Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Rose by Any Other Name...

   We had a fun visit with James and Beth this evening, the big occasion being a party to celebrate grandson John Wesley Tunnell's second birthday.  I have particularly enjoyed being John's grandpa as he is pretty free with hugs and we have always seemed to hit it off pretty well.  I've always considered it a significant miracle that my grandchildren really like me. Grandchildren are such a great blessing.  We had a wonderfully fun dinner of homemade pizza grilled on the barbecue and a dirt cake birthday cake,

   After the festivities were over we heard the sad tale of how the Tunnells have lost two chickens in the last week to a raccoon.  James had bought a pellet gun to help scare the raccoon away, but they were very concerned for the safety of their sole surviving chicken. This particular chicken, named Rose, is a very special pet to Britton and Lucy. She actually seems to enjoy being petted and will let the girls carry her around. A decision was made that Rose should enter the Chicken Protection Program and take up temporary residence in a safe coop in Snohomish. Britton was very sad to be parted from her pet and it was an extended tearful farewell on Britton's part.  Rose handled the parting very stoically, "Stiff upper beak and all that."
Rose in her safe temporary quarters

     I had a busy Saturday at the bee store. However, I did manage to spend about 15 quality minutes with my wood lathe and roughed out a wooden spoon for the upcoming Mormon Pioneer Handcart Trek.  I just did a round spoon shape on the lathe then cut it in half on the bandsaw. I carved out much of the bowl of the spoon while playing scrabble with Linda at the dining room table.  Note the pile of shavings in the background.
I'm sure the pioneers would preferred to have used wood latches to rough carve their spoons

     I had purchased an Oregon Sweetmeat Squash last October and it has been sitting in a basket in our laundry room ever since.  Linda assumed it had gone bad and put it outside for me to dispose of it. It is after all the last day of June and long after the normal expected expiration date of a winter squash.  When I picked the thing up I noted that it was still pretty firm. I could find no soft spots that would indicate it had started to decay.  The color had changed a little in that it last fall it was a pale green and it had started to turn more salmon colored.  Since it appeared to still be in good shape I took it into the kitchen and cut it in half. The inside looked good too so I decided to bake it. I am absolutely amazed that a winter squash would keep 8 months in out laundry room. This is a variety with some serious potential.
Still looking good after 8 months of storage. I am impressed

    I was persuaded to try out an Oregon Sweetmeat squash after reading about them in a book titled, "The Resilient Gardener" by Carol Deppe.  She described them as good keepers and raved about their flavor so I wanted to try eating one. My only concern about this variety is that they take longer to reach maturity than some other varieties I have tried to raise so far.  I'm saving the seeds for next year. Hopefully it will be able to reach maturity if I start it in a cold frame.  I did quite a bit of cooking with squash last fall. I just never got around to cooking this one. The fact that it is so big makes it a little harder to cook as who wants to eat winter squash for three weeks. Carol Deppe actually uses the cooked sweetmeat squash to help feed her ducks.  Since the squash lasted this long it would be a terrible shame for it to go to waste now.  It is currently being baked in the oven at 375 degrees in a baking pan with a little water in the bottom of the pan.

1 comment:

  1. "Stiff upper beak and all that..." Good one, Dad. Poor Rose. I hear she's being bullied in your chicken lockdown as well. :(