Posts Tagged ‘Genya Ravan’

Saturday Single No. 455

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

Summer just got a whole lot busier here.

The two gardens have already offered us zucchini, yellow squash and lettuce, some banana peppers and one or two slicing cucumbers, and last evening, the Texas Gal spent about an hour in the near garden, pulling the first rounds of green and wax beans. The wax beans didn’t quite fill a bowl that I estimate at about five quarts, while the green beans topped their bowl by about a quart.

Then, as we ate dinner with the beans bagged and waiting in the refrigerator, we got a call: The half-bushel of small pickling cucumbers that the Texas Gal had ordered were available. So this morning as she headed off to the farmers’ market downtown, I pulled canning and pickling equipment and supplies from the fruit cellar and washed and cleaned those things that needed washing and cleaning.

As I write, the Texas Gal is washing and cutting green beans with the wax beans soon to follow. Some will be canned and some will be frozen and some few, I imagine, will end up on tonight’s dinner table, accompanying three ribeye steaks that are currently thawing and have a date with our new broiler pan this evening.

And tomorrow, the kitchen here will turn into the Thirteenth Avenue Pickling Plant, as the half-bushel of small cukes is processed into jars of kosher dills, polish dills and perhaps a few hot mustard dill pickles.

Beyond this weekend, we will see more green and wax beans, more zucchini, yellow squash and cucumbers, many more peppers and many tomatoes, some cabbages and eggplants and a good supply of herbs. By the end of August, as the picking, canning and pickling season begins to draw to an ending, we’ll be well tired of all of it, the Texas Gal more than I, certainly. After all, she is the gardener and canner, and I am only the helper (and more comfortable helping in the kitchen than in the dirt).

But those are our roles, and for what must be the seventh year now, we shall see how our gardens grow.

And here’s a tune I’m certain I’ve shared here before, and probably in this context, but it’s been a few years, and it still works. That’s why Genya Ravan’s cover of Derek & The Dominos “Keep On Growing,” from her 1973 album, They Love Me, They Love Me Not, is today’s Saturday Single.

Saturday Single No. 238

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

It’s another cold and rainy Saturday, a perfect day to hunker down inside and listen to music, get caught up on my reading pile, play with a cat or two and – late in the day – watch the Preakness Stakes.

It’s just that we had planned to do so much more today. The fellow who plows our driveway during the winter stopped by this week and tilled the garden plot we share with some of the folks from the apartment building next door. The Texas Gal and I marked our share of the garden with wooden stakes, and we’d hoped to get our fence up today.

That’s not likely. I glance at my study window, and the streaks left by raindrops are increasing moment by moment. We’d be soaked in minutes if we tried to put the fence up this morning, not to mention that the freshly turned earth will be little but muck if we ventured out into it this morning.

Looking at the weather forecast provides no solace. Sunday and Monday are projected to be rainy and cloudy as well, with the first hint of sun coming on Tuesday. Not only are we unlikely to get the fence up until then, it’s also unlikely that the plants we’ve already accumulated for gardens near the house will get into the ground either. We have a golden spirea and a couple of barberry plants ready to go into a new perennial garden, a few things for a new rock garden, and some herbs. All of those will have to wait. Maybe the rain will diminish by tomorrow and we can get some of these things done then. Or maybe we should just suck it up, put on raincoats and go out and get wet, mucky and cold.

The fact that we don’t do that last – get wet, mucky and cold – makes it clear that gardening is a hobby, not a lifestyle. It is, in fact, more the Texas Gal’s hobby than it is mine. Were it not for her, there would be no gardens here: no flowers, no vegetables, no shrubs, no herbs. I wouldn’t do it on my own, as I find no joy in playing in the dirt.

But – and this is a huge “but” – I enjoy doing things with my Texas Gal, and she finds great joy in planning, organizing and tending to her garden. So I tag along, doing many things that I would not otherwise do, including watering, weeding, and frequently getting my hands dirtier than I like. But that’s okay: Dirt washes off.

This will be the third year that we’ve had a vegetable garden in the large plot, and the third year as well that we’ll tend to flowers and other plants next to the house. We’ve learned a lot about gardening in the past two years, and we’ll likely learn more this year. And by the time next autumn when we pull up the fence for the winter, not only will our plants and flowers have grown to fruition but I’d like to think that we, too, will have grown some as well. Even if we at times have found ourselves wet, mucky and cold.

The perfect tune for that thought seems to be “Keep On Growing,” written by Eric Clapton and Bobby Whitlock and first released in 1970 by Derek and the Dominos on Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. But that version is so well-known that I’ve decided to look elsewhere. Genya Ravan included the song on her 1973 album They Love Me, They Love Me Not, and her excellent cover of the tune is today’s Saturday Single.