Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sleepless in Arizona

Last night was One of Those Nights. Awake around 1:30 and too restless to even try to go back to sleep. I knew I had to get up at 5:30 to take Doug in to his first day at a new job so that didn't help. I finally gave up and found a page in my art journal and started painting this portrait. I used only Neocolor II watersoluable crayons and black and white acrylic paint. I can see where she's off in various places but I'm pretty happy with her.

The monsoons have officially hit the desert. I went out a couple of days ago to start the water in the garden and this beautiful sky sent me flying back in for my camera. I love Arizona sunsets.

I took this photo of the garden a week or so ago and it has already grown a lot since then. We have had numerous harvests of lettuce and zucchini and two batches of okra. And finally the first two ripe tomatoes.

The Early Girl tomato plants were getting so big and the tomatoes so heavy we had to trim them back a little. It broke my heart to loose those green tomatoes until I started doing some research on how to make fried green tomatoes.

Our ancestors didn't like to waste food either so when they had to trim back the tomato plants they made use of those green tomatoes. I found numerous recipes on the Internet but we ended up using our own version:

Slice the green tomatoes in 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices
Put them in a bowl and cover with milk.
On a plate mix cornmeal, flour, and seasonings
Put the tomato slices into the flour mixture until well coated and add to a skillet of hot oil to brown on each side. (The consensus seems to be not to use olive oil which we normally would do. They say it overwhelms the tomatoes.)

We had our fried okra (done the same way) and fried green tomatoes with Doug's famous baby back ribs and it was the best meal we've had in a long time.

I don't know how much we are saving by having our own garden in the desert but going out and harvesting our dinner is like heaven on earth.

I've been told this is a night blooming cereus. I'm not sure. The original plant belonged to my mother who passed away in 1990. The first few years it bloomed on or around Mother's Day. It shoots out a long branch and the flower blooms at night and lasts through the next day. It folds up and eventually the branch falls off.

Last month it bloomed with four big blooms but my photos didn't turn out. The other morning I was greeted by this delicate flower and there's another one coming in. Whatever this plant is the message is clear...Mom is always with me in one way or another.