Nature Always Bats Last Potpourri

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I’m honored that you’re here to read my Summer potpourri.  But, first,  are you registered to vote?  The election this November promises to be one of the most important in American history.   You must register to vote.   Please do it now.  Thank you!

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My neighbor and I were out weeding at the same time yesterday and she called over, “What IS it with bindweed  this year?  Isn’t it weird how every year it’s as if some other weed gets its turn?”  She’s right; this year the bindweed has been going mad.  (Last year, it was vetch, with those pretty purple flowers and the vines that take over everywhere.)  There was a bit of bindweed  here when I first came to my Bit of Earth, and I’d mostly gotten rid of it, but this year it’s on a tear.  As soon as you rip a bunch of it out, it grows back double.  Of course, my neighbor puts hers in her green Yard Waste Cart, and I save mine, dry it, and use it to bind, but, hey, we both want it out of our flower beds.

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I’ve said this before, but it’s now more important than ever.  The Supreme Court will very likely reverse Roe v. Wade.  After that, they’re coming for your birth control.  If you don’t want to have children, or if you have all the children you want to have, seriously consider sterilization.  It’s quite safe and much cheaper than raising a child.  If you may want to have children in the future, you should stock up on condoms (shelf life of 3 to 4 years) (also important if you are gay, bisexual, or want to prevent sexually transmitted disease) and Plan B (shelf life of 5 years) before birth control is outlawed.  I wouldn’t count on being able to go to Canada or Europe.  Pregnancy tests at the border are coming.  Oh, and vote.  State elections just got a hell of a lot more important.

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And, while I’m on the topic of state and local elections, a huge part of the reason we’re in our current mess is because too many of us sat out these “mid-term” elections in the past.  Too many of us only show up to vote in the presidential elections every four years — if then.  But this November, America will choose half of all our Senators and all of our members of Congress.  Want someone to exercise some restraint over Trump or to possibly impeach him?  We need majorities in the Senate and Congress.  You need to vote on Nov. 6th.  We’ll also be voting on hundreds of state and local officials.  Whether or not your local Board of Ed is controlled by fundie whack jobs who want textbooks that say slaves were happy on the plantations, whether or not the local sheriff dreams of getting some surplus military equipment and running raids with ICE, whether or not your state legislature will spend its time on draconian bathroom laws instead of saving wetland — I could go on and on — are all going to be decided on November 6, 2018.  So register to vote.  Check with your registrar and make sure you haven’t been purged from the electoral rolls; that’s one of the Republicans’ new tricks.  Make sure you have the ID needed to vote.  Find out where your polling place is.  If you can possibly vote early or absentee, please do so because long lines can make it impossible for working people or people with family responsibilities to vote.  If you’ve already voted, you’ll have made it that much easier for others to vote.  Get a bunch of friends to agree to go together to vote and then head out for waffle breakfast at the diner, a potluck lunch at someone’s home, dinner at the local pub.

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Mid- to late-July is the height of farmers’ market culture here in the Magical MidAtlantic.  There are two good ones near me.  I go on the weekends and it’s kind of an-almost-too-intense experience for a woman whose worship is shaped by the seasons.  I’ve been buying tons of tomatoes, zucchini (I swear, they are almost paying you to take it this time of year), yellow squash, kale, plums, and cantaloupes.  (It’s possible that I buy from one particular stall just to hear the farmer’s Tidewater accent; I’m an impossible sucker; don’t tell.  And then I do this thing where I ask him to pick out a really ripe cantaloupe for me — “One I can cut up tonight.”  Girl, you haven’t really lived until you’ve seen one of those Tidewater men squeeze and sniff a few melons.  I am just saying.  Have I said too much?)  It’s not true that you can’t freeze zucchini and yellow squash.  You just have to freeze them for use in winter soups, where the texture of the vegetables is supposed to be soft.  Saute them a little bit — I throw in some onions and garlic — and freeze away.  When it’s bitter cold outside, you can throw them into almost any soup (or casserole) shortly before serving and get tons of vitamins, fiber, and the taste of Summer.  This time of year, I make and eat a lot of what I call “squash pie.”  It’s not exactly pie, because (trying to cut down on processed carbs) I don’t make a crust, although you certainly could.  If you made just a bottom crust, maybe it’d be a vegetable quiche.  You could call it a frittata or even a baked vegetable omelette.  Whatever you call it, the key, although inelegant, word is:  chop.  Chop up a bunch of zucchini and yellow squash, onions, garlic and — and then — whatever else you’ve got.  Kale is good.  So is spinach, but so is chard, bok choy, creasy greens (which I’m growing this year in pots), garlic scapes, early turnip greens, carrot and radish tops, very ripe tomatoes.  You can shred carrots if you have them and chop up peppers, too.  Basil, or thyme, or tarragon can be chopped up and thrown in.  Corn kernels and okra work.  Saute all of it in good olive oil, starting with the most dense stuff first.  Mix up eggs and milk and pour over the vegs.  (I make the squash pie in the same cast iron skillet that I use to sauté the vegs, but you could use a pie plate if you’re having company.)  Sprinkle with grated or soft cheese.  Bake at 375 until the cheese is brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out dry.  This is good for brunch, or dinner, or — either heated up or cold — for breakfast.  Summertime and living is easy.

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Years ago, one of my mentors  wrote that it’s important for us to ask ourselves:  What are Witches for?  Sure, you’re a Witch.  The day you learned that Witchcraft, or Paganism, or Druidism, or whatever, was a real thing, it was like coming home for you.  You were like the the man who suddenly realized  that he’d been speaking prose all his life.  But what purpose do Pagans serve in this world?  At this point, here, right at the midpoint of the Holocene Extinction ?  What’s your role in that?  Just now, when the Moon is dark and there’s so much stuff  going on, might be a good time to take your journal and your Tarot deck off to the bank of some creek and have a good think.

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I love Fern’s idea  about blessing your groceries when you first bring them home and plop them on your counter.  Here’s me doing this:  I’m out of breath; Merlin starts sniffing and pawing the bag with the salmon in it and I’m like, “No, no, no.  Stop or I’ll get the bottle.”  Meanwhile, the frozen cherries are melting, Nimue is pawing the bag with the cheese, and I’m desperately trying to put the lemons and limes in a bowl on the counter next to the tomatoes.  “Nimue!  No!  Please!  Here, here, who wants some of the cat mint I picked?  ‘Great Hygeia!  Goddess of health!  Bless and ordain this food for me, and my family,’ — Merlin!  No! — ‘and friends.  This is my will; so mote’ — Nimue!  Bad girl! — ‘it be.'”

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What are you cooking to eat now?  What are you freezing, canning, drying, storing for the lean times?  What local seat would you run for if you dared????

 

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10 responses to “Nature Always Bats Last Potpourri

  1. I’d say that the bindweed is sending you a message. Maybe you might consider raiding your neighbors crop also, based on what news I’ve seen.
    I always enjoy your blogs so much. Thank you for writing them.

  2. I can’t vote in your elections – but if I could I would 🙂
    I’ve voted every time since I was first eligible – even when its felt a bit hopeless. My fore-mothers fought so hard for it – I will not slip into complacency and forget how hard-won the right to vote was for them and for all of us.

  3. I have bindweed too. Lots and lots of bindweed. I also have an overabundance of pokeweed.
    I’ve had these cravings for tomatoes and red onions since Feb. So, I’ve been eating lots of chopped tomatoes, red onions, mozzarella, marjoram with olive oil and a bit of fire cider. I eat this with/on everything. I just love all the wonderful fruits and vegetables of the season.
    I am in the heavens when I’m preparing simple and delicious foods. I’m connecting with all the women in my life that have passed on.

    I’ve been having a rough time of it these days. Thank you for the wonderful gift of your blog. It helps to bring me back to myself.
    Oh and I’m registered to vote and will crawl to the polls if I have to!

    • sw, Oooh, that sounds delicious! Thank you for your kind words; we’ve got to hold each other up in these difficult times. And I’m right there with you about voting — over broken glass if need be.

  4. I made tequila sunrise marmalade and a 12 year old scotch jelly.

    • Oh, my! Would you be willing to share the recipes?

      • The scotch jelly is still a work in progress. When I’m happy with it, I’ll share it. As it sits now, it makes a good glaze on ham, Cornish game hen, and steak. It just isn’t jelling
        like I want and some of the brown sugar fell out of solution.

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