Monday, October 26, 2015

A meditation on Tootsie Rolls

The four-year-old has a nut allergy, so we keep a close eye out on the ingredient list for a lot of treats -- for instance, Halloween candy.  So when my husband found a big bag of individually wrapped candy with nuts conspicuously absent from the package list, he bought it.  The primary component seems to be Tootsie Rolls, which unfortunately I am a sucker for.

Within the first several days I had eaten most of the littlest rolls, which used to be the only size Tootsie Rolls came in.  Then I started to be tempted by the medium size, and the big ones are still there taunting me.  I wish kids would show up and eat this dumb stuff!  It's much easier when my husband buys Halloween candy that I don't like.

I don't know why I am such a sucker for these candies, made from a secret recipe involving chocolate and glue.  They stick to the roof of your mouth, and to your teeth; even after you've finished eating them they're still there.  And speaking of suckers, there are some Tootsie Pops in there too!

Just to make this art-related, whenever I see a Tootsie Pop I think of the famous 1956 collage by the British artist Richard Hamilton, "Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing."  Some art historians call this the first piece of Pop Art, the precursor of Warhol, Oldenburg and all the rest.  You will notice that the hunky guy is holding a Tootsie Pop.

I have a great book on Pop Art written by a Brit, who unfortunately doesn't know a Tootsie Pop from a hole in the ground.  He writes:  "On the tennis racket sleeve being toted for some inscrutable reason by the muscle builder at the left stands the word POP, in yellow on red."  I get a big laugh every time I think of that remark.  Makes you question some of the other pronouncements that you read in art history books.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Agriculture 2015 -- epic fail

We had four or five tomato plants this summer, not that you would have noticed.  Between the deer, the groundhogs, the squirrels and god knows what else, maybe orangutans, we got nothing from our plants until a week ago.  A couple of tomatoes got to be fair-sized in August and even started to turn color, but were grabbed by the critters before we could pick them.   I don't think any of them ever got to be red.

Finally in mid-September the Roma started to have some fruit, and a week ago Ken decided he'd had it -- he picked what was on the plants, pulled them out and threw them out for the yard waste pickeup.

Here is 100% of our tomato crop for 2015, not occupying very much space on the kitchen table.

In the subsequent week, the green tomatoes turned red, one of the red ones went bad, and I decided it was high time to cook them up and be done with them.

Here's half of our tomato crop for 2015; the other half was on Ken's plate.  Puny and pathetic as they looked on the kitchen table, they did caramelize nicely and made a rich side for a particularly delicious trout.

Hardly worth the trouble, wouldn't you say?  We've had bad tomato years in the past but nothing like this.  Next year we'll probably not even try.  An ignominious end to a decades-long tomato-growing career.