Ghost Peppers, The Peace Tree and Miscellany

First, SoupAddict must apologize to email subscribers who received an odd email earlier in the week about a ghost pepper blog post. SoupAddict was installing her Twitter feed, and sent the first tweet with a setting that caused the tweet to be added as a post on the blog, which triggered the email. So sorry ’bout that. SoupAddict felt the familiar rush of heat to her face when she realized what happened. D’oh! SoupAddict will endeavor to do better, but can’t promise that she won’t make more twitty blunders. (But then, you know that already, and tolerate her nonethless. And she thanks you.)

But, on the bright side, the feed is working (see the tweets in the right hand column). And if you enjoy da Twitter, please feel free to follow SoupAddict. She might be more tolerable in 140-character chunks.

Now, SoupAddict really is fascinated by ghost peppers. She found this photo on the interwebs, and loves how it’s sort of Raiders of the Lost Arkish — enticing and somehow menacing. SoupAddict will be avoiding all contact with this pepper, as her history with hot peppers has not been all that sweet. In her youthful college days, when she was just learning to cook on her own, SoupAddict found some adorable little peppers at the grocery store, equally adorably named, “Scotch Bonnet” ….

She took the peppers home, immediately sliced off a chunk of one and popped it in her mouth. SoupAddict remembers only the first 10 seconds or so. After that, there’s just a vague, blurry notion of searing pain, followed possibly by loss of time not unlike what one would have encountered in an episode of the X-Files.

And the Scotch Bonnet is only 150,000 Scoville units. [Only!] The ghost pepper has clocked in at one million. This is weapons grade, people. Just sayin’. Not touching that pepper. No, sir.

Anyway … (pausing while you admire SoupAddict’s clever segue) one of the trees in SoupAddict’s yard was attacked many, many years ago by the dreaded Emerald Ash borer beetle and left by previous owners to fend for itself in the aftermath (look closely and you can see all the holes (in the form of dots) that the creatures bored into the tree).

The poor thing has held on pretty well until this past brutal winter, from which it’s not recovering the way it should. It has to come down, as it sits in close proximity to SoupAddict’s house, and would smash her kitchen flat if it toppled in one direction; her car in the other.

But, the one thing she will miss about this tree is the peace gesture that formed in the bark last year. Groovy.

SoupAddict scored 2 two-plus-year-old blueberry bushes at HomeDepot, which means there will be a blueberry harvest this year. Blueberry shortcakes with Grand Marnier syrup? Yes, please.

Last Saturday featured gorgeous, 70° weather, and before she sequestered herself away to do her taxes (last minute, as always), SoupAddict planted part of her onion crop. The famous Walla Walla Sweets are her very favorite.

This year SoupAddict is also trying a different variety, Big Daddy, which is purported to be a good storage onion.

SoupAddict uses a broom handle to poke onion-sized holes in the dirt from her lazy-girl, standing position. And then dramatically flops to the ground to quickly set the onions in their summer homes before her creaky left knee seizes up.

SoupAddict’s garlic is making excellent progress. If you, too, have overwintered garlic growing like mad, make sure you get out there and foliar feed them with a good, organic fertilizer. There’s only one chance to form the bulb, and they’re working mighty hard at it, right now, in April. Help them along with a little nutrition.

Finally, to wrap up the day’s intrigue, one of the last tulips to bloom in SoupAddict’s yard is her very favorite, Crispion Sweet. The blooms start out pure white, and then slowly, over the period of a week, pink up to what you see here. SoupAddict loves pink. That’s all she’s sayin’. Over and out.


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