Saturday, August 28, 2010

Free Food

I was given 250 ears of corn and about 60 bananas, today.  That's right, given, translated, free!!!  My  husband and I got busy and shucked, then cut off the corn from the cob on all these ears of corn, taking several hours.  I loaded all nine trays on my Excalibur dehydrator with the corn, packaged the rest in gallon size bags and put in the refrigerator waiting for their turn on the dehydrator.  I just don't have the freezer room so dehydrating is my way of preserving all of it for winter.  The corn will be used in stews, soups, and corn muffins all winter.  I'll then put some of it in canning jars with oxygen absorbers and sealing most of it in food saver bags.  After all the work with the corn we peeled the bananas and then put them in gallon size bags ready for the freezer, which I had to use a shelf in my mom's freezer.  I really need to go through our two freezers and try to free up some space.  We'll use the bananas for smoothies and banana bread and muffins.  Receiving all this was such a blessing and I'm so thankful, but tired!

Friday, August 13, 2010


When I think of summer I think of eating ice cream, going on bike rides, swimming and relaxing.  I've eaten a little ice cream and gone on some bike rides, haven't done the swimming, yet, and the relaxing part has not happened.  But, I've had time with the grandkids and have enjoyed seeing them do all of the above.
Summer is flying by and it's been a busy one for me.  It's been the summer of produce.  My daughter, Christy,  knows the owner of a produce store who has been giving her fruit and vegetables that are not the prettiest to sell, but still good enough to make jams and sauces with. Also, milk that has just expired that I make yogurt with.  Last night I helped her package ripened bannanas  freezing  them for smoothies, there was lots and lots of them that we peeled and then put into gallon size baggies.  She was also given a flat of tomatoes that I took home and processed, today.  I was in the kitchen for hours, blanching the tomatoes, which means putting them in boiling water and then right into ice water.  It makes the skin easy  to peel off and then I cooked the tomatoes into spaghetti sauce.  I seasoned the sauce with my garden basil and with onions I had grown along with other spices in my kitchen.  I was quite pleased with myself after my tastebuds had declared it a success.  I felt rather pioneerish, ( I may have made up a new word).  I'm used to opening a jar of Ragu which is a lot easier, but making it myself felt better.  I was telling Christy I think God has blessed us with all this produce so we could finally like being in the kitchen.  We are both kindred spirits in not liking dealing with food.  Processing all this food has given us a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment in being together. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

How Does My Garden Grow?

This year's garden got a slow start due to lots of rain and cooler weather.  I've been picking squash, a few tomatoes, one cucumber, onions.  The strawberries have already quit producing and we enjoyed what we got, but I thought with two large raised beds, there would be alot more.  Our cherry tree was loaded last year and we picked cherries till we were sick of them, but this year, to my dismay, we were only able to pick a small amount as the tree just wasn't productive.  I am pleased with the tomatoes as they are loaded with green tomatoes and are slowing turning red.  With fourteen plants, we will have our fill of them.  We planted cauliflower and broccoli and something kept eating the leaves, they were so pitiful with lots of holes.  There was several servings of broccoli that I cooked, but gave up on the cauliflower.  I learned something about onions, you need to seperate them, instead I planted them in a bunch.  They  have grown, but would have gotten much bigger if I had seperated the plants.  We also planted watermelon and have one on the vine and more flowering.  The peppers are growing and I love watching them get bigger every day.  We have hot peppers and bell peppers.  We have used up most of our compost for the beds and need to start another compost pile.  I am still in awe how our peelings, coffee grounds, leaves, grass clippings all turn back to a rich wonderful soil.  Gardening opens up your eyes to the wisdom of God and his creation.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


My daughter, Christy and I got together and learned to can jam, today.  It was one of my goals after learning to make bread.  It sure fits, bread and jam, they taste so good together.  We didn't get started until afternoon and worked at it for several hours which included 6 children to tend to, also.  We were both under the impression that it was going to be hard to do, but after canning 16 jars of blackberry and rasberry jam we both agreed it was rewarding and not a big deal.  We used the water bath canning method that meant submerging the filled jars in the canner and boiling for 12 minutes.  We both loved hearing the seals pop as they came out of the canner.  I had also made bread and my sons and grandchildren, plus a neighbor boy enjoyed eating slices smothered in the warm jam, so good!! My next goal is to can using a pressure cooker.