Gardening, like farming, is a gamble most times. There are years where you have the right temperature, rainfall and fewer pests, and then there are the years of failure. The goal is to spend the least amount of dollars for the highest yield (meaning fullest amount of produce). So when you have a good year, you scramble to make the most of what you have obtained and put it back for the coming months.
So to keep with the thrifty ways of my upbringing, I kept my dollar from traveling too far this weekend. I had a bumper crop of bell peppers this year to reserve for future use. The cold temps we had last week required I pick some before they were mature.That’s the beauty of a bell pepper–they taste good whether they’ve finished ripening or not.
I mean look at these bohemoth peppers! They’re supposed to be 9 to 12 inches and red or yellow. But trust me, they are good as is.
These will be kept in the freezer until I need to add them to our favorite dishes. Between frozen tomatoes and frozen peppers, I’m pretty happy about the prospect of garden fresh meals in winter.
I wonder what deliciousness my grandma would have created with an air fryer? Maybe a topic for future Inez’s Clippings??
Youngest daughter learned of her car eventually needing a new engine and warranty won’t cover it until it actually fails. This is pretty frustrating.
Eldest daughter was without electricity for 8 hours, hot water for 4 days, and then internet and cable were cut accidentally during repair of said hot water issue.
A ‘trustee’,aka convict, escaped from the Missouri State Fairgrounds who house these people to clean and work around the fairgrounds when most folks are in bed. (More on this in a bit)
And finally, the husband was in the hospital with afib and released Wednesday evening after a battery of doctors coming in an out with differing opinions. The VA is good at that. No offense. I could go on about this too but I will refrain.
First the Doors…
Ron I’m happy to say has lost 80 pounds in the last couple years. But much of it is due to 4 stomach surgeries that involved removing tumors that have been bleeding. Thankfully they are benign, But if they keep returning it will involve a more involved surgery. This is a direct result of dismantling too many meth labs while in law enforcement before they really understood what the effects of meth were. I am very proud of my husband’s service in law enforcement. He fought the good fight. I know of many who are not so good, sadly.
With all that about the hubby’s career out there, you can summize that I know a few people in our local law enforcement community. There are many aware of my daycare that has been here since 1995, on the Katy Trail. I can only think that they felt I was in good hands with my husband’s presence and I didn’t need to be notified. Guess what?! He may not have actually been here. A simple phone call or text would have been greatly appreciated as I took it upon myself to do a self-directed lock down after my mother-in-law and a neighbor’s mother notified me. (Thank you both!) And oh, by the way, he was apprehended on the Katy Trail, albeit in the opposite direction. I’m pretty peeved at the whole incident. This is the not the first time the trail has been used by escapees.
Thank you to anyone who read the whole paragraph. I will not get on my soapbox any further. At least not today 😉
It’s Sunday and time for another one of Inez’s Clippings. Grandma was often the butcher at the farm. It was nothing for her to head out to the chicken barn and grab a good looking hen (or rooster who was guilty of being too ornery) and take care of business –all the steps including plucking the feathers and readying it for the dinner table. I was never privy to learn the method as I was not considered old enough. I can honestly say I’m ok with that 😉 I saw enough meat prep of all kinds to satisfy my curiosity.
On a recent doctor visit, I was told to eat less red meats in an attempt to lower the cholesterol. I’m guilty of being an honest to goodness carnevore and his instructions are going to be tough. After all we live in the middle of the Farm Belt and I reitterate the fact that meat is my favorite staple.
So with all that in mind, we used up some garden produce this weekend, starting with some lovely sweet bell peppers in a Pepper Chicken dish. Chicken is on the ‘good’ list. As long as it’s not deep fried.
The step-by-step photos are in the slides below. Notes: #1-We double recipes sometimes so we can have leftovers and use up extra summer vegies. #2-The link for the recipe is here. #3-The recipe states beef and as I stated above, we substituted chicken. #4-Another difference is we added julienned celery. Crunch is important….to us at least.
To keep this gluten free, it’s important to watch soy sauce, oyster sauce and spice labels.
Usually this is a Sunday post but due to the amount of stuff I needed to catch up on this weekend, that was not gonna happen. And I’m still behind. So Monday it is for another installment of Inez’s Clippings.
Part of my ‘to do’ list this weekend was harvesting some tomatoes. Po-tatoes are still in the ground and waiting for the hubster to take time out to dig them. I hope our new method of the adding a board-raised bed works. (fingers crossed).
The 4-post boxes in the background mark the beginning of the potato boxes. Notice our piles of compost ready to be tilled in for the gardening season are keeping the girls from pouncing on the little bunny. He has remained that tame throughout this year. So far he only wants my clover in the yard.
This was our first attempt at this sort of potato growing. The jury is still out on how much or less we will acquire. Hoping for a bumper crop. Speaking of a bumper crop, I have a tomato weigh-in for you….
A small dinner plate will do for this one. And yes, I get my gardener genes from Inez’ side of the family 😉
My grandmother kept clippings from books, newspapers and other sources in a little yellow box. I share them here at Inez’s Clippings. Click here to see the original post and the list of other published clippings.
Have you ever tried to remove the briers? Once they are gone, there are no weeds underneath (because they have choked them out) leaving a good path. A little extra effort can go a long way to finding your daily blessings.
This Sunday I’m sharing some of my ‘sunbeams’ in pictures. I hope you’ll enjoy.
Plain and simple, the vegies I usually plant for a later harvest have struggled.
So to compensate, I dug through my stash of old sheets and between the hubby and I, came up with an idea that just might do the trick.
I present the Cucumbers of July 16, 2018 complete with sunburn and impending death.
What our young cucs needed was some relief in the form of shade. So I looked into the mesh shade cloth that you see at greenhouses and larger gardens.
It’s very nice, but I want to save a few pennies. That’s the whole point of gardening right?! Grow your own vegies to save on the grocery bill? And of course there’s the flavor 😉
So here’s what we came up with. Two giant ‘sails’. Really just a curtain with rod pockets at top and bottom. Some old pipe came in handy to attach it to our raised bed. And when storm clouds rise or the weather turns fair, we gather it in the middle and tie it up until danger of getting ripped passes.
Taken just 1 week after assembling this shade curtain. And I will admit to having some nice rainfall to help the situation. Just a good all around combination.
And here’s the mandatory garden view.
Adding this post to my new page, “Free Tip Friday”. New content on the way!
Another busy week + Trying to Do it All at My Age = easy share for Thursday Doors.
We were headed this way, towards the Grand Stand at the 2017 Missouri State Fair.
I look forward to taking some ‘after’ pics for comparison soon.
But this item caught my eye. We’ve got some lumber and stuff and want to build ourselves a hothouse. This one gives us some ideas….
The door is pretty much not what I’d pick personally. I’ve been exposed to so many options since joining the Door patriots here. Thanks everyone, by the way.
The lighting prevented me from getting a good focus but you can see the sizes that are possible as well as the name of the company should you really be interested in what they offer. I’m a do-it-yourselfer when possible.
Our instructions are: For this week’s challenge, explore the classical elements of earth, air, water, andfire.and to Take a moment to explore these elements, in or out of balance, together or individually, as you pick up your camera this week.
For me this week, there was some canning.By some, I’m talking over 25 pints and some 15 or so quarts of canned goodness from my garden. And it’s not over yet.
Did you know boil water canning requires a perfect balance of the 4 elements for a successful run?
Earth: Bounty from your garden.
Water: Boil water canning is best for high acid foods such as tomatoes. It also takes way less time to process. Recommended as best method by the Ball Blue Book.
Air: You’ll probably prefer a cooler kitchen with a hood vent over your stove if possible. If nothing else, find yourself a nice fan.
Fire: A constant flame on my stove is an essential requirement. Do Not wear clothes that will catch on the cookery or create a hazard. In other words, no swimsuits for your canning experience, please.
Might I add that if you ever get the opportunity to grow Brandiwine Pink heirloom tomatoes, do it without hesitation. They are the absolute best tomato I have ever sank my teeth into. Sweet and definitely a gift from above!
Enjoy your summer goodness!
For other wonderful entries in the Weekly WordPress Photo Challenge, click here. This will be an addition to my Sunday Sampler page as well.
Quick and painless is my motto this week for Thursday Doors. Canning and freezing (and canning) and working are leaving me a bit weary. The garden is having a bumper crop year. So thanks to suggestions from Google Effects, I think I have a beauty to get me through.
This is the back porch door to Grandma’s house. Mother, mother-in-law-, grandmother, Nancy’s house, neighbor……… but never, ever Granny. It’s just the rule. But whatever you call yours, everyone knows the kids are always welcome there.
Gardening sometimes lends surprises, even to veteran gardeners. We rotate, fertilize, weed, use organic bug and fungus deterrents. We weed, water appropriately, watch for evidence of wildlife invasions and pray for a good year.
Here we have a dainty lil pumpkin plant that is currently yielding maybe 2 pumpkins, not visible in this photo at the current time. It’s only July though, right?
In contrast, this is our composting area. There is a corral under there and our extra fence, posts, planters and what-have-you. This is another pumpkin plant and was a volunteer. The mother-in-law tossed her old pumpkin there last fall and now we have this spralled-out monster with 16-inch leaves and what appears to be only flowers.
And they really are beautiful flowers.
But if you dig around, there are basketball-sized pumpkins in this great abyss. Gonna get my goat-roper boots out and pull some of these elusive beauties this evening. Can’t wait!!!