Scattered chipmunks

I stepped outside this evening to try to figure out odd vehicle noises out on the road, and by my feet heard stampeding chipmunks…two, running like I broke up a party.

Meanwhile, here’s a tiny cucumber. The species is native to Asia, and now very widely planted and consumed.


Dew on a rhubarb leaf in low-angle morning light. Rain is expected after midnight, so it’ll be wet again tomorrow morning.

Grocery store report: I sometimes eyeball the varieties of B_sh’s beans. I hadn’t seen this one before. Well, I thought, looking at that “zero” that had been altered to include a…zero…standing in for an “o.” So clever.

But, how can it be baked beans with no “sugar added,” I thought, so what’s the sweetener…’cause baked beans have a sweet element. I checked the ingredients, and the second-to-the-last ingredient is sucralose. No molasses, no maple syrup, nothing else sweet. Sucralose is chemically altered sugar, that the food folk don’t consider as sugar. So that cute blue label is right by them.

Also in the fine print, the third ingredient is “soluble corn fiber.” What’s that? Modified cornstalk? And the first ingredient, as I’m sure you’ve anticipated, is beans, but “prepared navy beans.” And what does that mean? Ones who’ve been to test prep classes? Ones in full makeup? Or ones ready for the anesthesiologist?

That was the last label I read in today’s grocery store visit. I was exhausted, and almost ready to cook my own beans.


Five is a cupcake birthday. Today’s highlight was without a doubt a fifth b-day party. Seven adults and one b-day boy…who slept for half an hour before waking (slowly) to open his presents…while waiting for the adults for finish their leisurely dinners. All is well. He liked the rock-decorating kit best, I think; it came complete with rocks (and glitter, googly-eyes, paints, etc.).

Salmon relatives

We treated ourselves to smoked menominee. Thank you, fishy. Usually we get whitefish. The two species are cousins (and both in the salmon group). I was surprised that (today anyway) I liked the menominee better than the whitefish we had last time.

Windy now and building since late this afternoon. Supposed to continue all night. Rrrr.

I don’t know botany

With delicate, dissected leaves (that do not look like most leaves), the fennel also has wispy flowers. Perhaps counterintuitively, they don’t make seeds but fruits that to me look like seeds.

Mature cheddar

Cornbread cheddar

Our lovely neighbor brought over hot-from-the-oven jalapeño cornbread yesterday. We had the leftovers with melted cheese today. Yum and yum.


Before the heat came on, that is around 8:15am, I was removing grasses from around the peony and found these rosebuds! Later I found two blooms. These are small roses, less than two inches across and a slightly different pink from the peonies.

In the heat of the afternoon, we took a jaunt to Naubinway to King’s to get smoked whitefish for dinner. After we secured our purchase (and we could have had menominee or lake trout or I forget the other local fish), we meandered down to the dock…and found the Ida S., all buttoned up…for the season?…permanently?

Kinda hard to believe all these little towns along the Lake Michigan shore used to have many active fishing boats, shipping their catch toward Chicago and Detroit. Most of the fishermen were immigrants, Europeans who knew the fishing trade of the Atlantic or Mediterranean. Some Portuguese and Italian surnames still remain, for example.

Growth curves

Chives! And blooming! So…delicate. And once snipped, they are a great contribution to salads…veggie sides…chili…and so many more dishes.

Rhubarb! I transplanted these two autumns ago, and the collective wisdom of the internet indicated that I should wait two years before picking. It is time! And these are exceptionally fine stalks…time to pick a new batch…cautiously, so as not to over-harvest. [Restraint!]

In product-to-come news, these are “wild”flowers from a gift seed packet from the baby shower last month…day three since first observed germination…. Not edible, but beauty and aesthetics are also important…. [The sand grains look huge!]

Good good good

I’m proud of how this clean-out-the-fridge dinner turned out. Frozen pizza (cheese with arugula from TJs, and some prosciutto), plus veggies instead of salad (onion, garlic, red pepper, and spinach, sautéed together). With a topper of extra parm and snipped fresh basil.

Salad composée

Salad composée

Here’s a ham and cheese salad. It was what was in the fridge.

However, the ham is speck and the cheese is sharp cheddar, so I guess it’s a modern, tadah, fusion cuisine dish.