Wednesday, August 27, 2008

flora a flora, snarky fauna

I made my first pumpkin pie of the season yesterday, without even taking time to whip up some crust for it, poor bare thing. And uh oh, there were no cloves in the pantry, or allspice for that matter, which I still love even after I learned that it wasn't made of all spices mixed together.

Still the pie got high ratings from most samplers, who under the age of 10, may not have the highest bar. But we broke the bar 'round here long ago, no matter. And I used the powdered ginger, not fresh grated, or to be even more effete, simply the juice of the fresh grated. (Helpful tip: Freeze wedges of ginger, thaw them, and just squeeze out the juice. Technique learned from old boyfriend of Baltimore.)

We ran into more than our share of cloves moments after when, walking along Prospect Park Southwest, my daughter drew my attention to a man in a hazmat suit spraying the cobbles that rim the park's edge. (Thanks park people, because it would be such a drag if that were just a slab of concrete, another fast and easy modern solution.) I got the man's attention to ask if he could please stop spraying that toxic looking possibly herbicidal stuff until the kids and I got out of the way, but he informed me that what he was using to deter than unwanted plant growth was a combination of wintergreen and cloves. Sure enough, I started to notice how much like Christmas it smelled around there. He went as far as to spray some of the milky stuff on his hand, showing me its consistency, which was less greasy than I expected. The man was so happy to have surprised me in this way, and he was gracious about it. I can imagine another type who might have gleefully sprayed the stuff right in my big alarmist face. It was so nice to see how proud this man was of being able to do his job without poisoning anyone. Many many people have to poison people when they do their jobs.

I hope it really works, though I don't mind weeds myself, I know how people are put off by them, and we don't want anyone scared of the park. As for fauna, people might begin to hear a strange new call in the park with a timbre somewhat snarky, and if so, chances are you might be hearing this.


Bluebird of Friendliness said...

Well that completely explains the smell of cloves that was hounding me at my usual park entrance about a month ago! I even researched where cloves come from to try to match it to an existing plant I could see, to no avail. Thanks for putting to rest something that has been niggling my mind for weeks!

amarilla said...

Smells like some kind of chewing gum, doesn't it? I don't remember which.

ranjit said...

I was wondering about that too. Thanks for solving the clove mystery! I'm glad they've stopped using the nasty yellow poison they sprayed in the past.