Browsing Archives for July 2009

As I sit here typing, it is currently 9:41 pm in my part of Kansas. It is 3:41 am in London. It is today in Kansas, but it is tomorrow in England. When we get on our flight headed towards Heathrow airport, it will be noon in Kansas City. After thirteen hours of travel time making various connections, in assorted airports, we will arrive in London in the pre-dawn hours on Saturday morning according to Kansas time, but it will actually be mid-morning according to the English. Somewhere during our flight, we fast forward six hours. I am not really interested in fast-forwarding time! I would much prefer to rewind time! In particular, I would like to go back to my seventeen-year-old self with the flat stomach, the skinny thighs and the constant compulsion to fix my hair. But I would like to keep my forty year old brain… even if it has four holes where the babies came out.

The Country Doctor has been busy devising various schemes for our family to avoid a wretched case of jet lag. Here are a few of the scenarios he has suggested…

Scenario 1 – We stay up all night, the night before our flight, so that we will sleep on the plane. We then wake up well rested having just landed in London and immediately tackle The British Museum, the Museum of Natural History, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace all before anyone gets to have any lunch.

Scenario 2 – We get up at 3:00 in the morning and just goof around until it is time to drive to the airport to catch our flight. We sleep on the plane. We wake up well rested having just landed in London and tackle, museum, museum, abbey, palace, lunch.

Scenario3 – The minute we set foot in London we cease to sleep for the duration of the vacation and instead museum, museum, museum, palace, museum, skip lunch because clearly, abbey, museum, museum, cathedral, museum, etc, etc, etc…

Scenario 4 – Somewhere around museum, museum, museum, skip lunch, abbey, museum, I cease speaking to the Country Doctor.

Scenario 5 – I wander away from my family and ‘accidentally’ get lost.

Scenario 6 – I find a little bakery with a nice view of a pretty garden.

Scenario 7 – I stay there for the rest of the vacation.

Scenario 8 – I meet up with my family on the return flight.

Scenario 9 – I get back the six hours I lost on the return flight, but I never lose the twenty pounds I gain at the bakery.

Scenario 10 – Hmmmmm… maybe museum, museum, abbey, museum, skip lunch, museum, museum, is not so bad?

11. Scratch that… I’m finding that bakery.

These are asparagus beans.


My father-in-law, Joe, has grown them for years, and he sent me some of his seeds in the Spring.



They frequently surpass a foot long, lengthening to eighteen inches and beyond.

I also grew some more traditional green beans, but the asparagus beans are half the effort and twice the food…




As they are so much easier to spot when it comes time to harvest them.




I have been cooking them in my grandmother’s pressure cooker with new potatoes, butter, salt and pepper, but I am on the prowl for a good ‘bacon and green beans’ recipe.  

Because, what is the point of a garden fresh bean without some garden fresh bacon?

If anyone has one, please send it my way!

My garden may not serve as inspiration for garden art the way that Inga’s beautiful garden does, but I have been getting some beautiful vegetables out of it.  




I have especially been getting loads of cucumbers out of my garden.

Thousands of them.

I can even pickle nine quarts of cucumbers only to discover a few days later that they taste like sour slime and throw them all out without making the smallest dent in my garden’s cucumber population.

As a result, I have become a cucumber snob.

A completely out of control cucumber snob.





At this point, only the most dainty and sweetest of cucumbers are allowed to cross my lips.  Anything over an inch in diameter, I refer to as as ‘hog food’, even though I don’t have any hogs.  

It’s just like the scary world of super models for my poor cucumbers.  Only the young, delicate, skinny ones are making the cut.  The rest are hurled without ceremony into the depths of my compost pile where they slowly sink back into the earth from which they came.  I don’t even feel bad about it.  Hey!  There are plenty more where they came from!