Saturday, August 30, 2014

Magnolia Pods

I collected these pretty magnolia pods while I was away.
They had fallen to the ground but there were some giant ones still on the trees.
I would like to let them dry and make some sort of display,
maybe a shadow box or something along those lines.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Garden Update

Sharing a brief update-
While I have been away my husband kept busy with
the ripening tomatoes.  He added another 24 jars of sauce.

We picked peppers from the square foot garden.
This bag was completely filled and there are still more on the vine!

Mostly hot but some are not.

The destruction to my squash plants is horrendous. 
Without me removing eggs every day for over a week,
they matured and took over.  Huge adults are marching across the 
vines, killing most of them.  I salvaged only two squash.

The tomatoes continue to come in as well as the tomatillos.

I'll be posting on and off.
Thank you for your patience and concerns.
I am fine but to protect the privacy of others, I 
can't provide additional details.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Away from Blogger Still

For your viewing pleasure-
A beautiful lake scene.

I'm still tending to some things 
so blogging is on the back burner.

I've got to get up to the garden tonight,
the Squash Bugs took advantage of my inattention.
They are so big you could put a saddle on them.

See you soon.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin!

   A bacon wrapped pork loin rests just off the smoking, hot coals
 on the Weber kettle late Saturday afternoon.  We found a small loin
for a good price at Frick's grocery in Union, MO, just about the right
size for two or three dinners. 

My husband brought in the pork and let it rest a minute
before slicing.  I set the table as best I could
since I have somehow twisted my good knee.

It was nice and juicy inside, flavored with bacon juices.

 My husband whipped up a carrot, potato and onion dish
in our new baking dishes that I found at JoAnne's at 70% off!
We had leftovers Sunday night with enough to have it once again today.

I've somehow twisted my knee so I am hobbling around, it ought to 
be fun at work today. Fortunately it's my left leg so driving will be no problem.
This better clear up in the next couple of days.
I'll have to get on the recumbent bike and give it some exercise tonight. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sauces and Pickled Peppers

My husband, Tom, was busy making salsa verde
now that our tomatillos are ripe and falling off the vine.

 For those of you that are unfamiliar with tomatillos
they grow on vines, similar to a tomato, but in pretty little husks
that look like hanging lanterns.  We grow them vertically 
on cattle panels, tying them up with twine because they get 
really tall (long?).  Once the paper husks begin to turn brown,
they release from the vine and are ready to process.
They are the light green pieces you typically find in red salsa
but can be made into a green salsa too.

The fruits are sticky to the touch when you remove the husks.
They have a slight citrus taste when eaten fresh,
but it's not like eating an orange or lemon, it's mild but
I would not eat them by themselves.

There are several recipes on line, pick one that sounds good.

We have more on the way.
There is a basket full in the fridge and more on the vine.
This was made for immediate eating so not canned.

The garden is coming through for us this year
but there are still so many green tomatoes.
I hope they ripen up pretty soon so we can get to work.

Rather than taking an entire day to can everything, 
we can here and there, small amounts that don't heat up
the kitchen too badly.  Here is some red sauce.

And pickled peppers from my husband's square foot garden.

Some of the hot peppers cross pollinated with bell peppers
so now he has bell peppers with a zing!  That's a good thing in his book.
I still have zucchini on the way and the new crop of radishes is starting to come up.

That pretty much leaves the pumpkins 
and whatever the "other" squash is that's growing
among the cucumbers and beans.  Right now it's green
but it won't take long before we figure it out.
In the meantime we'll have fun guessing.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Really Bad Recipe!

Mom came to visit for a few days, right in the middle of zucchini season.
So . . . . guess what we had for dinner?
Yep, zucchini.
Zucchini for the main course, zucchini for the side dish
Zucchini here, zucchini there- you get the idea.

Well, I will put this recipe on the Do Not Bother list.
Similar to the Do Not Call list, but for recipes.
On second thought, put it on the Do Not Call list too.
Better safe than sorry.

It was Asian Summer Salad.
It had pasta, raw zucchini, carrot and pepper, onion
and a ginger dressing.  Served cold.
Keep in mind- I did NOT cook it, 
Tom did, and he is a super wonderful cook.
I in no way influenced the taste of this dish.
And there was no taste.
There was just nothing to keep the dressing in/on the noodles.
 Once I covered it with Italian dressing and Parmesan, it was tolerable.
A completely different recipe, mind you, but we could eat it.
 Not too bad for a small side dish.
I didn't like the carrots, they were hard, since they were not cooked.
Raw zucchini was fine.

The grilled zucchini was great. 
(score one!)

I do think my husband is loosing his mind though.
He picked up Peach wine.
Not the sort of Tom-Wine that I would have expected.
I didn't care for it.  This is a good winery, I am just not a fan of peach wine-
I'd take the pie instead.

Speaking of which--
Here is the second reason I think he is losing his mind.

Ring, Ring !  ( my office phone)
Tom says "I'm going to the store, is there anything I should pick up for dinner?"
  I reply, "Why yes, we need dessert, can you pick up something
from the bakery?  Maybe a cheesecake.
If you can't find a cheesecake in the bakery, look in the freezer section."
(I didn't have time to make zucchini bread)

I get home and greet Mom.
Tom is on the porch  talking with his boss-
he's recovered from knee surgery and cleared to do lighter work-- 
not on ladders.  There might be some work coming up that he can do.
 I walk outside and say hello and get some idea of when we might eat.
He had the pasta chilling, I'll prep the zucchini but where is dessert?

 "I got a banana cream pie," he states.
No, really, where is the cheesecake?
"It's a banana cream pie."
No it's not! You're kidding.

Here is my cheesecake!
That's not a cheesecake.  
Note, it  says Banana. Cream. Pie.
Fortunately, Mom does like banana cream pie!
 All in all, most of the dinner was good 
but scratch that Asian salad!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I Was Seeing Red!

I was in a panic.
There was spilled nail polish on my floor-
my wooden floor.
Red Polish!

I've told my granddaughter, Taylor, a gazillion times, 

   Paint Your Nails at the Table
Line the Table with Newspaper!!!!

I rushed to pick it up before more leaked out. 
Just then . . . 

 I FELL for it!

Taylor and her mom had been to the wax museum downtown
and they must have had a magic shop,
or  a gift shop with practical jokes.
It was fake polish!

We all had a good laugh,
especially Taylor!

(Good thing too, because she wouldn't have been laughing
had it been real polish.)

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Sighting and the Save

I was working in the garden and thought I saw something 
out of the corner of my eye. A flash of yellow followed by 
 rustling grasses and a hint of silky brown curls diving beneath the tomatoes.
It was near the area where I saw the baby copperhead so I 
had to be very careful.  Proceed with caution.

Suddenly, from the midst of the tomatoes, 
it popped out and ran as fast as it could.
It caught me off guard so I was powerless to capture it.

 I am not exactly sure what this creature might be 
but I am certain it is searching for a mate.
 How it found my garden I"ll never know.

I did a little on line research. Now I have an idea of what I am dealing with.

It's a Sasquash!!

As if I were stalking a squash bug, I crept up real quiet like
hoping to grab the little monster and make a few bucks
selling the photos to the National Enquirer.
Just as quickly as the the thought crossed my mind,
off it went again!  Across the yard, over the drive,
around the house and down the hill.
I took off after it.  I'm not missing this opportunity.

OH OH!  The Coop!

I ran down to the coop, but it was too late.
The chicks saw it too!

Bwaaak! Bwaak!
There it is, there it is!

Don't worry girls, I'll take care of it.

 It's in the nesting box and it has the EGGS!
And look, is that a feather by its mouth?
I hope it's not too late.

I took a count. No one is missing.
Whew! What a relief.
I  took out my trusty LED flashlight and blinded the beast.
I grabbed it and threw it into the food processor, grinding it to bits.
The day was saved.

But what will become of the beast?
Hmmm, I wonder.


We are overrun with zucchini, yellow squash and now tomatoes!!
Now it's time to get into high gear and start processing.  It looks like
we may be canning every night or two for awhile.

Tom is home, recuperating from knee surgery, so he has been
getting everything prepped while I am at work.
 I got to relax and watch last night as he finished up these pints.
 Here is what he has to say-  from Facebook

This has been the coolest summer we've seen in a long, long time. Consequently, the tomatoes have been really slow about ripening. Looks like they're finally starting to be ready for picking and canning.

So, the small batch cannery is opening for another season. If everything goes right we'll be canning a few pints a night. Tomatoes, pickles, squash, peppers, beans...whatever's ready that day.

The whole idea is to stay ahead of the harvest. I don't like spending ten hours in the kitchen and that's what'll happen if we don't keep up.

The first batch of tomato sauce is simmering on the stove. The old Victorio Strainer makes short work of the fruit. We bought this at the parish garage sale a few years ago for $5 and it's become a cornerstone of the season. Great tool! They still make them today, albeit with a bit more plastic. Our is from the '70's. We know the lady that donated it to the church so we got a little history with the tool.

We've bought a few more pieces for it so now it'll process berries, grapes, pumpkins...just about anything we grow.

 He made a fantastic spaghetti sauce the other night,
full of our own basil and tomatoes.

He sliced our zucchini and yellow squash into thin ribbons
coupled with red onions.  We found a recipe for refrigerator
squash pickles on line so we're testing this jar to see how we like it.  
If it tastes as good as it looks, we'll can a few jars.

Lastly, an update on our peaches.
If you remember this photo from the last post,
this is the first year we really had good sized peaches.
 Guess how many I have now!!!!

Well, that is not quite true.  I have three.
Three badly deformed, bug eaten peaches
and, a lot of pits all over the ground.

Maybe, they got all but the above mentioned three that
were up on the highest branch. 

As my husband said about our garden losses: 
 I like to think that we're just converting vegetables to meat for the fall.