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the cow jumped over the moon | category: peppers

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the cow jumped over the moon

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some summer things

We spent Friday evening with some friends - wonderful conversations and food and spectacular views. So good for my soul.

some summer things
D didn't know I was taking this photo of her. 
 We were at P and M's place, a few minutes outside of town
As the sun faded, the bullfrogs were stating their positions on matters of territory, and I had never heard that fog horn noise they make before.

I love this idea - window wells put together to form a huge raised bed. Would love to do this surrounding a stump in our yard. There were a few strawberries left - yum!

some summer things
Michael said he found and bought these at the dump - I'm going to have to try to find some.
What else?  Oh, I'm joining a Fantasy Football/Futbol/Soccer league - hahaa, we'll see how that turns out!

Jackie mentioned that she would like to see the before/after photos of the hallway - so here you go!  This is the front hallway - the first thing you see when you enter our home.

some summer things

The first photo of the front hallway/stairs was taken when we first took a look at this house before we bought it - yes we bought it even with that god-awful blue on the stairs.

The second/middle photo is when we had a hair-brained idea to strip the wood and stain it - our house is over 140 years old and the wood of the stairs isn't the greatest. Plus I was testing that green paint color out. So it sat like this for a long time - no wonder we rarely had people over.

The third photo is the front hallway complete!  Robert did an amazing job (I helped, a little). We stripped the white paint off and stained the banisters, but just painted the stairs, doors and the walls. I never liked the color yellow much but it is growing on me and the paint color I picked out is fabulous if I say so myself.  (See the brown door in the last photo?  That is our only actual closet in our entire house; we have a sort-of closet off our bedroom but it doubles as a walkway to the bathroom.  Old houses can be charming, annoying or weird, depending on the day.)

This morning (Sunday) Robert needed some peppers as he is making breakfast, and I was able to pick our first tomatoes of the season:

some summer things
First tomatoes of the season
Time to water the garden as we haven't had a good heavy rain in awhile. But we are fortunate that in general our summer has been very very good - we haven't had that extreme heat that a lot of other folks here in the US have had.


pickled

Earlier this year, Denise had given me a cucamelon plant, and boy oh boy, does that thing grow like crazy! But unfortunately, we don't like them (Denise told me she doesn't like them either - it was her first time growing them - but her son who is still at home does) - so I decided to pickle them to see what happens.  Well, we don't like them much pickled, either. I'll have to see if my son likes them.  Or someone! I have two quart jars full.

pickled

We do love peppers, so I preserved some today. Simple recipe (vinegar, water, salt) from Food in Jars.


pickled

A cool rainy day.  Heading back over to P and M's now as I have been taking care of their cat and their garden for over a week now.  It has been a nice quiet Monday.

rain and vegetables

We just had a nice thunderstorm, and although I like them, the older Sephora gets, the more nervous she becomes. Poor dear.  We needed some rain - hadn't really rained in nearly a week.

But the storm has passed, so we went out back, and I picked some vegetables.  I really should do something with them tonight as it is only a bit after 8:00 p.m. and I'm not sleepy yet.

rain and vegetables
Gardening at night
 Let's see, what else have I been doing?

I have been binge-watching Haven on Netflix the past couple of days.

My first attempt at Killer Hot Sauce (fermentation). Another "check back in a month to see how it turns out"! Oh I did try the sauerkraut - it is darned good, though I didn't check it last week and the brine started to evaporate a bit, so next time I'll make sure to check on it a little more often. In fact, I should start another batch tomorrow.
rain and vegetables
The start of Killer Hot Sauce
OOOH and guess what!? I found British type canning lids here in the US! (Though I wish they had polka dots or something)  And look at those cute jars. Yep I have barely any extra spending money, but when I do get a little here and there, I spend it on canning/fermenting supplies, plants for the garden, and books.

rain and vegetables

I cannot wait to try a spicy blackberry chutney recipe that the fab Vix/Vintage Vixen gave me through Facebook. Thanks again, Vix!!

The husband is on his way to Italy - he has four more shows, and he'll be back home in a week!!! 

rain and hydrangeas

I cut a few hydrangeas this morning as they were loaded down with the weight from the rain.

rain and hydrangeas

rain and hydrangeas
My Gramma G (my Mom's mom) in the photo
Later today I'll be off to the community garden, and the non-profit.  And I'll be starting some fermented hot sauce once I pick some more peppers.

Hope everyone is having an enjoyable Wednesday.


pickled peppers

All sorts in this quart jar - habanero, jalapeno, medium hot block, hungarian, and I think poblano, too - and all from our garden. Recipe from Small Batch Preserving.

Pretty, aren't they? And I remembered to wear rubber gloves - pheww!

pickled peppers

We like spicy food, esp the husband.  These will be waiting for him when he gets home.  I miss his cooking, too!

Now I have to figure out what to do with all the eggplant.

The book I ordered arrived!

Wow, as I thought, the Brits process differently (and more relaxed) than we do  For instance, for jams and jellies you are instructed in this book to pour the hot jam/jelly in a sterile container, put the lid on and that's that. The author uses the term 'twist top lid.' (I would like to see these in person as I wonder if they're just regular lids like what are on jars in the grocery store)  "Fill the jar to the brim. As the preserve cools it shrinks and forms a vacuum."  Shelf-stable!  Here in the US you are instructed to use sterile jars, making sure that you leave headspace, use the two-piece lids, then into a hot water bath for at least 10 minutes for it to be deemed shelf-stable.  Why the extra step here in the US?

This book also suggests using wax to seal the jar.  Here in the US, that is not a recommended way, although it was the way I taught myself to make jam back in the mid-70s.

If anyone out there has any links to British food preserving blogs, let me know.  This intrigues me.


cold snap and roasting peppers

Last night, our thermometer registered at -9 F. I was up until very late (3:00 am) because I was kind of freaking out, since two of the pipes to our downstairs bathroom froze, and the sewer line backed up (yuck!). My husband is still in California, taking care of his ailing mom, so I have been on my own for a bit. Of course, he received a call from me - fortunately there is a three hour time difference so I was only calling him at midnight!

The downstairs bathroom, and the back porch, were added on to our house at some point after the house was initially built, and there is no insulation except for the inside wall which is next to the dining room.  (Our house was probably built, or as I like to say 'was born' in the 1860s or '70s and in general doesn't have a ton on insulation.) 

But earlier in the day, when the temperature was going down down down, I heated up the house by roasting all those peppers from my bartering day.

A full gorgeous quart of them, which are now marinating with oil and vinegar in the fridge.


cold snap and roasting peppers

Made me thankful that I didn't get baby chicks this fall - I would have been REALLY worried about them! We'll be getting a new flock in the next month or so.  

This should be the last really cold day - in fact, by Saturday the temperature may be up in the 40s!

Hope everyone who is dealing with this Arctic Vortex is keeping warm and safe.

is it canning time yet?

is it canning time yet?
(Our raised bed at the community garden- peppers, then cucumbers, then burgundy beans; I took this photo before I weeded the bed!)

Although my cucumber plants are not even flowering yet, I asked one of the vendors at the farmers market (which I am co-managing this summer) to set aside a peck of pickling cukes for me once theirs come in.

Yep, I pulled out my canning books!

is it canning time yet?


too busy, no icads, but the community garden raised bed is planted

The community garden raised bed aka 'the allotment' has been planted with pepper plants (AJI Dulce, Red Chili, Medium Hot Block, Hungarian Hot, Banana, and Pablano.)

I also direct seeded Lemon cucumbers, Parisian Pickling cucumbers, and Royal Burgundy beans.

Didn't have my camera with me, so here's a stock photo of Royal Burgundy beans.

too busy, no icads, but the community garden raised bed is planted

I haven't even started the ICAD challenge yet.  Wondering if I'll ever catch up.  

planted tomatoes today

I totally ruined my tomato and pepper and cucumber seedlings by over-watering them.  Plus the under-tray didn't have any holes or slits in it, so the seedlings sat in moisture too long.  I learned my lesson.  I am trying to save some of them, by moving them into better pots, with better under-trays.

So in the meantime, I bought some tomato seedlings at the nursery where I work, and planted them today in my home garden..  Because I love tomatoes, and wanted to make sure I had some sort of harvest this year.  Unfortunately I cannot find any pickling cucumbers plants to buy.  Darn it.  I may purchase some pepper plants from work, too, tomorrow.

One each of Green Zebra, Mr. Stripey, Pineapple, Arkansas Traveler, Brandywine, Sun Sugar (cherry type), Ox Heart, and Cherokee Purple.

planted tomatoes today

Still not sure what to put in my 'allotment' at the community garden.  

spicy carrot pickles

I had barely one pound of carrots left, so what I did was use adapt Liana Krissoff's recipe "Spicy Carrot Pickles" from her book Canning for a New Generation (I received the book for a birthday present from my husband!)

As I didn't water-bath can - I had barely enough for one quart jar - I'm just refrigerating them.  I'm sure they'll be eaten up quickly!

I wish I would have taken a picture of the carrot slices to show off their color.  Oh well, next time. I used some of the dried peppers I dehydrated a while back - they're in there somewhere, along with some garlic scapes from our home garden.

spicy carrot pickles

some summer thingspickledrain and vegetablesrain and hydrangeaspickled pepperscold snap and roasting peppersis it canning time yet?too busy, no icads, but the community garden raised bed is plantedplanted tomatoes todayspicy carrot pickles

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