Category Archives: growdammit

Happy 14th Birthday Rufus Dragon!

Too bad you screwed the pooch and got into the trash.  No birthday ham for you.

Rufus Dragon

Who Me?

We are not just being mean.  If we feed him after he’s been in the trash, we are pretty much guaranteed to wake up the next morning and find out he’s either vomited or worse all over the house in the middle of the night.  So, hopefully he got something good out of his little bout with the garbage because…no dinner tonight.

We haven’t really written about the Dragon lately because all he does for the most part is eat and sleep.  We are fairly suspicious that his eyesight is going.  Maybe his hearing too.  It’s hell getting old.

Anyway, here are links to some of the Rufus Chronicles just in case you missed any of his antics before.

Rufus vs. the Possum and Rufus vs. the Ham

Rufus vs. the Parmesan Cheese

Rufus vs. Fluffy

Rufus’ Security Detail

Rufus Has the Gold

Rufus vs. the Groundhog

Rufus vs. Halloween

Rufus Dragon is Passive Aggressive

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GrowDammit Tomatoes are Poppin’

We are starting to harvest some cherry and pear.  What have we been doing with them?

getting ready to grill some veggies

Grilling them for fajitas.

blt salad

And putting them in a BLT salad.

yellow zebra tomato

And in the case of the lonely yellow zebra tomato, slicing it up and stuffing it in our pieholes.

The yellow zebra was interesting, sweet with just a hint of tart.  It would make a nice fried tomato – not as tangy as a plain green one.

Stay tuned for more heirloom news from GrowDammit Central.

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Filed under Actually About The Garden, food porn, garden, gardening, growdammit, organic

Growdammit Central hits the biggish time.

I guess this makes us an unofficial locally sourced suburban farm…

black raspberries

3 more pints of black raspberries sold to Farmer Ted’s restaurant, bringing the total to 6!

Next up – heirloom tomatoes and peppers.

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It turns out that we are condiment whores.

We had burger sliders for supper tonight, and I pulled out a bunch of different condiments and fixin’s so that everyone could mix and match.  When I went to put everything away, I realized we have a bit of a problem.

condiments

An entire shelf of the refrigerator dedicated to condiments.

A whole shelf!  Full of mostly homemade (some store bought) jams, jellies, spreads, dipping sauces, bbq sauces and pickled stuff.  This is in addition to…

condiments

The entire refrigerator door.

There are no less than seven different types of mustard here and two different Sriracha.  There are steak sauces and salad dressings, as well as all manner of Asian sauces with a healthy dose of Mexican.  Does anyone else have a fridge where almost half of it is dominated by stuff to dip and/or cover other stuff in?

I’m kind of scared to show you our pantry at this point.  We also have a bit of a spice habit.

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The Great Wall of Pine-A

We have had a brutal winter up here in Yankee-land.  Something like a bazillion inches of snow, but the worst offender was the ice storm.  People were out of power for weeks with downed trees and power lines.  We weren’t that affected and only lost power for a day and a half, but Mother Nature wasn’t about to leave us unscathed.  Ice + 3 humongous white pines =

white pine

Limbs down.

snowcarnage2

snowcarnage3

snowcarnage4

Today was absolutely beautiful, and a nice break from the freaking cold.  A balmy 60 degrees here at GrowDammit Central, so what did we do?

Take a roadtrip?  Nope.

Go to Longwood Gardens for a little taste of Spring?  Nope.

Walk into town for some nosh and a pitcher of beer?  Nope.

We commenced the Great Storm Clean-Up of 2014.  We cut up 10 tons of branches and limbs that fell from those white pines during the ice storm.  PSA…NEVER EVER PLANT WHITE PINES ON YOUR PROPERTY!  They are really week trees, and extremely messy.  Never mind a storm, they drop their needles not only in the Fall but during anytime of stress.  Like a drought.  Or, a monsoon.  If anyone wants to send me $3K to take them down, feel free.

We worked tirelessly throughout the day to create this…

white pine

It’s as tall as I am.

pine2

Now that we’ve gotten the chaos under control, what to do with it?  That’s a good question.  We’ve had the helpful suggestion of burning it.  Brilliant.  Except for the fact that the same Township Supervisors who thought this method of traffic control in my neighborhood was a good idea are paddling the douchecanoe, and have banned controlled burns.  So instead of disposing of it for free, I get to either bag it and wait a month for the next debris pick-up or pay somebody a few hundred bucks to haul it away.  Bureaucracy at its finest!  My back is going to thank you in the morning.

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Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish

Dear Soon to Be Ex-Neighbor,

I’ve lived across the street from you for over 13 years, and never realized what a T-Total Bitch you are.  Granted I didn’t know you all that well, since you rarely ever left your house.  Frankly, at one point I thought you were a vampire.  Now I know you are a just a passive aggressive twat.

Yes, it is true that in the past few weeks we have been using the driveway of your home that has stood vacant for over a year.  With 3 drivers and 2 feet of snow on the ground, it’s been a total lesson in playing musical cars for us.  It’s also true that if it weren’t for the kindness of neighbors, your driveway would be under about 2 feet of snow right now.  Since you couldn’t be bothered to have someone come care for your property in the past year, neighbors have been blowing the snow and cutting the grass and getting rid of the leaves.

Let’s get the facts straight right off the rip.  The eldest spawn parked his car at the bottom of your drive, that WE and your other neighbor had cleaned the bottom of after having 16 inches of snow dumped on us the night before.  When someone, who was not you, came and asked us to move it, we did immediately  Then later someone, still not you, came and blew the rest of the snow off of the top of the drive.  Here’s the problem, they didn’t shovel the inch of slush left from the blower and it froze overnight.  THAT is why your driveway is a sheet of ice and you had to cancel the last minute garage sale that you apparently planned overnight for this morning – when we were expecting another round of ice and snow.

This sign you put up this morning was completely unnecessary.

my neighbor is a bitch

Boohoo

bitchy neighbor sign 2

The fine print explaining that is is my fault that your driveway is a sheet of ice.

The fine print says …

Sorry about all the ice.  We have the neighbor across the street to blame for all this ice.  The neighbor parked his car at the end of my driveway and blocked my driveway so the plow could not get in.  His mother would not allow her own child to park in their own driveway park behind her car because she didn’t want to be blocked in.  Consequently, the jerk parked his car in my the driveway.

Lets get a few things straight “Blondie”:

A.  You didn’t send a plow.  You sent an old man with a rinky-dink snow blower who did a half-assed job.

B.  I’m not sure how you would know what I will and will not allow my spawn to do because not only have you not been around for a year, but you only left the house about once a month when you did live here.

C.  My car wasn’t even here to be blocked in because it was at work with me.  I understand work is a foreign concept to you, since from what I can tell you never did any of it.

D.  The minute the jerk was asked to move the car, he did.

E.  You are going to be very sorry you called my spawn a jerk tomorrow when you show up for said garage sale, if you bother to show up, because Ted is good and pissed and has a thing or two to say to you.  I’ve asked him not to say anything about the extracurricular activities you participated in when you were still married.

F.  You might want to check your grammar the next time you want to leave a nasty gram.  It’s embarrassing.  Aren’t you supposed to be some sort of freelance writer?  From the looks of it, you probably aren’t very successful.

Sayonara Bitch.  Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out of the neighborhood.  You won’t be missed.

Signed,

The Jerk’s Mother

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I’m going to take this as an omen for good things in 2014.

I walked past a nun shopping in the lingerie department of Boscov’s yesterday afternoon.

Farmer Ted wants to know what the deal is with me and nuns.  It isn’t that I’ve really had that many interactions with them, but when I do they are kind of weird.  If you didn’t read our blog post about the time I peed with a couple of nuns in a WaWa and they inadvertently clued me into the fact that the super powerful hand dryer would take your sin off, click here.  If you have such a need and access to a WaWa, you can thank me later for passing this tidbit along.

I shouldn’t even have been in the mall.  I was returning something and thought the store I was looking for was in the mall, when actually it was across the street in one of those Main Street complexes.  Anyway, it was odd and unexpected and fantastic.  Surely it has to mean something, and I’m choosing to believe it means that 2014 will be a banner year at GrowDammit Central.  Or, it could just mean that the nun needed some new skivvies.  Whatever.  The Hoppin’ John and collard greens are rollin’ as a backup measure, and soon we will be oozing with good luck and wealth.

Happy New Year from the Wannabe Farmers!

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I’m probably raising a couple of racists. And, you might be too.

Because, come to find out, the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich is racist.  At least according to the Principal of a school district in Portland it is.

I apologize in advance people.  Who knew?  I didn’t.  Nor did I get the “Courageous Conversations” memo.  I don’t live in, nor have I ever been to Portland.  And, I’ve never really even considered that it would by any stretch of the imagination be considered white privilege.  Does this mean it is only offensive if it is on white bread?  Could we all have been spared if we had just chosen wheat?  I am hesitant to denounce peanut butter because according to this Wikipedia article, peanuts are found all over the world and in all types of cuisine.  I suppose then that jelly is in cahoots with white bread?  Wikipedia indicates that while some sort of jellyish type of substances are found multi-culturally, only the US, Canada and Europe actually regulates its production.

The eldest spawn is doomed.  He takes a PB&J to school everyday for lunch.  And since he is 18, I can’t really make him not eat them anymore.  He wouldn’t touch wheat bread with a 10 foot pole.  Maybe a sandwich intervention is in order?  Does ANYONE have any experience with this type of thing?  I could use some advice.

The youngest spawn might be okay.  He used to eat peanut butter and nutella sandwiches, but that ended around the age of 6.  I’d like to think that he found out about the nefariousness of it all, and that is why he ended the insanity.  Not because he is picky and stubborn.  And, he never really did jelly.

Rufus Dragon has been spared.  To my knowledge he has never had a PB&J.  Unless he stole it from one of the spawn.  Then he would be a biggot and a thief.

Farmer Ted has been known to snack on the vileness, but rarely.  Does this mean he is only a sometimes racist?

I, like the youngest spawn, am more than likely a reformed racist.  I used to eat them, but stopped sometime around my freshman year of high school.  I blame my parents, because with 7 children peanut butter and jelly is truly the most economical solution to school lunches.  Way to go parental units.  Way. To. Go.

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Rufus Dragon versus Halloween

The year we did this…

rufus dragon

Seriously People?

rufus dragon

Just let me the hell out of here.

The Dragon not only managed to ditch the costume once he got outside, but he tore into the faces of my Jackolanterns.  About 20 minutes before Trick or Treat.  Happy Halloween People!

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Adventures in Canning

A couple of weeks ago, Farmer Ted and I harvested all of the tomatoes we had left on our dying vines and made green tomato chow-chow.  If you don’t remember that, click here.  Then, a week later, I used some of our remaining peppers to make spicy pepper chow-chow.  Since we only had about 12 jars worth of ingredients, I attempted it by myself and things went fairly well.  This past week, a hard frost was in our forecast so Ted picked all of the remaining peppers and broke down the garden.  Instead of making more chow-chow, I decided to try my hand at hot pepper jelly.  Since Ted had to work, I figured once again I would just do it myself.  The recipe looked fairly simple.  Pureed peppers, apple cider vinegar, sugar and pectin.  Bring the first 3 to a boil, add the pectin, return to a boil for a minute and remove from heat.  Pour in jars, process in the bath for 10 minutes and Voila…hot pepper jelly.  Piece of cake.

Here is how it really went…

I prepped the peppers and got all of the other ingredients and canning utensils together.  I washed and sterilized a dozen jars.  I started 2 large pots of boiling water to use for the bath.  I mixed the peppers, vinegar and sugar together and set it to boil.  No worries.

Then, I realized that 12 jars weren’t going to be enough…

So, I turned the pepper mixture down to low, ran to the basement for more jars, washed them, threw them in the oven to sterilize and turned the pepper mix back up to high.  It boiled, and I added pectin.   I’ve totally got this.

Then, I realized that I forgot to grab clean dish rags to be able to handle the hot jars…

So I ran down to the basement to grab some and ran back up to the kitchen.  Just in time to see the pepper jelly boil over.  And by that, I mean it geysered out of the pot like Old Faithful.  There was pepper jelly all over the stove.  Burning.  There was pepper jelly all over the counter from when I yanked it off to remove it from the heat.  There was pepper jelly all over the floor.  There was pepper jelly all over me.  This might remind our loyal readers about how I’m a hazard in the kitchen.  It was a hot mess.  Literally.  That shit was hot.

Once I realized that I didn’t have any third degree burns…

I started canning the jelly.  I got the first batch in the bath, and started to clean up some of the mess.  Rufus Dragon wanted to help, so he licked the floor.  Once.  Then he whimpered and  headed straight for his water bowl and drank a gallon.  Thankfully the rest of the exercise went well, and I celebrated a battle well fought with a glass or two of wine.

Then, I realized I might have to wait up to 48 hours for the pectin to set up to see if I had actually won the war.

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