First, the pies. The variety used was "Long Island Cheese," a small-medium sized flattish tan-colored eating pumpkin. These actually did better than my butternuts this year, for some reason. The yield wasn't extremely high, but enough for me to eat on through the winter, and satisfactory for something that I just plugged in little starts of in gaps in the herb beds as an afterthought. The pies they produce are delicious. I know this because I have made 9 this week, and had enough left over to make a miniature in a ramekin and taste of it.
The tallow rendered nicely- yielding a half cup from the scraps I scraped off of a deer hide I recently cleaned up. The color was an amber when liquid and a creamy white as a solid. The smell is rather gamey, and I am unsure as to whether I will be able to tolerate it as a base of a balsam poplar bud salve I want to make with it.
|pumpkin pies with tiny jar of deer tallow|
Now for the recent accomplishment: Monday of this week I planted my gingko tree in the yard. This in and of itself is nothing noteworthy, as the hole was not particularly difficult to dig, and I plant trees regularly enough for the task to feel somewhat commonplace. However, it is the transferrence of the plant into the ground from its home in the pot where the accomplishment lies. It is an arrival of sorts. A benchmark no doubt. You see, I have had the gingko tree in a pot for 15 years.
I purchased the wee seedling from one Mr. Eidus for $5 back in 1998. I just couldn't pass the little guy (or gal) up- with its commanding singular presence in its very own division of organisms- its ancient DNA gracing our modern existence with ancestral dreamings and beauty of by-gone eras. I knew that it was less than ideal to purchase a tree as a transient youngster in my early 20s, but I remember thinking, 'I will probably have my own land in about 3 years, 5 at the most, and I can take good care of a tree in a pot for that long.'
Fifteen years, 8 moves, a few thousand cookies and about 500 gallons of Barry's Tea later, here we are, the gingko and me, with a piece of earth and a sweet cold spring to call home. I planted the tree in front of the western corner of the house, where its lovliness can be showcased, it has ample room to grow, and maybe someday in 15 more years, if we are both still here, he or she can shade me and my living room from the hot afternoon summer sun. What a thought. Just as I had absolutely no clue as to how the past 15 years would unfold at the time I first met the gingko, I realize now as I step into the next 15 that I am just as clueless as to what is to come. You just never know what is going to happen. Ever.