The pumpkin seeds started the whole thing.
The autumn has returned, and with it comes the return of the crock pot master! I love cooking with the crock pot, such little effort, with such a great payoff. Dump some veggies, spices, and water in there, wait a few hours, and you have a delicious, nutritious, hearty warm meal. The apartment always smells amazing with a crock pot going. It's just a win all around.
The other day I made a crock pot full of butternut squash, coconut milk, onions, peppers, rice, etc. When there was mostly broth remaining, I threw three sweet potatoes in there and let them cook overnight, and had them at breakfast.
Yesterday, continuing in this trend, I loaded up the pot with broth, lentils, and cubed pumpkin. Nutmeg, cinnamon, etc. It's delicious. When I was gutting the pumpkin, I set the seeds aside. At the end, I cleaned the seeds and spread them out to be roasted. I figured I'd use the toaster oven since there was such a small amount of them.
Five minutes into it, the smoke alarm went off. The toaster oven is a good toaster, but a terrible oven. Everything burns in there. I thought it would be different with the little seeds but I was wrong. I removed the tray of charred, blackened seeds, and set it on the back porch to cool off in the light rain.
Going on with my day, I forgot about the little tray on the porch. The winds came last evening, and scattered the ashen seeds across our porch (and hopefully onto our cigarette friendly downstairs neighbor).
As we were getting ready for bed, Charles was going wild by the glass door, pacing around, thrusting her head through the hanging shades. I had a feeling an animal was out there.
We've spotted a raccoon in the parking lot a few times. Once he was in the dumpster when I went to take the trash out at night, a silhouetted bulk, emerging from the depths in the night air. Startled the hell out of me.
I could tell from Charles' confidence level that whatever was out there was no raccoon. She wouldn't have been so excitable, so brazen. It took a little patience, but eventually my suspicions were confirmed, and the little visitor showed himself.
Yea, get your night vision goggles out. That little mouse is fast. He (?) basically had a routine down of scooping up seeds, and then running into our little planter box and burying them among the thriving basil, and the cabbages that never quite were. I think he may be saving them for the winter?
Feeling guilty that he had climbed the side of our building for charred scraps, we threw a bag of sunflower seeds out there for him. Those are the ones in the video.
I watched him dig holes in our little garden, so deep that only his thin tail suck out while he hid his prizes. When I woke up this morning, all of the sunflower seeds were gone. I found barely any evidence he had been in the planter; he had covered his tracks. The only thing to give him away was a pile of discarded sunflower seed shells by our door.