The garden harvest season is long over, but we’re still enjoying the bounties. Sort of.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about harvesting our winter squash, including a couple dozen blue hubbard squash. These massive fruits sat in the back of my pickup truck for several weeks before the nights got frosty and I hauled them into the basement for storage. Having a bunch of gigantic thick-skinned fruits — some of them weighing more than 30 pounds — sitting around the basement to trip over doesn’t bring them any closer to the freezer.
So, recently I sliced open three, cleaned out the innards, and my wife Sherry baked them in the oven before mashing them up to go into the freezer. Just those three squash made about a dozen quart bags. Now I like squash — something I couldn’t boast about when I was a kid — but there’s a limit to incorporating them into our menu, a limit to our freezer space and a limit to the time to cook them. The good news is squash will keep for months. The bad news is they will keep for months. Can squash be the main entree at holiday dinners?
Longtime readers may recall a column where I complained about planned obsolescence and the fact that the tires on my utility cart were flat after only a year.
And the only reason I bought that cart was that it was cheaper to buy a new cart than it was to buy replacement tires. Yes, they don’t make ’em like they used to and it’s intentional. Because if we make something too superior, we don’t buy new items or upgrade to the latest and greatest phone. Since I wrote that column, I was able to find a source for tires that are cheaper than buying a new cart. They come mounted on a rim, so it was an easy job to get the cart back in action. But one must remember that small tires are not like car tires. When they are flat, one must be careful with using high-powered air compressors when airing them up. Because if you exceed the air pressure recommendations — which is not hard to do — the tire can blow out, sounding like a shotgun blast and possibly dangerous if your face is anywhere near the tire.
Lesson learned. And my face is OK. It’s the small air compressor from now on.
I always love to hear from readers who respond to my columns. With their permission, I share their feedback. My column on the beauty of the bluffs struck a chord with Janice Redford from Cambridge.
“Hello Chris, I just loved reading your column about the bluffs along the Mississippi and the Trempealeau area. Once, a long time ago, my husband, Fred, and I were looking for a place to escape and get married, so we chose to drive …….