Lucky posing on a table outside, because he knows how handsome he is.
I came home one afternoon after having left Critter (his actual name) outside when I left. He didn’t immediately come when I called but I wasn’t too concerned, cats do that. In a few minutes, I started hearing him meow. I opened the back door….no cat. Opened the front door…no cat. The meows were getting a little more frantic so I went outside into the yard. Meow coming from above me? I looked up, and there he was. He had climbed a tree, jumped on to the roof and then forgot how he got there. The back porch roof sloped down within my reach, so I coaxed him there and lifted him down.
He likes to climb ladders, so when my hubby gets on the roof, we have to watch the ladder to make sure he doesn’t get stuck up there again.
And yes, I made him suffer a few minutes more so I could go back inside and get the camera and take a picture.
I got a plant from the local nursery the other day. (No surprise there) It’s a tiny Bay tree or bay laurel. Laurus Nobilis. Just a few inches tall with half a dozen leaves on it.
Bay leaves are used as a seasoning in things to be cooked a while, my mom always put one in any pot of soup she made. They also got added to rice and when she cooked a pot roast. The leaves came in a small jar and didn’t have much smell, they had to be cooked a long time to bring out the flavor. I used them the same way for decades, from the same company’s jars and didn’t know any better.
Fast forward to my best friend, just married, who moved to California to live in her Grandpa’s house and take care of it while he lived out his days in a nursing home. Her Grandpa built the house for his new bride in 1945 in Banning, California. It is an area of desert that very rarely experiences a frost. Winter means it gets down in the 40’s. He planted many things for the enjoyment of his wife that would give her joy for many years. There were roses and my friend didn’t know what kind they were until she opened the wall mounted ironing board and found a list written on the back of the door. Another thing he planted was a bay tree outside the back door. It grew and grew until it was taller than the house. When she moved there, she sent me a card with several leaves in it. What a revelation! Even after being picked and put in a letter and spending several days in the hands of the US Postal service the smell was incredible. They didn’t smell like the dried things in the jar. I cooked with them and flavor was SO much better!
A couple of years later, I flew out to visit her. We were sitting on the back porch, she was about 6 feet from me. The tree had a limb hanging down far enough she could reach it. She reached up and broke a leaf and a few seconds later, I could smell it. Wow.
I live in Texas and it freezes here, sometimes hard. I know I can’t put my little tree outside and have it survive but I’m thinking I can keep it in a pot and let it hang out with the kaffir lime tree and enjoy using the leaves. And when I break one off, I will think of that trip to California.
Until then, I find (sorta) fresh bay leaves in those plastic clamshell packages in the produce section. They have to be fresh enough though to have a lot of smell when I break a leaf. If you see one, open it up, fold a leaf over and smell it. You will be amazed at the difference.
White flowers hang in groups,
like ghosts on the dimly lit bush
while a milk-glass moon floats overhead.
The fountain plays on, unheeding,
And a distant whippoorwill calls.