The Tallest Sunflower

I can’t claim it’s the tallest sunflower ever, but it’s the tallest one we ever grew…

Every spring, since moving to Greenville six years ago, we’ve planted a bouquet of sunflowers. We don’t harvest them, I guess because we don’t want them bad enough.

There’s plenty of competition from the bugs and birds. The squirrels are entertaining to watch climbing the stalks to get to the seeds. Sometimes they get to the top of a big one and sit on the flower, other times they knock the whole flower over.

Pantry Politics

I use sweet basil fresh with ripe tomatoes, and also dry it and keep it in a glass jar to use year round.

I work the hardest in July and August. I’m talking about sweat and sore muscles and getting down to my summer weight (about five pounds lighter than my winter weight.)

I husk and freeze the corn right away, so that it doesn't get starchy.
I husk and freeze the corn right away, so that it doesn’t get starchy. Greens I triple wash then chop and freeze.

Along with weeding and watering,  cultivating and harvesting, I spend hours in my perennially hot kitchen processing everything that we bring in from the gardens.

I dry parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, peppers, stevia, mint, oregano, cilantro, lemongrass, lavender,  chamomile…

I signed up for this willingly.  Some of my fierce sisters look at me questioningly when I gush about fresh eggs, tomato paste and pickles, telling me that it’s cheaper to eat out than cook.


But this is Free labor. We serve ourselves and clean our own dishes, and I’m free to be the me that you see, a woman with a plentiful pantry who knows how to use it too.

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Corn and Tomatoes

20150620_182548Spring brings quick gratification with greens and radishes and pretty flowers. But some things require more patience and room to grow, like corn and tomatoes.  Eventually the towering corn stocks will be pulled up to make way for okra and maybe pumpkins.

This corn is almost ready to pick...
This corn is almost ready to pick…

But right now  is the peak of perfection, the moment of maturity to be appreciated before it too passes. Continue reading Corn and Tomatoes

Who’s Gonna Clean the Fish

The first thing is to take a sharp knife and remove the scales.
The first thing is to take a sharp knife and remove the scales. Don’t let the scales go down the drain though!

I met a man, when I was a single woman living in Vallejo, who thought of me when he caught a salmon on the Benicia shoreline. That’s what he told me when he showed up at my door, proudly putting the large fish in my kitchen sink. I was impressed. Jumping ahead in the story a little, I will tell you that I married that man.

But, the day that he showed up at my door with a salmon, I asked him what I was supposed to do with that beautiful fish. I had eaten fresh salmon before, and I had cooked fresh salmon, but I had never gone fishing. I was used to buying fish fillets, not whole fish. I was a fish cleaning virgin. Continue reading Who’s Gonna Clean the Fish

Poetry, Storytelling, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Drama

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