single person asked how many time she failed, got it wrong, thought about packing the whole thing in – because that was not the point of doing them. The point was to see if she could, so – BRING ON THE FAILURE – it helps to do outstanding things!

(At times like this I really wish we hadn’t had the house fire. I had some beautiful pictures of those cookies. They looked like miniature peaches, or sparkly Christmas ornaments. About the size of an apricot, and way too pretty to eat.)

peach

SARCAS M, OR WICKED SENSE OF HUMOR?

Helberg meaning of the word:

SAR – short/twisted for “sarry, but you set yourself up for this.

CAS – short/twisted for “cas I have to slam you now – ya know that!

M:short/twisted for “Mm gonna be sorry I did it, but will do it again in a heartbeat!

My family, for decades, has thrived on it. If we don’t pick on you, we don’t like you. Just ask anyone that knows us. Even when we do something outstanding, a complement is always – ALWAYS – met with a quip.

My sister was doing her passion in the kitchen and came out with this prize:

DSC_0002

It’s called “An Apple Rose” and it is not only yummy but a real wow-er (yes, I’m pretty sure it’s a new word for the Webster people)! She, as always, hands one to me for taste testing (yes, the job is hard but someone has to do it-boo hoo). So, being the polite sister that I am, I accepted the challenge, downed the puppy and responded: “Oh ya, these can’t go to work with you, pretty sure they ALL have to stay here at home.”

She knows, of course, that this means they are fantastic and too good to share! She then replies, “So I should throw them all to the chickens?” I proceed to tell her that pretty sure they would be poison for our birds, and we need to force ourselves to suck it up and eat them.

It’s always been this way. If we really like or love something, gotta slam it. If we don’t really care about it – straight answer. My earliest memory of the origin of this was my sister and I volunteering (ya-sure, 8 and 10 years old volunteering to clean?) to clean up the kitchen after dinner. I don’t remember why or how we thought of it, but mashed potatoes were the instigator in our plan.

Now any parent knows when the kids are quiet, or worse giggling, there is something wrong. So, being the great father that he was, he sauntered into the kitchen to see what we were up to. “What’s going on in here?”, he growled. There we stood, ear-to-ear smiles on our faces, covered head-to-toe in soapy water from doing dishes, most of the table was cleared. “Nothing,” we both responded.

Dad was on to us. He stood in the door way, researching the room to spy the reason for our comradery. He did not see anything out of place, glared one more time at us, turned to leave the room, and just started to say Don’t take too long – WHEN IT HAPPENED! The mashed potatoes that we had flung to the ceiling had decided, at that exact moment, to release. Landed smack on top of dad’s head.

He placed a hand on his head to see what had attacked him. Slowly turned back to re-view the kitchen. He now spotted the numerous blotches of mashed potatoes and slick slimy rounds of bologna sandwich meat spattered all over the ceiling. My sister and I were proud of our ability to do this great work of art, but pretty sure dad was not going to appreciate it.

I always knew our father was special, particularly when it came to his kids, and to say that grown men are worse than little children is an understatement where he was concerned. But in this moment, it was perfectly matched. Instead of a scowl, he had a slight grin on his face. “Clean up this mess, get it all off the ceiling and clean that too.” He said. Turned and went back to the living room. We, in turn, stood giggling and watching as the other flung food began to lose its grasp of the ceiling and come crashing to the floor.

To this day, I don’t know if he ever told anyone about this, but I do know that we sisters have talked and laughed about it many times. So, in conclusion, my family raised me well with sarcasm and a wicked sense of humor. These both have proved to serve me well – no really! What would your parents have done with you and your mashed potatoes?

ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES?

Time has finally caught up with us. Okay, maybe I should say the weather has finally caught up with us. Our first major frost is due tomorrow night, and I’m not ready – eeekkkk! The exterior garden is pretty much demolished – so no problem there. The decision now is do I want to keep the greenhouse tomatoes going through to next year or break out my Edward Scissorhands clippers and have at it?

My major concern is not devastating the bush, but how bad the bush will devastate me. The darn thing is from the nightshade family. Very poisonous prospect, and an oxymoron if you really think about it. How did anyone ever come to realize that a tomato was edible? I know that most of what we eat is from watching critters. If they eat it, must be ok – however- nothing will eat the tomato vine. The fruit (yep it’s a fruit) is, to me, outstanding! So many varieties of uses – ketchup, sauces, Pico, and best to me – raw!! We put them in tons of things from eggs to meats to noodles. When you combine several together you get an amazing flavor (that’s how we make our pasta sauce).

So what am I so worried about – the vines. Years past I was able to tear at them with minimal body covering (ok, clean it up, I’m talking shorts and a tank top then)…but not now. Now I need full body armor! Pants, socks, ankle high boots, long sleeve shirt or at least a long sleeve jacket, gloves and most important – a clean rag.

The rag came about when I found out that I could no longer deal with the treacherous monster without full body armor. I make the mistake of taking out the outside vines 2 years ago by simply hacking away at them. I knew what they were back then, but at that time they did not infest me. Well, on this fateful day it happened to be bright, sunny and on the warmer side. As I worked I began to perspire (women perspire – men sweat – what a crock but that’s for another day) and subconsciously wiping the wet from my face – using my hands which were not encased in gloves. I believed that gloves were for sissys that were afraid to get their hands dirty – also, not anymore!

The poison weeping from the vines as I hacked away at them was doing its dastardly revenge from the moment I touched them. It leaked all over my hands and arms, I lifted both to help remove the moister from my face and eyes and the damage was done! The killer tomatoes had gotten vengeance. They were stealthy – doing injury when I least expected it! This was a year, after all, just like the previous years so why should I do anything different? Ha, ha, ha, silly me! NOTHING ever stays the same!!

I did my dirty deed on the gardens. I took everything down for the winters’ rest, as it should be. I went to bed that evening feeling like a hero! I had accomplished every fall cleanup item on my “to-do list” in record time. I showered after a hard days’ work but it was already too late. The sneaky tomato was enforcing its revenge upon me without my knowing it.

I woke the next morning looking like a blow fish!

pic of blowfish

WWWHHHAAATTTT???? I was swollen from my eyes to my feet with the worst being on my face (of course!). I was awake, but my eyes were thin little slits to peek through. My sinuses were so plugged that I had to hang my mouth open to breathe a heavy breather on a nasty phone call. And the facial skin itself was so stretched from the attack that I could not see a single wrinkle (bonus!? Hee hee).   My fingers were so swollen I could not make a fist and a burning rash had broken out almost everywhere. The first think (yes think) I did was yell for help.

Well, help came but not before laughing hysterically for several minutes first! Very funny – not!!! My sister then reminded me about the nightshade family in the tomato. So that was the culprit. She continued to laugh while helping to rub aloe lotion on me, also reminding me of all the time I teased her about her “sensitive” skin (she breaks out in a rash at the drop of a hat). Now I was to learn exactly how she felt – in the most painful way!

The majority of the swelling went down after a couple of days, the rash took a bit longer. But I did learn a very valuable lesson. The tomato doesn’t care what your skin type is. It doesn’t care that you may have killed it in the past without feeing its agony. It only cares about the first moment you DO notice it. That moment when it can come out on your unsuspecting self and seek revenge!

So, now I know that I will attack the monster with full body armor, but I will display my kinder side. I will allow part of the plant to remain in the plot. I will cover it with extra protection and even add a small space heater so that the temperature will remain above freezing in its mini-tunnel. I will allow it to continue to provide us with fruit in a slower manner throughout the winter.

In turn, I believe, it will not decide to attack me. At least not until the next time I get stupid and try to clear it jungle style! It had better remember that revenge is sweet, especially served up in a pasta sauce!

Now, my older friends, you know where they got the idea for that wonderful “B” movie from back in the 70’s – Attack of the killer tomatoes. Enjoy!!  (oh, and of course don’t forget that great theme song )