kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


The middle of summer is here and our night blooming cereus is ready to put on it's show.
When I was a child, this was an event at my grandmother's house.  She had a huge plant potted in a large galvanized washtub.  There were sometimes forty or fifty buds on the monster which was about 5 feet high.  My father's family would all come to visit and we stayed extra late to see the amazing flowering.

I don't have room for such a huge plant so I keep mine pruned back to window-sill size.  And I'm perfectly happy with just a few blooms on a summer night.  The picture was taken about 10 p.m. with a flash.  The blooms are about six inches across.

Mid summer is also zucchini time.  They are growing like weeds and get to the size of a caveman club before you know it.  We try to pick ours young and of medium size, but it's hard to keep up with them without harvesting daily.

I love squash dipped in batter and fried in butter.  I could eat a ton of it but have to use restraint.  This year I decided to try getting the same kind of flavor with a slightly less caloric recipe.   This is my version of zucchini pancakes.

1 medium zucchini, finely shredded and squeezed to remove most of the water
2 eggs
1 T. oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian herb blend
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup Bisquick (or flour with 1/4 tsp. baking powder)

Shred the zucchini either by hand or in the food processor.

Squeeze out as much water as possible.

Mix all ingredients together.  The batter should stick to the zucchini and mound up on a spoon.  If it seems too runny, add more Bisquick.  If it seems too stiff to spread out on the griddle, let it sit for about 5 minutes and it will start to loosen up.

 Drop heaping spoonfulls onto a griddle or frying pan sprayed with cooking oil.

Fry till golden grown on bottom, then flip and do the other side.
Dig in!
One batch makes about eight pancakes.

When the workers left on Friday the foundation walls were finished and they had filled the dirt back in against the foundation.

Yesterday they brought lumber to start the framing.  By the end of the day, we had WALLS!

Our contractor is a young Amish man.  The Amish have elevated this building thing to a science.
They started by putting in the floor joists and covering it with plywood.  Then to my amazement, they unloaded the wall pieces from a flatbed trailer.  The walls had all been constructed last week in their shop and all they had to do was lift them up, sit them in place and fasten them together.  And everything fit perfectly!

The first piece in place.

Zip's bedroom walls.

Continuing on.

Almost finished.

We are having the outside of the kitchen sided and re-roofed at the same time so it all looks like it fits together.  You can see how badly the outside kitchen walls need to be re-done.

Being a person who is afraid of heights, the way these men walk around on the tops of the walls just amazes me.

The roof trusses on the flatbed truck.

Today they put the trusses in place and applied the plywood and black roofing paper.
The interior wall studs are done.  A few windows are in.
Things are moving along really well.  It's looking like a house.

I didn't take pictures today because it was so blasted hot that I didn't even want to go out in the late afternoon.  But hopefully will get some tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Exciting times at your house! So happy to hear things are progressing smoothly.
    That flower looks amazing. I've never seen one before.
    Hugs :)

  2. That's what I lik a house in no time. I'm sure you're getting a good job done if the Amish are involved, I can't imagine them doing anything shoddy.
    The night flower is wonderful, what a shame it only blooms at night, bit like myself. lol or maybe that's because the light isn't so good...

  3. I'm amazed at the speed of the work and in that heat too!
    Not long now before you can decorate inside! I'm so pleased for

  4. Pat I'm so happy for you and Zip that the house is progressing so fast. Now you can start dreaming of living in a new house. I love the smell of a new house. I wonder what the cats think of all of this. Keep us posted on the construction...

    What an amazing plant to only bloom at night. I like the tradition that went with this plant. It's a beautiful blossom. So glad you shared.

    The zucchini recipe looks great. I'll save it for when I get some zucchini ready. My husband planted some at the farm but I haven't asked how they were coming along. I have enough of my own gardens to look after, lol...

    I'm making another batch of Ricotta since I saved some extra milk. I have 5 quarts of milk this time. I have my laptop on the counter as I watch the thermometer in the milk. It's almost to the 200 degree F.
    I made a huge lasagne yesterday using Ricotta and the boys loved it. So there will be some more lasagne in the future.

    Take care and enjoy the progress on your house.

  5. That is a beautiful flower! I bet that's the one thing that loves this humidity we have now! lol! I'm really enjoying seeing the progress of your home addition! Looks like you should be moving in very soon! :-) Thanks for the zucchini recipe... looks like I have to get my cast iron pan out today! :-)

  6. Wow! Love the progress on your new addition! The Amish I'm sure are meticulous when it comes to building. Your summer has been a busy one with all those zukes to pick and grind! It's been ages since I've had zucchini pancakes. Your pics make me hungry for them!
    That is an amazing flower! I will have to research it and find out why it blooms at night... intriguing!
    Looking forward to more photos of the addition progress!!
    Cathy G

    1. Night moths and nectar eating bats pollinate the flowers.
      Of course we have no nectar eating bats in our area.
      We do occasionally have the sphinx moth (also known as the hawk moth or hummingbird moth) in our area. None of my cereus have ever fruited so I don't think they have been pollinated.

  7. that's a beautiful flower!
    your house is coming along amazingly!
    sounds like you have a very efficient crew!
    hope the work noise is not disrupting the kitties!


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