The Famous Mr. X Dies

I received word yesterday from our friend, Rosalind Creasy, that the famous rooster, Mr. X, had died. He'd lived to a ripe old age of 15, a substantial yearage for a rooster, and passed away quietly in his sleep Sunday night. Our condolences to Mr. X's family and friends.

And there were many of both. Just last year we heard the details of Mr. X's birthday party, which was attended by neighbors and friends. Cathy Barash, who's assisting Ros with a new book, and staying in California currently with Ros while the book is in progress, sent photos and the menu from the big birthday party. No chicken or chicken products were served but a special menu from Ros's garden was the fare. Ros is well known for her incredible plant and garden books and calenders for the Sierra Club.

She inherited Mr. X from her husband, Robert, after he was killed in a motorcycle accident. Before that time, Mr. X, with Robert in tow, had appeared on numerous Good Morning America and Today-type shows and Robert could be seen carrying Mr. X through the airports and boarding planes for media appearances from Coast to Coast. Mr. X was a house and garden pet and had a cushy life for a rooster.

Mr. X evidently didn't bother the garden plants. I've heard that Ros maintains a very well groomed garden, which she uses it in her photography and writing business, as well as for developing recipes for many incredibly beautiful her books.

Our own rooster, which simply has the name, GET OUT OF THE GARDEN!, has been a pest all week. He has his own harem, but flies over the fence every day and picks through the beds and bugs in the garden. This coming weekend he'll get his wing feathers clipped and his flying days will be a thing of the past - until they grow out again, that is. Why not leave him in the garden? He's scraping the soil out of the beds, digging in the gravel pathways and generally making a mess of things.

We may finally get our first frost of the season tonight. Here it is, the 17th of November and we're still having lemongrass, basil, oregano, parsley and even a ripe tomato this week. The big bunch of 12 ft. high red castor beans in the chicken yard next to the garden (and which I can see from my window as I type this) are still looking lush and tropical. Winter is just over the hill, but what a grand ride it's been to have a pleasant and productive fall season after the wintery October we had. Every day without frost, freeze or snow is one day closer to spring!

The food dehydrator has been going all week. Josh has been drying pears between my pepper drying. The pears, sliced thin, dry to a nice leathery, pear-ish flavor that is sweet and make a good snack.

I'm drying peppers as fast as I can. I split them open and in some varieties, remove the seed clusters. My fingers still have that deep pepper burn from yesterday's pepper splitting process. They dry faster that way, rather than just putting the peppers in whole. It takes 2-3 days to dry them to the crisp/dry stage, when I bag them up. Then when I have a few gallon bags of peppers dried, I'll mix all 12 varieties together and grind them up in the food processor. I like the blend of flavors, from mildly hot to pure heat, and that will become pepper seasoning for winter foods. From scrambled eggs to Chinese dishes, peppers are an important component to my cooking.

Many of you may recall I take photos of unusual, silly, strange or funny signs when I travel, so here's my sign of the day. It makes you wonder, do they also rent ethics, too? Maybe sincerity?

Happy Gardening!

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