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markemorse

eGfoodblog: markemorse

251 posts in this topic

Once you leave the US of A, it's like eating for the first time and there is an endless parade of dishes to check out and try.  Those shops are an impossibility stateside - lucky bastard!

Thanks johnnyd, and you're right on...it is absolutely one of the best things about living somewhere with such a rich and twisted history.

And as for the shops...yeah, you're not going to find these sandwiches very easily over there. Like you need yet another reason to come to Amsterdam? :raz:


Edited by markemorse (log)

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gallery_28661_4926_758.jpg

This is a pomtajer or new cocoyam. And this:

gallery_28661_4926_2051.jpg

is what you would use to grate it if you didn't already buy frozen, grated pomtajer. 

So here's the pom recipe I'm going to use, just so you get an idea of what it might be like. NOTE: Do not eat uncooked pomtajer, your tummy will hurt. Can't remember why, I'll look it up when I have a chance.

I think it's the oxalic acid, which will denature during the cooking process. A few other types of tubers also have it. Eating it raw will give you belly cramps and might send you off to the hospital for a visit.

I'm really liking this blog!


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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Mark, I am glad you got over your reservations about blogging.

Might I ask about the relationship between the link to the Vegetarianduck blog on your signature line and the lovely glazed sausages you had for breakfast?


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Hmm, I had a wrench thrown into my works by the fact that Long Chie is closed on Mondays, and Golden Dragon (yes, that's really the name) down the street is closed for summer vacation. Boo.

So I went back to Swietie Sranang (I really didn't feel like cooking!) and got a Chicken Tjauwmin:

gallery_28661_4926_10097.jpg

Please excuse the general disarray in the background...we were at the beach last week and haven't officially unpacked yet.

So this is chicken sauteed in a sweet ketjap manis sauce with long beans, cabbage, and noodles. And a little baggie of spicy Javanese sambal on top. More detail:

gallery_28661_4926_1243.jpg

And a sweetened tamarind juice to drink:

gallery_28661_4926_2948.jpg

+++

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Might I ask about the relationship between the link to the Vegetarianduck blog on your signature line and the lovely glazed sausages you had for breakfast?

Hi Pontormo!

About vegetarian duck...that actually refers to the oxymoronicness (not a word!) of seitan products like, well..."vegetarian duck". In no way does it mean to imply that I'm a vegetarian. I've dallied with it before, I go through periods of meatlessness, and I cook a lot of vegetarian food, but I'm afraid I just might be a carnivore at heart. The swine community is always especially upset to hear that I'm eating meat again because I do loves me some pork. With maple syrup, natch.


Edited by markemorse (log)

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Apparently, my mustache didn't disappear -- it just grew a bit and migrated across the Atlantic to some white guy's face.  :wink:

This explains so much. :wink:


Edited by markemorse (log)

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Welp, I'm done eating for awhile...I thought maybe I'd show you around our digs.

gallery_28661_4926_190243.jpg

Our little HQ is in a nearly ideal location on the NW outskirts of the city center. We are a two minute walk from the lovely Westerpark, which you'll hopefully see later this week; a 5 minute walk from the Jordaan, and the tramline 10 stops right outside our door. So, we are very nicely situated in that we have everything we need at hand, but it's MUCH quieter than our last apartment, which was 1 block south of the red light district. Remind me to tell you about how loud this place was if things start to drag during this blog.

+++

The last 5 years have been an amazing experiment in, well, f*ck, just about everything, frankly...but one thing we've become especially adept at is paring down. A couple weeks back, David Ross mentioned how interested people seemed to be in how big or small other people's living spaces are. In case that's true, I'll go ahead and share: we've gone from living in 3300 sq feet in America to about 300 sq ft here, from 2 cars to none, from 7 couches to 1. It was....not easy. In retrospect it would've been much more efficient to scrap everything and start over, because whittling down your possessions gradually is tough work philosophically. We complicated the process considerably by opening a record shop when we first moved here, which we'd never done before. So while we were jettisoning personal belongings left and right, we were simultaneously accumulating this whole other raft of stuff we would eventually end up trying to get rid of.

It was complicated. But the bottom line is not: back in 1999 our monthly expenses in the US were at least 10 times what they are now, as was our footprint, and we're extremely pleased to be living a lower-impact lifestyle.

+++

We live in a legalized squat called the Witte Reus that has been occupying this space for 30 years or so. The building itself is a 100-year old school building, our apartment used to be a classroom. There are 9 private apartments in our building, along with a dance studio, restaurant, bar, 2 performance spaces, art gallery, and 4 small businesses (record label, booking agent, graphic designer, and art studio). We share a toilet and shower with one other person. Here are some photos that a French journalist took a few months back for an article he is doing on European squats (actually I took a couple of these too):

downstairs bar during the day:

gallery_28661_4926_33267.jpg

the little performance space (audience view):

gallery_28661_4926_48299.jpg

I love how horrified the guy on the right looks ("I can't believe I just played that...I'm not even on the right PAGE!!!")

the little performance space during the day, viewed from the stage:

gallery_28661_4926_65842.jpg

the same room when it's a restaurant twice a week:

gallery_28661_4926_10975.jpg

the kitchen of the restaurant:

gallery_28661_4926_1612.jpg

the big performance space:

gallery_28661_4926_1886.jpg

our apartment, bed upstairs where I am typing this from:

gallery_28661_4926_141879.jpg

the rest of our apartment:

gallery_28661_4926_125598.jpg

our friend Andy's apartment down the hall, and me having a funny hair moment:

gallery_28661_4926_134198.jpg

Andy's (among other things) a very good cook, he's in the UK at the moment, but hopefully he'll invite us over for dinner when he gets back on Wednesday.

our roof terrace:

gallery_28661_4926_18056.jpg

a nice dinner we had on the roof last month:

gallery_28661_4926_16538.jpg

The front of our building:

gallery_28661_4926_209252.jpg

+++


Edited by markemorse (log)

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Mark,

How does a "legalised squat" work?

Forgive me, and ignore me if you wish, I'm a Property lawyer!

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I don't think I can spend too much time on this since it's not really food-related...but I imagine that Catriona's not the only one who's curious....

+++

A fundamental difference between America and other countries where squatting occurs (besides the property laws themselves) is population density. I should have some figures here, but I don't...trust me: the Netherlands is a very dense country, population-wise. In the Netherlands, there has essentially been an urban housing shortage for at least the last 50 years. The situation became a politically charged issue in the 60s because of uncontrolled speculative purchases by corporate developers, which resulted in a significant housing crisis in the city while many unused buildings stood empty.

Here, if a building is not in use for twelve months and the owner has no urgent need to use it (like...there's not a rental contract that starts imminently), then it can be legally squatted. Forcing entry into a squattable building is NOT legal. But essentially, there is a very well-defined protocol for how to legally squat a dwelling here. I think you can even still see a how-to video on YouTube.

Anyway, what happens in a few cases is that the larger squats become pretty exciting places where creative artists converge, and where they can try more experimental things in a low-risk environment...and gradually a breeding ground sort of develops. Ideally the squat integrates with (and grows into a beneficial part of) the community, as a low-cost arts/culture outlet, and the city government recognizes that it is a benefit to the entire community if the squat stays. At this point, the city negotiates a rent contract with the squatters and the squatters are the new legal residents. This year the other squat I work at/with amazingly won the Amsterdam Cultuurprijs (Culture Prize), which is a much-needed 35,000 euro from the city government, our share of which will help with a lot of renovation and repair that needs to be done.


Edited by markemorse (log)

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What a great blog. I love your style of writing - it's informative while remaining friendly and chatty. I can't wait to read more!


The Kitchn

Nina Callaway

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What a great blog. I love your style of writing - it's informative while remaining friendly and chatty. I can't wait to read more!

Hey Nina, thanks tons for the nice words, may they sustain me through my ImageGullet trials and tribulations.

+++

I lied about not eating anymore. While trying to gather strength for the whole fridge pic ordeal, I had some herring salad with beets and apples on a whole-wheat melba toast:

gallery_28661_4926_12795.jpg


Edited by markemorse (log)

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So...in my defense, let me say: it's not as bad as it looks. Two weeks ago these fridges were spotless. Then we had some dear old friends come and visit us for a week, and then we all went to the beach for a few days....let's just say that refrigeration management sunk to the bottom of the to-do list.

Here they are:

gallery_28661_4926_7168.jpg

They came with the apartment. And they're fine, really...if you don't need to freeze anything. There's not a whole heck of a lot of freezer space, as you can see:

gallery_28661_4926_75438.jpg

Even less when you let the ice buildup thing happen like I like to do. Do take note of the best mayonnaise in the world, EuroShopper mayo, reclining peacefully there on the top shelf.

Let's take a closer look at Fridge 1:

gallery_28661_4926_6603.jpg

What we have here, descending from top left: the aforementioned beetroot/apple/herring salad; a homemade cranberry compote or jam that some friends who work on a farm left with us; an avocado that must be quite ripe by now; an exposed bowl of leftover grated romano (bad Mark); a vat of Turkish yoghurt; two nice beers, Orval and 't IJ Zatte; aging spinach and celery; a 6-pack of Grimbergen Blonde in cans (on sale for 2.99!); and some yellow onions.


Edited by markemorse (log)

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Fridge 2:

gallery_28661_4926_6474.jpg

This one's a bit harder to suss out because the door doesn't open all the way. It's all about priorities, I guess. Anyway, what we're looking at here is: some uncooked chicken breast I bought today "just in case" I got ravenously hungry and didn't feel like leaving the house; some Heinz Hot Ketchup (do you guys have that over there? It's not especially hot....actually I don't really get it); my trusty tub o' maple syrup; some (ahem) KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce my mom sent me (forgive her); a head of cauliflower ready for roasting, which we do at least once a week; half a sweet onion; a tub of fresh basil; a jar of beets, some lemons; and after that it's kind of hard to tell what's in there, isn't it.


Edited by markemorse (log)

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So I went back to Swietie Sranang (I really didn't feel like cooking!) and got a Chicken Tjauwmin:

gallery_28661_4926_1243.jpg

Now, see---I would have ordinarily just read this for the content, salivated on cue, and gone on to the next post. But I've been buried in the throes of translating some Old English for a few days, and I didn't bat an eye, just accepted that as Chicken Chow Mein. Translated perfectly in the phonetic.

Envies on your hop-to-a-shop ability for what takes your fancy. We're lucky in having a Chinese restaurant right out the back gate, so I can't complain. And don't try to excuse the laundry and fridges. The toiletries bag from our trip last weekend is still on the dining room table. We need it, we just go get it.

PS Is that your ironing in the freezer?

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It could very well be my ironing in the freezer, except that I only very rarely iron. No, my friend, I believe that what we're looking at there is the last of my frozen corn tortillas, wrapped in superprotective grocery store bags. I could go downstairs and check but I'm kind of cosy in bed at the moment. I have the place to myself tonight so I can do things like blog in bed without having to submit to any snide remarks.


Edited by markemorse (log)

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This is off to a fun start, Mark. You seem to like lots of the same kinds of foods I do, only you can get them and I can't, so I'm totally jealous. And I think you win the prize for "most unusual living arrangement by a blogger."

I'll be visiting Chufi later this year, and you can bet I'm coming to your neighborhood sometime to eat!

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The Condiment Doors:

Like many of us, I have a weakness for buying unfamiliar Asian condiments. At the moment, however, since I just cleaned out the fridge recently, I happen to know what every single condiment in my refrigerator tastes like! How often can we say that?

Here are the Surinamese sambals:

gallery_28661_4926_11926.jpg

I love the homemade look of these sambals...I normally have a couple more than this, but I've been trying to restrain myself of late. The one on the right is brand new, quite mild, a good general-use sambal if you're looking for habanero-style heat.

The one on the left is the hottest thing I've ever put in my mouth. I think it may be pure habanero. When Mara had an abscessed tooth last month and we couldn't find an oral surgeon on a weekend, the only thing that lessened her pain at all was to dab a Q-tip in this sambal and rub it on her gums.


Edited by markemorse (log)

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These are the Indonesian sambals...again, impressive that I'm down to 2:

gallery_28661_4926_14758.jpg

You can get these at most larger supermarkets in Amsterdam, they're pretty ubiquitous at this point. Sambal Badjak is a paste of onions, garlic, chiles, galangal, candlenuts, tamarind, and a little trassi (shrimp paste). Sambal Trassi, well...has substantially more trassi in it as well as a more citrus-y profile. Even though it's the same brand as the Badjak, it's a little less likely to show up at the grocery store...this might have to be a toko purchase.


Edited by markemorse (log)

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The Condiment Doors, continued...

I think it's a requirement that every eGulleter has at least one Lee Kum Kee product in their fridge at all times:

gallery_28661_4926_13968.jpg

I really like the Szechwan Noodle Sauce, it's a nice mix of roasted peanut and shrimp flavors.

And here's a sparky little fireplug:

gallery_28661_4926_14524.jpg

Superb Dutch mustard, wickedly strong without being harsh...it's a great thing to pick up if you're visiting the Netherlands, I think it's .79 cents at the grocery store.

Last but not least:

gallery_28661_4926_2142.jpg

The Hot Ketchup, as I mentioned, is not really discernably different than normal ketchup. Has anyone else tried this? Sriracha we all know and love. The banana ketchup was actually really good on something but I can no longer remember what. Ah well. It's not my fridge if there's not at least one useless condiment in it. OK, off to bed I think...check y'all later.

+++


Edited by markemorse (log)

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Thanks for blogging. I'm enjoying this. I can almost smell the spices.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Let me add my own kudos on your writing style. Do you do write lyrics, or just music?

Warning: I will probably pester you throughout, as I am about to do below, for translations. Dutch and English may be similar, but they're not identical.

OK, what did I eat?

[...something with lentils and a cousin of the Scotch bonnet...yum!]

Moksi meti literally means "mixed meats", and can be served with up to 4 meats: most typically it's cha siu, fa chong (or fa tsong), fo lam, and sometimes Peking duck.  Sounds pretty Chinese. Except it's on a baguette, with pickles. And the sauce that's been slathered on the baguette here is another habanero/adjoema-based Java-style sambal. Not anywhere near as lethal as the bara relish, it's a very subtle, smoky heat that builds slowly but never burns you out. The fresh pickles, lightly dressed with vinegar and allspice, help keep things running cool.

gallery_28661_4926_12141.jpg

[....]

The meat in the photo looks to me for all the world like barbecued brisket -- there's that pink smoke ring around the edge. But the only term above that I recognize is "Peking duck," and this certainly isn't that. What are chia siu, fa chong/tsong, and fo lam? Are any of them slow-smoked? And which of these is pictured here?

So this is chicken sauteed in a sweet ketjap manis sauce with long beans, cabbage, and noodles. And a little baggie of spicy Javanese sambal on top. More detail:

gallery_28661_4926_1243.jpg

And a sweetened tamarind juice to drink:

gallery_28661_4926_2948.jpg

Isn't ketjap the sauce that mutated into what we Anglo-Americans call ketchup? My recollection is that the original sauce is thinner than the thick seasoned tomato sauce we eat. Is this sauce also made from tomatoes?

Fridge 2:

gallery_28661_4926_6474.jpg

This one's a bit harder to suss out because the door doesn't open all the way. It's all about priorities, I guess. Anyway, what we're looking at here is: some uncooked chicken breast I bought today "just in case" I got ravenously hungry and didn't feel like leaving the house; some Heinz Hot Ketchup (do you guys have that over there? It's not especially hot....actually I don't really get it); my trusty tub o' maple syrup; some (ahem) KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce my mom sent me (forgive her); a head of cauliflower ready for roasting, which we do at least once a week; half a sweet onion; a tub of fresh basil; a jar of beets, some lemons; and after that it's kind of hard to tell what's in there, isn't it.

1) I have seen Heinz Hot Ketchup on some supermarket shelves, though I think that H.J. Heinz in the USA has largely dropped it in favor of Heinz Hot 'n' Spicy Ketchup Kick'rs with Tabasco sauce, which I have yet to try but which I imagine is more pungent than Heinz Hot Ketchup. My own experience is that most food products that call themselves "hot" in the Northeast US are merely mildly spicy by my lights.

2) Your mother is forgiven. Should I get my hands on some Gates', shall I send you some? Her?

I think it's a requirement that every eGulleter has at least one Lee Kum Kee product in their fridge at all times:

gallery_28661_4926_13968.jpg

I really like the Szechwan Noodle Sauce, it's a nice mix of roasted peanut and shrimp flavors.

I'm clearly derelict, then, for I have none of these in my pantry. I can get Lee Kum Kee sauces at the Hung Vuong supermarket at 11th and Washington, along with many other popular Southeast Asian and Chinese brands. What makes their sauces distinctive?

As for procuring cocoyams and other Caribbean produce: The 9th Street ("Italian") market has seen a boomlet of Mexican groceries and eateries at its southern end in the last year, so I might try those, though Philadelphia's new Mexican immigrants hail mainly from the state of Puebla, and I don't know how closely tied in they are to the Caribbean food chain. There is also a sizable West Indian population in West Philadelphia, and there is an excellent independent supermarket (a local chain that has made a specialty of running inner-city stores) at the 56th Street stop on the Market-Frankford El that carries a large selection of Jamaican and other West Indian foodstuffs. I might also scare these tubers up there; should I manage to do so before this foodblog runs its course (by no means assured), I will let you know.

So your legal squat has a performance space-cum-restaurant on the street floor? Is that the space labeled "keuken" on the doorbells?


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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As for these common elements? Curry and tamarind for sure. Ginger is another...coconut as well. Coriander, too.

What about chiles?

You're doing a great job, btw. It's interesting to read two very different takes on the same city, and you have a wonderful style of writing. There's no sucktitude about this blog, at all!

Did you mention why you ended up in Amsterdam?

And I've asked this before to other expat bloggers, as an expat, what foods do you miss the most from the US?

(I guessed it was you partly because of your location, but also because I remembered you really liked different ethnic foods, though I wasn't certain. But when I saw you were reading the topic when I posted my guess, but didn't deny that you were the blogger, I knew for certain it was you! :biggrin: )

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After some quick internet research, it looks like cocoyam is, or is at least closely related to, taro. I'm assuming the two would be interchangeable? If so, it should be easy to find in most Asian markets.

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So I went back to Swietie Sranang (I really didn't feel like cooking!) and got a Chicken Tjauwmin:

gallery_28661_4926_1243.jpg

Now, see---I would have ordinarily just read this for the content, salivated on cue, and gone on to the next post. But I've been buried in the throes of translating some Old English for a few days, and I didn't bat an eye, just accepted that as Chicken Chow Mein. Translated perfectly in the phonetic.

To me, Tjaumin is a phonetic translation of the term in Cantonese, and Chow Mein is a translation of the term in Chinese (both meaning fried noodles).

This is a great blog! And I really like your living space.

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      As per the teaser, this week’s foodblog does indeed come to you from Atlanta, where I live with my two children (hereafter known as Girl and Boy) and husband (hereafter known as The Man). Girl is 11, Boy is 14, and The Man is old enough to know better.
      Atlanta’s huge: the total metro population is about 4 million, and there are no physical boundaries to growth like rivers or mountain ranges, so people just keep moving (and commuting) farther and farther out of town. Atlantans can be divided into ITP (inside the perimeter) and OTP (outside the perimeter), the perimeter referring to the interstate freeway that encircles the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods, separating it from outlying suburbs. The politically minded may note that these areas could be designated red and blue. I’ll let you figure out which is which.
      We’re about as ITP as it gets, with home, work, school, and restaurants all in walking distance. The neighborhood’s called Druid Hills, the setting for the play/movie “Driving Miss Daisy”. The houses date from the 1920s, and because Atlanta has so little in the way of “old” buildings the neighborhood’s on the National Register as a Historic District. Charming, sure, buts lots of the houses need some updating, and ours (purchased in 1996) was no exception. So we remodeled last year, including an addition with a new kitchen, and this week’s blog will look at the finished product.
      So, some encouragement for those of you presently involved in kitchen renovation, some ideas for those who are considering it.
      But never mind all that for the moment: What’s for breakfast?


      Dutch babies, that’s what. And even better, these Dutch babies are produced by my children, the aforementioned Girl and Boy. The first picture is right from the oven, the second is after the somewhat messy job of sifting powdered sugar on top. They are delicious (the Dutch babies, I mean, not the children) and a great weekend treat.

      The Man drinks coffee in the morning whereas I prefer tea. He's not up yet, having played poker last night. I'm hoping he makes it out of bed in time for dinner.

      I also eat fruit whereas he prefers, well, anything but fruit. This is not such a bad thing, as it means that I don’t have to share the fruit. Pomegranates are a pain to eat, but not so bad if you’re reading the newspaper at the same time. This one’s from California, but you can also grow them here if you’ve got enough sunshine (which I don’t).
    • By Shelby
      Good morning, everyone and happy Monday!  
       
      It's me again....that girl from Kansas. 
       
       
      This is VERY spur-of-the-moment.  I was sitting here yesterday thinking of all of the canning etc. that I needed to do this week and I thought, well, why not ask you guys if you want to spend the week with me while I do it?  I got the ok from Smithy so away we go!
       
      This will not be nearly as organized as my first blog was.  But, really, when does a sequel ever measure up to the first?     
       
      Most of you know all about me--if you missed my first blog you can read it here.
       
      Nothing much has changed around here.  Same furry babies, same house, same husband  .
       
      Right now we have field corn planted all around the house.  In the outer fields we have soybeans that were planted after the wheat was harvested.  Sorry for the blur....it was so humid the camera kept fogging up.
       

       
      I just came in from the garden.
       
      I snapped a few pictures....for more (and prettier) pictures you can look in the gardening thread.  I always start out saying that I will not let a weed grow in there.  By August I'm like..."Oh what's a few weeds" lol.
       
       
       
      Here's a total list of what I planted this year:
       
      7 cucumbers
      8 basil
      23 okra
      4 rows assorted lettuce
      20 peppers-thai, jalapeño, bell, banana
      4 rows peas
      5 cilantro
      1 tarragon
      2 dill
      many many red and white onions
      7 eggplant
      3 rows spinach
      57 tomatoes
      5 cherry tomatoes
      7 rows silver queen sweet corn
      11 squash
      4 watermelon
      2 cantaloupe
      6 pumpkin
       
      I killed the cantaloupes...and I tried damn hard to kill the squash lol.....sigh...squash bugs came early this year and we sprayed with some kind of stuff.  WOW the plants did not like it, but they've come back and are producing.
       


      I just love okra flowers

      Found some more smut   
       

       
       
       
       
       
       
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