Posted by: thescoundrel | August 28, 2007

Insect Wars Part 2 – Harvesting The Summer Fruits!


The recent rains have transformed my quaint backyard garden into a shadowy jungle full of mutated monster tomato plants and bodyheatseeking cucumber vines seeking to capture the individual plucking its fruits with their man-eating clinging vines. But even worse I am worried that I may have been a little to prophetical with my previous post about killer mosquitoes. I had been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to resume my summer harvest and as soon as the rains stopped I went into action. I realized that with all the rain the mosquitoes would be active and in search of blood. And they always have a taste for my type B/Mt.Dewsupersweet. As I searched through my closet looking for appropriate clothing I immediately regretted not owning heavy Batman style body-armor! I laid out my thickest clothing along with a ninja-like-looking head-stocking on my bed and saturated them with industrial strength insect repellent. I then dressed, grabbed my pail and machete (for protection from attacking vines) and went gardening. I was forced to hack down many feral vines to secure my entrance into the junglegarden. By the time I made it to my bounty I was working up a sweat in the oppressive heat and the insect repellent was washing itself from my clothing and face. (Insert chosen expletive) – so much for the preplanning! I worked quickly picking fruit – discarding bloated busted produce that the flies were trying to pervade with their spawn while greedily plunking the quality crop into my pail. All the time the bloodthirsty insects were feasting from my body! It brought back nonfond memories of high school football practice of fighting August-heatstroke and bloodsucking insects while pulling sandburs from my thorn-infected hands, Grrrrr. I am sure the nasty parasitical critters must have drained a couple of gallons of blood from my body. And I am still covered in colossal knots from the attack of the demonic insects but I have my gathered prizes for the effort, sweat and blood expended. And the fresh tasty produce I grow shames the plastic tasting items sold as foodstuffs at the grocery stores. Now if I can just stop scratching, I can prepare for the next round.

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Responses

  1. I don’t garden for the reasons you set out above—bugs, heat, humidity, dirt, ewwww!

    However, Mr. Examiner is an avid gardener and is always bringing this stuff in the house and demanding I “do” something with it—-much like cave ladies were confronted with the kill of their cave men.

    We have an over-abundance of both okra and cukes. Mr. isn’t even Southern, which is why I don’t understand the okra.

    We have lots of zukes too, but I can handle them, but what to do with cukes and and okra?

    Recipes for these, please, if you have them.

  2. MMMMMMMMMM Okra!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL many people walk up to it and think you are growing marijuana. I know my whole family has recipes for it somewhere, but mostly we all just cook it from memory. That is Gods gift to poor folk for food. LOL next I suppose he put out a patch of collards and rhubarb! I will look around and see if I can run across my mothers okra recipe, which is the same used by my whole family. I just normally rolled it in a corn meal/salt/black pepper mix and then pan fry. If you have the patience boil the pods first then cool before rolling the whole pods in the cornmeal mixture. It tenderizes tougher okra and it reduces the slime factor out of it that many people do not like. The key to great fried okra is harvesting when the pods (makes me itch and scratch just thinking about cutting those pods) are young. When I grow okra I prefer to harvest the pods when they are about the size of a roll of dimes. Most of the stuff you find in stores is way too large and often too stringy. Larger okra I usually slice into 1/4 pieces and use in soup or cooked up with tomatoes and onions if you like add salt and pepper to taste (I like to top tomatoes/onions and okra with a little crumbled bacon – as Rachel Ray would say- yummo). Most of my family are picklers. With me and cucumbers I just normally eat them raw or in salads. I am bad about picking them as soon as they reach five to six inches in length and washing them eating them peel and all with no further prep. I make a warm pasta salad with sliced cucumbers and poppy seed dressing. I serve it warm. I slice the cucumbers up and mix in with the drained pasta add poppyseed dressing and serve. Not recommended to eat before taking a drug test unless you want to chance testing positive. My relatives, friends and neighbors have been having a feast from my garden this year. It has been a very good crop.


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