Province Journal for July 25, 2017 (Museum of Ice Cream edition)

 Museum of Ice Cream - Los Angeles

Museum of Ice Cream - Los Angeles

Last Friday was date night. I scrubbed the garden out of my fingernails and made a reservation at Au Lac L.A. Their plant-based menu is reliably interesting so date night was off to a good start. Our next stop was the Museum of Ice Cream, a temporary installation that previously had a sold-out run in NYC. Tickets were $29 each and I waited in a long online queue to buy them in May. Tickets sold out quickly. If you live in NYC or LA you know there's been a ton of hype around this project. To which I ask, WTF?

Teasers for the Museum of Ice Cream showed a lot of pastel, a lot of pink. I like the element of surprise so I bought the tickets without reading any reviews of the project. I went into this not knowing what to expect. And in the interest of my hard-earned $62.50 (including a $4.50 service fee) I wish I'd have done my homework.

Using the word "museum" was a bastardization of the word. This was a junk filled money-grab signifying nothing. Take a walk through IKEA if you want a colorful one-way journey through insignificant plastic crap. Entrance to IKEA is free and their junk food tastes better! 

Okay, so MoIC has a room full of giant melting popsicles. So what? If big and bright is your thing, save your cash and check out the free Jeff Koons exhibit at The Broad. You see, The Broad is an actual art museum where visitors aren't patronized by corporate sponsorships around every turn. (Each guest gets at MoIC gets a free small piece of Dove chocolate... a company whose sales increased 9% the month the exhibit opened in L.A., according to the MoIC founder)

The creator of MoIC said, "I was having all these conversations about how to connect with millennial audiences in an experiential space. I thought, there’s nothing new to do in New York City." Holy shit, are you kidding me?!?! If you think there's nothing new to do in NYC or LA, you have oatmeal in your brain parts. Look around, there's nothing but new. And new is not a thousand pink and yellow pop-art bananas dangling from the ceiling. That is derivative. 

The best thing about my date night? My date! There's nothing like an ill-conceived environmental atrocity masquerading as sprinkle-coated fun fun fun to make you appreciate the important things in life. Although the Museum of Ice Cream is an embarrassment to whichever genre it lays claim, we had a good time trying to decipher our confusion. In short, he held my hand and that's worth the cost of admission any day of the week.

The following day we split open the mystery squash that I'd posted on Facebook and Instagram last week. While it's obviously some kind of winter squash or hard squash, I still have no clues to its botanical origins. It has a lovely orange flesh and a small cavity of seeds.

After making sure my estate planning documents were in order—just in case—I added cubes of the mystery veg to today's Thai stir-fry. It's been about seven hours since and I'm still here to tell about it. 

It had a mild squash flavor, not as pumpkin-y as the flesh looks, and not stringy. Is it a kind of butternut squash? A non-hybridized sugar pumpkin? A Monsanto escapee? A freak of nature? If you have an ID please share in the comments below. Until then, I've saved the seeds and will see what pops up next season.


 Thai inspired stir-fry using summer harvest (ping tung eggplant, Thai holy basil, Thai dragon chili peppers, and mystery squash.

Thai inspired stir-fry using summer harvest (ping tung eggplant, Thai holy basil, Thai dragon chili peppers, and mystery squash.

The garden has suffered weeks and weeks of 90-100 degree temps, so I've all but given up. All that's left in the beds are potatoes, onions, and a few questionable melon vines. Lemons are thudding to the ground and about a dozen passion fruits are slowly ripening.  

In the coop the hens have just this week broken free from their broody trance. Of our six chickens we're only getting two eggs per day, but we expect production to increase as the heatwave and broodiness subside. I'm trying to convince AK we need more hens to compensate for these kinds of hormonal interruptions. Hey, we have to keep up with demands from friends and coworkers who want farm fresh eggs from snuggled hens.

The doves appear happy, though Kuu and Isa want nothing to do with their two and a half month old squabs. The kids are fully grown and practically indistinguishable from their parents. Yesterday I was inspecting the doves for parasites and noticed Kuu still has yellow dye under her wings. Just 3 months short of her one year adoption-versary and she still bears battle scars from her sad life as a show bird.

I've been busy with writing projects, so Province updates are fewer these days. But I'm still keeping an eye out for stories from the garden. Like this alligator lizard who doesn't quite play like the rest of the kids on the playground. 

And this Western Fence lizard who definitely wasn't in the mood to play. I was lifting some old sheets of tin and found it hiding. Normally they just scurry away but this one must have felt threatened because it shed its tail in self-defense. The detached wiggling tail is meant to distract predators while the lizard gets away. As you can see from my curious dog, it works. The lizard got away and will regrow its tail in a month or two.