The Hamster Of Death (vampyrichamster) wrote,
The Hamster Of Death

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And Lo, There was Pumpkin Sex.

We have a small pumpkin patch in our backyard I have been doing my best to keep watered and fed. I have an especial fondness for pumpkin shoots and flowers in my cooking. The flowers, in particular, are prized in Vietnam for stirfrying, and have a tender crunch and mildly sweet flavour reminiscent of the fruit. Unfortunately enough, although we finally had female flowers this year, I'd watch in horror as baby pumpkins shriveled up and died within days after the flowers wilted. According to sites I looked up, we had all the very worst conditions for expecting pumpkins: scorching heat, a drop in bee numbers (due to the heat) and not enough watering. The cure was to incite a kind of pumpkin bukake, using human hands to rub pumpkin penises against pumpkin vaginas. Yes, I know they're supposed to be stamens and stigmas, but these sound better.

Anyway, I woke up early enough for the job, when the flowers had all just bloomed, but was too lazy to leave the house at half past six, so left it until quite late in the morning, when the flowers were disturbingly starting to crumple in. Noticing this (the patch is directly opposite the bedroom window I work behind), I ran out with my box of three pre-chilled and collected pumpkin penises and a pair of scissors to finish what pumpkins clearly have no clue how to start on their own. It's like the giant panda argument -- how do you get them interested in each other? It's faster to artificially inseminate them. There were three freshly opened male flowers alongside the female one. I snipped the stamens of all three fresh flowers first, and did the rubbing and fertilizing stuff. There was a disturbing number of black ants. I suppose they helped the process along in nature, and were primarily attracted to the female flower, indicating it was a very sweet....female flower. I was initially worried the ants would cart off the pollen, but it didn't seem like they were into that. Many ants received facial shots as a result. Then, I took out the three chilled stamens I had on me and added the pollen from that to the mix. Quite frankly, if this female flower does not start coming down with child after six emasculated male flowers, I am going curse stuff.

After which, I harvested the emasculated flowers for lunch. Made a kind of halfway green curry chicken and threw them in at the end to be cooked by the hot sauce. I didn't have eggplant, but I did have zucchini centers, which worked a treat. The curry paste was supposed to be a pesto. Since basil pesto is nearly green curry paste without the onion, ginger and galangal, I thought, aha, we have a sauce. The pesto part comes in because I'd actually made a basil and rocket pesto. I also discovered that in the absence of chillis (our chilli plants this year refused to flower), young green rocket pods are an excellent substitute. The pods are strongly peppery, with a bitter rocket edge, but roughly have the same amount of heat as a medium-mild bird's eye chilli. There was also stewed sweet potatoes in soy sauce with wakame bits, konnyaku and some random tiny beetroot I recovered from the ground before it got completely eaten by pillbugs. (Just learnt that pillbugs are genus Armadillidium. How cute.)

I've been having issues with my left hand over the last three months. I've wondered if it's because I had to handle a large amount of water (predominantly grey water from the house I carry in buckets to the garden outside) that's affecting my joints. But my left hand numbs when I clench it or try to grip something with it. A few times a day, I'll do something with my hands and the pain carries from the back of my palm up to my knuckles. This hasn't made typing difficult yet, though one hand is always somewhat numb on the keyboard. Gets to me though, when I need to handle secateurs with my left hand, or snap off branches. I've also discovered I'm back to 38kg (85 pounds). This was my weight about 5 years ago. I haven't actually grown an inch since that time though, so I look the same. Things out here have been quiet, but frustrating. Trying to psyche myself up to write something. There are chores though. I need to cook a tree's worth of nectarines, before the birds, flies and cockroaches eat them all. There's going to be way too much nectarine crumble when this is done.
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