Posts Tagged With: peaches

CLIMATE CHANGE.

I actually got through my mail yesterday and have two small grocery bags full of paper to recycle. Opening the mail isn’t the end of it. There is always a number of things from the mail to attend to.

In the late afternoon, I managed to pick the plums left on one tree. The green gage plum tree awaits me today. The little satsumas were not as tasty as usual, maybe because of unseasonal rains. Probably a benefit of climate change to have such a bumper crop of apples, peaches, plums and pears.

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Karen, my house mate,  gave bags and boxes of plums to neighbors, made jam, brought some down to the senior center, and still the tree had plums, high in the top. I picked these three containers full and shook the rest down for the deer.

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Everyone enjoyed the big Elberta peaches, and Bartlett pears, but the wild Indian peaches were prolific. Karen couldn’t find takers for them,  though she made jam and gave to anybody who would have them.  (You have to peel Indian peaches.)

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There are still some peaches left high in the tree. You can see the huge bird peck in one of them. I might be able to pick what’s left here and on the other side of the tree.

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One box of apples remained of those I picked before I left. They are looking spotty but they have kept their firmness stored in newspaper on the cold garage floor.  There are still a few apples on two of my trees.  My job today is to make apple-plum sauce. Maybe a plum-peach sauce batch. Sauce preserves easily and freezes well, too. I have limited time so a bit each day should get it done. All my fruit is organic.

Now that I’m home, I get the news and it is never good news. The longer I am with Jim, the more I understand his philosophy of  “I don’t read the news. It is all bad and I can’t do anything about it anyway.” 

I guess it isn’t in my personality to not have hope, or not to recycle, or not to look to the sun for energy, etc. and I always will do my part to reduce human impact. In fact, I’m writing a book about it.

I took this condensed report directly from Mother Jones Magazine. The report was just published by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s “Summary for Policymakers” of its Fifth Assessment Report—

Looks like we are in deep doo doo for the next 1,000 years. Humans denied involvement or didn’t know what we were doing to the planet for about 100 years.

Mother Jones calls this the “Cliffs Notes version”, providing the highlights of the text in a  more readable fashion. They admit the report is SCARY:

1. Global warming is just plain unmistakable. At the top of the report, the warming of the climate system that we are seeing (in the form of melting ice, temperature rise, and sea level rise, among other factors) is called “unequivocal” and “unprecedented over decades to millennia.” Not mincing words here, then.

2. Scientists are more sure than ever that humans are driving global warming. The certainty about this central conclusion has now been upped to 95 percent. Let’s allow the scientists to say it in their own words: “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

3. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is higher than it has been in nearly a million years. How much have humans changed the planet? Well, the IPCC says our atmosphere has more carbon dioxide, more methane, and more nitrous oxide than it has had in “at least the last 800,000” years. And how long did it take us to do that? A 40 percent increase in carbon dioxide has occurred since pre-industrial times—or, roughly in the last 200 years.

Item four is hard to understand, but don’t miss reading #6.

4. A clarification on the alleged “slowdown.” The IPCC has added considerable clarification to the most controversial part of the report, where it notes that the rate of surface temperature increase over the last 15 years ago is somewhat less than it had been previously. After an earlier draft of the report leaked in August, this section was widely cited by climate skeptics to cast doubt on global warming. Now, the IPCC clarifies that short-term trends of this kind “are very sensitive to the beginning and end dates and do not in general reflect long-term climate trends.” The report says the recent reduction in the rate of warming is caused, in roughly equal parts, by natural climate variability (possibly including heat going deeper into the oceans) and a temporary decline of solar radiation reaching the planet, thanks to volcanic eruptions and the solar cycle itself. (For more detail, see our live blog.)

5. Projections of sea level rise have increased. Last time around, in 2007, the IPCC was faulted for having projections of future sea level rise that were arguably too conservative, because of the way they dealt with possible contributions from the melting of land-based ice (e.g., Greenland, West Antarctica). This time, the projections are higher for the end of this century. The highest end projection indicates oceans could rise by more than 3 feet (or 0.98 meters).

6. Much of global warming is irreversible and will continue for centuries. In the most somber part of the report, the IPCC provides a truly geological perspective on the changes that we are causing. It notes that much of what we are doing to the planet is “irreversible on a multi-century to millennial time scale” and that temperatures will remain “at elevated levels for many centuries,” even if we completely stop emitting carbon dioxide. Indeed, the report states, much of the carbon dioxide that we’ve emitted “will remain in the atmosphere longer than 1,000 years.”

I read where we’ve had the biggest chinook salmon run in 20 years and no one knows why?  Did it ever occur to anyone that salmon predators are in trouble?  Or that beef raising countries fished 40 billion pounds of anchovies out of the ocean to use for fertilizer. Shouldn’t there be an ocean ecological guard that says you don’t rob the oceans for beef? Capitalism gone amok! Greed the driving force.

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MOVING ON TO THE EAST COAST

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Virginia and the kids came up for the weekend, kind of a last fling at the flume, some blackberry picking, which Doug calls “black pearls”,  and picking peaches out of my much neglected orchard. Some plums were ripe, too.

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I dunked my feet in the water and just kept cool.

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We relaxed…

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Owen brought a book.

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We enjoyed a nice cool watermelon after our cool dunk.

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Back at the house, Owen decided to take a nap with the timer set…on his head while the rest of us tackled the peach tree. Actually, Theo picked while I held the ladder.

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While we got a good volume of peaches, they are small and bird pecked so I only set one strip out to dry. Virginia took the rest of them home to turn into jam, along with a big container of plums.

I practiced my Massachusetts pronunciations so I don’t say things wrong and get shunned.

Worcester: Wuhsta or Wistah,

Gloucester:  Glaw-stah

Leicester: Lestah

Woburn: Woo-ban

Dedham: Dead-um

Tewksbury:  Tooks-berry

Leominster: Lemin-stah

Summerset: Sam-ah-set or Sum-aw-set

never: nevah

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There, that ought to do it.

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CORNED BEEF AND RUMMIKUB

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I’ve learned a lot about corned beef since I prepared mine Jewish style on Sunday. I always thought corned beef was simply brined brisket, and I was  sort of right. The salt is crystals not brine. Anyway, I soaked mine overnight and drained away the water before boiling it with a large onion and four bay leaves. It was less salty and I think I’ll do that from now on.

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I scraped away that huge covering of fat, studded it with cloves, added pepper, (not in the recipe, but it worked out fine.)

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I slathered it with dijon  mustard, surrounded it with peaches and juice and baked it for about an hour and 40 minutes. It didn’t get as tender as the fresh brisket does. It retains a firmer texture, probably because of the salt.

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I cooked the potatoes, carrots and cabbage in the broth.

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I cut my cabbage so a part of the core holds them into a wedge shape and put them in during the last 10 to 12 minutes of cooking. Cabbage loses its flavor when overcooked. It tastes great just tender and slathered in mustard. I’d have to say, the peach and clove flavors gave it a unique taste, but it still tasted like corned beef. Everyone liked it and the Rummikub game we played until late was fun. We chose a white wine with it. I think maybe our little dinner gathering was fun but not nearly as exciting as the Undie Run the people of Seattle love along with their Nudestock.  Still gives me a chuckle to think of it.

I said I learned a lot about corned beef because the Irish in Ireland don’t eat it. They raised pork and couldn’t afford beef. The English sent cattle to be raised in Ireland. The Irish sold it back to them preserved in salt- no refrigeration in those days- to outfit ships from both England and France. The Irish had access to cheap crystal salt and  had a huge profitable business for many years. Then when England passed laws against land inheritance and broke up families and wealth, the Irish had only the potato as their mainstay with a bit of salt back bacon. There are still more Irish in other countries than Ireland.

In the U.S. the Irish borrowed the brisket, a tough, cheap cut of meat, from the Jews and again became masters of “corned” beef.  Cooked with the “Irish” potato and cabbage about the cheapest vegetables you could buy. Survivors.

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(Next year I think I’ll  organize an undie run for the parade.)  We’re kind of boring.

 

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JEWISH WAY WITH BRISKET.

Isn’t America wonderful? We have such a polyglot of cultures we can be Irish and cook Jewish on St. Patrick’s Day. Well, what the heck. Good food belongs to everyone. I don’t remember where I got this recipe, but I can tell you it is good.

1 brisket, as large as you can find with the bone in, (not corned.)

Boil two hours covered with 4-5 bay leaves and a large onion. Use a stainless steel pan and add 1/4 cup of vinegar to the water. Once cooked, drain and move to a baking pan. Stud with whole cloves and slather with Dijon mustard mixed with 2 tspns dk brown sugar. Add a can of peaches, spread juice and peaches around the base of the brisket and bake it until it is tender enough to cut with a fork. (About an hour.)

I’m going to try making it this year with the brisket already corned and see how it turns out. Mainly because my housemate, who has been invited to a friends for St. Patricks, feels cheated because she doesn’t get any leftovers for sandwiches. She bought me a brisket with red new potatoes and carrots, and cabbage, and said, “there better be enough leftovers for a sandwich for me!”

Tomorrow, I’ll cover the St. Patricks Day festivities in town, but, I still haven’t solved my picture problem. Maybe, I’ll have better luck today. If not, I’m going to begin blogging old photos. Shoot, I have plenty thousands of them.

 

 

 

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SEIZE THE DAY

Yesterday, I had lunch at Panera Bread in Lodi. I asked this family what they thought of the restaurant? While they liked it they didn’t express any overwhelming enthusiasm. I had to take my car in to the Toyota dealership for a recall fix, a simple nut, in the power steering mechanism. I always like to “seize the day” when I’m off-tracked. The dealership shuttle delivered me to a shopping center of my choice and I managed to buy some needed socks and underwear. Then I walked across Kettleman Lane to Panera Bread.

  I thought it was a bakery, and it is a bakery-with a restaurant.

The major appeal here is the many types of sweets. Since they don’t tempt me, I opted for a half sandwich and salad. Nothing exceptional. For almost eight dollars, (no drink) I had to  pick up  my food at a counter and bus my own fancy plastic dishes, not paper.  It’s just a fancy fast food restaurant, only higher priced. Their stock is sizzling so I wanted to see for myself what all the sizzle is about. I wasn’t impressed.

I went next door to El Maguey Mexican Grill and had a couple of pollo tacos. Customers here were more enthusiastic about their food, but my flash suddenly refused to work and I couldn’t get a picture. The prices were better as well and my food was delivered to me by a waitress.  Cost? Just under $3. Chili Verde is 7.99, and pronounced delicious by two customers. The downside to any Mexican restaurant is they only serve Mexican beer.

I called the shuttle driver and he took me to Lodi Beer Company, a craft brewer. Ah, more like it. Their porter was good, but doesn’t compare to Black Butte Porter by Deshutes Brewery, or Brown Sugah, by La Gunitas. They serve food here as well and I would have liked to try it but the dealership called me and said my car was finished. Besides, I was surfeit by then.  The interior is cool and beautiful. (No flash.)

The best find of the day, was visiting a small, side-of-the-road fruit and vegetable stand, the first on the right on Victor Rd. toward San Andreas from 99. Gail Meltzer was selling “my dad’s awesome white peaches”. Oh, my. Tree ripened, luscious peach perfume filled my car.  Peach heaven.  I bought squash and her homemade chocolate covered cashews, as well. Cheaper than rocky road, she claims by writing on a piece of paper.  (Gail cannot speak.) Better tasting, too.  Gail showed me this giant summer squash. Around Labor Day, or sooner, she is going to take bets as to how big it gets. If you want to guess, call her at 209-200-660. (I don’t know who answers the phone.)

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