Snapshots: Monday miscellany.

Or maybe “Mundane miscellany,” but I’ll leave that distinction up to you, LOL….

Tomato plants are happening under lights in the kitchen.  Since I took this pic, one set of true leaves has emerged on each plant.  I planted ‘Black Krim’ heirlooms (my first time trying them; my niece gave me seeds last year and I forgot about them until it was too late for me to do anything so I’m rectifying that situation this year) and ‘Candyland Red’ currant tomatoes.  This will be my third year planting the currant tomatoes, but I’ve never started them indoors.  Frost reduced potential yields previously so we’ll try it this way instead.

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Smudge is super happy that I am at home to dispense chicken treats and deliver a cushiony lap whenever required.  I am trying to teach her how to read but so far she’s only demonstrated exemplary skills as a bookmark.

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I’ve used the last shallot in the house…it’s an indicator to plant more this year and it’s also a nod to the fact that properly curing Allium crops can really extend their storage and diminish the risk of rot. Shameless plug alert: Janet Melrose and I write about how to properly cure onions and garlic in our upcoming book, The Prairie Gardener’s Go-To for Vegetables.  (Which you can preorder from Chapters-Indigo and Amazon via this link on our publisher’s website.  I may as well go whole hog on the plug, right?  Why do things halfway?).

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Oh, and I’ve been eating pancakes for lunch.  Pretty much every day.  I don’t have a photo of this (neither the eating, nor the pancakes.  You’re probably grateful for the former, at least).  I use my Mum’s pretty much perfect pancake recipe (say that three times really quickly) but if you want to share yours in the comments, I would love to try it, as well! Tell me about your favourite pancake toppings, too!

Sheryl’s Mum’s Pretty Much Perfect Pancake Recipe (Mum, is it okay that I share this?) 😉 

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt*

1 egg, beaten

1 3/4 cups milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted shortening

Mix all the dry ingredients, then add the liquid ones and combine.  Fry on a hot griddle. Yield: 8 sizeable pancakes, or several much smaller ones. (And in case you’re wondering, no, I’m not eating 8 sizeable pancakes at lunch – these guys keep over really nicely in the fridge for a few days and you can just reheat.  As well, the batch may be successfully halved, if that works better for you).

*Salt is optional.

 

Slugs and shallots.

I spent the morning out at my plots in the community garden, harvesting the rest of the Asian greens that were on the verge of bolting. Seems the slugs had gotten to some of them before me – my mibuna was full of the little slimers. Not impressed. Surprisingly, this is my very first time dealing with slugs in the garden – although I do have experience with them from my garden centre days, when potted roses brought in from the west coast often had stowaways in the form of baseball-sized banana slugs. (I quickly learned Lesson #1: Never, ever unload live plants without wearing gloves!). I’ll never forget the time a co-worker thought she’d be cheeky and put a giant slug next to our boss’s coffee cup on the desk in the greenhouse…let’s just say, it’s a good thing our boss was in a pleasant mood that morning and was already on his second cup of java, because he hated slugs as much as I do.

I’m not certain if these three jokers had any advice about the slugs, but they were sure trying to tell me something:

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I’ll bet they’re the little rascals that have pulled every last shallot out of my plot, pecked holes in them, and then left them to rot. I cannot figure out why magpies would want to eat shallots when there are (slugs) strawberries just a few plots away, but I do know I won’t be eating shallots that I’ve grown myself anytime soon. Oh well, shallots are…overrated. Or something. Right? 😉

What pesky critters are currently bothering your plants?