Tag Archives: vegetables

Tomato Wine

My dad grew up in the Depression years, so if anything could be conserved and/or reused, our family did it.  Wasting food wasn’t quite a cardinal sin, but we mourned the occasional demise of a leftover with the regret most people would feel over losing a $5 bill.

I inherited the food-conservation compulsion.

So.  You may recall that Hubby and I grew a gigantic and successful veggie garden this year.  The tomatoes were particularly prolific.  We ate fresh tomatoes with almost every meal, and I canned quarts and quarts of them.  Then I made salsa, ketchup, tomato paste, and green tomato pickle.  I gave away tomatoes to friends, neighbours, and the food bank; and the tomatoes just kept coming.

We still have so many tomatoes that for once in my life, I’ve stopped worrying about wasting them.  (Okay, not really; but at least I’m slightly less obsessive about it.)  So I’m trying something new:  Tomato wine and tomato cider.

It may not be as weird as it sounds; or at least we’re not the first to attempt it.  I have no idea whether it will be tasty, barely drinkable, or vile rocket fuel; but at this point I have nothing to lose but a couple of pounds of sugar and a package of yeast.

Wine-making vocabulary always makes me wonder whether I’m fermenting a beverage or describing some kind of medieval torture: Pitching the yeast, racking off… it all sounds painful and barbaric.  But drinking our tomato hooch might actually turn out to be akin to medieval torture; so maybe the vocabulary is more appropriate than I realize.

Even if it fails, it’s an interesting experiment; and at least I tried to Not Waste Food.  I think my dad would be pleased:  His chokecherry wine was legendary.  (Keeping in mind that ‘legendary’ can be astoundingly good or abysmally bad.  It was definitely memorable.)

Anybody else ever made tomato wine or cider?  Or have more ideas for using another twenty pounds of tomatoes?  Maybe tomato ice cream…?

Book 15 update:  Another good writing week!  I’m in the middle of Chapter 9 with flashing lights and sirens, and Arnie’s found another feline friend.

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More Juggling (But Not With Fish)

September is shaping up to be a crazy month!  (Lucky I’m crazy enough to deal with it.)  I’m still picking piles of fruit and veggies from the garden, and we’re busily socking it away to enjoy throughout the winter.  The considerable overflow goes to our friends and neighbours as well as the Food Bank.

We might have been just a teeny bit over-enthusiastic when we were planting the garden, but… look at all this glorious food!

(Click on photos to enlarge.)

A single picking of tomatoes. (I pick a couple of times a week.)

 

Ten gallons of chopped carrots all ready for the freezer.

 

50 pints of pickles, 22 pints of jam, 7 pints of salsa, 28 pints of beans (another 20 pounds frozen), 24 pints of tomatoes and lots to go, and still a bit of space left for the rest of the beets and tomatoes and pickled hot peppers. YUM!

 

But our autumn isn’t only about food.  The flowers are still gorgeous, too, and the bees and other wildlife are hard at work stocking their own pantries:

This little black bear has been feasting on the wild cherries only a few hundred feet from our house. Don’t be fooled by his casual pose — he’s actually about 30 feet up a tree. (He’s a little blurry because Hubby took this shot using a LONG zoom — we have a healthy respect even for small bears!)

 

This little guy has been hard at work snipping off pine cones and stashing them away.

 

I’m not sure whether it was my camera or the tiny white spider (near the centre of the flower) that chased this bee off the zinnia. Either way, he’s buzzing off.

 

The snapdragons are still putting on a show.

 

One of our newest rhododendrons, Medusa, is a bit confused as to whether it’s spring or fall, but she’s beautiful anyway!

 

We’ll have a couple more rounds of houseguests this month, so maintaining my writing schedule for Book 15 will be a juggling act.  (Fortunately not with fish.)  To salvage some time I’ll dial back my blogging schedule to every second week for the month of September, so my next post will be September 18.

How’s your September shaping up?  Are you harvesting any goodies from your garden?

Book 15 update:  I’m bombing along on Chapter 4!  Hellhound would normally be voted “Most Likely To Get Arrested While On Vacation”, but Aydan’s the one who’s ended up in handcuffs…

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I Blame The Cucumber

Every now and then my brain gets stuck in a thought-groove.  For example, the other day I reached into our fridge and grabbed a cucumber…

Before I go any farther, I just want to point out that this post is entirely the cucumber’s fault.

Cucumbers bring out the worst in me; especially Long English cucumbers.  I can’t even buy them in the grocery store without smirking.  There’s something about publicly sorting through a big pile of phallic objects that just tickles my funnybone.  Should I get the ridiculously-long-but-skinny one or the one with average length but jaw-dropping girth?  Will the checkout cashier judge me by my choice?

If I think about it too much, I can’t repress my smile; which only escalates the situation.  ’Cause the only thing worse than publicly sorting through a big pile of phallic objects is doing it while wearing a guilty grin.  When I catch myself furtively glancing around to see if anyone’s watching, I know it’s time to just grab the first available cucumber and get the hell out of the produce department.

(I’d also like to note that I’ve never seen a man buy a Long English cucumber.  Not once.  Talk about intimidation.)

But I digress, as usual.

So, anyway… I reached into our refrigerator and grabbed a cucumber, and it squished.  Eeuw!

Quoth I to Hubby, as I disposed of the slimy remains:  “Liquidity:  A good thing for investments; not so good for cucumbers.”

Then my brain wouldn’t let it go.  It turns out there are a lot of words that rhyme with ‘liquidity’, and most of them have good and bad connotations.  Such as…

Frigidity:  Good for popsicles; bad for bedmates.

Rapidity:  Great for cheques arriving in the mail; not great for bills arriving in the mail.

Solidity:  Good for chocolate bunnies; bad for ghosts.

Aridity:  Nice for armpits; not-so-nice for climates.

Rigidity:  Bad in attitudes, but great in a… *ahem* …tool. (Would you believe I was talking about the Ridgid brand name?  No?  Okay, fine; you got me. *snickers*)

Flaccidity and tumidity:  Not even going there.

Stupidity: Just never good.

I had more, but I decided not to belabor the point.  (You’re welcome.)

But speaking of belaboring the point:  Many thanks to everyone who weighed in on my proposed cover design last week!  The majority indicated that the original covers were better, although some people said it might be interesting to see a design that used some elements of both.  So here’s my next attempt:

And then (because I can’t leave well enough alone), I also did a version with the photo clipped into a “Top Secret” file folder.

Here it is in blue/green just for variety (because if I go with the bright design, each book’s cover will be a different colour under the yellow titles):

Or… here’s the original cover with an updated font and series number:

Or am I over-thinking the whole thing?  Here’s the original cover:

Please click on the one-question survey below for a quick vote:

And as always, if you have comments I’d love to hear them.  Thanks for helping to preserve my tiny fraction of remaining sanity!

P.S. None of this craziness is my fault — the cucumber made me do it!  😉

 

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Cheesy Sasquatch Fries

* Note:  The first part of this post may require a front porch, a rocker, and a cane to wave at the young whippersnappers.  The second part may require anti-psychotic meds.

Hubby and I were sitting at the table the other day, talking about cheese.  (Yes, I realize that “Let me tell you about the cheese I ate the other day” is the conversational gambit most likely to make listeners lapse into a coma.  I hope you’ll bear with me.)

I bit into a tasteless piece of rubbery orange-ness and announced, “You know, this so-called ‘old’ cheddar is what we used to call ‘mild’.  It’s really sad that there’s a whole generation out there who thinks this is actually ‘old cheddar’.”

“Huh,” Hubby replied.  “Never mind; there’s a whole generation out there who thinks that the orange plastic stuff on their fast-food burgers is cheese.”

Not to outdone by crotchety complaints, I upped the ante.  “And most kids don’t even know that their french fries are made from potatoes.”

Then (as it frequently does in our house) the conversation veered sharply off-course and scuttled down the nearest rabbit hole.

“They probably think french fries grow on trees,” Hubby grumped, then brightened as inspiration hit.  “Groves of french-fry trees… but they’re all hidden behind government-controlled park areas so nobody has ever seen one.”

“That’s it!” I exclaimed.  “The government is in league with the forestry companies.  That’s why the logging companies have such tight controls on their land.  All those security measures and radio check-ins and restricted roads… I mean, seriously, how many logs do they really haul out?  We’ve seen maybe two or three trucks carrying logs in the year since we’ve been here.  They’re actually just hiding all the french-fry trees.”

“And those two logging trucks we saw are only decoys!” Hubby rejoined, getting into the spirit.  “It’s the same two trucks with the same logs, just driving back and forth.  The real money is in the french fries they’re shipping out in unmarked reefer trucks.  And…”

He considered for a moment, then laid down his most compelling argument yet:  “You know that guy who petitioned the Supreme Court to have sasquatches declared an endangered species?  He was onto something, because guess who’s picking the french fries?”  *imaginary drumroll*  “It’s the sasquatches!  They have a treaty with the government that gives them the sole contract to harvest from the secret french-fry trees in exchange for living in seclusion and having no contact with the rest of the world!”

So there you have it:  We’ve figured out the mystery of why some french fries bear no resemblance to an actual potato; and we’ve also explained why all official sources categorically deny the existence of sasquatches.  Are we brilliant, or what?

(Don’t answer that…)

Now their secret is out!

Book 14 update: I made it to Chapter 17 this week and I’m chugging along.  Aydan gets a nice surprise for a change!

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Pickles, Peeves, And Daniel Craig

It’s been one of those weeks.  I’ve been trying to fit ten days of work into seven, and my brain has rebelled.  I knew I was in trouble a couple of nights ago when I dreamed of Daniel Craig.

That might sound like the quintessential female fantasy; but it wasn’t… because of the pickles.  Yes, I dreamed that Daniel Craig was plying me with a plethora of pickled cucumbers.

Freud would nod sagely and point out the phallic significance.  Normally I’d snicker and agree; but the truth is that I’ve been inundated with cucumbers lately, to the point where I’m even dreaming about them.  The garden is going crazy, and every second day I lug in a basket of strawberries, a basket of cucumbers, a basket of tomatoes, and a basket of corn.  And now the beans have found their second wind, too (no pun intended).

Don’t get me wrong; I’m thrilled that our garden is doing so well.  But I’m also a teensy bit overwhelmed, which means the chances of me writing a coherent blog post this week are somewhere between ‘Nil’ and ‘Not a chance in hell’.

So instead, here are a couple of random thoughts that flitted through my mind this week:

I love food, cooking, and eating; but some days the futility of it nearly brings me to my knees.  I spend SO MUCH TIME (and money and energy) acquiring food, preparing it, eating it, and cleaning up afterward… and four or five hours later I do it all again.  And again.  Repeat the next day, and the next, ad infinitum.  And it all ends up in the toilet anyway.  Wouldn’t you think we’d have found a better solution by now?

And one of my pet peeves:  Stinky soap in public washrooms.  Seriously, Dairy Queen, Wendy’s, and MacDonald’s:  Can’t you buy hand soap that doesn’t reek like some unholy combination of burnt transmission fluid, old gym socks, and rotting flowers?  You post big signs reminding everyone to wash their hands, and then you provide hand soap that nobody wants anywhere near their skin.

But… kudos to the PetroCanada at the corner of 17th Street and Cliffe Avenue in Courtenay, BC – their soap smells nice.  And BIG props to the Flying J truck stop on Portage Avenue in Headingly, MB for providing GoJo mechanic’s hand cleaner in the women’s washroom – hooray!

Despite my pickles and peeves, I’ve had some wins this week, too:

Our bookshelves are finally finished, woohoo! It’s been nearly two years since I last saw my beloved books. Thanks for all your hard work, Hubby!

The tomatoes have been FABULOUS. That’s one sammich-worthy slice! (This is the heritage variety ‘Brandywine’ – definitely the flavour winner this year.)

Book 14 update:  It was a busy week, but I still managed to get to Chapter 13.  Poor Kane is discovering that fatherhood can be a dirty job…

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Zucchini Wars

I was driving home a few days ago when I saw it lying sad and alone by the side of the road, gazing up at passersby like an abandoned puppy begging for a home:  a giant zucchini.

I didn’t stop.

One of the charming features of Vancouver Island is the honour-system market stands.  Lots of little farms offer eggs or produce at the end of their lane; and you can pull over, pick up what you want, and leave money according to the prices on their sign.  Free items are left out there with no payment requested or required.

So there was this giant zucchini beside the road.  Colossal:  A couple of feet long and about eight inches in diameter.  I’m guessing its growers spotted it making a play for world domination, recoiled in horror, and extracted the threat from their garden to carry it as far away from their property as they could manage.

Or who knows?  Maybe the zucchini didn’t even belong to that farm.  Maybe it had been dumped there by someone eager to be rid of it; or maybe it was intentionally deposited there as a subtle threat from some enemy.  Instead of a horse’s head in your bed, you get a mega-zucchini at the end of your lane.

Or maybe it got there under its own power.  Judging by the activity in my garden, it’s entirely possible that one mutant monster became sentient and was searching for the ideal spot to disgorge its seeds and begin a zucchini-terrorist cell intent on taking over every square inch of arable land.

Yes, actually, I am hip-deep in zucchini right now; why do you ask?

But I don’t mind.  I like fresh zucchini; and if I can’t eat it immediately I dehydrate it into chips that are compact and easy to store, and yummy all winter long in soups, stews, omelets, and even on homemade pizza.

As you read those words, I’m guessing that at least 50% of you are grimacing.  After extensive research involving alcoholic beverages with several sets of my friends, I have determined that all men (and some women) hate zucchini.

My dad hated zucchini.  My husband hates zucchini.  All my male friends hate zucchini; although actually, ‘hate’ is probably too strong a word.  “Meh” is more accurate.  After all, there’s nothing much to hate about it – as the guys tell me, “It doesn’t taste like anything, so why would you eat it?”

Well, okay, guys:  If you don’t want to eat it, how about racing it?  One of the small towns near us held zucchini races last weekend (the zucchini footage begins at 0:46 in the video).

’Cause why NOT take a huge malevolent vegetable intent on world domination, and give it wheels?  What could possibly go wrong?!?

Zucchini:  Love it or hate it?  Take my very scientific poll!  (You can choose as many answers as you want.)

Book 14 update:  Chapter 12 is well under way, and I’m chuckling while I write Daniel’s dialog – you can always depend on kids to say the things that adults won’t!

Zucchini Poll Update:  New answers now coming in!

Zucchini is:
– Take it or leave it. Choco zuke cake! Yum.
– What will replace cryptocurrency in 2045
– Local produce
– Part of the deep state
– Great battered and fried crispy
– Makes the best chocolate cake!

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Just Letting The Weird Out

All my life I’ve been a weirdo-magnet:  If there are weirdos anywhere in the vicinity, they’ll unerringly seek me out and attach themselves to me.  (Sometimes literally – more on that later.)

I used to think it was something about my face.  Some label on my forehead that was invisible to me but glowed like an irresistible beacon to anyone looking at the world through weirdo-coloured glasses.

But this week while I was contemplating a pattern of knotholes in our fence that looks exactly like an evil face, I suddenly realized that I see faces everywhere.  Sometimes when I’m sitting on the john I glimpse faces in the blotchy pattern of our bathroom floor tiles.  I see faces on carsI see faces on potatoes.  This may be a little, erm… weird.

Then, as I sniffed the fall air, it occurred to me that autumn smells as though summer’s been wearing its underwear just a bit too long.  You know; that funky aroma when something’s not quite rotten but it’s well on the way.

You already know I’m not a big fan of autumn, but that was a pretty weird thought even for me.  (I’m also bothered by the fact that I referred to autumn’s ‘irresistible scent’ in that earlier post… and now it smells like funky undies?  Yikes!)

So apparently I attract weirdos because I’m one myself.

I’d like to say that revelation bothers me, but it doesn’t.  Weird is far more interesting than normal.  I’m fascinated by people who harmlessly travel a few steps aside of the beaten path.  Mind you, the ones that don’t even know there is a beaten path worry me; so I guess I’m not overly weird, as weirdos go.

Unlike the guy who attached himself to me when I was riding the C-train many years ago…

I glanced up and thought, “Uh-oh.  That guy looks weird.”

Sure enough, he gravitated directly to my seat and sat down.  Then, without speaking, he gently took my hand.

I’ve got pretty good people-radar and he seemed harmless, so instead of making a scene and/or breaking his fingers I dislodged his hand and said, “No, I don’t want to hold your hand.”

He just smiled and took my hand again.  Didn’t do or say anything else; just sat there smiling off into space and holding my hand like a little kid.

So I thought, “Ah, what the hell.”

I went back to my book, and we rode downtown holding hands.  His stop came before mine, and I was relieved when he did let go of my hand at last.  But he wasn’t finished with his ritual.  Reaching over, he gave two gentle tugs on my earlobe, then grasped my hand and moved it toward his ear.  I gave two gentle tugs on his earlobe in return, and then he smiled sweetly and got off the train.  Never said a word.

Definitely odd, but all in all it was kind of heartwarming.

So at least I’m not the weirdest weirdo on the planet, but it’s probably a good thing I blog so I can let the weird out in small weekly doses instead of letting it build up until I accost total strangers on public transit.

Have you got any harmless-weirdo stories?

* * *

New discussion over at the Virtual Backyard Book Club:  A Rose By Any Other Name…  How important are character names in fiction?  Click here to have your say!

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Attack Of The Killer T… Oh, Wait; That’s Been Done.

They’re coming. They slowly fill our house like an inexorable tide, backing us into the corners while we battle them with knives and saucepans…

green tomatoes

Okay; so they’re not exactly ‘killer’ tomatoes.

We’re about to get our first hard frost so we brought in most of the garden produce this past weekend. (The snow in August was just a warning. This time they’re serious: Predicting -4C. Brrr.)

We measure the production of our garden in gallons because we transport it all home in 5-gallon pails. Our weekend haul was 10 gallons of green tomatoes (fortunately they ripen easily indoors), 15 gallons of carrots, and 60 gallons of potatoes.  We could probably feed a small town.

But we can’t help ourselves. Every year I say to Hubby, “You know, we’re planting an awful lot of potatoes.”

And he says, “Uh-huh”, and keeps on planting.

I don’t really try to stop him. For a foodie like me, a plethora of potatoes is pretty close to heaven. When we dig them in the fall, Hubby maintains a stoic silence while I exclaim: “Oh, wow, look at this one! Now that’s a potato! Look at the size of this one! Oh, look, look, there are tons of them under here! Woohoo!” On and on I go with boundless enthusiasm until we’ve extracted the last tuber. You’d think I’d never seen a potato before.

It’s the same with the zucchini and tomatoes and beans and everything else throughout the summer. Chortling over the plenitude of produce, I drag Hubby hither and yon in the garden babbling, “Look at this one! And this one! Look how big/shiny/beautiful/(fill in superlative here) this one is!”

It’s not until I’m into the umpteenth hour of standing in the kitchen chopping and blanching and canning that the thrill begins to fade.

Yes, that is a 10-gallon pot full of carrots.

Yes, that is a 10-gallon pot full of carrots.

That’s when I begin to remind myself that there are three supermarkets within a mile of my house. I could just trot over and buy whatever I wanted throughout the winter instead of going to all this trouble. And if I wanted to ogle large quantities of vegetables I could go and stand in the produce department.

But it’s not the same. They’re not my vegetables. Supermarket potatoes are generic. Ours are Norlands and Vikings and Purple Caribes and French Fingerlings and Yukon Gems. We line them up and do taste tests and debate production levels with the seriousness of a UN conference. (Potato taste-test winners thus far are the French Fingerlings and Norlands, but more testing is required.)

And despite my aching back, I know that in a few months I’ll eagerly yield to the seduction of the hortiporn once again.

Hey, if it made sense it wouldn’t be a hobby, right?

* * *

P.S. Just because I know you’ve come to expect dirty jokes on my blog, here you go:

Q: Why do gardeners make excellent gossip columnists?

A: Because they’re always digging up dirt.

And:

Q: Why did the gardeners get kicked out of the church picnic?

A: Because they were telling dirty stories.

And finally:

Did you hear about the 1-900 line for gardeners? When you call in, a happy hoer will talk dirty for you.

I could go on, but I wouldn’t want WordPress to censor me again for all these dirty jokes…

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I’m Such A Snotty Princess

Hubby brought home a cold last week. As I mentioned several years ago, we generally don’t share viruses because I’m probably a Neanderthal, but this one seems to have targeted the weaker homo sapiens part of my genetic makeup.

Right now I’m at the stage where my throat and lungs are on fire but I’m not coughing yet. I’m still clinging to the idiot hope that maybe the Rhinovirus Fairy will pass me by instead of scooping out my brain and replacing it with snot.

But I think she (or ‘he’, to be fair) has already begun the process, because in the last few days I’ve developed a disturbing tendency to shuffle to a halt and stand staring into space for several seconds before saying, “Come on, brain, you can do this!” aloud. It seems to work – I usually remember what I was trying to do, but it tends to draw wary looks if I do it outside the privacy of my home.

Meanwhile, I’m sucking on zinc/echinacea/Vitamin C lozenges and drinking hot lime juice with honey. (I prefer lime instead of the traditional lemon because then I can pretend I’m drinking a hot margarita instead of a medicinal beverage.)  I don’t expect this to cure or in any way improve my cold, but at least it gives me something to do while I wait.

When I sat down to write this post I racked my virus-laden brain for something funny to say about the common cold, but you know what? I got nothin’. Colds suck. Or rather, blow. Great soggy snot-balls.

So instead, here are a few things that made me laugh this week:

My blogging buddy Carl D’Agostino’s cartoon: https://carldagostino.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/compulsive-behavior-by-carl-dagostino/

My nephew’s comment about men’s locker rooms: “Yep, no matter which way you turn, you’re gonna see something you really didn’t want to see.” That reminded us both of this comic from The Oatmeal and made us laugh uproariously. (Scroll down to the bottom of The Oatmeal’s page for the one about the locker room.)

Then there’s this picture sent to me by one of my readers, Sue W., because she saw it on Facebook and knew it would make me laugh. (The misspelling of ‘potato’ is neither hers nor mine.)

That’ll make you think twice about digging in the garden…

That’ll make you think twice about digging in the garden…

I’m hoping the person who wrote the caption meant ‘love this’ in the philosophical sense, not the physical. But probably only my mind would ever latch onto that critical distinction.

This Twitter message was laughable because it was such a lame attempt at marketing from somebody who clearly knows me… wait for it… NOT AT ALL:

Totally me. Not.

Totally me. Not.

Let me count the ways this made me laugh:

  • They clearly put so much time and effort into crafting their marketing message. Ten seconds with Google Translate might have helped.
  • It’s pink. Anybody who knows me (even slightly) knows that I’ve never in my life worn or even owned anything pink.
  • It has a princess crown on it. Is there anything about me that could in any way be construed as princess-like?
  • It has a cutesy heart on it. I’m totally gonna wear this with my biking leathers and flaming-skull helmet.
  • And hell yeah, I’m going to click on a random link sent by some spammer just because the T-shirt has my first name on it. Nice try, guys. But thanks for the laughs.

What made you chuckle this week? And/or what’s your favourite cold remedy?

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A Super Pickle Tickle

Last week I asked if anybody else was harbouring unusual mementos in their home. My blogging buddy Carrie Rubin stepped up to the plate (pun intended) with her Super Pickle, and kindly offered to let me use him in a blog post:

Super Pickle in all his glory.

Super Pickle in all his glory.

That reminded me of yet another oddball item in my house: a leering wooden zucchini.

Quite a bit more disturbing than Super Pickle.

Quite a bit more disturbing than Super Pickle.

Needless to say, the comic possibilities were endless for a woman of my twisted imagination. So many phallic vegetables, so few words allotted to a single blog post…

I considered writing a flash-fiction zucchini-on-pickle romance. After all, Super Pickle wears his rainbow tights with such pride and panache. But he’s so innocently goofy and endearing, I couldn’t bring myself to roll out any hide-the-pickle jokes.

If I was only writing about my freaky double-jointed zucchini I’d go for it without hesitation, because let’s face it: that deranged smile that could mean anything from an invitation for acts better left undescribed to an offer of cake made with his own pulverised progeny. (Mmm, and now I’m hungry for zucchini cake.)

In any case, I’d never tweak a pickle without knowing its background, so more research was required. I vaguely remember Super Pickle from decades ago, but I guess I was living under a rock in the 70s and 80s because I had to go and look him up on the internet to see what he was all about.

I did that with much trepidation, cringing at the thought of finding photos that might defile my virginal eyeballs when I searched for “super pickle”. Much to my disappointment surprise, everything came up absolutely clean. Either somebody has sneakily installed a content filter on my computer, or Super Pickle is beyond reproach.

And he’s still popular. I even came across a fan forum where people described their attachments to Super Pickle and their ongoing search for Super Pickle toys: http://www.inthe80s.com/toys/superpickle.shtml. Carrie, there’s a retail opportunity for you!

Anyway, in the end I discovered that Super Pickle had his beginnings as the star of a 1972 children’s pop-up book so, considering his G-rated origins, any off-colour references on my part would be totally inappropriate. Which, by an amazing coincidence, is the title of my last blog compilation; but still. Out of respect for Super Pickle, I’m going to defy the almost-irresistible compulsion to make a crack about pop-up pickles.

Instead, I’ll leave you with a pickle-related joke:

Chatting over the fence with her neighbour one day, a woman remarks on the tomatoes in his garden. “They’re so ripe already,” she marvels. “How do you always get the first red tomatoes on the block?”

He leans closer to whisper, “I have a secret. Every night after everybody else is in bed I sneak out to the garden wearing a trench coat and nothing else. I flash the tomatoes and they blush red! You should try it with your garden.”

Inspired, the woman follows his advice. A week later they’re chatting over the fence again and her neighbour inquires, “So how are your tomatoes?”

“Well, they’re still nothing special. But you should see the size of the cucumbers!”

See you in the produce department! (I’ll be the one eyeing the cucumbers and snickering.)

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