For Reals???!!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

And Now!!! For the latest edition of "You Can Do That???"

Bill Bird Productions Presents: "I Didn't Know You Could Do That!!!"

For Real? Honestly and truly?

The things you learn while gardening and blogging! I didn't know you could do that. But I know now -- because I have the proof growing in a kitchen windowsill.

See that basil? That's not just any basil in a glass. This is "special basil." It's basil that will soon find it's way inside a raised bed in the Bird Back 40 (as soon as I get around to building the next one).

One of the most enjoyable things that I've gained from spilling my guts about gardening into cyberspace is the people that I run into here and there. When I started writing about my successes and misfortunes (mostly misfortunes) a couple of years ago -- well -- it was intended to be a family affair.

After all -- I don't have a whole lot of time on the weekends to be on the phone. That's valuable gardening time you understand. There's nothing quite like the downer of getting ready to plant something in a raised bed -- only to have the phone start jangling inside the house. Call it bad gardening karma.

So -- that's one reason why I started to write -- so family could see what I was up too. Lo and behold -- other people started to look in at what I was doing from time to time -- and after that -- I got to meet some of these very interesting folks.

Fred Hoffman doesn't count -- because I already knew him. But there's Carri Stokes in Sacramento -- Greg Damitz in Roseville -- and I can't forget Nels Christenson in South Natomas. Connecting with all of them -- and others -- has brought a new understanding and -- more importantly -- NEW IDEAS about gardening.

One of those new ideas comes from the mind of Carri Stokes. And it's growing on the kitchen windowsill.

I didn't know you could take cuttings of basil -- or any other herb for that matter -- and literally "root it" in a glass of water. It didn't even begin to dawn on me that this was an easier way to grow basil -- rather than grow it from seed. Do you see the root systems in this glass? That's what develops after ten days of sitting in a glass of water.

These "rooted" cuttings will be placed into starter cups filled with soil this weekend and will probably sit in the windowsill for another four or five days until they take root -- and at that point -- Venus and I will begin to harden them off outside.

I should have known this practice was possible after Venus received a small cutting of lemon thyme right after we moved into the new household. That "cutting" actually sat in a glass of water for quite some time before I finally built the new herb bed for the backyard -- and this is how it looks two years later.

As you can see -- the "small cutting" has essentially taken over the herb bed in question.

A cutting of lemon thyme anyone? I appear to have more than both the wife and I need at the moment.

I've come to discover -- during my my short years of gardening experience -- that there is more than just "one" basil variety. In fact -- I don't know if there is such a thing as a "normal" basil. If there is one -- I suppose it would have to be the Sweet Italian variety that you find in most nurseries.

But there is so very much more...

In fact -- some people love basil so very much -- that there's even a website dedicated to this very herb. The following information is Reprinted/Excerpted with Permission from,

Basil is a member of the mint family and is very similar in appearance. The most popular kind of basil used in cooking is sweet basil, but some of the other more widely-known types are clove basil, lemon basil, and cinnamon basil.

With so many varieties, it can be difficult to choose. Here are just a few types, with a brief description, to help in your quest for the perfect basil for your savory dish:

• Sweet basil-the best known, it has a scent of clove when fresh.

• Genovese basil-has a similar flavor as sweet basil and is almost as popular.

• Napolitano basil-favored by many for pizzas.

• Lemon basil-also called "hoary basil," has a lemony smell, like the name implies, but has a sweet taste.

• Thai basil-has a scent of licorice with a hint of mint. Purple stems and flowers add beauty and taste to many Thai dishes.

• Cinnamon basil-also called Mexican spice basil, has the same compound found in cinnamon which gives it its strong fragrance.

• Holy basil-also known as 'sacred basil' since it's used in worship in India.

• Purple basil-rich and spicy, it has more of an anise flavor than Genovese or sweet basil.

My thanks to Dr. Christianne Schelling at for providing the information above. The information provided here is only the tip of the iceberg. I urge you to visit her website to learn more.

Basil -- as you may have learned -- is a very important part of the Bird backyard garden. It's an essential ingredient in our Heirloom Tomato Martinis -- and probably has a lot of other uses that I'm not aware of yet because -- well -- did I tell you that Heirloom Tomato Martinis are really good???

The BIG Bloom Color Show

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nasturtiums are putting on the most AMAZING backyard show at the moment -- and show absolutely no signs of slowing down...

Despite the freaky spring weather of cold and rain -- the Wonderful Pomegranate is starting to bust loose with a gorgeous springtime bloom...

Hard Pomegranate Cider for lunch anyone?

Count Your Blessings...

Monday, May 24, 2010

One of my favorite movies to watch during the holidays would have to be "White Christmas," starring the incomparable Bing Crosby. But it's not just Bing. It just might be the all-star cast with him -- including Rosemary Clooney -- Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen.

Perhaps it's the music of Irving Berlin? Perhaps it's the reminder of my mother and father who were straight out of the World War II generation (also known as the Greatest Generation)? I'm not sure. But -- as I was walking through the garden tonight -- the song "Count Your Blessings" suddenly started to filter through my head.

That's when it hit me. I'm tired of complaining about the weather. Tired of complaining about the rain. Tired of this not happening -- or that. Really -- to be honest? It's totally out of my control. I can bitch -- moan and whine till the cows come tromping home -- and it's not going to make a teensy bit of difference.

Finally -- I began to focus on the positives that this extra long shot of winter and mild spring weather have given us. The artichoke harvest for one? It continues into Infinity and Beyond to use a later movie term. I've never quite experienced an artichoke season quite like this. And as long as the weather remains cool? The artichoke garden will continue to produce babies like this.

Venus harvested these a good month ago. They were the first of DOZENS of artichokes that have been harvested since. I'll be honest. I haven't come to the point yet where I've said "ENOUGH WITH THE CHOKES!" But I'm getting close now -- so if you happen to find some artichokes at your front door tomorrow morning on the way out for work -- you've just been the target of a "drive-by artichoke dropoff."

During most years? The artichokes produce until temperatures climb into the consistent eighties. At that point -- they begin to take on that rather "tired" look and slowly decline. But with this prolonged stretch of weather? New artichoke plants are springing to the surface of the artichoke bed -- and each and every one is bound and determined to produce yet another crop.

Count your blessings...

But that's not all. Venus is bound and determined to get a fourth and fifth radish harvest out of the temperate growing conditions. Red leaf lettuce is literally jumping out of the raised beds. We shouldn't be harvesting these kinds of crops now. In fact -- the radishes should have played out a good week or two ago. But when Mother Nature gives you lemons? Make lemonade. I'll take another harvest of purple, blue, white, red and green Easter Egg radishes.

The same story is playing out across the Back 40 as our spring crops continue to produce a bumper harvest. Take these Snow Peas and Experimental Peas (a gardening gift) for example? When Venus first started experimenting with peas three years ago -- this probably represented the total output of our entire harvest.

But -- with a little experience at what to plant and when (thanks to the Handy-Dandy Farmer Fred Hoffman planting guide) -- she's been getting "better" to say the least. Color me pea-green impressed. What we snacked on for dinner tonight barely represents a fraction of what is hanging off the teepee trellis system we have in a couple of different raised beds.

During most years -- the peas would have been LONG GONE by now. We would have cleared them out of the way to make room for cucumbers -- bush beans -- pole beans and other summer crops. But our cucumbers continue to shiver and make sad faces in starter cups set on a cold sidewalk. So -- we go with what works.

One gardener has already made an interesting observation that the recent eruption of the Eyjafjallajokul Volcano in Iceland (it last erupted two centuries ago) may have dramatically altered our weather pattern -- and this just might be the start of the coolest summer on record.

I certainly hope not -- but there is plenty of empirical evidence to suggest otherwise -- such as the rather infamous Year Without a Summer.

I just hope that everyone ordered enough radish and pea seeds!!!

Why is This Man SMILING?

Friday, May 21, 2010

I'm certainly not smiling. Most garden friends that I know of are not smiling because of this rotten stretch of stinky Spring weather. So -- why on Earth is this long-time gardener in a good mood?

Let me introduce you to Mr. Bill Knight of Elverta. Bill likes to garden. Yes he does. But he also likes it when it rains -- and rains again -- and yet again.

You see -- everytime those raindrops fall? Bill makes money.

I suppose an explanation is in order.

Bill Knight is the long-time owner of L and G (Lawn and Garden) Mower Shop in the tiny hamlet of Elverta. His shop is a throwback to another day and time -- when lawn mowers were considered rather "expensive" items. You didn't just toss them out when they broke down.

No -- you took them to people like Bill Knight who got them running again.

Sadly -- in our "disposable" society -- there aren't many lawn and garden shops left around the Sacramento County area anymore. Oh sure -- you'll find a handful. But it's not like you find these places on every street corner.

His shop -- which I love to visit by the way -- is like taking a step back in time. This isn't some "neat n' tidy" Big Box store. This is a man's man repair shop. Got a problem with that two-cycle engine? The lawnmower just kicked the bucket? The riding lawnmower will only go in circles? That tractor isn't getting any traction?

Call Bill Knight in Elverta. He's got the answer. No matter what the engine problem is -- Bill can fix it without fail.

I first met Bill last year when I purchased a used Mantis Rototiller. I wanted to know one thing: did I strike gold with this purchase? Or did I just set a $150 dollar bill on fire? Bill assured me that the engine to the Mantis was in fine working order -- and after a quick tuneup -- I was churning up the yard last spring. The Mantis worked like a charm.

But -- after sitting all winter -- I noticed that my Mantis wasn't performing all that well this spring. It was hard to start. It didn't run well -- and worse yet? When you gave it the gas? Instead of digging up the garden -- it just died.

Something wasn't right. While I'm proud of my knowledge in certain areas -- it doesn't extend to two-cycle engines. If you need an irrigation design? Call Bill Bird. I can solve any problem. Simple electrical jobs like installing light fixtures? Switches? Drilling through walls to install a new outlet? Piece of cake!

But I'm lost around engines. That's why I found myself in Bill's shop earlier this spring -- where he greeted me with a large smile -- and a simple solution to my Mantis problems. One $27 repair job later -- I was out the door and tilling up the yard again.

As for Bill -- well -- as it turns out -- he explained to me one day why he loves rain in the springtime: "Rain causes the grass and weeds to grow," he explained. "So, instead of tilling up or mowing the acreage just once -- spring rains force homeowners to do the job all over again."

And that's when I made the connection and told him: "And those machines break down and everyone calls you, right?"

He nodded rather mischievously.

So -- while the rest of us hear just raindrops? Bill hears the sound of silver dollars slamming down on the patio cover. Somewhere -- close by -- a tractor or a riding lawnmower is about to break down.

As you might suspect -- with all this May rain? Bill's been just a tad busy. I wouldn't be surprised if he's busted a spring or two on his cash register. While the rest of us fret and worry over the weather? Bill just smiles.

You can reach L and G Mower Shop at (916) 992-8426. Bill's shop is located in a tucked away corner at 7813 Rio Linda Blvd. in Elverta. Be advised that Bill closes up shop a tad early on Saturdays and is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Isn't She Lovely

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Isn't she beautiful?

With all apologies to the great Stevie Wonder -- I must say -- I've never seen a more gorgeous sight in all of my life.

This is truly a one of a kind -- work of art.

While I could be talking about my wife (who is pictured to the right) or her new "doo," that she came home with last night -- I'm not.

Nope -- it's that thing of beauty she's showing off -- the most gorgeous heirloom tomato plant that I've seen in my life.

I'd like to take credit for growing this plant. I really would. I'd LOVE to tell you that my thumb is THAT green -- and that I can grow picture-perfect heirloom tomato starter plants -- but that would be a tiny fib.

Or a gigantic lie.

Who is responsible then? It must be Farmer Fred Hoffman! He of tomato fame and the Puff the Magic Dragon Greenhouse?


Don't get me wrong here. I'm not knocking Fred's ginormous heirloom tomato starter plants in the LEAST. He knows how to turn out a good product and has been doing so for year after year after year.

But this didn't come from Fred's garden. It didn't come from my pathetic seed starting efforts either. This little beauty came as a complete shock and surprise. It's one of those "left field" kind of entries that I was not expecting to receive.

But I'll gladly take it -- Thank You Very Much!

This is truly the finest heirloom tomato starter plant that I've ever had the pleasure to run across. It is a "Dr. Wyche's Yellow," named after a Dr. Wyche who supposedly lived in the mountains and fertilized his garden with manure from a nearby zoo. Or -- at least that's the way the legend goes.

It is the most perfect heirloom tomato plant I have ever received or seen. It is a bright green -- thick stemmed monster of a starter plant that offers the most perfect leaf formation I've seen from any heirloom or even hybrid tomato starter plant.

I know what you're thinking: "Bill -- what nursery churned this out?"

The answer? The Nursery of Angela.

Now -- before you rush to open your phone books (or if you're under 40 -- Google "Nursery of Angela") -- understand that the "Nursery of Angela" does not technically exist. It is where Bill Bird received it -- but it's not a business that just anyone can shop at.

The "Nursery of Angela" is actually the fine work of Sacramento grow-at-home heirloom afficianado Angela Lyons -- who I had the opportunity to meet last year when she picked up some starter plants that Fred Hoffman had grown and delivered to my back porch.

I didn't know it then -- but needless to say -- Angela was impressed.

So -- she set about to duplicate that feat this year and present Bill and Venus Bird with the finished product. And boy-oh-boy -- what a finished product this Dr. Wyche's Yellow is. She didn't "duplicate" anything. This is a Grand Slam with two outs in the bottom of the 9th in Game 7 of the World Series kind of entry.

How did she do it? With a greenhouse? NOPE!

Angela -- it appears -- has hit upon some sort of magical solution (which involves some sort of magic waterbed) where she can produce the most picture-perfect starter plants that anyone has ever seen.

This isn't "nursery quality" stuff. This is a step above. This is "Angela Quality."

Good job Angie Lyons. Bill & Venus Bird salute you!

Hot Summer Nights

Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm not entirely sure of course -- but I do believe that's what my tomato plants in the backyard are dreaming of tonight. Perhaps I should go out and ask them. They're not too happy with the downpour of rain we got YET AGAIN today.

Not that I noticed.


One of the favorite songs of my youth is Suavecito by Malo. Forgive me for going off topic here -- but this posting has absolutely nothing to do with gardening.

But it does deal with my favorite time of the year.

I was happy to read in today's Sacramento Bee that Malo is not only performing again -- but will make an appearance at Cesar Chavez Plaza this Saturday, May 22nd, at an event called "Jammin in the Park."

Venus and I don't make concerts much anymore -- but this is one I'll gladly take in.

It's a reminder of my youth. It's a reminder of a difficult childhood while growing up in Modesto. It's a reminder to me that even during one of the most difficult periods of my life -- this song could take me to a different and happier place.

To me -- this song represents a warm summer night lit with bright lights and glowing stars. It represents a childhood crush with a schoolgirl I've long since forgotten. It's a song of warmth. It's a song of happiness. It's a reminder that better days are to come (and they did).

The Sacramento Bee report from Carlos Alcala calls Malo (and other bands like Santana) part of the great "Latin Rock" movement. Perhaps it is -- but I get uncomfortable with attempts to qualify "Suavecito" as just a great "Latin rock" song. I get uncomfortable with attempts to qualify Malo or Santana as great "Latin rock" bands. Yes they are, but...

How about printing the real truth?

Suavecito is just a great song -- period. Malo is just a great band -- period. Carlos Santana isn't just a "great Latin guitarist," he's just great period. He's one of the most accomplished musicians of his era. I'm still playing the grooves off my "Supernatural" CD -- eleven years after it was released.

We don't call U2 that "great Irish rock band" do we?

Certainly -- there is no doubt that bands like Malo -- Santana -- War and others tapped into that traditional Latin sound and brought it into the mainstream of mass audience rock n' roll. They are to be commended for that. They are a source of pride in the Latino community and that should never be forgotten.

But -- to me? Suavecito is just good music -- period. It's that dreamy warm summer night lit with bright stars. It's that schoolgirl who I've long since forgotten. It's that one classic that even to this day -- brings tears to my eyes.

Happy Mother's Day

Sunday, May 9, 2010

To the best wife that any husband could ever ask for -- Happy Mother's Day to my Venus.

I realize that you're not a mother -- yet. But I know -- when I see you with your niece and nephew -- that you will make the best mother in the whole wide world.

A child could not ask for more.

I continue to hope -- pray (and save for that BIG operation) that our wish will come true.

Nasturtiums N' Garlic Oh My!

Friday, May 7, 2010


Can we call this a case of "companion planting" that works?

I think so!

The latest sign of Spring that has finally Sprung in our North Natomas suburban farm is this test companion planting of garlic and nasturtiums in one of the raised beds near the back fence. This wasn't a mistake folks. Venus planted nasturtium seeds and garlic cloves at the same time last fall just to see "what happened."

And this is the show we're getting at the moment. It's just beginning too. For the longest time -- Venus was concerned that the large nasturtium plants growing within the garlic were not going to flower. But that thinking has changed just within the past week.

In other words -- the show is just getting started.

This isn't the only garlic and onion bed where Venus mixed in some nasturtium seed last fall -- but it does appear to be the most successful. The nasturtium plants have grown so large now that they're popping out of the garlic bed.

All appears to be well.

Score a big assist to fellow gardener Carri Stokes on this rather surprising development. I wasn't aware you could even grow nasturtium in Sacramento. Although it's a common sight on the coast of California (some might even call it a weed) -- I thought our climate was just a tad too hot for nasturtium to do well here.

Obviously -- I thought wrong. Carri informed us that she had successfully grown it from seed. We saw the proof in Carri's yard last spring. So -- Venus set about planting her own little nasturtium patch last fall.

Venus' favorite? So far -- that would have to be the "Creamsicle" variety sold in seed packets from Renee's Garden. "Flower treasures for the eye & heart," the packet claims. I guess I can't argue much.

As for me? I tend to like the sharper colors in the mounding "Cherries Jubilee," also offered through Renee's Garden. Venus and I picked up both packets last fall while shopping for seed garlic at Peaceful Valley Farm Supply in Nevada City.

What's the most unique thing about Nasturtium? Obviously -- it's more than just a pretty flower. These are EDIBLE flowers folks. Yes -- you heard me right -- you pull them right off the vine and eat them on the spot. Or -- you can save them to decorate the salad offering later that night.

What's that? What do they taste like? Well -- I suppose you have to try one and find out for yourself!

I'm not sure just how much of a show or harvest that we will get from this little "planting experiment." At some point -- the Sacramento summer gets to be just a tad too much for nasturtium. Like the artichoke plants that are planted nearby -- they will take on a rather unhappy look -- whither -- and eventually perish.

But -- score one for a companion planting experiment for now. Garlic + Nasturtium = SUCCESS!

Dirt Moving Done Cheap!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

That would be me -- Bill Bird -- the "dirt mover." And I am as cheap as they come since I only charge myself two bottled waters and a 12-pack of beer -- after the moving is done of course.

This old wheelbarrow has seen better days. It's done its share of "dirt moving" as well. I always order in amounts of five cubic yards or more -- which usually means a good five to six hours of "dirt moving" after the load has arrived (I don't move all that fast -- so sue me).

Venus and I needed the dirt for? What else? VEGETABLE GARDENING (see name of blog). It's getitng close to that season you know. After an extended spring of cold, wet and windy weather -- mother nature finally cooperated last weekend with a stretch of days where the weather wasn't half bad.

In short -- it was a good day for hauling loads of dirt.

The wheelbarrow in question? It has been with us since "the beginning." That's right -- it was a wedding present. As I indicated earlier -- it has seen "better days." No better than this in my opinion -- which is how Venus and I received it on our wedding night in Rocklin.

The gift-givers in this case -- NewsTalk 1530 KFKB reporters Marna Davis and Kami Lloyd (Polete) -- made sure to stock it with our favorite beers. I must admit -- it brought a tear to the eye of Bill Bird when I first saw it. I'm a sucker for these kinds of things.

But what would you rather have? A wheelbarrow full of dirt? A wheelbarrow full of rock?

I'll take the beer -- thank you. This is a no brainer.

But this is the last time our wedding gift looked this good. It helped landscape our postage stamp-sized backyard in our first North Natomas home. It hauled 5 yards of planter mix for the first raised bed we built together -- five yards of bark to mulch the yard -- five yards of "Sonoma Gold" landscaping rock and sand and stones for a small walkway.

It only took us about six months to landscape a yard barely big enough to turn around it. After that -- it sat unused -- against a fence for a number of years.

But with the new home? It has found new life and lots of new work. We're three years and counting into landscaping the new backyard -- and we're not even half finished yet. So -- Venus and I put ye olde wheelbarrow to work this past weekend -- filling up another raised bed that Venus has already started planting with seed.

How much is five yards of cubic planter mix? Does "a lot of dirt" provide the proper answer? It was more than enough to fill up the bed in question -- and the leftovers are sitting in a big pile in the backyard.

Oh -- don't worry about us. This mound of dirt will play host to some squealing kids later this weekend (The cat known as Precious is really looking forward to this) -- but it will also serve a purpose as we move forward with efforts to put in a few more planter beds and a few spare yards of lawn (OK -- lots of lawn. I'm a sucker for lawns).

As for the Planter Mix in question? This is the famous "50/50" mix from Hastie's Capitol Sand and Gravel -- and a good deal at that. I had been using a different yard for my planter mix and mulch needs -- but grew tired of receiving loads that were a tad small for my liking.

No such concern this time. Keep that name in mind: Hastie's Capitol Sand and Gravel. And -- should you get the urge to move some dirt -- well please feel free to give me a call! The dirt moving "operation" is just getting started.


Monday, May 3, 2010


"Danger, Danger," Will Robinson!

Do Not Pass Go! Do Not Collect $200

I'm up early this Back-to-Work Monday with a roiling stomach and a warning: Beware the Demon that comes dressed as a good deed. No good can come of it. Unless a diet of Pepto and Tums really is "your kinda thing."

Do you remember the line "good things come in small packages?" It's a line I used often while dating -- without much success. But -- as it turns out -- I have just that thing sitting in my outdoor freezer at the moment.

It is a bottle of Limoncello that was gifted to me by a gardening friend -- who literally spent hours slaving away in the kitchen to prepare this after-dinner *liqueur* classic that is though to have orginated in Southern Italy. Traditionally -- it is made from the Sorrento lemon -- though most lemons will produce satisfactory limoncello.

Here -- in California -- the "lemon of choice" is one of the best I have ever tasted: Improved Meyer Lemon.

In a nutshell? This is one wild drink. But let this be a warning to you.


I didn't do that. And now I'm paying for it. It's ten days later -- and I'm still paying the bill. I wonder what my doctor will tell me later this morning?

So -- what went wrong? First -- you must understand what goes into the crafting of "Limoncello." Obviously -- it uses lemons. Not just lemon juice -- which is used -- but the rind of the lemon also plays a key role. This particular Limoncello is also crafted with Everclear -- a 100% wood grain alcohol -- and Vodka.

What does this mean? Well -- if you put a bottle of this stuff in the freezer? It doesn't freeze. That was the first warning that I chose to ignore. The second warning that I also ignored? Limoncello is "an after dinner liqueur that guests are to sip."

Did you say chug? No? What does sip mean? "I can sip mighty fast," ma'am.

Venus and I made the rather fateful decision to break into our special concoction of "lightning in a bottle" a week ago last Friday -- after we had consumed more than a few mixed drinks of the finest gin sold in a plastic bottle. Dinner -- we figured -- would come later.


It only took one quick shot before we both knew that we had something good on our hands. Sip? Please! Let us remember that I'm Irish. The words "sip" and "alcohol" in the same sentence represent an oxymoron. Besides -- this stuff was far too good to just "sip." One shot of Limoncello demanded another.

It was at this point where Venus made the fateful (and smart) decision to retire for the evening and left her very tipsy husband alone with a shot glass and an open bottle of Limoncello. I am almost positive that I didn't consume more than one or two more shots (a total of three?) before retiring myself -- but then again -- who really knows?

You can probably guess what happened the following morning? Both the lovely wife and I awoke to stomach aches crafted carefully in the Bowels of Hell. The failure to properly read and follow label directions left both of us with holes in our stomachs -- and breakfast that morning was served with a heapin' helpin' of Dr. Tums and Pepto Dismal.

But -- unlike normal hangovers -- this one persisted into Sunday. Certainly -- the pain would end by the start of the work week -- right? Fat chance! Monday came and went -- as did Tuesday -- and my stomach continued to feel like the doozy that Robert Mitchum suffered from in the 1966 John Wayne Classic: El Dorado.

Thornton (John Wayne): “Either one of you know a fast way to sober a man up?”

MISSISSIPPI (James Caan): "Johnny Diamond had a recipe. Let’s see. Cayenne pepper, mustard--the hot kind, ipecac, asafetida, and oil of cloves… or was it? No, it was croton oil."

BULL (Arthur Hunnicutt): Croton oil?! I’ll be a suck-egg mule. You know what that mixture’ll do to a fella?

MISSISSIPPI: Guaranteed kill or cure.
After feeding this mixture (which also contained gunpowder) to Mitchum -- our hero spends the rest of the flick doubled over in pain. Although our Limoncello contained none of these ingredients -- I now know just how our hero felt.
I should have purchased stock in Tums.
I'm not sure exactly when Bill Bird's stomach will start to feel normal again. Certainly -- the pain isn't as bad as it was last week -- and the wife has all but recovered from her malady. The bottle of Limoncello -- meanwhile -- sits in our freezer as a warning.
Label directions are to be READ and FOLLOWED.