This is Lisa's* plum tree, down the block from me. I took the photo on October 23rd, which shows what a gentle autumn we had. The bushes in the background have changed color, but not the tree.
It's astonishing how well plum trees hide their fruit. Only when you get much closer can you can actually see the plums:
Part II of this post actually addresses garden-related topics.
Brief Meditation on the Market
We celebrated Thanksgiving with a Harry Potter movie marathon, courtesy of our web-savvy son. We were driven to watching pirated, poor-resolution versions from the computer, because we had typically failed to plan ahead, and you couldn't rent a Harry Potter DVD in this town for any money. We figure that everyone else, like us, was trying to remember the plots before going to see the penultimate installment, in a theater near you now.
Our Malian friend Abdoulaye will be happy to learn that we watched all of this on a new, 32-inch flat-screen television. Yes folks, we are moving up. As I wrote a while ago, when this potato specialist from central Africa came to the United States, he found himself living in a log house without cell-phones, cable, or a wireless internet connection, with a family that had never heard of 24.
The mushroom soup I mentioned at the end of my last post was amazing.
After hunting around a bit online, I decided to use Hank Shaw's adaptation of a recipe by famed French chef Auguste Escoffie, Velouté Agnes Sorel. Actually, I adapted Shaw's adaptation, but even this third-generation version was wonderful: rich, thick, and tasty. On his blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, Shaw details how his version differs from Escoffier's, and I thought I'd continue that tradition by explaining how mine differs from Escoffier's.
That's spinach on the left, and a major chard leaf on the right. I hadn't set out to make a major harvest, but when I lifted the cover off the greens patch next door, I found the spinach pushing the row-cover ceiling. So I got out the scissors.
I needed this. I've been digging for days, prepping plots that should have been planted two months ago. So I'm looking at all this bare dirt, wondering if I'm ever going to get on top of things, and at the end of the day, I actually get to bring this in.
What a relief.