Thursday, November 1, 2012

The cat lay on the parsnips and leeks

My husband has a veggie garden.  It is primarily for the production of tomatoes and zucchinis (T&Zs).  We love T&Zs though things get a little torrid in a heatwave.  In one particularly bad year, after the 20th kilo of Tommy Toes came in to the kitchen, I ordered the husband to pull out the plants.  The larger tomatoes were coming in by then and those little devils were driving me crazy.

I have a book of collected T&Z recipes, each recipe using at least a kilo of either or both.  In a hot week I have a lot more than 7 kg of each to dispose of.  Chutney, anyone?  Alternately, I have spread a wave of culinary mystery around work as I give people yellow bobbly zucchinis shaped like a slumped pear with the instructions that you can fry em or stuff em and bake em and they taste like peanuts.*You might be able to steam them but I suspect wet, peanutty sludge would result.

Ye gads - are they aliens?
Then there was last year's pumpkin crop.  It was a wet year and aside from the twenty-five 2 kg doobies we ate over winter, there was a rogue Queensland Blue that self-seeded in a fertile spot beside the vegie patch.  It roamed around the garden for months leaving 12 kg rocks of pumpkiny goodness as it went  Now if you cut a kilo off a 12 kg monster and use it in a soup, you have 11 kgs of pumpkin to go.  This takes up the entire milk shelf in the fridge.  No milk.  Further, do you think you can use it up the rest in a week before it goes funny?

We gazed at the beasts drying in a row under the clothes line and made the big decision.  I called a food charity to come and get 60 kg of pumpkin.  They seemed pleased about it.  Good luck with that.  Delicious to eat but try an axe.

Being spring, the garden has just been planted with a range of things.  It has a net to discourage the birds from pecking up seedlings and stealing the worms.  The net also keeps the cabbage moths from laying eggs so the seedlings aren't decimated by green caterpillars.

If we had a serious bird or possum problem the net would not really help but the mulberry tree is a sacrificial anode for the vegies and raspberries.  You do get a fair bit of sloppy pink poo about though.  It goes through a digestive tract pretty quickly, a mulberry diet.

Now the cat has a special skill.  She can lift things and sneak under.  This can make walking around the house at night tricky as she may well be skulking under a rug.  Needless to say, her adept little paws have no problem with with a light net.  She likes to lay.  The seedlings are tiny.  Poor husband.
Cat practicing stealth
*Technically a yellow crookneck bush squash.