Posted by: David | September 12, 2007

Garage Days 3 and 4

The 2 builder guys from Vermont arrive so punctually at 7 a.m. They worked the whole Tuesday that it rained an inch or so. The tall skinny guy (I should ask their names, tomorrow might be their last day) said on day one that they don’t fool around. They don’t.

Day 2

Day 3

Thursday they will be done, and Friday there will be some guys to install the garage doors. Then our other carpenter guy will kick in to get the little “mud room” going on. And the electrician ought to be showing up someday soon. I wasn’t expecting the overhanging shed roof in the back to be so high and “open”. And those little 4X4 laminated posts look awful spindly, don’t they? We’ll have to think about that.

Meanwhile, the wife harvested some beautiful tomatoes from a single plant. About 14 of them. We’ll try to save some seeds from that plant.  And the broccoli in the bowl came from plants that yielded cute little broccoli florets for the better part of the summer. Whatever variety they are, they’re great.

All these tomatoes were from one plant.

And there are lots of rutabagas. Lovely, giant rutabagas.

My friend Rebekah says these are good in beef stew. Bet they are.


  1. What do rutabagas taste like anyway? Though fun to say, I don’t know that I’ve ever tried one.

    You have, however, answered an important question. We’ve noticed that contractors in the area of Vermont we’re in all tend to work very slowly, with bits dangling here and there. (There’s a house around the corner which has had a crooked stone wall 85% completed all summer…) Clearly, the contractors with a work ethic all get work out of state. Good to know.

  2. Rutabagas are nothing more than orange colored turnips. Most people think that they have a little more flavor than common white turnips. They have a delightful flavor somewhere between cabbages and carrots. They can get pretty big. On the whole I would say that they are “formidable” and “substantial” as root vegetables can sometimes be. Life is not complete without rutabagas, and George Bush would be a better president if he ate a rutabaga now and then.

    The LaValley’s guys next job was to be in Londonderry VT, so I hope they keep up their excellent pace in the Green Mountain state. I did finally ask their names on their 5th and final day at our place- Todd and Jerry- while telling them what a great job they had done. When I told them that the job coordinator had said that they were “one of our best crews”, Todd’s laconic response was “Well, what else are they gonna say? ‘We’re sending one of our lousier crews to build your garage’…”?? Don’t have any explanation for your observations … sorry. Still think that Vermont is COOL.

  3. rutabegas featured prominently in Jitterbug Perfume I believe – a must read. Almost as a good a read as your blog 🙂

  4. Are you sure it was rutabagas?

  5. I thought it is easy to keep tomato seeds if you put them fresh on some paper hanky so that they dry well and don’t get lost. You can even hang the paper up on the laundry line.

    The rutabagas word looks so strange that I went to look it up in my Webster’s. It says the name is Sw. dialect.

    The introduction to the dictionary is more than 20 pages, but (so) I could not find the list of abbreviations.

    Yes, tomato seeds are easy to save. First you’re supposed to let them ferment a tiny bit to dissolve the gelatinous coating that each seed has. Then spread them out on a tissue or hanky as you say.

    Rutabaga is a funny word all right. I won’t plant so many of them this year, as they are one of the more unloved vegetables. The ones in the root cellar may get replanted though, as they will go to seed in their second year. The Wikipedia says Swedish too:

    “Rutabaga” (from dialectal Swedish “rotabagge”, root ram) is the common American English term for the plant, while “swede” (Swede) is the preferred term used in much of England, Wales, Australia and New Zealand.

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