Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sauerkraut and Teaching Day :o)

! :


Today was a good and productive day! :o) It's still hot as all get out in NC, but when you set your mind to do something you get your buns out of bed and get that early start!  Here was another day to rise and shine at 7 am..get a quick fast breakfast  (two neesie sausages sandwiches, tomorrow with biscuits :o). and head out to the Farmers Market in hopes of finding some nice cabbage to make some Sauerkraut, (I grew a lot but it was not enough )
:o(...also take along a First Cousin..to learn from start to finish the steps of Kraut making :o) ( by now I'm almost an expert :o)  (to her anyway).  I got a nice deal with my cabbage purchase and saw some that was nicer after the purchase (isn't that always the way :o(   We made it home without melting, and got started with the slicing and pressing...First Cousin was really enthused about learning to make Kraut and was a great big help. She chopped the cores out, I shredded in the processor and she emptied the cabbage into the Crock and followed instructions of  adding salt,sugar,vinegar,caraway seeds and Press :o)...We had just enough cabbage to fill up the crock and we were both thrilled to be done...now waiting for the fermenting...I wanted First Cousins face to remain private...(She is younger than me :o(  While working we discussed "Making Homemade Butter" and have it with our corn that we purchased  last month and froze. She was excited to learn how simple it was to make butter, before I knew it, she was calling to say " I made my Butter " :o) and sounded all giggly and excited that she had done it..
Today I'm her hero :o)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Yesterday's news is old today

I had a rough time trying to post the video that I took in the garden yesterday...it shows up on my Easyshare program but won't post on the blog :O(  ( I don't know why)  I took my camrea to Walmart and the young lady worked with it..said they gave me 4 G's when it only takes 2G's I've lost all the pictures i had , somehow they were erased!!   I have what's on my computer. I also have a DVD that I can get them on a CD. It has to be hooked up. ugh!  Anyway, I took camera shots today and hopefully they will post!  So far the still pictures are posting...
This is the Sweet Potato Patch I feel pretty good that I  started them off from S. potato slips :o), Second day they look like they are going to make it. Thanks EG :o)
These are the Eggplants that we were just trying to see if we could grow them and they look better than anything else
Plum tomato's amid the German Johnson's and Cherokee Purples , They aren't too large, with all the trouble I had with the slugs and fat worms, I'm glad to have something from them..At least they are tasty.
Cecil's Canna Lillies are doing great. Last year he lost all the ones he had down the side of the Pear trees, we think they were frozen from the weather..there were other complaints from others about theres being frozen too :o( 
I think I may have to think about getting a new camera  , I think this one is on it's way out! :o(

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sweet Potato planting in July

I have been trying to upload this mornings video for three hours :o(  when I find out what I'm doing wrong I'll post it as an update:




I can hardly believe it's me getting up at 6:30 am  to plant some sweet potato's. That's just what I (had to do) did this morning, after a hard evening's work of planting the Purple Sweet potato's (that EG stimulated me to grow!) I found it fascinating to let a S. potato take root in water and use the "slips" to make more S. potato's :o) I couldn't plant them all last evening  so I had to wait until this morning to plant the rest they were really heavily rooted I didn't need to put the rest of them into cups..the little sun that's up at 9:30 has taken a slight toll on them already I think over night they will stand up like the rest were this morning. In the video you can see the little Egg plants doing nicely...they have  fruited" and it's thrilling to see the little purple  "eggs" growing and looking good. I have some regular S. potato slips that I put in the little hand made paper cups..I'll get them planted in a few days as soon as they take root :o)...Farmers have a hard life,but they eat good :o). Cecil is busy cleaning out the old squash bed that didn't do too well :o(  I think he may try and plant another crop..(according to Annie's Granny they should do well).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A True Freezer Story

There have been a few comments about Freezers here of late, some needing or thinking about another purchase to hold their blessed Harvests. Which brought to my mind the story of my first freezer..


 ..I'd like to share it with you 
Part 1...My Mother sent me to Sears to buy a freezer for her (1960)...she didn't like to shop and at that age I loved nothing better :o)...So after buying her freezer, she asked if I saw one I liked ...of course the answer was YES!  so she said pick one out...I asked "any limit" the answer was "No" , well I picked out the largest chest freezer Sears had (it was mama's money I was spending :o) it was as wide and long as a "casket" I don't remember what the size was, but I haven't seen one like it since :o).
Part 2...During that first summer I worked hard going to our large Farmer and Flea  market called "English Town"  you could find anything you needed there and you couldn't see it all in one day. There were also Bus tours to it from all over the country.. One day my mother called and asked how I was doing with the freezer, I replied with pride.."My freezer is full"...she replied...Oh! I had some extra string beans, and wondered if you could use them for your freezer...well, I changed my tune real quick and said "I have room for them" she then replied " then your freezer is not full". I never forgot that lesson :o)  It seems, since then I always have room for one more something... :o)
Story Update: I left NJ in 1999 and that freezer was still going strong , in fact I left at least a half basket of tomato's in it for the new owners...it couldn't be moved because we had sealed off the basement exit when we remodeled 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Harvest for Monday

I don't have much to show for "Harvest Monday" especially since I worked on it yesterday. Nothing appears like magic, there is always work involved that is not seen.
 I'm hoping to get better at this movie taking ...a few points to remember is always necessary when doing it..  
video

I'm glad that I dried the Thyme, I think it flavors a lot of dishes for the best and hopefully I'l have enough to last until Spring and growing season again.. Next I have some Sage, Basil, and mints to dry...A little at a time gets it done. Hope the video of the Kraut making loads ..it's taking a long time to upload, hope it's good.

video

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blueberry Cobbler is today's Doings in NC , :o)

Today is another hot day in NC.. Early this morning I plucked up the last of the cabbage from the front bed and got them all done and in the freezer..All total I got about 13 lbs and that's not counting the four 1 1/2 gallon jars..So the cabbage is finished and not too shabby what the slugs left me..
I don't plan on going out in this heat..the elderly should stay in  :o)  (that's me and Annie's Granny ). To make good use of the time, I decided to try the Blueberries that we picked and the kids didn't get the chance to taste...I gave myself a good laugh  listening to the video ..Hope you get a laugh too :o)

video
Looks aren't deceiving, by golly! it's good..:o)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Onion Harvest

Last night while watching TV (listening is more like it)  I got my onions ready to be sliced or and chopped (whichever worked best) to get them into the freezer..I liked Annie's Granny idea of doing them, just modified it for my use...I use onions and garlic with just about every thing I cook (yes, even eggs, but not my grits :o)  It's a lot of work "Harvesting" but there's nothing like the convience of "walking to the freezer" instead of driving to the store. :o).
After slicing them in the food processor, I layered them on my Pizza sheet :o) and covered each layer with saran wrap..I think I got four or five nice layers..stuck it in the freezer and maybe later today I'll take them out if they are good and frozen and put them into a gallon size zip lock bag..I don't want to use Penny for them, sometimes she doesn't "squeeze" the air out like she is supposed too, I'm very disappointed in it. So I stick with the Zip locks until I can do better.
All that's left are the skins that I could use if I were to dye something in my weaving or spinning..So you see everything can be used, with the gifts we have.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cabbage,Cabbage,Cabbage!


A lot of hard work went into the harvesting of these few heads :o(  I only got two jars of Kraut from them :o(  although they were two nice large jars (family size meal). but I managed to get 4 meals of Cabbage leaves for stuffed cabbage..and three meals to make cabbage and potatoes..All I have to do is fry up some country ham and then add the cabbage and potato's or make mashed potato's..and that's a good country (and city)meal :o).. I am a little disappointed with the amount of cabbage heads that formed..I think we might have been better off to plant fall cabbage for my kraut...no matter. I used every bit that I cut today..and still have more growing..They have nice large leaves and some of them were chewed up pretty bad by slugs and whatever else..I remember Gloria Swanson ( an old actress) saying if the bugs don't want it you don't  either..I'm glad they left me some :o)
 Here I'm laying out the cabbage leaves to
roll them up..They look like one big green cigar
I'll use them to make stuffed cabbage :o)
I'm not a good film maker (yet! :o) I forget
that my camera does it ..You will also see them rolled up in film. We had the   TV
on and at the time they were playing country music , it seemed to fit right in with what I was doing. :o)
T Some look like Green cigars they are the leaves rolled up for stuffed cabbage..There are about four or five meals in that bag..
Then there are 2 bags with one pound each and one with 1/2 lb cabbage . My film will go by quickly ( I don't know what I'm doing yet!). You can hear the disappointment in my voice after two nice jars...(wish I could say six nice jars :o(  I'll just have to remedy that, with more cabbage heads..(not the leaves, they are too tough for kraut). It looks like I haven't made the least bit of a dent in the cabbage.

Update:  I don't know why the video's aren't working :o(  probably something I didn't do right or something I should and don't know what :o( .


I'm adding the video's again to see if that will work!

video video video
I did them all over again, think I was supposed to hit video (thought I did) anyhow, hope this works, you can hear how proper I sound :o)...when I was younger they said I sounded sexy! What happened :o)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Another New Day :o)


Good morning and a "Happy Breakfast to ya!" :o)  Yesterday was "Cherokee Purple" sandwich for breakfast  which was pretty good..better than flakes for me ( right Mr. H. :o)  but now today...There's my "Grits" (with a pat of butter in the middle :o)  a fried egg, and two "neese's sausages" < that's a brand down here in NC they make a pretty good sausage, my brother in law makes a sausage that would give them a run for the money..Needless to say, I'm as full and happy about breakfast this morning.:o)
I bought some 1/2 gallon mason jars, and I intend to make some kraut today..I found a couple of recipes to make it the jars..I'm going to try it...plus I have enough cabbage to also put into the crock.
I bought the large 64 oz jars for my Pork and Kraut dish..I found a quart isn't enough Kraut the way we suck it up :o)..It's going to be a hot day..I'll just take my time ..Five minutes outside to get the cabbage and work inside at my own pace. I'm in no rush to do it fast.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Here's Monday again!

Not much to show for "Harvest Monday" , I haven't been in the garden since Saturday.
Cecil managed to pick the one zucchini and a few squash..I'll open the grill later to get them blanched and into the freezer. Can't cook anything yet, the stove is still out..I do have the grill, that I can cook on..maybe later ..waiting for the Gas company to call and or arrive is the pits , you can't do anything. :o(


At least I was able to have a worthy breakfast of  "Cherokee Purple" tomato sandwich for my breakfast, and Cecil had flakes...that's not too bad ..( I'd rather have some grits and country ham :o). You don't miss the water til the well runs dry...You don't appreciate a hot shower until you can't have it hot..I had to use almost cold water to wash with last night and more of the same this morning ..Reminded me of the old days,(my younger days) when you had to wash up in a basin, in a NY tenement. at that time I could lift my leg up and put my foot in the basin to wash..If I wanted to break my neck I could probably do that Anyway, hopefully this day will give some good results..Thanks for all the comments of our safety, We appreciate it :o)  Even ole grumpy granny was worried that she wouldn't have someone to yell at.. (I think Mr Granny just ignores her) :o).

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Around here Something new every Day!

I don't have to do anything , but it seems with every day there is something going on with us ( good, bad, and or indifferent) We left the house about 2 pm to visit family for awhile and returned about 6pm . We kind of fretted on the way that we forgot to put the A/C on :o(  Well, it's a good thing we didn't ...the minute we walked in we could smell gas!!!
Checking the stove, I hadn't left it on (gas stove) Fireplace (gas) hadn't been used in years  (had that blocked off to keep the A/C or Heat from escaping up the chimney). Call 911 and report the smell...
What excitement it caused in the neighborhood!...Everyone was peeking and walking up to see if one of us had croaked :o)  One neighbor said he was only worried about my tomatoes :o). ( at least he was honest about it)  He was only teasing , ( one year he shoveled snow from our walk without saying a word).
 It's kind of hard to sit away from your house and watch all the strangers (firemen) walking all around in and out of your house, and with big scruffy boots on like it's a pathway (glad I hadn't knocked myself out cleaning this time with the kids coming, just to prove I was okay) The Firemen had a job to do, and they did it with gusto! I just had to stay the heck out of the way...Cecil tried to be "macho" but the kids sat him down next to me :o)....Well, Guess I taught them "how to manage", cause they sure "took over"... They found a couple of leaks, fireplace valve, furnace valve and I think Hot water valve..it's all in the report . they turned off the gas to make sure we would be safe...We still have A/C, and the Microwave..so  until Monday..we won't have hot water to shower...we have had to heat water before...At least I woke up this morning Alive, (but tired)..The kids are back home ...I put some tomato seeds up for saving and I'm doing a load of laundry on Warm/water. That was my weekend...and there is still Harvest Monday coming. Whew! what would you all do without me! :o)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Food Orgy continues :o)

First of all today after breakfast ( grits, bacon, eggs with cheese and onions) it was off to the fish market for the Friday Fish Fry :o)  Then back home again, it's time to add to the already cooked dishes with a pot of Mixed greens cooked with the famous Country Ham :o)  and then of course a pan of corn bread to go with it..and a little pot of rice made my special way :o) I'm glad there was enough to get a shot of it before it was all gone... The kids enjoyed it so I think I'll be safe to make it again :o) 




I just made one pan of cornbread with Jalapeno peppers and onions to go with the greens . After all what's greens without some cornbread with butter dripping between your fingers :o)...I'm such a little piggy! And last but not least is the Spareribs, potatoes and Kraut dish that I was quite proud of...the potatoes were from our garden :o) and the Kraut was some I made with store bought cabbage..hopefully next week I'll be able to make Kraut with my own cabbage from my garden :o)...Tomorrow you may not hear from me early...The last one will be here and we will have a Fish Fry..and make gluttons of ourselves..I'll try and make the Blueberry cobbler since the Pear and Apple is almost gone.. A good night's sleep and I'll be in top notch shape to cook again tomorrow ...Fish Fries and a Salad..and any leftovers they find :o) It's fun having the kids home :o)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fried Green Tomato's

Do you remember me saying that when the kids saw those "Fried Green Tomato's" they would be "Flying home" :o)...see I didn't lie :o) They started arriving yesterday! I'll be tied to the stove the next few days.
The "Spahgetti Medley" is a special favorite of one..and "ItalianSausage
in a "Tomato gravy".. With "Pear and Apple Cobbler" for dessert. The green tomato's get to live another day..
Tomorrow, I will make another dish for one that's a favorite :o)..When the kids are home, we have food orgies :o) and everyones to full to move. "No Place like home". 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Harvest Monday :o)


This Monday I have a Harvest to show, Onions being one of them! After taking them up we felt we did it a little too soon :o(  The green was still healthy looking and we felt they could have grown larger had we let them stay in ground, we couldn't put them in again. I decided to wash some of them just to see what the difference would be.  They were a pretty white indeed...next year I'm going to be patient and wait a little longer before taken them up...or Copy from Annie's granny and get some Walla walla onions :o)...

The tomato Hoop Box was a disappointment! I found a few rotting tomatoes filled with large catapillar looking worms! Ugh! I knew the box was infected and if I wanted some tomato's I'd better pick them and let them ripen on the window sill. It's so disappointing to work so hard and have things spoiled ..


 oh well, on a happier note I consoled my self by frying a green tomato  (sorry I didn't cook two since it was so tasty :o)
I decided to let you watch them fry and salivate too :o)
The video goes by pretty quickly, I didn't hold it long enough.(replay it)



video

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Okay EG what's next?



All this is happening because of the Engineered Gardner's encouragement!
I got so excited about growing my own sweet potatoes, I just had to try it out! Then at  the Farmers Market I spied some Purple potatoes that had lots of roots growing on  them already and any dummy could see they needed planting right away (that's me :o). So now I need to know what will happen when and If I plant them now.
Should I put them into their own little paper pots first, and let them get roots?
Is it too late for them to grow this season ? 
Shall I plant them first in paper pots then in the ground, and let them winter over if necessary?
You all have to admit they do look pretty Sturdy , Healthy and Green :o)
I think I know what I'm going to do! (isn't that just like a woman :o)  but I'm open to any and all suggestions...So you experts jump in here and give your opinion and or advice.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Harvest Brag :o)

I'm pleased to report that after the Rains ..the Bees came :o) and they pollinated the squash and we had a Harvest :o) Those first two large Zucchini were almost missed ( we were so used to not seeing anything we began taking it for granted we'd get nothing). Surprise. Surprise :o)
That Zucchini looked like it was hard, but the knife went through it like butter ..in fact all of it was soft.
It was just too much to eat for one meal ( Cecil can eat a lot of it, but it was more than he could handle too). So I cooked the first two and one of the smaller ones with onions and spices I use and put the rest in a freezer bag for another meal.. I am so thankful that we were able to grow our own squash and that the bees came back to pollinate and make it possible..I couldn't see myself walking around with a cue tip pollinating a flower to produce. I couldn't wait for Harvest Monday to post about it..Since I moaned and groaned about not having something :o)..I've been blessed, again :o)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Blueberrie Picking Time

We finally found a U pick Blueberry farm near us...in fact less than five minutes away :o)...So we got up early and ventured out ...we picked a bucket each, that only weighed 7 pounds..I think we will be going back for more...they are nice berries and it didn't take us but 45 minutes to do it. It got too hot for me to stay longer.

The Berry lady told us to lay them out for a day and the unripe ones would ripen..Then put them into the freezer and not wash them until you were going to use them..That sounds like a good plan to me..I picked out unwanted leaves and any that didn't look good, but most were pretty good. Berry lady said we could put them into something  large and just take out what I needed at the time. That sounds good too!..Everyone has their own idea's how they want to store. I'm happy to have some for Blueberries cobblers or and pies :o),can you tell I'm happy! Kathleen sent me a couple of recipes she uses for her berries and fruits..I've used it for my Pear Cobblers...and she said I could share. So here it is.


A Poor Man’s Cobbler
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
1 stick butter
Fruit of your choice. If you are using blue berries and you want them sweeter, you can mix a little sugar with the blueberries and let them sit while you are preparing the batter.
Place butter into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan and let it melt in a pre-heated 400. F degree oven, while you are preparing the batter. Mix flour , sugar, baking powder, salt and milk together in a mixing bowl until smooth. Pour this mixture over the melted butter, DO NOT STIR . Place desired fruit on top of batter. Bake 30 –40 minutes until golden brown.  While cooking the batter will rise around the fruit.
Ginny, I also mix the fruit sometimes. Sometimes I make peach/ blackberry, or peach blue berry. Either way, it gets gobbled up in no time! Hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Every Day there is "Something"

Monday I had nothing to offer in line for "Harvest" , and also found that the Deer had nibbled  all the tomatoes in Cecil's Garden, and not only that, they "Pooped" on my yard!@ &*%%$  it was a bad day, and l was depressed about it...Cecil put a smelly shirt on one side of the Pear tree and guess what! the Deer went to the other side "*&&% I guess you know what those symbols mean I'm saying (cussing). I don't want to eat them, but they are driving me so crazy I feel like a  B B gun would be nice to have.
This morning, we found after that rain storm (which we so badly needed) two of the tomatoes I had in the side garden were so heavy they had fallen to the ground..(the only two on (Mortgage Lifter I had) I brought them in and hope they will ripen on the window sill. I don't know if I'll get more from them and as far as the one "Yellow Pear Tomato" the Deer have already nibbled off of it and I don't think there will be any more blooms.:o(
Update:  I found out your supposed to put the stem side up on tomatoes you want to ripen in the window :o) I've corrected it.


I don't know if you can see them, but in the "Hoop Box" I have Roma's. Cherokee Purples, and  German Johnson's. It seems to me the Plums are doing the best at growing so far..I'm glad I did the box if not I wouldn't have anything  going in the line of tomato.
The cabbage is doing the best it can, but something is still nibbling at them :o(  I wonder if it's that white moth I see flying around every where...The Deer have nibbled off my pepper plants something awful..I don't know if I have time to plant more  (on the Patio) I hope they don't start coming that close..
You can see a couple more tomato's on the other end of the box..which is encouraging..I had to open it up and tie up the tomatoes they were so heavy on the vine..next time I'll do it differently so I won't have to struggle like i did.
EG showed a good video and I liked it enough to use...and I won't have to have a top on it.. my tomatoes are trying to grow upwards out of the box.



My cabbage is trying hard to "head up" I do want to be able to make some Kraut out of it. So far I have one Red Cabbage that was left from 2010, and I just left it to grow as it would, and it must have had some strong genes it looks as good or better that the rest of the them




it's the only red cabbage I have. Wish I knew how to get seeds from it ..Bet they would be some strong cabbage to have.  all in all at least I'm not losing too much..The potatoes in Cecil's Garden are doing nicely and so are the onions.  I almost forgot , after the rain the Bees came pollinated and lo and behold we had a squash that was enough for our dinner :o) and it looks like we will have more..thank goodness for that. So some things are keeping us sane and encouraged to keep on. Especially when some pretty flowers come into bloom :o)