Friday, February 5, 2010

Rain. Rain. Rain.

Not the best time for rain, in my opinion. Should be great for the bluebonnets, but not so great for those of us trying to prepare our soil for planting season. It's not ideal to work the soil when it is wet as it damages the consistency (can we say mud clods?).
The rain is also bringing a fleet of snails to my gardens. I broke down and bout $30 worth of Sluggo yesterday, which apparently i could have gotten for about 10$ cheaper here. Sluggo is about the only pest product i use in my garden, and it's organic and doesn't damage the native wildlife or good bugs. Just evil snails! Apparently it ruins their appetite and then kills them. Death to snails!
My cauliflower is just putting on a head that is peeking out - and of course it is covered with the snails and their poo, and now sluggo. Hopefully i can convince the snails to leave it alone.

The rain brings some happy things as well: growing lawn, germinating back yard (which has been quite forlorn and chicken scratched for a while now), and germinating baby mustards and kales. I hope they do well this season - the kale is a last ditch effort to succeed at all with my favorite veg (it doesn't love summer, but it might do SOMEthing) and the mustard is destined for sautees, pickles, and eventually to seed to make mustard. I'd really like to be making all of my own condiments by the end of the summer, even if i have to barter for some tomatoes if i skip planting those summer beauties this year.
The lemon tree is happy to be outside and getting rain water, heavily laden with half a dozen or so lemons i should harvest soon. Last year i harvested all in one batch and juiced them, storing the juice in the freezer. This year i've been taking them more one at a time, using the juice fresh in things like mayo and cheese. It's about time to harvest them all, though as they seem to be ripe and it's time to set new flowers.
 Inside the house i'm frustratingly waiting for my cream cheese to turn into cheese and whey - the milk refuses to coagulate, though the cream at the top smells and tastes kind of like a really stinky blue cheese - not my favorite thing. Will keep waiting though and hope that it does its thing in time to make bagels with the lox that i made.
Speaking of the lox: it's a bit hard to tell when raw salmon has been sufficiently marinated to be no longer 'raw' but edible. It looks mostly the same. The directions called for marinating for 2-6 days or so. Last night it had been in the fridge under its weight for about 4 days. Unfortunately, some of the liquid (whey, juices, and salt/sugar mixture) had escaped from the layers of saran wrap, foil, and baggy. I'm not sure if this adversely affected the results and would have preferred to know that the salmon was fully encased in what it was supposed to be marinating in. So i sprinkled a bit more whey and salt/sugar and recovered. I'll try it again tonight and hope that it was not a poor decision to introduce new whey. Cross fingers.

Ah, and now the sun is coming out, a friend is coming by to make crackers with me, and the dog is ready for a walk a little later. Must take advantage of these rainless hours!

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