Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

Or something like that. I don’t have the energy to look up the lyrics. And most of y’all are probably too young to remember that song anyway.

It’s hot here. Duh. June in Alabama. The tomatoes are coming along. I missed the first ripe ones, but nephew Zach, who was kind enough to house-and-pet-and-plant-sit while we were on vacation, sampled them and said they were good. It’s not quite as traumatic as missing the baby’s first steps. :) We’ve had a few off the Early Girl and one from the Celebrity, and I picked the first Cherokee Purple yesterday. It wasn’t quite ripe, but I wanted to bring it in before the birds spotted it. I’ll cut it today or tomorrow and see if the inside really does look like raw liver. The jalapeño plants are covered with peppers, and I’ve already made one batch of cornbread.

We added to the herb collection while on vacation, picking up a Kentucky Colonel mint and a tri-color sage. It’s really too bad that I can’t stomach bourbon (a bad experience in my misspent youth), but perhaps someone else would like a mint julep.

The bell pepper seedlings and cilantro plants are coming along. I’m keeping them in pots as my other peppers (except for the jalapeños) aren’t doing too well in the yard. Just rescued the hot banana from the back bed and put it back in a pot; it’s looking pretty pathetic. Zach’s, OTOH, is doing great. He brought it with him when he came over to house-sit, and it has two big honkin’ peppers on it. I should have taken a picture of his and pretended it was mine. Zach, you should post a pic at your place; you definitely get bragging rights.

The cats are enjoying the catnip and other herbs — when they can bestir themselves to chew. I cut a bunch the other day, made pesto with the basil and stuck the rest in a vase.

I promise more politics soon. Cat and garden pictures and a recipe for jalapeño cornbread after the jump.


Cherokee Purple, Celebrity, and a couple of Early Girls, with Angel and Amelia in the background

Kentucky Colonel mint and tricolor sage

bell peppers and cilantro

pitiful banana pepper

Amelia imbibing catnip

lazy Angel

Angel with herb bouquet

Jalapeño Cornbread

3/4 c. self-rising cornmeal
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 c. vegetable oil (I use olive)
1/2 can cream corn (freeze the other half for your next batch)
1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped

Combine all ingredients. Spray small iron skillet with cooking spray and stick it in the oven while you preheat to 400°F. Pour batter into hot skillet and bake for 35 minutes. This will make 6-8 servings, depending on how you slice it. It’s easy to double if you want to feed more people or have leftovers, which I’m told are quite tasty but tend to be spicier the longer they sit. I don’t have an original source for this recipe; I got it from my mother-in-law, who is a wonderful cook, and adapted it for us. Enjoy!

8 Responses to “Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer”

  1. Nancy says:

    We’ve had 1 banana pepper. Tomatoes look like they will come to fruit while we are gone. Taking all procautions (snake – fake of course – pie plates – etc.) to keep the birds and Dennis the Menace next door out. (Jon is Mr. Wilson!) My herb attempt is going to be WEAK – 2 of 6 are dead already. Dill and Sage died…basil going fast. Secrets please?

  2. Del says:

    I planted wilt-resistant basil last year from seeds I got from Park’s, and had much better luck than in the past. Most of what’s out there right now–in fact all of it–are volunteers from last year’s crop, and now I’m worried that the wilt-resistance might not carry on to the next generation; the seeds were a hybrid, after all. I did notice one of them drooping the other day and yanked the whole thing out of the ground before it could infect anybody else.

    Our peppers are doing wonderfully, ditto the eggplants – something called “Fairy Tale Hybrid” (also from Parks) that is incredible grilled, and I don’t even like eggplant. But the huge, sprawling tomatoes the yard guy planted have already shut down production. Probably because our nights are so hot, but he has a heavy hand with the Miracle Gro and I don’t see how that can be good for them.

  3. Kathy says:

    I think I might have overdone the Miracle Gro on my tomatoes as well. I need to stake my giant plants, which have far overgrown their baskets, and then I’m going to prune like crazy. Way too much foliage, although they are producing some nice fruit too.

    Wish I had some brilliant advice about the herbs. I specialize in benign neglect, which seems to work well for some of them but not so much for others. Having most of them in pots at least forces me to notice the ones that are dying from lack of water.

  4. I have gotten two tiny tomatoes from four heirloom plants. One plant has kicked the bucket. I am going with Better Boys next year! In the meantime, there’s a farmers’ market every Wednesday downtown so DH picks up some Chilton County ‘maters for me.

    On the other hand, my herbs are doing great and the oregano is now officially a ground cover.

  5. Kathy says:

    Lisa, does it smell wonderful when you walk on it? I’ve often thought it would be nice to have a yardful of mint or some other herb so I could smell it with every step.

    Last summer we ate lots of Chandler Mountain tomatoes from the JeffCo farmers’ market. They’re the closest to my dad’s I’ve ever tasted. He always grew Better Boys, and they were delicious.

  6. K. Whitmire says:

    I’m still waiting on my Cherokee Purples to ripen. Meanwhile I’m using chemical weapons on the little green worms (and still losing). Enjoy.

  7. [...] look purple, and it doesn’t look like liver. It looks yummy! Kyle, I hope you beat back the onslaught of green worms and have a bumper [...]

  8. Loretta Nall says:

    Kyle…I have found Sevin dust to be very useful in controlling the awful green worms. Put some in the foot of a pair of pantyhose and sprinkle it all over the leaves…the underside too. Also sprinkle some on the ground around the plants so that anything without wings and with an appetite for tomatoes will have to crawl through it. Works wonders.

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