Some people never learn. Take the staff at the home for autistic children up the street for example. Every Wednesday evening, they put out the garbage for the next day's pick-up and every Wednesday night a band of masked bandits knock over the bins and spread the smelly garbage all over the sidewalk and lawn. The staff never ever do a thorough cleanup and there is often tidbits of rotting food left behind for our dogs to discover on our nightly stroll.
Yesterday, the situation reached a breaking point for us. The hungry band of racoons weren't waiting for the cover of late night. Two adults and a couple of babies were out brazenly early and had already knocked over the garbage can; giving fresh meaning to the term block party.
In felling the garbage can however, the racoons had inadvertently knocked the can into the road and on-coming traffic. When came out for our evening walk, we noticed with horror that cars were speeding past, nearly hitting the youngest members of the feasting family. While not a big fan of raccoons, I would still hate to witness them being run over by a motor vehicle.
With a few loud claps of my husband's hand, the family was up the nearest tree. I waited at a distance with the dogs, while hubby walked ahead to clean up the mess. He put the garbage can into the home's glassed-in porch and left the staff an angry note. I hope they finally get the hint!
Sometimes we learn by making mistakes. Mistake after frustrating mistake. Vegetable gardening has turned out to be a school of hard-knocks for me. Whatever gift I have for growing things seems to have begun and ended with flowers.
I seem to be doing well with herbs; in fact I have expanded my collection to fill several clay pots and one of the four raised beds in the vegetable garden.
Two weeks ago, I had a tiny handful of cherry tomatoes.
Yesterday, I collected a small bowl and there are lots more on the way.
The cherry tomatoes add a new level of excitement to everyday summer salads. I love that delicious explosion of sweet-tartness when you bit into these little red fruits.
The larger tomatoes however, have turned out to be a bit of a disaster. Disappointingly, I have only had enough tomatoes to make a few sandwiches.
We waited too long to stake our tomatoes and when we pounded the wooden supports into the soil, the plant's roots must have been adversely affected. I watched with dismay as branches wilted and then turned brown.
Lesson learned: don't wait to stake your tomatoe plants. Do it when they are still small!
Unfortunately, most of our red currants ripened while we were on a little mini-vacation. When we got back home, we picked what berries remained with the very best of intentions to make some red currant jam.
The days and even the evenings were roaringly hot at the end of July and so the berries languished in the fridge for a couple of days.
Then it became a simple choice of braving the kitchen inferno to make some jam or have the berries spoil.
We started work at a late hour to take advantage of the cooler part of the evening.
Bad mistake! Adjusting an online recipe to accommodate for our meagre harvest and calculating the conversation of grams to cups at nine o'clock at night proved to be mind boggling.
We managed it though, without filing for divorce.
Now, are you imagining rows of red currant jam neatly lined up in our pantry? Maybe even enough to see us through the coming winter?
Well, not entirely. After an hour of
arguing labour, we had exactly two very tiny jars of jam!
I know, I know! It is kinda pathetic, but we've never made jam before and it was a good learning experience (or at least that's what I keep telling myself).
Today is a provincial holiday here in Ontario and we opened one of our two jars at breakfast to celebrate.
Take some homemade buttermilk biscuits, slather on a little butter and a dollop a bit of whipped cream and that red currant jam doesn't taste half bad!
Sometimes it is the little successes that makes you wanting to try, try again.
Regrettably, one Quinoa and Grilled Sourdough Salad was lost during the making of this post.
You can find the recipe for this salad in the vegetarian cookbook Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi.
I am going to link this post to Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday and to Tuesdays Around the World, This and That Thursday, and Fertilizer Fridays at Tootsie Time. Be sure to click the links to visit other wonderful blogs.