Our house has evicted us.
Our garden has given us the boot.
I was feeling very sad about leaving earlier this summer. I really like this house; I, occasionally, really like the gardens.
Not any more. I'm cured of melancholia!
What happened, you ask?
Let's start with the garden: it's bare. We didn't have a single red, green, purple or yellow plum this year. Not one pear, on any of 6 trees. No cherries. I have seen 2 apples in our orchard and 1 peach.
There is also one walnut between our two trees.
Oh me, oh my, what ever can I make with one peach and one walnut? Any suggestions?
No hazelnuts, only two or three figs…
With mon mari lounging in hospital I didn't get my potager planted, but I did manage to get in six tomato plants…. Which, collectively, gave me 2 tomatoes.
I get the hint.
Just to make certain, the house had to get in on the fun.
My long-time readers may remember the embarrassing incident last year with the giant centipede, roll of toilet paper and me…in the loo…
It's common knowledge that the only thing that terrifies me more than giant centipedes is enormous spiders.
Last week, when we got home from our evening out, I saw a large centipede on the wall at the top of the stairs. It was in a rather inaccessible spot on the wall, and I had just decided that I was going to pluck up my courage and allow it to live out the night ie: be nice to mon mari and not make ask him to kill remove it until morning, when I glanced up.
Watching me watch the centipede was a ginormous spider; the kind with a leg span larger than my hand span.
Obviously I was not going to be getting any sleep with THAT in the house.
I screamed, then cowered in the corner while mon mari handily dispatched both critters.
Still shaking, I walked into the bedroom…. And there was another one!
What the h*** is going on? Two giant spiders in one night?
I, more politely, asked mon mari if he wouldn't just, please, do one more before he went to bed.
He, less politely, complied.
Ten minutes later, as I was getting into bed, (mon mari already snoring lightly) a huge centipede paraded across the wall.
I didn't push my luck.
I didn't sleep well, either.
I told the house that I got the hint…. We're leaving, already.
But the house wasn't finished with me yet!
Two mornings later, I rolled over in bed, opened my eyes and there, on the ceiling just above me was another spider; a little smaller than the other two but still a giant.
I was out of the bed and out of the room before I could blink.
I ran to get mon mari to take care of this newest incursion, but when we came back it was gone.
Never mind, I found him later…. When I made the bed.
He was snuggled up in the duvet.
I didn't sleep well that night either.
That was three. Bad things come in three's, right? So that should be the end of it.
Last night, as I was getting into bed, I glanced up and saw the biggest one yet, on the wall above the bed.
Mon mari has asked me to, please, quit looking for them.
As if not noticing this huge black thing creeping, racing, walking across a white wall at eye level would be possible…
So, my question: Where do they come from?
I'm not looking for either the evolutionary or the creationist answer.
I want to know where they are FROM! How do they get IN?
It's not like they're tiny and crawling through the cracks. They're huge!
Do they have their own keys, and just come in through the back door when we're gone?
Has word gotten out that my, now empty, closets are free real estate waiting to be colonized?
Is there a fast-talking spider in an 8-legged leisure suit selling time-shares to my shelves?
In the prior four years that we've lived here I've seen one, maybe two of these beasts each fall, but four in four days? And it's not even fall yet!
Okay, okay, I get the hint.
I'm outa here!
But, before I go… Ever wonder what to do with those scraps of puff pastry left after making those cute little tarts?
Since we are only two, when I make Butternut Squash Pastries or tomato or feta or asparagus, for a starter I end up with half of a sheet of puff pastry.
puff pastry sheet, roughly 10 X 6 (25 X 15cm)
1 – 2 tsp olive oil
2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese I used the stuff in the can rather than fresh for this
Cut a rectangle of puff pastry or use scraps. Lightly drizzle 1 – 2 tsp olive oil over the pastry. Sprinkle 2 tbs of Parmesan evenly over the top. Make a mental note (or mark it) of where the middle of the pastry is. Starting at the short ends, roll the puff pastry to the middle until the two rolls meet. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate until used. It should be chilled at least an hour and can be made 2 days ahead. Remove from fridge and slice 1/4" thick (.6cm). Lay on ungreased baking sheet and bake for 8 – 12 minutes, 400F (200C) until pastry is golden and cheese is a bit darker. Remove and serve immediately or allow to cool and store in airtight container.
Note: You could also make them sweet: brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar; serve for dessert with coffee.
I have no idea how long they will keep…we ate them all!