Has Turtle Become a Little Horse?

White-throated Sparrows below the millet feeder

…Er, “hoarse”, that is. For a few days, I literally was hoarse, knocked out with a head cold, but that was a coupla weeks ago. The question you, my blogfriends, may have, is: Why has Turtle been posting nothing more than Wordless Wednesdays lately?

And the answer is, I’ve hardly been at my computer.

The weather has been great, and there has been plenty of work in the backyard to prepare for our 380 cute little seedlings. I have never been so constantly physically filthy in my life. Tonight, after having shoveled and sifted and raked gravel and dirt all day, I left a ring in the bathtub — after taking a shower.

Turtle hadn’t intended this to be a gardening blog. There must be more — or at least other — to life.

Lessee…there’s the community choir. I made the poster for the upcoming concert. I’m planning on reciting James Leigh Hunt’s “Abou Ben Adhem” that evening.

E.g.’s parents came over for supper on Sunday (Mother’s Day). I made a nice veggy lasagna and E.g. prepared a yummy salad. For dessert, I made an angel food cake with buttercream frosting.  Thanks to egg-whites-in-a-carton, the cake was pretty easy. The buttercream, a half-recipe, used 2-1/2 sticks of butter! The cake was decorated with a yellow pansy, two violas, and a white violet.

I’ve started attacking the problem of the invasive Japanese knotweed. The internet explained something about the plant that I hadn’t known:

It’s edible. It belongs to the rhubarb family, and tastes mildly tart. Stirfried with sesame oil, sesame seed, soy sauce, hot sauce, and garlic, it’s dee-lish. After cutting each stalk, though, I did indeed stab the remainder with a skewer and pour a little Roundup (glyphosate) into it. With luck, there will be far fewer such tasty treats next year.

I’m making dandelion wine. It should be fabulous in about 18 months.

Tomorrow, I’ll be meeting a newcomer to Saint John who wants to improve his English. I haven’t taught ESL for 10 years, but this will be a relaxed, unpaid, tutoring gig, so I’m not stressed. Bonus: no night shifts!

Howzat? Not everything has to be rocks and dirt and shoveling and WHO’S THAT IN THE SIDE YARD??

Answer tomorrow!

13 Responses to Has Turtle Become a Little Horse?

  1. pennycat says:

    Oh Dandelion wine how yummy!! I haven’t had that in years. Wow, you certainly have been busy. I wish we would get some warmer weather here so I could get started on the yard work!!

  2. Nothing says “fun in the yard” like a Bobcat! Glad to hear the knotweed has some redeeming qualities, unlike, say, kudzu or foxtails.

  3. S. Le says:

    I’ve never had dandelion wine. What’s it like? Too bad about the hoarseness. I’m a bit afraid to eat weeds from the garden. Those are really good then?

  4. S. Le says:

    You are a busy person. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that though.

  5. lavenderbay says:

    I’m sorry to hear it’s still chilly out your way, Pennycat. This Spring has been lovely, a huge contrast to last year’s (probably typical) heavy snowfall followed by fog and drizzle.

    I’m not familiar with kudzu vine, James, but I’ve frequently seen it mentioned by gardening authorities, who seem to regard it as the Vegetable Kingdom’s version of the Antichrist. As for Foxtails, your blog has made it pretty clear how nasty they are.

    I’ve had dandelion wine once — sort of — S. Le. It was a batch I made as a teenager, with an open bucket in the basement and baking yeast. I let it age for about two weeks. Okay, I’ve never had dandelion wine, but I hear it goes very nicely with fish and a light salad. You’ll have to ask Pennycat what it’s like!
    Apparently I am a busy person. I’m hoping it makes up for not making money. Housewifing is actually rather satisfying most of the time.

  6. livingisdetail says:

    You have been up to many interesting things LB. I’m glad you are over your cold. I don’t think we have ever grown enough dandelions in our yard to make dandelion wine. It sounds very whimsical though, like something the Beatrix Potter animals would drink. The knotweed looks delicious. Is it very stringy? The cake with floral decoration must have been a show-stopper.

  7. lavenderbay says:

    It takes about 200 g of petals to make a gallon, Livingisdetail. Yes, I think it’s what Benjamin Bunny’s and Peter Rabbit’s and Tom Kitten’s mothers would sip as they sat around discussing the children. I love the idea of getting four bottles of drink for $3 of winemaking products and a little patience.
    Once the knotweed grows a certain size, it’s too tough. Before that, the smaller shoots are fine, and the middling shoots can be peeled, like pulling the skin off rhubarb.
    I was very happy with the cake, having never attempted one before. E.g.’s mum knew about it ahead of time — we borrowed her cake pan — but the addition of the posies was a last-minute inspiration.

  8. You could go a step further and make Dandelion Wine Jelly. I bought a jar for Fiddlegirl’s birthday. It’s made on Wolfe Island. http://www.hendersonfarms.on.ca/
    On the other hand, easier just to drink it!

    Knotweed, eh? Did you have dandelion leaf salad with it? It’s amazing what there is growing everywhere that you can eat, theoretically.

    PS. Fiddlegirl got a kick out of the Primadonna on a Moose CD. We all enjoyed listening to it.

  9. lavenderbay says:

    Dandelion wine Jelly? Sounds like fun. I’m really glad you enjoyed the Fallis CD, too!
    We’ve had stirfried knotweed twice, and steamed dandelions twice. E.g. says she prefers the backyard dandelion greens to the store-boughten ones. We’ve also had an apple crisp with one part knotweed to four parts Macs. It was fine!

  10. That japanese knotweed dish looks yummy!

    Theres so many recipes online but one of my favourites is a japanese knotweed crumble, ingredients needed below:

    500g young knotweed shoots, including leafy “spears”, lower sections peeled, sliced into 8cm pieces
    50ml water
    100g caster sugar
    200g plain flour, sifted
    100g cold butter, cubed
    125g brown sugar

    I think it needs to be made more aware to the public as eradicating the weed just became easy.

  11. lavenderbay says:

    Hello, over in England! I understand your knotweed problem there is HUGE. Good luck in your fight to combat it.
    I’ve added knotweed to an apple crisp (crumble with oats), one part nasty weed to four parts apples — very tasty!

  12. Tony says:

    That’s some serious digging going on. Michelle caught me out the other day on a country drive. We saw a Shetland Pony in a field & she said “That pony has a sore throat” When I asked how she knew that she said “Because he’s a little horse”

  13. lavenderbay says:

    Oops, she had you there, did she, Tony? I like that joke from childhood. Do you know what the grape said when the elephant stepped on it? Nothing, actually — but it did let out a little wine.

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