Thursday, August 24, 2006

Catastrophic structural integrity failures and cantaloupes

(Originally posted on Thursday, August 24, 2006 by Cathy)

So we planted a cantaloupe plant in the garden this year. I suspect it was my idea, since I've never seen Tim purchase a cantaloupe, which makes me suspect he doesn't like them all that much. Cantaloupes aren't my favorite fruit either (I'm a pineapple and berries of any sort person), but I remembered that we had a "volunteer" in Mom's garden growing up, so I figured "how hard can they be to grow?"

I didn't plan on hail. We had hail twice within 48 hours of putting in the garden. The first cantaloupe seedling didn't make it. That's structural integrity failure #1. We replanted. This plant did ok, although nothing like the squash. In the end, it produced one cantaloupe. That seems like a lot of garden space for one piece of produce, although I guess in terms of mass it's better than the sugar snap peas. Tim picked the cantaloupe and brought it in, whereupon I declared it to be not entirely ripe. So we left it sitting on the counter, hoping it would ripen a bit before we cut into it.

And there it sat. And sat. And maybe sat some more. I'm not actually sure what day the cantaloupe came in from the garden, but Tuesday was the day when I decided it was time to cut into it, ripe or not. So I picked it up, noting a small mooshy spot on one side. Something (Dalton?) distracted me, and I set it back down. A couple hours later, I came downstairs again and noted this incredibly rank smell coming from the kitchen. Upon entering the kitchen, I discovered a large part of the counter (and most everything on it - fortunately mostly dirty dishes) adrift in rotten cantaloupe juice. Apparently in the couple hours I'd left the cantaloupe in the kitchen, it had rotted the rest of the way through the rind, releasing all the yummy rotten goodness from the inside.

Yuck. Next year, I think we should stick to squash.

[Aside: I'm writing this post in part because it occurs to me that I haven't told Tim yet what happened to his prize cantaloupe. The joys of parenthood.]

[Aside #2, to our single friends: If you think a post about rotting cantaloupe is bad, the other option for today was one about mastitis. Trust me, it could be much worse than rotting cantaloupe.]

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