We got lucky in Greensboro yesterday – two lines of intense storms passed to our north and south, making the temperature cool enough to be bearable at the outdoor wedding I attended in Brown Summit late in the day. It was a particularly beautiful and joyful wedding, I thought. The couple went all out for the food and K and I enjoyed it very much.

I felt for the bride though; like me, her father passed away less than a year before her wedding. I still have a hard time with the fact that my father wasn’t able to give me away at my wedding. I suddenly felt that pain swift and hard when the bride danced with her stepfather – how I would have loved to have danced with my father! But of course, it might not have happened anyway because we had a typical Southern Baptist reception with no alcohol or dancing. If my father had been alive, I would have wanted a different kind of wedding, but I wouldn’t have been able to afford it, and since my father was gone, I let my mother pretty much do as she pleased, since my preference was the courthouse or a gathering of the immediate families in her living room. So my wedding was really my mother’s wedding, except that I insisted on a friend playing the guitar and another friend doing the photography.

The storms that passed us by yesterday kicked up enough wind that I was able to get some serious weeding done. I dug up the little apple tree sprouting from the roots of the one that died and transplanted it to another spot, not a good spot, but I don’t really know what to do with it. If it doesn’t make it, that’s okay. The reason that I dug it up is because we’re planning to do something special on this spot, maybe as soon as next weekend if the heat lets up:

before photo

Also dug up elephant garlic until the wind died and the mosquitoes began to attack me for ripping up their home. It’s curing on an old window screen under the shed with the rest of my garlic from earlier this summer.

Let’s see, what’s ahead for today? I have through probably Thursday to myself – Sandy has gone camping with a friend on a Civil War trip up to Gettysburg. If they get sick of the heat or each other they might be back earlier. So I can do anything I want today without getting shanghaied into painting trim or moving furniture or worrying about cooking for two.

I’ll put yesterday’s chicken in the crockpot with some potatoes and carrots and dried porcini mushrooms, with garlic and rosemary and basil and lemon thyme. I’ll load the food dehydrator with slices of peaches and Principe Borghese tomatoes, probably not all today, probably not in that order. The tomatoes are prolific and the seedlings were the most robust of all my tomato seedlings, resisting the aphid attack and pooh-poohing the early dry period in June. But :::sigh::: they really don’t taste very good. This variety was recommended for drying, which is why I bought the seed, but maybe it’s because they don’t taste good fresh or canned? Anyway, next year I’ll go with Juliet again, which is good eating and drying.

principle borghese tomatoes

My latest mystery tomato – it came from Fedco in a packet of mixed “heirloom” tomatoes. I haven’t tasted it yet. Once I do, I’ll go to the catalog and try to ID it.

mystery tomatoes

The Aunt Ruby’s German Green tomatoes that Pat gave me were as delicious as promised. I saved some seeds on a paper towel. They are on the Slow Food Ark of Taste, which is a fascinating program if you are interested in heritage foods. It’s one of the things I like best about Slow Food, since I am more of a gardener than a cook. I’m growing three tomatoes from the list, one of which doesn’t taste like a tomato: Cherokee Purple, Amish Paste, and ground cherries. Two beans from the list, although I’m growing several more heirloom beans: Jacob’s Cattle and Southern field peas, which they lumped altogether on the list. One variety I’m growing is Whippoorwill, originally from Monticello.

All the pole beans and big tomatoes are making the Back Forty look like a jungle this year. There’s a solid L-shaped wall of vines right through the middle of the left side, attached to the fig tree. The fig tree is beginning to alarm me because of its huge growth spurt in the last few months. It’s easily doubled its size this year.

back forty early august 2008

Okay, I’m done with my coffee pot. Time to pop the chicken into the crockpot, read the Sunday paper, play in the studio, clean the litterbox and do laundry. See, I can’t get away from all unpleasantness today!

first bowl of many to come