Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Fall Growth


From ever-loyal garden commentor Marvel:

Over thisaway, we’re enjoying the few sunny days that punctuate our otherwise dank Pacific Northwest Fall. The trees have so far hung on to much of their colorful leaves (sorta) and we’ve been able to spend a day or two of sunny (sorta) days as we rest and marshal our strength for the final (and fairly strenuous) stretch of our yearly outside chores.

I often think of Fall as being a time of death & decay, but in truth, the changes that many of the plants up here go through this time of year sing of a sweet (if late) kind of life.


Most evenings, Jack & I like to sit in our garden shed, enjoying a glass of wine & recollecting our day. When we do, we look out at a fairly tame part of the back yard. There’s a lawn, a maple, an apple tree, some blueberries & a greenhouse. Leaves change color and come & go, but for the most part, the view changes little over time. It’s still lovely, the way the colors soften and everything seems to take on a soft glow in Fall.

Out front there’s a ground-hugging Japanese maple [top pic]. Its colors are extreme and seem a little backwards: early on, the leaves unfurl a deep mahogany purple and stay that way all through Spring and Summer. Come September, the leaves do a quick change from purple to a delicate green. Then just before they’re ready to drop in the middle of Fall, they turn a breathtaking coral.


We’ve got several big old rocks around the grounds, some situated in artistic spots, but most just sitting here and there. This time of year, after the first few rains, they spring to life with extravagant coats and fringes of moss. Come Spring, the moss will produce tiny prehistoric flowers.


In a last burst of glory, the asparagus — its airy ferns having spent the Summer gathering sunny sustenance for next year’s growth — transitions from dull green to brilliant gold. It’s an exuberant display before it lays itself down to sleep.


Finally, the ever-present borage just keeps plugging away. Its fuzzy purple blooms are pretty much the first and last flowers we see out there. The polllinators adore these plants (and count on them at the extreme ends of their seasonal activities here), so we treat them with care and forgive their invasive nature.

I hope we have a very, very Democratic time of it in coming days. VERY Democratic.

What’s going on in your garden(s) this week?

110 replies
  1. 1
    JPL says:

    Marvel, Thank you again for sharing pictures of your beautiful garden and yard with us.

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning 😃, Everyone 😍

  3. 3
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Beautiful garden Marvel. You suck. ;-)

  4. 4

    I’m up late because parties are fun. Here are two nature-adjacent things.

    I have this song stuck in my head:
    “Snow Owl” by The Mountain Goats

    In your eyes were all the colors that the rainbow forgot
    Your wingspan was three feet wide or better
    With your voice practicing notes from time’s own beginning
    You took apart the alphabet letter by letter

    And I finalized a pretty graph I made of a Balloon-Juice comment thread, as a simulation of charged particles. You can pan and zoom like a map, and hover your mouse over a dot to see the commenter’s name.

    ETA: Oh yeah, you can click and drag nodes around too.

  5. 5
    Joyce H says:

    My yard features a jump and weave poles; I’m introducing my dog to agility training.

  6. 6
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Cubs fans are getting desperate:

    Indians really good. Cubs really bad. It was third-baseman-Kris Bryant-made-two-fielding-errors-in-the-same-inning bad.

    And I hate to bring this up as a lifelong Cubs, um, observer (cough, cough, wink, wink), but there is one little thing to consider here: The Cubs are a baseball Dream Team of the present and future. The Indians are not. They have one starting pitcher, Corey Kluber, who shut down the Cubs again Saturday. And they have a bullpen that believes in itself. They have a manger in Terry Francona, who is a World Series genius. The Indians believe in him. But while these Cubs are not really about their history anymore, the Indians are not really free of theirs.

    After 1948, the Indians had a long history of really, really bad. But then they got a new stadium and built things right in the early 1990s. And why haven’t they won since then?

    It is called choking.

    Remember José Mesa? The Indians have been here before and they haven’t had their history-breaking moment yet the way the Cubs have, partly anyway, in getting to the Series for the first time since 1945.

    Believe me (cough, cough, wink, wink), I’m not trying to get the Indians to think about the pressure of their history. But someone asked Francona if he might sit down his players before Sunday’s game and talk about staying calm and not thinking about the wrong things. Like, say, the franchise’s recent history of choking.

    “No, that might make them nervous,” he said. “They’re doing fine. What matters right now is that we’re doing this right now.”


  7. 7
    satby says:

    Marvel, your yard is lovely and peaceful. I admire the dedication and hard work that for it to that state, and the continued labor that keeps it there. And thanks for giving us so many beautiful pictures to start Sundays off!

    @rikyrah: Good morning!

  8. 8
    satby says:

    I had to abandon a beautiful Japanese maple just like that at my old house. Along with several lilacs I had planted that were just getting lush after about five years. Now my city lot is much smaller, but I’m already plotting where I can put replacements next year. I can fit one lilac bush and one of those maples, I already replaced my hydrangea and ninebark. I did get all my iris and bulbs planted, so spring is going to be looking good!

  9. 9
    Halffasthero says:

    These pictures are a nice mental break from the current political nightmare….

    My residence doesn’t allow for a garden. I have to live vicariously through others.

  10. 10
    Mary G says:

    Love all of it and can tell you put a lot of time into it. Thanks for letting us share it vicariously.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Halffasthero says:

    @Mary G: Damn…

  13. 13
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Joyce H: My yard features shady spots and sunshiny spots. Shady spots for laying down in on hot days, sunshiny for laying down in on cool days.

  14. 14
    Kilgore Trout says:

    Just arrived in San Juan from a 7 day cruise with no internet. Did I miss any election related news? lol

  15. 15
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kilgore Trout: No no, nothing at all. SSDD.

  16. 16
    ThresherK (GPad) says:

    @Major Major Major Major: The Mountain Goats! I loved the use of their music in Moral Orel. “Tallahassee” is an album which can cause a social worker to flee the room, because it is so good at what it purports to be.

    We had snow here Thursday (but we don’t have a garden anyway).

  17. 17
    satby says:

    I love fall and the colors, love the change of seasons, I even like winter as long as I don’t have to drive on ice. But I do not love the shorter days and the fact that it’s still dark here and it’s 7:30 in the morning!

  18. 18
    JMG says:

    Our yards are too wooded for much gardening, but it keeps the house cooler in the summer, and super beautiful in October. Then I have to rake the leaves, which’ll probably start this week. First I harvest the maples, then a couple weeks later the oaks. It’s the worst yard chore there is, except for weeding, I guess.

  19. 19
    Rob says:

    Marvel’s magnificent maple makes me melt (It’s a gorgeous photo and I wish I had one of my own).

  20. 20
    Hal says:

    Not garden chat, but I talked to one of my cousins last night. She’s only voted Republican for president before this election. She hates Trump, thinks he’s ridiculously unqualified and can’t believe all the things he’s said about women.

    She’s voting for Hillary. I should say she’s not a rabid partisan. Actually loves Michelle Obama and says she’s going to miss president Obama, so maybe not the typical audience, but still. Oh, and she couldn’t care less about the emails.

  21. 21
    Immanentize says:

    @Major Major Major Major: That is way cool. I am very impressed. And I am glad your party was fun!

    Marvel, thanks for the pictures and stories. But mostly thanks for the inspiration. Near Boston things have turned cold and gray. “Death is stalking us tracking us down…”. but there is always next Spring!

  22. 22
    bemused says:


    We may have more shady areas than sunny in our large zone 4 yard. Our back yard is very soothing and cool on hot days and the garden bed there is mixed with a variety of hostas in different shades of green and other shade loving plants. I love Astrantia, masterwort, which flowers, white and pink varieties.

  23. 23
    ThresherK (GPad) says:

    @satby: In my whole life I’ve lived about 72.5 degrees W. Is your new city a bigly different time zone or longitude than previous?

  24. 24
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Q: In the UK, in the wake of Brexit, there has been a lot of talk of being in a “post-truth” environment. How do you feel about that?

    A: If that is how you feel, then that is the beginning of the end of an informed democracy. Watch other countries rise up as you not only lag but regress. All the growth economies will be elsewhere because innovation and science and technology and investments in what are objectively truths are the foundations of tomorrow’s economies. If you reject it then you will be forfeiting everything that such a great nation has worked so hard to obtain. My point is that if you do not embrace objective truths, just move back to the caves, that is where you’re going to be eventually.

    -Neil DeGrasse Tyson

  25. 25
    maurinsky says:

    We are closing our garden today. This was our first year with a vegetable garden: it garnered about 2 dozen peppers, a couple of pounds of green beans, 1 watermelon that survived, and an insane amount of tomatoes.

    Next year, we’re planting fewer tomatoes, and we’re going to start early spring veggies earlier, as well as planting friends together, like radishes and carrots. I want to do leeks because I could eat them every day. But it’s small, so we’ll have to be choosy.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    scav says:

    Huzzah for fuzzy rocks! I am envious. My current job is recovering from raking and round one winterizing other person’s garden. Roses there are gamely struggling on, tattered pink and brown-red against the late fall rose of a pee-gee hydrangea. All pre-drop dead oak branches within jumping and sawing range removed and burnt with aforementioned leaves, One VERY rude mushroom properly cherished and the cotoneaster is a go for rejuvination pruning.

  28. 28
  29. 29
    greennotGreen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Gardeners in the Pacific Northwest cheat.

  30. 30
    satby says:

    @ThresherK (GPad):

    In my whole life I’ve lived about 72.5 degrees W. Is your new city a bigly different time zone or longitude than previous?

    No, it’s basically the same zone as it’s only about 40 minutes away from my old house in MI and roughly the same latitude as Chicago. Odd fact, though it’s farther from Lake Michigan than my old house, South Bend typically gets a bit more lake effect snow than the Michigan house did.

  31. 31
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @greennotGreen: I KNEW IT!! It’s all rigged! Everything is RIGGED, RIGGED I tell you! Hillary’s cookbook contest yesterday afternoon? RIGGED! It was rigged against people who only comment in the morning, namely ME!!!!!

    I should’ve known, Crooked and Hillary go together like ham and eggs.

  32. 32
    greennotGreen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I would argue that we don’t actually know what objective truth is. I would call what NDT refers to as agreed upon truth. For example, there is a set of wavelengths that we call “green”, and people can say, that’s a green leaf, broccoli is green, that paint chip is green. But we have no idea how any other person experiences that color inside their own mind. So, the agreed upon wavelengths can be called “objective” because we can measure them with instruments, but beyond that, we may not know what we think we know.

    That being said, I’m not defending the know-nothings who refuse to acknowledge the results of their own voting patterns, e.g., Kansans who vote for Sam Brownback, complain about their state’s economy, then vote for him again.

  33. 33
    greennotGreen says:


    Crooked and Hillary go together like ham and eggs.

    Hillary’s a vegan. You take that back!

  34. 34
    Eric S. says:

    My little deck garden in Wrigleyville is looking pathetic except for the basil and the habanero. I’ve got to figure out what to do with close to 2 dozen little orange balls of flame. I love them but it’s hard to use that many as a single person.

  35. 35
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @greennotGreen: An objective truth is open to refinement based upon new evidence, and even open to being overturned if the new evidence is so overwhelming and earth shaking as to require it.

    Climate change is an objective truth: The climate is changing due to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere largely from the burning of fossil fuels causing a blanket effect on the earth and not allowing the radiation of heat back into space according to **historical norms**. That objective truth is being refined every day with new data and understanding of how our climate behaves and reacts which leads to ever more accurate predictions.

    Just as Einstein’s theory of special relativity refined (and expanded on) Newtons law of gravity (and all evidence gathered since has backed it up) some new theory may (will?) refine relativity (and new evidence will be gathered to back it up) but it will take something truly extraordinary to overturn that objective truth.

  36. 36
    debbie says:


    Are you liking your new neighborhood?

  37. 37
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @greennotGreen: I know, (he says with an evil grin….)

  38. 38
    ThresherK says:

    Jane Pauley just shat the lead headline about “a defiant Hillary Clinton” re pointing out the emails haven’t be read: and “Hillary Clinton’s private email server”.

    The story was a shitburger,too. Hard to put that much derp in one minute, but they did.

    Questions Were Raised!

  39. 39
    MomSense says:

    Thank you for sharing your amazing garden with us Marvel. Much as I love flowers, moss is my favorite. Some of the wooded trails I walk along the ocean have an incredible variety of moss. I love all the different colors and textures.

  40. 40
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    While we’re at it: Fuck Mara Liasson.

  41. 41
    greennotGreen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Very good points. I guess my objection is that sometimes the term “objective truth” is used too broadly to encompass “agreed upon truths” as well. And there is a difference.

  42. 42
    ThresherK says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I wouldn’t do that with a rusty signpost.

  43. 43
    debbie says:


    Yep. Just heard her.

    On the other hand, Biden’s on Face the Nation. Hope he brings his A game and tells us what he really thinks about Comey.

  44. 44
    Another Scott says:

    Fabulous garden pictures, Marvel. Thanks.

    I see there’s been another big earthquake in Italy today. :-( The Earth is moving and continues to do so, and when stress is relieved in one place, it builds up in another… I hope folks in California are prepared, at least as well as they can reasonably prepare for such a thing. I dread the time when a big quake there, or in the PNW, or elsewhere finally hits. Especially with the Federal Government under such stress as a result of own-goals like the sequester, lack of hiring and promotion authority so that experienced people leave before they should, etc., etc. it could be a much worse disaster than we might think.

    Here’s hoping that Team D has banked a substantial lead so that the Comey Catastrophe hasn’t changed things much (or in fact has increased her lead due to people being even more motivated).


    Have a good Sunday, everyone.


  45. 45
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @greennotGreen: Language is confusing as a neutral observation of any comment thread here would quickly reveal.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    Kilgore Trout says:


    Our last stop Saturday was in St Thomas. After walking around the shopping district and then enjoying a couple of local beers overlooking the bay we grabbed a taxi back to the ship. The driver had an Obama sticker on the window that I commented on, and he proceeded to rant about Comey for the entire 10 minute drive. He’s more pissed about it than my wife, and she’s royally pissed.

    To make this post on topic we visited some beautiful gardens on St Kitts. ;-)

  48. 48
    Princess says:

    @Eric S.: You could freeze them — chills freeze well. Or chop them up, mix with salt, let sit in a cupboard for a few weeks to ferment them, then put them in the fridge and use them at will.

  49. 49
    rikyrah says:

    The pictures from the garden this week were beautiful.

  50. 50
    Schlemazel says:

    Don’t you mean “like tofu and lentils”?

    EDIT: Rats, I see I am not the first to make this joke.

  51. 51
    Princess says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Mara Liasson is worthless.

    FWIW, spent the morning with my favourite Bern-feeling, Hillary-disliking but still Hillary-voting voter yesterday and all he talked about was meeting a fellow Bern-feeling taxi driver who had spent lots of time with Hillary years ago, and what a nice person he said she is. No mention of emails. I don’t think the email story is going to affect people beyond the range of rabid partisans like us all that much.

  52. 52
    Pogonip says:

    You really should look at today.

    That is all.

  53. 53
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kilgore Trout: I’m sorry you had politics intrude on what was (I am sure) an otherwise wonderful and relaxing vacation. On the other hand, you did ask for it.

  54. 54
    Doug R says:

    @Another Scott: The big subduction quake hits us in the PNW every 300-700 years. The “good” news is the last one hit us 316 years ago, so if it happens sooner rather than later it should be lower energy.
    Lower energy in this case being closer to a 7.0 rather than a 9.0, but even a comparable 6.3 in Christchurch, NZ damaged their downtown so badly almost half the buildings had to be demolished.

  55. 55
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Schlemazel: Tofu is the “perfect” food: it goes with everything by adding absolutely nothing** to any dish, thereby making it “perfectly” awful stuff. I just can’t see myself sitting down to eat a nice bowl of tofu.

    **(in the way of flavor)

  56. 56
    Eric S. says:

    @Princess: Yes, I think a lot of them will join the 10 or so I’ve already frozen.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    WaterGirl says:

    @Eric S.: I freeze my extra peppers whole. Lay them out on a cookie sheet. Put them in the freezer for an hour or two, until they feel frozen. Put them in ziplock bags and store them in the freezer.

    Don’t thaw the pepper before you use it, the seeds come out really easily once frozen (unless you also use the seeds) and if you thaw it first it will become a soggy, limp mess. I use them all winter for stir fry or seasoning chili, etc.

  59. 59
    satby says:

    @debbie: I am, thanks! It’s nice to be able to run out to the store for something and not have it be an hour+ trip. It’s pretty quiet even though it’s a small city. And in spite of all the work, I love my house. I really lucked out on that.

  60. 60
    greennotGreen says:

    Tofu can be great or blah, depending on how it’s prepared. I have so far not developed the knack, but I think I’m going to try again when I’m up to it.

  61. 61
    Ninedragonspot says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: try some fermented “stinky” tofu. It definitely is packed with flavor.

  62. 62
    WaterGirl says:

    Beautiful photos, Marvel! Especially the top one and the one with the ferns against the backdrop of the rocks. Just lovely!

  63. 63
    satby says:

    And… Time to go to work! At least it’s a short day. Enjoy your Sunday, everyone!

  64. 64
    Brachiator says:



    Tofu in Georgia? What a world. It’s interesting that you say that tofu adds nothing in the way of flavor to a dish. The same has been said about grits, a more traditional Southern food.

  65. 65
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: I’m sure that recipe produces some perfectly tasty food, absolutely none of the taste coming from the tofu. The bowl of tofu I was referring to was sans rice, veggies, or gravy, in other words, utterly tasteless. Based on your recommendation I will certainly give that recipe a try. I like food, and I especially like new recipes I’ve never tried before (I actually have more than a little experience with tofu, my oldest sis was a vegetarian). We are trying to eat less meat so I am actively seeking vegetarian recipes.

    All that being said, I still maintain that the best way to eat tofu is with bacon.

  66. 66
    debbie says:


    When they first began selling tofu at NYC vegetable stands, cakes of tofu would be floating in open tubs of water, which after a while would develop the same kind of prismatic sheen on those horrible school cafeteria oily meat dishes. No thanks.

  67. 67
    Gelfling 545 says:

    Recovering today from the Halloween Puppy Parade in downtown Buffalo. A good time was had by all and the dogs were soooo well behaved, not to mention adorable.
    Pics here. Flora’s there in her Batman costume. I think my favorite was the Great Dane WWI flying ace!

  68. 68
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Brachiator: And I like grits**. Which makes me….. OH NOES!!! A hypocrite! Life is full of little contradictions.

    ** no sweet grits for me: a pat of butter and a little salt and pepper

    @Ninedragonspot: No what else is full of flavor? Bad caviar. I think I need a better description before I risk that experience again.

  69. 69
    jeffreyw says:


    All that being said, I still maintain that the best way to eat tofu is with bacon.

    Fry the tofu with the bacon, toss the tofu when bacon is crisp.

  70. 70
    Gelfling 545 says:

    Yesterday’s Halloween Puppy Parade. Flora’/ there in her Batman costume! Great dogs, great costumes, great fun. Pics You need to click see all posts to get to the pictures.

  71. 71
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    JR in WV says:


    Orange Habenero peppers – “A Little Dab’ll do ya’!!!” A friend grows them, dries them, and keeps them on his dinner table in a grinder, set exceedingly fine, so you can dust tiny grains of orange heat onto the BBQ ribs, or soup or whatever.

    He’s the only guy I know who likes hot better than I do. We worked together from 1985 ’til I retired in 2008, except for a year or two as we changed jobs. He learned to code with cards professionally, I only used punch cards my first programming class in 1981, learning PL/I.

    ETA more accurate

  73. 73
    Ninedragonspot says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: fermented tofu is often compared with stinky blue cheeses. Fried has a milder flavor, usually, while stewed can be more concentrated. My favorite combination is with pig’s blood cakes, intestines and spicy sauce. Pungent!

  74. 74
    Brachiator says:


    ** no sweet grits for me: a pat of butter and a little salt and pepper

    I hear you. Years ago, my college dining hall had a Southern/Soul Food Night. Grits were served. Some students had never had them before, and just couldn’t deal with it.

    A coffee shop in Los Angeles served an odd Asian/American food twist. A favorite of mine was fried eggs, cha su (Chinese style barbecue pork) and grits.

  75. 75
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @jeffreyw: Boy that sounds like the perfect tofu dish. I’ll have to give it a try! ;-)

  76. 76
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @JR in WV: I just tried those for the first time yesterday. Holy moly. I was prepared since I had looked them up here, Jalapenos have a Scoville rating of 5,000, Habeneros are 150,000.

    So I sliced a paper thin slice, diced that up into nanocubes, mashed it up, and tasted a tiny little bit of that. My mouth was still burning a half hour later.

    What I can’t quite imagine is these, rated at two million.

  77. 77
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    My favorite combination is with pig’s blood cakes, intestines and spicy sauce. Pungent!


    I actually like blue cheese, more than a little. If I ever get the chance I’ll give it a try.

  78. 78
    jeffreyw says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: It’s similar to the classic recipe for cooking alligator gar: Place whole gar on a cedar plank and bake at 350 for a half hour. Toss gar and serve the plank with salt and a saw.

  79. 79
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @JR in WV: I just tried those for the first time yesterday. Holy moly. I was prepared since I had looked them up here, Jalapenos have a Scoville rating of 5,000, Habeneros are 150,000.

    So I sliced a paper thin slice, diced that up into nanocubes, mashed it up, and tasted a tiny little bit of that. My mouth was still burning a half hour later.

    What I can’t quite imagine is these, rated at two million.

    D’oh. Posted by mistake with a visible link, in moderation, posting again.

  80. 80
    Schlemazel says:

    It is all about the vehicle used to deliver the tofu. If you have a very flavorful sauce and nice vegetables and fungus around it its OK. By itself? Well it has no real flavor with the consistency of jello so, no, not enjoyable.

    EDIT: @raven: Yeah, like that!

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    Elizabelle says:

    Sheerly gorgeous photographs and text.

    Thank you, Marvel.

    I wish you could let us come pitch tents on your lawn and keep you in wine/beer for a Juice weekend among garden splendor. Looks like there is not a bad day in garden land there, even while fall and dark bear down.

  83. 83
    ThresherK says:

    @Kilgore Trout: The steepest car ride I ever took was on St.Thomas from the airport to a boat (not the main harbor) took us to St. John. I had never been on anything so steep, narrow, and winding, even on a motorcycle.

    Oh, and it was one of those roofless, canopied 15 (?) passenger things. The driver had a steady and practised hand, which really calmed down the likes of me.

    Nice time of year to be there: Post-hurricane season!

  84. 84
    Ninedragonspot says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: I once was making a large batch of chili and neglected to wear gloves while dicing large quantities of chilies. Naturally, the oils got over my hands and naturally they burned for hours and hours. While I was complaining over the telephone to my husband, a third party offered the best advice I have ever received on any subject:

    “If you go to the bathroom, wear gloves.”

  85. 85
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @jeffreyw: Gar, something else I feel no need to eat but if somebody offered me a piece I’d certainly try it. Nobody ever said I was the brightest bulb in the box.

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    Schlemazel says:

    I like some hot pepper in my grits sometimes, other time cheese but mostly just butter. Not every food has to be a 10 on taste something need to be subtle.

  87. 87
    Schlemazel says:

    I had a friend call asking for advice about getting rid of the burn. I suggested if all else failed he might try a paste of baking soda and water. His reply “I don’t want to put that up my nose”

  88. 88
    WereBear says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: All that being said, I still maintain that the best way to eat tofu is with bacon.

    I agree, and hold the tofu.

    Soy fans should be aware that it does have a weak estrogenic effect. I don’t want or need that. Not everyone does.

  89. 89
    Hal says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I love grits. Butter, salt and pepper and scrambled egg. Back when I worked at a hospital in San Francisco I asked a woman working in the cafeteria where the grits were and she looked at me with confusion and said “ritz?!” She didn’t know what grits were. Maybe not a bay area thing but there were too many black folks, including myself, that worked in that hospital for them not to have grits.

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    Gin & Tonic says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Confirmed carnivore Anthony Bourdain’s favorite dish is made from tofu.

  91. 91
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Schlemazel: I like cheddar on my grits sometimes, but I tend to avoid hot peppers unless it is a dish requirement. Reason being at one point in time I put them on everything to the point where nothing tasted good w/o. Decided that was no way to eat.

  92. 92
    Ninedragonspot says:

    @Schlemazel: when I had that “accident”, I tried the baking soda + water trick. Whatever effect it might have had wasn’t especially noticeable. The situation eventually resolved itself. Most important part: “bathroom, gloves”. You don’t want those oils in places they have no business being.

  93. 93
    Barbara says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: “Eating it raw is really not advised . . .”

  94. 94
    Josie says:

    @Hal: I make yummy grits casserole with butter, garlic and cheese. I can’t imagine life without grits.

  95. 95
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: We once stopped at one of the taco trucks right off I-95 in New Haven. My wife liked the look of a condiment they had there, looked like pickled red onions. But there was a more or less equal quantity of orange-colored slices in there with the red-purple ones.

    It didn’t take her long to figure out that the orange slices were not onions.

  96. 96
    Schlemazel says:

    I wear them when I chop peppers & avoid the whole deal. I have boxes of gloves for medical reasons so it they are always available.

    Once the oil is on your skin it will start to burn & just like removing the flame when getting burned by fire the skin will still hurt from the damage done. The baking soda won’t do anything if the damage is already done. I might neutralize the acid though & allow you to touch stuff without spreading the burn.

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    Schlemazel says:

    I like hot foods but not all the time. I notice different things in dishes served high heat and low heat although there are some things I only like hot. I don’t want to eat hot all the time.

    There is a Caribbean restaurant here that I like but you do not want to order stuff hot there because they have their own idea of what that means and I have no clue how a person could ever get used to that

  98. 98
    greennotGreen says:

    @Josie: Yeah, cheese grits souffle! One of my favorite foods.

  99. 99
    tybee says:

    the gar recipe reminds me of the toadfish recipe: put the toadfish in a pot with an axe head. boil until the axe head gets soft. throw away the toadfish and eat the axe head

  100. 100
    jeffreyw says:

    @Schlemazel: There was a Chinese restaurant here where we ate fairly often. I had a favorite dish I would usually order. It was cooked with those whole dried red peppers and it had some heat but it wasn’t that hot. I got to ordering “extra peppers” but one time I misspoke and ordered it “extra hot”. Big mistake, but I soldiered on. The waiter giggled and asked if I wanted to send it back, I told him to “just keep the ice water coming!”

  101. 101
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Schlemazel: Notice how the really spicy-hot cuisines developed in hotter climates pre-refrigeration. You either get used to the spiciness, or get used to semi-spoiled meat. Easy tradeoff, if you ask me.

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    Schlemazel says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    I had not thought of that connection. I assumed the spice produced sweat which aided cooling but your theory works well.

  103. 103
    maurinsky says:

    My husband and I went to a vegan restaurant a couple of weeks ago. He could totally go vegan, I love meat and cheese more than dessert. I had a tofu dish, and the tofu tasted fine (gingery) but texture-wise, was like eating a sponge. Even the water in this place tasted like vegetables.

  104. 104
    Brachiator says:

    From an old mythbuster post, milk is best for hot pepper consumption.

    Chilies contain a substance called capsaicin that makes taste buds sting. When capsaicin pings taste buds, these heat-detecting neural sensors send a message straight to the brain: “fire!” Milk, however, contains casein, a fat-loving compound that binds with spicy capsaicin oil and then washes it away.

    So, will a few gulps of cold water or beer ease the pain as well as milk does? No dice. The drinks may offer brief relief, but because oil and water don’t mix, these water-based liquids will actually spread the oily capsaicin rather than reduce its effect. Alcohol could help by dissolving the capsaicin oil, but there’s not enough alcohol in beer to conquer the painful burn. Truth is, you might have to drink 10 ounces of 70-proof tequila to dissolve 1 ounce of concentrated capsaicin compound.

    Bread may help soothe also. But not water.

  105. 105
    Brachiator says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Notice how the really spicy-hot cuisines developed in hotter climates pre-refrigeration. You either get used to the spiciness, or get used to semi-spoiled meat.

    This may have been serendipity. Some plants developed hotness to avoid being eaten. Animals munching them would feel the burn. But birds are generally immune to the active ingredient in hot pepper. The seeds pass through them and are spread, helping the plant to propagate. So here, a mutually beneficial evolutionary compromise.

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    LurkerExtraordinaire says:

    Extra habaneros could be used to make a habanero jelly.

    Supposedly, removing the seeds and membranes inside makes the peppers less hot. Works well with jalapeños, don’t know about habaneros.

    As Brachiator says, milk works wonders. Yogurt as well.

  107. 107
    Brachiator says:

    BTW, a common food truck treat is a fruit bowl, especially mango and pineapple, liberally sprinkled with chili powder.

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    JR in WV says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Or the Ghost Pepper, which can cause burns. A co-worker from Jamaica told me as a child, they had a pepper tree by the front door, and his Mom told him to never taste those peppers – so of course he did. Then they had to take him to hospital for the burns!

    I’m thinking those were Ghost Peppers. I’m not planning on trying them.

    And if you’ve been trimming or chopping habeneros, DON’T LICK your knife, under any circumstances!!!

  109. 109
    JR in WV says:

    Another hot dish, Indian Vindaloo, which starts at real hot and goes up from there. Once, after working on Indian food for a while, I ordered a Vindaloo, Indian Hot.

    The guy taking orders was the owner/manager, and he asked “Are you quite sure, sir?” and I foolishly said, yeah, go for it.


    The guys in the kitchen were looking around the edge of the door at me, to see how I took it. They may have boosted it a little just for show, after all, how would white guy in WV know? But I ate most all of it, manager stopped by often to ask how it was, I got a couple extra beers, and extra dry napkins.

    Sweat was dripping off my ears!

    I still eat Vindaloo, but not Indian Hot…

  110. 110
    jl says:

    I like freshly chopped borage in scrambled eggs with some cheese mixed in. Is that gross, or OK?

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