Friday, February 13, 2015

Men who buy too many turkeys

Turkey Portrait by Andrea Westmoreland We just finished a week of eating turkey. A 16 pound bird fed six people dinner on Sunday night, my husband and I dinner four nights this week, and lunches for me every day. Plus I've got three turkey pot pies in the freezer. I am starting to understand why my father buys too many turkeys.

This was my first turkey, and was given to me by my father last year after he bought too many turkeys to fit in their deep freezer. He buys them after Christmas when they are cheap, and in 2013 found it impossible to stop. It started when someone in the meat department messed up the pounds to kilos conversion while calculating the price match, erring in his favour. When he tells the story, he talks about how more turkeys was all he could think about. He couldn't enjoy his beer. He was compelled to return to the store. 

This time another store employee messed up the conversion while price matching. Getting a discount and reaffirming his belief that the Canadian education system failed us in developing our math skills? That is a good day, friends. It's hard to believe he has only been price matching a couple of years; his first price match was legendary, but that is a story for another day.

This year he was banned from buying any more turkeys, by my poor mother who eats turkey soup day in, day out. As my father's daughter, I'm already looking forward to the week after Easter.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Oh hello!

I'll keep this short and sweet: I have started blogging to get back on the "writing" horse. As you can see by that uncomfortable blend of cliche and metaphor, I need practice. After a few years in an academic program, I feel compelled to produce worded output, while my creative side feels stifled and dreary. So I blog, hoping to bring myself through to some sort of recovery. I hope to write about life in Paris, alongside the Nith. I will avoid writing about our cats as much as possible. You're welcome.

Figs for Twenty-fifteen

organized part of garden - still a mess

We have messy gardens. Weeds creep on the ground and stick up high in the air, fighting with each other to dominate the various regions of the garden. Wildflowers run rampant where weeds don't take hold. One year a trumpet vine threatened to latch onto my car. I would come out to find it gently touching my car morning after morning, despite my moving it back each night. Snails feast on every plant they can reach. By the end of the summer, the entire garden looks spindly, burnt, and chaotic. Not a charming chaos, either.

So you would think that this presents enough of a gardening challenge for me. Regardless, I find myself drawn to the more unusual, and often challenging, seeds in the catalogue. In past years, I've tried growing loofah (seeded well, but I couldn't make it grow in the ground),  strawberry corn (some luck, though I let it go by harvest time), and white pumpkins (success all around). This year, I think I would like to try growing figs.

While the landscaping of our "upper" backyard (the not-down-by-the-river area) leaves much to be desired, I do dream of a day when a neat green lawn is framed by artfully-planted raised beds. Instead of a dangerous 4-foot drop off a bumpy stone wall, there is a row of wooden benches fencing off the area. Instead of a weed-ridden dirt patch, there is a pergola laden with grape vines, covering a lovely and photogenic outdoor lounge area. Fig plants in massive pots fit splendidly into this vision. We could enjoy the bright rich fruit as we sit under the pergola. Sigh.

It isn't as impossible as it might sound: in our zone (5a), fig plants need to be brought inside for the winter, grown in pots. I can order them online from Richter's Herbs in Groundwood. Moving the pots is probably the most difficult part, for which I can enlist help (probably). The fact that I have hardly eaten more than a dozen figs in my life is irrelevant. Right?