Thursday, July 30, 2009

Around here

The weather has been treating us wonderfully. Nice, mild days, cool nights, and even a few good rain showers in there.

This has made for plenty of great veggie harvests.

The annual canning festivities have begun. Once again, these things will take up residence on my counter for quite awhile.

So far, we have processed zucchini relish.

Bread and butter pickles.

And dill pickles.

Earlier in the season we noticed that our San Marzano tomatoes were having some issues. Blossom End Rot to be exact. The San Marzanos are very prone to this ailment, but also, it is most generally caused by a calcium deficiency. So, we added some lime and then really increased our watering frequency.

We thought we were out of the woods until we began getting ripe tomatoes that looked like this inside. Blech.

Apparently, BER can also affect the inside of the tomato as well. So, what looks like a perfectly great, ripe tomato on the outside, is rotten on the inside. After lots of research and reading we discovered that this ailment will normally go away on its own as long as the tomatoes are getting enough calcium and frequent watering. If the tomatoes are allowed to get too dry then when they do get watered it is hard for them to be able to absorb the right amount of calcium that they need. So, we continued on with the watering and added one more lime application.

And yesterday we cut into this!!! This made me so happy.

Its no secret that I am awful at container gardening...and yet, every season, I try again. Now, in my defense, this little kettle didnt get filled very long ago...but, well, Ill keep my fingers crossed.

A little visitor in the flower gardens.

And this was a great, happy surprise just today! My first one this season.

These are actually the biggest ones I have right now in the garden. I cant wait to see them all in bloom!

And this guy? Can you tell he doesnt belong here? I just couldnt bear to move him. Not when hes doing so well....what do you think? Pumpkin? Cantaloupe? Squash?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Diggin it.

Can you guess what I have been doing?

Thats right. Diggin.

And look what I dug up. Mmmmmmmm...

This season I grew an heirloom variety called Russian Banana Fingerling. Its description says, "The best known fingerling" Small banana shaped tubers with buff yellow skin and light yellow flesh thought to have originated in Russia. Medium sized, lavender flowered plants are resistant to scab and somewhat resistant to late blight. Late maturity, good yield, and stores well.

And as you can see from my tater beds I have plenty more where that came from.

So, Im sure you know what Ill being doing tomorrow.

Ill leave you to visit with my little seal/manatee family while I dig away.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The big 13!

Sigh. Im not ready to talk about the fact that my little girl has just turned 13.

So lets start with a little peek at the garden. Ill steal S's shoes. He will never know.

These are my zucchini plants. They are huge.

This is me looking up while sitting under my plants. Thats just how huge they are. And you all know that Im really tall.

And look. See how big the leaves are?




Heres my harvest from this afternoon.

Okay. Back into the house. I have dinner to make. K requested sweet corn ravioli for her birthday dinner. And its a darn good thing that I love her as much as I do. This is one meal that takes forever to make. Its quite labor intensive. But, hey. You only turn 13 once.

My veggies are all diced up and ready to go. (red pepper, onion, and corn)

A couple of cheeses.(ricotta and cream cheese)

Fresh basil from the garden.

Now you combine all the veggies(but only half the basil) and saute them in a pan that has been heating up with butter in it.

Next you add some cream(1/4 c) to the pan and let it cook down a bit.

Then you add both of the cheeses and some salt and pepper. Mix till its all incorporated.

Here, you should see me actually filling the ravioli. BUT, well, my pal couldnt make it(damn geography) to help me stuff and you missed this step in the photo line up. But what you do is take a won ton wrapper, put about 1 1/2 tsp of the filling in the center, rub some beaten egg yolk on the edges of the wrapper, top it with another wrapper, and then use a round cookie cutter to cut it out and help seal the edges.

Then this will be what they look like prior to cooking. I have some flour on the bottom of the pan to keep them from sticking.

Then pop a few of them at a time in a pot of boiling water till they begin to float.(about 2 min or so)

Then they will look like this.

In the meantime you will be melting butter( a few tablespoons) in a pan along with the rest of your basil. Once that browns a little, you will add some cream to the pan(1 1/4c) and a little salt and pepper. This will begin to cook down and thicken as you are boiling the rest of your ravioli.

Get out a dish to place all the ravioli on. I heart sunflowers.

I prefer to do mine in layers so they dont all stick together. So, a little sauce on the bottom then ravioli, then sauce...then get the idea.

Then youre all set to go to the table!

Wait. You cant forget the sweet tea.

After all that good food its present time.

Clearly, shes trying to get us to understand exactly what it is shes talking about.

Lovely note cards.

And a pretty poster. J is very excited.


Then we had cake.

And when G was all done with his cake he had just a little spot of hungry left. So, he asked for a green bean.

Happy Birthday, K. Mama loves ya.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I couldnt resist

Im so glad that we have the tools he needs.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

An Award and I can say I dont like it if I want to.

Not the award. Im not saying that I dont like the award. The award is very nice. See.

And I am honored to say that I was given this award not once, not twice, but three times. Way back in June I got one from CeeCee and then I got one from sugarcreekstuff. And just now I got one from Penny. And since I happen to be a little contrary at times, Penny's msg to me about the award, well, it just kinda made me chuckle.

This is what Penny said to me.
Hey, I gave you an award And don't tell me how much you hate that stuff - I just wanted to share the love. Plus I want to see what you post when you accept it ;-)

Well, Ill show her....I can say I dont like this stuff if I want to....she cant tell me what to do.

But, these are all great ladies and they were VERY nice to think of me when this award came along. And hey, I can be a team player. I mean, normally, everything is all about ME :)....but I can think outside the box every once in a while. (Just for a minute anyway) For the record tho, I dont like doing these meme things....and besides, Im boring. Like really super boring. Who the heck cares if I post 10 things about me....and really? Im not sure I can even think of things that you dont already know about me....Im an open book.

1. I have lived in Florida, Georgia, and Illinois. And wherever else my ma says I have lived.

2. My oldest child got the chicken pox when she was 4. I was scared to death that I was going to get them as well. So much so that I asked my ma if I had had them to make sure that I was in the safe zone....her answer? I dunno. I cant remember. Okay then. Thanks for that. Im guessing tho that I must have had them since right after my oldest got them my next child got them, too. I walked away totally chicken pox free....that has to mean something, right?

3. I had braces for exactly 16 mos and 4 days. I got them off last June. I was supposed to have them for 18 mos. I was happy to get them off early.

4. I do not like public swimming pools. But yet, as a child, I practically lived at one since it was right across the street from my house.

5. When I was a kid I had to have 2 caps put on my teeth. Silver ones. They were very shiny. I was in school one day and I was eating candy at my desk. (Gasp) It was a pink Now and Later. Anyway, that piece of candy was so chewy it pulled that cap right off my tooth. I raised my hand and said that I needed to go to the office. I walked down there with that cap in my hand and showed it to the secretary. I then said that I needed to call home to tell my ma that I just pulled my cap off my tooth. I did just that and before I hung up I told her that I was gonna pass out now...and I did that, too.

6. I am not an adventurous person.

7. Nor am I outgoing.

8. I do however, tend to be very honest and tell things like they are.

9. I do not know how to drive a vehicle with a manual transmission. Nor will I ever voluntarily parallel park. In fact, I dont really like backing up either. Maybe, when I grow up, I will hire a driver for myself.

10. Oh, and I have a thing for organization. I tend to like it. A lot. I am also very detail oriented. I love to have things in order. And a plan? OMG...I love those, too. I dont have a pocket protector, but I do have a pocket calendar.

So, there it is. Thank you CeeCee, sugarcreekstuff and Penny for thinking of me when you were passing on this lovely award. It means a lot to me that you read my blog and that you think it has good stuff in it.