My sister left me with a whole lotta shrimp when she went back to LA. I coulda made a nice salad but no, I thought, how about shrimp fritters? What could be better than shrimp fritters? Corn and shrimp fritters is what. Oh my god. Fresh corn-off-the-cob, shrimp, red and green peppers and onion. Ho-made tartar sauce (which I could eat for dinner with a spoon). Who cares that it’s a boat load of work and calorific to boot.

Yes. Deep frying is awful and makes me want to hang myself a combination of the spray of hot oil, the need to be entertaining but having to stand over the deep fryer, the understanding that your guests are waiting with only thinly veiled impatience). But so worth it, in the short run anyway, not sure about the long run.

Also clean up is really unpleasant—I did the deep frying outside and yet I could smell it in the house the next morning. A salad might have been the easier option but not the most delicious.

At least I made a pie

My furry friends just dump them after a few bites onto the ground. It appears that the tree is completely empty of peaches now except for the ones I’ve covered in tulle or bird netting. I hate that stuff, bird netting, but so do birds and squirrels. And I am pretty sure they will figure out a way to get to those. I’m not sure why they aren’t eating the ones on the ground, they’ll eat nearly any damn thing but apparently not the ones on the ground.

I chased one out of the olive tree not because I want the olives, don’t care about that, but I just don’t want them to have any more than they already have. I know it’s petty but it’s not the first time in my life I’ve been petty. And if they want to eat something eat the damn peaches on the ground. They have got to be better tasting than raw olives, if somewhat unappetizing.

I have tasted a peach

You may, if you are squeamish, not want to read this. I found a ripe peach on my tree. It seems there are too many peaches for the squirrels to eat and when I saw this ripe looking and softish-feeling peach I picked it and ran screaming (but in a masculine way) immediately into the house. But then, as I went to wash it (not that I felt it needed it but out of habit) I saw what I assumed to be evidence of the entrance of some sort of insect.

The scream that escaped my lips when I cut it open was considerably less masculine. As it turns out that hole was not made by an insect entering the fruit but by its exit. What ever was in there was gone (thank Christ) and I was able, in fact, to actually locate the tiny pin prick entrance.

Sometimes I can be braver than I appear, like last night when I opened my bedroom window at midnight. leaned out and yelled at the people playing really loud music and dancing in the street below my window, of course I did not sleep for 4 hours afterwards as I attempted to calm myself down, but I have digressed.

I cut away any bad looking bits of the peach and ate the remains. It was delicious.

My heart goes out

to those millions of women (and it was mostly women) who had to get all the summer’s produce into some semblance of preservation. Pickling in the summer is a bitch. How did they do it? Seriously. You just have to. There’s nothing to be done about it. When produce is ready it needs putting up.

I had the luscious convenience of air conditioning and, still, pickling took a lot of effort. It was blazing hot and I was sweating more than one might comfortably want to be sweating around food prep (keep that in mind when you’re eating in a restaurant in the summer). And I cannot just keep all the summer’s batch of cucumbers until I have the entire crop and then pickle them all at once. They need to be pickled as they come along. My cucumbers, there are several varieties, are coming in hither and tither. Peppers, cucumbers, green beans. Peaches if I ever get any—they are very near to ripe and it seems the squirrels cannot eat them all despite their best efforts so I will have to put them up as well. I don’t think you pickle them (a quick peek at the google tells me I can). Oh god.

So, potatoes

I had 3 potatoes from the store. Not organic just yukon gold potatoes and I decided to make my dinner a taste test. I boiled one of mine and one from the store in the skins, I love the skins. Yeah, well, I cannot really say they tasted very different. And it wasn’t like I was rapturous about them. Yes, of course, they are potatoes, and butter and salt were involved so, you know, they were good but not off-the-charts good. Mine were golder. I can say that much.

But I didn’t grow them because I was expecting off-the-charts good. I just wanted organic potatoes not in the plastic mesh bag and that’s what I got. And good enough is good enough.

A farmer and his potatoes

I had no idea what to expect when I was doing this. I think I had 5 of these particular plants and they had the blight (the other potatoes did not have it). So against my better judgment I cut them off as the google instructs and waited the requisite 2 weeks.

OMG!! This was as gratifying as it was easy. It turns out that Ann White was right about something for a change.

Produce report

Tomato. Just the one. This is an aberation, my sister gave me this plant, a red zebra, for my birthday and it’s the only plant in my garden that looks like it’s going to produce anything. And there won’t be another red tomato for weeks it appears to me.

The tomato, like all first tomatoes, as well as first pancakes and waffles, was not-so-much. But it was something anyway and I was thrilled to have it.

Produce report

Onions. OK, maybe not so much but it’s something and more remarkably something the squirrels are not eating.

A certain know-it-all I am acquainted with told me that the tearing that comes with onion slicing is worse with fresh onions. I was like Oh? Mm hm, whatever.

After 10 minutes of open weeping in my living room I was able to finish making my salad.

Plakis gigantes

Giant beans. Greek beans. I’m sure everyone remembers when I had the giant beans at the Greek restaurant in Frankfurt. I didn’t either until I was scrolling through some recipe by my friend Akis and I saw this recipe and was immediately reminded of their fabulousness. Strangely this coincided with an invitation to a friend’s for dinner, a sort of pot luck, and our hostess is Greek. So, bang, Greek beans.

Akis is a YouTube chef and I like what he does. Everything he makes is the easiest, the best and the sexiest, (his words not mine) and I do like his food, and Greek food in general. This recipe though was way too complicated I thought. These beans should be very simple and the recipe is very complicated. I added the lemon zest he calls for against my better judgment and I should have listened to my better judgment. It didn’t add “brightness” it added sourness.

Nonetheless, I arrived at the party and my hostess took the beans from me and when dinner rolled around she refused to put them out saying she was keeping them for herself. Aside from tasting them when I made them, I didn’t get to eat them. Still, I was flattered, I guess.