Thursday, October 15, 2009

Roast Figs Two Ways

Our enormous fig tree normally gives us more fruit than we can handle -- plenty t0 can, dry, freeze, and give away. We normally don't do much of anything to keep animals away. The tree grows right by the back door and the dogs keep that area on SuperMax-style lockdown.

This summer however, the dogs were no match for squirrels and birds. I don't think it is an exaggeration to say that this was a desperate, starving season for the local wildlife. The drought meant our cove was bone dry and the creatures who call the normally lush, green surrounding area home got bold, drinking from dog bowls on our deck, lurking around trash bins, grazing in our front yard. Often I'd go out to the fig tree to see six or seven squirrels in it, bending the limbs with their weight.

So not enough figs to preserve, but we did get a few for snacking and dinners. Here's one of our favorite ways to have figs, as a main course, along with a salad, or as an appetizer:
--Split figs
-- On half the figs, sprinkle with brown sugar and a pat of butter.
-- Wrap the other half with a bit of bacon, jamon serrano, or prosciutto
-- broil on high until bacon is cooked and sugar/butter is sizzling

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Patient Gardener

Here's a dream: my own mangosteen tree. I've been dreaming about it since a recent trip to Costa Rica where we ate them by the bucketfull. Luscious, light, fragrant mangosteens. We brought back some seeds, but growing mangosteens is not a short term project. I was told it takes fifteen years for a tree to bear fruit. Hope they let me bring the tree with me to the nursing home.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Return of Water

A few days ago we had a lovely, thundering storm. Our cove, which had been completely dry, suddenly looked like a rushing river, complete with roaring whitecaps.

The water drained into the main body of the lake within a half day, but still, it was a beautiful sight while it lasted.

Fall Renewal

It's amazing how quickly this little hilly land can bounce back from a drought. The crunchy seared grass, shriveling trees, cracked earth -- it swells and brightens, it softens and unfurls. We've got blooms and fruit. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. That's what this land, these plants, made themselves for: to survive and thrive in our ancient weather pattern of boom and bust, drought and flood.

Rumor has it we're in for a long, cold, wet, winter. We, the plants and I, say, bring it on!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Central Texas Springs Back

The drought isn't over. We're still many, many inches behind our average rainfall. The lake is still half empty. But we've had a series of storms, green is reappearing.

And look, here's the first rainbow I've seen since I don't know when. It was huge, glowing. And if you looking carefully, you can see it's a double.