PATSY R. BRUMFIELD: Dear Mom, please stop garden bake

Mother Nature seems to hell-bent on becoming a chef.
Well, isn’t she cooking your garden, too?
Right now, I’d say the menu looks like stewed tomatoes and baked eggplants at my house.
I also am in an all-out war against what I suspect is a squirrel that’s been biting holes in my scarce cantaloupes. I can’t stand squirrels anyway, so that’s why I’m blaming them.
Earlier this week, when I discovered two fatal attacks on my favorite garden delight, I spoke several unprintable words – at least in this family newspaper – and plotted to kill all the furry-tails some day.
Mainly, I’ve put some metal colanders over the remaining globes in hopes the critters can’t figure it out. Nasty devils may be smarter than I think they are.
Next year, I’m determined to nip this in the bud. I’m going to devise some kind of “cage” for the melons, although if I look hard enough on the Internet, I’m likely to find such a thing.
My mother and sister mentally “invented” all kinds of marvelous things through the years and never did anything about their ideas. Then, wouldn’t you know, years later one of us would come upon such a product that likely was making a mint for the person with sufficient energy to follow through.
Anyway, I’m in a state of madness about the melons. Good thing I’ve got the Tupelo Farmers Market to satisfy my culinary desire at this stage of the summer.
I’m happy to report that my wishes for many cucumbers has come true through the season, and my pickles have gone to lots of friends and relatives.
Joy of joys, my son called out of the blue the other night to report that my batch of very hot pickles had met and exceeded his expectations. Hallelujah!
As I made my rounds on what I loosely term my vacation last week, I delivered regular dills to the Neshoba County Fair, Pensacola, Fla., and Oxford.
My thriving eggplant crop has resulted in some really great baba ganoush, which for you domestic food folk is cousin to hummus but made with eggplants.
I also found a terrific recipe for roasted eggplant soup and have served that up, then delivered batches across the region.
Now, my quest is for a good recipe for tabouli, a Middle Eastern cousin to Mexico’s pico de gayo.
I first tasted tabouli – zesty with lemon, parsley, green onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, bulghur wheat (don’t say ugh, it’s good) and other stuff – in a crazily fantastic international food store in Pensacola, where my sister lives.
I suspect there are mystery ingredients in this store’s version, so I’ll look around for multiple recipes to see what some might be.
That will give me a good reason to avoid Mother Nature’s oven this weekend.
Just wish she’d bake a few melon-biting squirrels.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com. Read Patsy’s blog, From the Front Row, on NEMS360.com and follow her posts on Twitter as RealNewsQueen or as herself on Facebook.

Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal