August 19th, 2010
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In this week's Patchwork, the tomato and potato blight that is infecting crops reminds Barbara Ganley of her Irish roots. Read the column here, then try out some of the recipes below.
Verna Ganley’s Fruitcake
(As she wrote it)
We’re spending more and more time in our root cellars and kitchens, preserving and storing what we’re picking, so here’s what we’re making:
Jams, jellies & marmalades
Vinegars and syrups
Peppers & tomatoes
Fruits & pie fillings
Fruitbreads, pies & cakes
As I pick ripe tomatoes for one of Kate’s gazpachos (see last week’s column) and slow roasting, I think of the story my father-in-law tells of sneaking to his mother’s tomato patch brandishing a salt shaker spirited from the dining table, then squirreling himself inside the bower of sweet-earth smelling vines to devour tomato after tomato, warm, salted, sublime. It’s tough to imagine a disease brought on the wind marring this image or wiping out full crops of tomatoes and potatoes.
Next Tuesday is one of the most important primary elections in Vermont’s recent history. Of the six state offices, four have competitive races. Five Democrats are vying for the right to confront Republican Brian Dubie in gubernatorial race. Two Democrats and two Republicans are in a party run-off in the lieutenant governor’s race and the secretary of state race; two Democrats are vying for the state auditor of accounts position to confront Republican incumbent Tom Salmon. Add to that a competitive three-way race among Republicans for the congressional seat held by Democrat incumbent Rep.
After spending most of a day driving through Montana and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, we’d turned east out of Grand Teton National Forest in the late afternoon, still with hundreds of miles to go before we stopped for the night.
Miles after the pine trees had vanished, replaced by sandy buttes and scrub brush, the snow-capped peaks still loomed behind us. Their peaks were etched sharply onto the deep blue sky, just like the mountains a small child would draw.
With only a few days left before the primary, four of the five candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for governor could end up as the winner next Tuesday.
I was a little nervous as I headed to the reunion dinner at the VFW in the tiny western New York State town where I grew up.
My classmates and I were gathering from locations that ranged from an apartment down the street to a house in Thessaloniki, Greece.
I’m sure every one of us heading to the event felt a touch of the silly old fears that come with these gatherings. Then I spotted the big orange sign on the nearby bridge over the Erie Canal:
“WARNING: Emergency Scene Ahead.”