November 25th, 2019


Cooking notes: fried oysters and sorreled peas

I bought a small tub of fresh oysters, and Christine encouraged me to fix them for myself last night. I picked sorrel and green onion leaves, sliced them thinly and mixed with mayonnaise. I fried up the oysters with all the steps:

* clarified butter
* dredged oysters in flour & pepper
* dipped in egg white
* dredged in old French bread bread crumbs and panko crumbs
* fried
* drained on paper bags

and then because my timing was off, i put them in the toaster oven to keep warm -- but i think the additional baking helped with the crispiness.

I mixed the sorrel mayonnaise with the cooked and hot peas, plated the oysters on the peas. This was very pleasing.

It was plenty of bother, but worth it.

For Thanksgiving i'm going to prepare mussels that have been sitting in my freezer for months and months since buying them on a whim. I just never found i time when i wanted to make something fussy just for me - and picking the mussels out of the shells while eating seems to demand a more socail meal. Dad and Christine both were not interested. My sister's family are a bit more adventurous, so this is a good time to fix them. And, it turns out mussels were likely part of the early Massachusetts feasts, so approproate. I found this recipe with apple cider that sounds like a pleasure.

I'm also bringing a pumpkin pie - i'm going to try fixing the squash from scratch.

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Yesterday i planted an order of daffodil bulbs from Brent and Becky's bulbs: how large an beautiful were the bulbs! I ordered classic daffodils, trumpets and large cups, a selection each for early, mid, and late spring. I had planted some very fun daffodils shortly after we moved in, but i realized i miss the classics.

I also finally planted the Asclepias incarnata (rose milkweed) and Amsonia tabernaemontana (possibly a hybrid and not species selection - "Blue ice"). I didn't get the trees in, and my puttering around this midday doesn't promise much digging either. I will probably go mow. Ive needed to for a while but various combinations of needing to rake (because the electric mulching mower is not that great at mulching) and rain has held me back.

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Marlowe is at the vet for her spay. She'll come home with a cone tonight.

I keep saying "Greycie Lou" -- our cat who died so suddenly during the summer of 2018. Marlowe's lithe body and happiness to leap to high places reminds of of all of Greycie's energy.


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The cone they sent us home with was far too heavy (and almost too large) for Marlowe. We have a lighter weight one that we can fiddle to make work, but ... gah, what a torture device. I went to Amazon to see what we could get quickly and saw little post surgery "suits" that a few sellers have. I've ordered one, but in looking to see if there were any we could next-day deliver, i saw a type that was, essentially, a rectangle of fabric and front-leg holes, with strips cut so you can tie the cat in, like so. So i promptly cut up a t-shirt and made her one. The first try i thought i could keep her back legs out of the design, but the surgical location really needs the back end of her body involved. Try two seems to have worked all night, although now that she's out and squirming around i don't know how long until she works her way out. With luck, it will last until the professionally made one arrives.

The mowing happened, although there are areas where the grass is flopped over and the mower didn't engage. I suppose i should give the orchard some time to recover and re-mow. I raked much of the driveway and took the gravel-free pine straw to place along the outside eastern border of the orchard. Last summer this became a dense stilt grass area. I think i mowed before it went to seed, but there are plenty of seeds in the seed bank. Thick mulch does keep the cursed stuff back. Preserving a way to walk around the outside perimeter and holding back the weeds a bit should be helpful. I think clover and other cover crop plants are coming up (along with Oriental hawksbeard, another invasive) but deer must be keeping them grazed low.

I probably scattered some of my precious native grass seed where i am putting the straw. Sigh.

Plenty more raking to do to collect pine straw and leaves and surround the fence, leaving the native grass and moss in light. Moss definitely grows over the winter. I think the native grass does, to some extent, as well. The ponysfoot (Dichondra carolinensis) also spreads in the winter. It's a native and somewhat aggressive ground cover, but once a plant can get above it i think the other plants will manage. I'm worried my cranberry has been overrun and the two compete in the same niche - so it goes.