Can y ou believe it? The month of May is nearly history. The kids would just now be getting out of school for the summer, but as we are all very painfully aware of the reason — Covid-19 — they have been home for months now.

Lots of funny emails about the kids being at home. Some have graduated, some have started college … if only! Some parents have gone around the bend, some have made the most of it and some have truly enjoyed it.

I don’t know how I would be feeling if I had all of mine at home for this length of time. It was hard enough to just get through the summer when they were at home. If I heard the words “I’m bored” once I heard them a thousand times. I would always tell them things they could do to get “unbored,” but it seems they didn’t seem to be real enthused about the activities I listed. Go figure. Cleaning your room, helping me in the yard, cleaning the kitchen, doing chores to make some money just didn’t ring any bells with them.

Was I happy to see September come around? Well, yeah! And I think they were, too, if for no other reason than to get away from me. Can’t say that I blamed them.

n n n

I must really have a green thumb. I just got my first and only tomato off of the tomato plant Peter planted for me in a pot. My sweet little neighbor next door showed us a picture of a plant she has in her garden of a cherry tomato plant with about 40 some tomatoes on it. Peter wants to send me pictures of his tomato plants he planted when he planted mine. His he says are loaded. I told him to please don’t bother with sending me the pictures. I know he will share his with me.

He says I’m not giving my plant enough TLC. I talk to it every day; maybe if I start talking sweet that will work. The other talking-to it gets isn’t working.

n n n

I love bread pudding too. Betty Crocker has a good recipe for slow-cooker bread pudding. Good for summer when it’s too hot to turn on the oven.

About your fig tree … if it produces figs this year, pinch them off as soon as you see them so that the tree puts its energy into making roots. What kind of fig did you plant?

Look at Betty Crocker Slow Cooker Bread Pudding. Leftover French bread, coated with a rich, cinnamon and nutmeg scented custard, becomes a no-fuss dessert.

Susan Chappell, Clute

Susan,

I haven’t any idea what kind of fig tree I have. It was one that someone gave Peter and he got a couple of baby trees from it. He planted one and then planted me the other one.

My cousin Bill Jernigan texted me and told me he had two fig trees and one pomegranate tree, and asked if I wanted them. The fig trees he said are clones from the old fig plantation that existed around Angleton. And they are in 5-gallon pots and are well-rooted. Of course I said yes.

I know I said this last fig tree was going to be the last one, but the one Peter planted is a beautiful little plant about a mid-calf high. I may not be here when it makes figs. That’s why I took cuz Bill up on his offer. More planting … fun, fun, fun. Then I have to take good care of them.

I can do it … I can do it!

n n n

Here’s another note about fig trees.

Hi Gin,

We planted Texas brown fig and another variety. I think it took three years before we got any but they grow fast; it could have been only two years. I hope you have full sun. Mine in part shade produces very little. I think I got one or two last year, ahead of the squirrels and birds.

And I chop them back to about 18 inches tall every November, else they’ll push me out of the house,

Love ya, M

M,

I love you too. I may make it several more years, so maybe I’ll be around to see some figs on my trees. I tried to make fig preserves one year when we were in the other house and had a huge fig tree. Well, something went wrong and they were garbage fare/ I have no idea what I did wrong.

And, yes, the trees will be in full sun. All I have to do is give them TLC like Peter says, and I should have some beautiful fig trees — like my tomato plant. It is beautiful and a beautiful healthy plant, just no tomatoes. Oh, well. I like green plants.

n n n

I had a note asking me if the recipe for the tea cakes that was in the paper last Wednesday used a stick of butter and a stick of margarine? The answer is yes, it sure does. But these cookies are really good, so go for it.

Everyone out there stay healthy, wear your mask, and wash your hands. Let’s get this mess behind us.

If you have recipes or tips to share, or a request, send to Conversations with Gin, P.O. Box 334, Clute TX 77531 or email ginscolumn@hotmail.com.

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