Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Chilled Golden Shrimp Chowder...and nature's pruning

With temperature in the nineties, my focus continues to be serving refreshing versions of staple menu items like Golden Shrimp Chowder.

Into very chilled, well seasoned, and blended-til-smooth chowder, I stirred in some heavy cream. Then I squirted some more cream in a lively zig zag pattern right from its carton. Chiffonade of basil was scattered on top, with extra placed in the middle which served as support for a few cooked shrimp. This soup is an ideal comfort food for hot days: creamy, tasty, substantial, but always cool, mon grand.

Merrily squirting cream about was akin to finger painting, once removed

Nature's pruners have been busy chez nous.  They first came about a week ago, during the night, bringing pelting rain and whistling wind as their tools. Lightning and thunder were their illumination and music, aiding them in their efforts though their work was just preparatory and mostly invisible.

A few days later they visited and again it was at night.  This time they brought machetes, buzzsaws, and bulldozersApparently they decided some trees needed to be déraciné (uprooted) while others required severe amputations despite it being the wrong season for such surgery.

Green Gage plum with a ton of unripe fruit was uprooted

The forty-foot pear tree got a brutal pruning of a major limb.  Happily there's lots of  unripe pears remaining

Red Delicious apple tree was split right down the middle

Decisive as they were, they were also unfortunately quite sloppy, letting felled branches crush other standing trees, bushes, and plants while strewing the paths with fallen unripe fruit which made for wobbly perambulation.

The harvested onions and garlic curing under the pergola got a thorough bath.

After a few hours in the sun, they were once again dry and safe from rotting

Small pots with young plants enjoyed flying lessons though they did not learn how to land where they took off and could be found not only throughout the garden but outside of it. Iterating the old adage there are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots fell on limp leaves.

Saponaria and Dianthus 'pilots' needed a little TLC but are now nicely recovered from their dashing exploits

Some workers evidently took time off to play a quirky rendition of musical chairs.

Chairs found themselves in various spots in the garden.

Others attended a wedding where they threw flowers at the happy couple.

They chose lavender Rose of Sharon (probably matching the bride's dress)

Kudos to the worker with obviously artistic sensibilities who could see clearly that a commercial sign needed repositioning!

But all in all, the garden was better off for their attention: cleaner, more vibrant, and healthier. Though the work party got a little rough at times, they gratefully did not take the roof down.

The most prominent flowers in our garden at high summer are Rose of Sharon

However, nature could hire a clean-up crew which would sit perfectly well with me.

Monsieur M will cut the trunk (I lopped off all its branches) into firewood with his electric saw.

Dayo is progressing very well after his paw surgery.  His stitches were removed, and his toe looks great.  If healing continues at this pace, he will be able to resume his garden duties fairly soon ending his four-months-long (le pauvre!) incapacitation. 

Special delivery:  the latest Nike model!

He is gaining back weight while his coat is returning to its glossy self.

À la prochaine!


Chilled Carrot/Red Currant/Orange Soup