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Weather and Gardening and Still Smokin’

Florida drives me nuts, it really does. I’m sitting here right now, at 9:13AM, contemplating changing into shorts because it’s so, er, sultry out there, and yet tomorrow night it’s going to be all of 27 degrees. Maddening, I tell you. I don’t see how any of us survive.

It does make for some extensive planting seasons, though, and in light of that, we’re already buying seeds to start in the spring (read: March). A made a huge purchase from growitalian.com and sent me some of the bounty, and I just made a purchase from rareseeds.com and will reciprocate. Here’s what’s on the garden agenda for this year:

  • Red Onions (Tropea Rossa) – Very sweet. Gods, I love onions.
  • Cucumbers (Picollo di Parigi) – A pickling cucumber, about 4 inches long. Mmm, pickles.
  • Tomatoes (San Marzano Redorta) – I’m skeered of the whole canning thing, so we’ll just have to rough chop these, sprinkle with kosher salt, and eat as-is. Darn the luck.
  • Tomatoes (San Marzano 2) – Apparently the premiere sauce tomato of Italy. Can. Not. Wait. To get my hands on these.
  • Red Bell Peppers (Quadrato d’Asti Rosso) – Rough chopped and thrown into a batch of eggs/cheese/hot sauce/onions… *pant, pant*
  • Carrots (Pariser Market) – These are ideal for containers since they make nifty ball shapes instead of long thin shapes.
  • Broccoli (Romanesco) – A “nutty” flavor it claims. We are so there.
  • Red Onions (Rossa Savonese) – Did I mention I LOVE onions?
  • Peppermint – Despite it’s fearsome growth habits, it is a staple in our garden (and teapots).
  • Rosemary – Chicken just isn’t chicken without it.
  • Oregano – For use in the San Marzano sauces, of course.
  • Broccoli – The non-nutty variety, I think.
  • Melon Ananas – There are more varieties of melon, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. This one smells of pineapple.
  • Tomatoes (Gioia della Mensa) – I know, how many varieties of tomato does one garden need? All of them, kthx.
  • Cucumbers (Beth Alpha) – A slicing cucumber. Did you know cucumbers don’t like to be transplanted?
  • Paprika Supreme – These are the peppers from which you make paprika. You knew paprika came from peppers, right?
  • Peas – I’ll get these kids to eat peas if it kills me. And eensy = cute.
  • Red Rocket Peppers – This is the pepper you harvest, dry, and turn into ristras. Hello enchilada sauce!
  • Tomatoes (Sun Gold) – A lovely little cherry tomato. I plan on eating these things like grapes.
  • Leeks (Carentan) – Already planning some wonderful things for these lovelies…
  • Peppers (Topepo Rosso) – A pimento-type pepper, very sweet. Mmm, pickles…
  • Tomatoes (Cream Sausage) – As far as I know, they don’t actually *taste* like sausage, that just refers to the shape. But how freaking cool would that be if they did?? *drool*
  • Tomatillos (Purple) – As A commented, “coolest salsa ever.”
  • Tamarillos – A fruit that tastes like a tomato. Bonus!
  • Metki Painted Serpent Melons – A cucumber-shaped Armenian melon.
  • Tigger Melons – Come on, it looks fake! It looks like one of the Green Goblin’s pumpkin bombs. How could you NOT want to grow these things??

Yeah, that’s a lot, isn’t it. How many acres do I have, you ask? Er, somewhat less than half of one… Yeah, we’ve got LOTS of pots.

On the home cooking front, we got up at a stupid hour (for a holiday) this morning to start a 4lb pork butt in the smoker. In a little while it’ll go into a low-heat oven to braise for another 4 hours or so. Carolina-style bbq coming up! Here’s a good vinegar sauce recipe for the true North Carolina pulled pork sandwich (with cole slaw on top):

Carolina Vinegar BBQ Sauce:

  • 6 parts apple cider vinegar
  • 1 part Tobasco sauce (yes, it has to be Tobasco)
  • finely ground black or white pepper (to taste)
  • white sugar (amount to use = “some…” again, to taste)

And that’s it. I plan on microwaving it a touch before we’re ready to serve the pork, just to heat it up, otherwise it’s use as-is.

Merry New Year to you all.

Updated to add…

Convo just had via AIM with the Husband:

tedbronson2007 (10:35:03 AM): baby, what bird down here is the size of a condor?

Sekimori (10:35:14 AM): no bird

Sekimori (10:35:41 AM): or, the magnificent frigate bird might get close, but they do not come this far north

tedbronson2007 (10:35:40 AM): dragon then

Sekimori (10:35:48 AM): definitely dragon