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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.


got wood?

We sure do!

Our pal, Michael, came by on Saturday to help us cut down an old tree. The husband finished the job later that evening:

The tree cracking and crashing sounds pretty neat

Michael is a woodworker, and he'll be by tomorrow to help cut it up and take some of the wood home with him.

Some vegetables from our garden today.  The weather here has been so cool that I was surprised to see these tomatoes were ready.


Oh and yes I stopped by that little antique store again.  Still haven't purchased anything, but I want to re-create this little miniature/fairy world somewhere in my garden!


tomatoes in the ground, and baby bunny update

Tuesday, my dearest pal, Denise, came over in the morning to visit with me before I had to go to work at noon. We hadn't seen one another in awhile, and it was a breath of fresh air to spend time with her.  She brought over a bunch of little vegetable starts for me!! which added to the ones I had brought home from the nursery. So I knew I better get them in the ground soon.

Robert had dug up one of our raised beds and added some compost.  Another was all ready to go if I just weeded it, which I did, sort of, a few days ago.

tomatoes in the ground, and baby bunny update
A bunch of weeds
So after work today, I started the mow the back yard.  When Robert got home from work, he finished the mowing, while I planted tomato and sweet potato plants, and weeded a perennial bed.  I still have a bunch of peppers to plant; tomorrow we'll move compost to another raised bed so I can plant those, and an eggplant, and then get the front yard mowed.
tomatoes in the ground, and baby bunny update
Tomatoes are now in the ground!
The baby bunnies are gone from their nest.  We did see Mom Bunny the other day, and we haven't found little baby bunny bodies, so we believe they are all doing fine!  And the crib is no longer in the middle of our yard. Thanks to everyone for your words of wisdom.

Now it's time for dinner, and a few episodes of our latest obsession, Orphan Black.

spiced pickled beets, and roasting more tomatoes

I completely forgot to post about the beets I pickled.  It's kind of a good thing I did, because I just tasted them, and the recipe is a keeper!

I used the recipe "Easy Spiced Pickled Beets" from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving.  The addition of cloves, allspice and cinnamon really make it special.  I love beets, and I like regular plain old pickled ones, too.  But glad I tried this recipe.

spiced pickled beets, and roasting more tomatoes

All sorts of tomatoes are being roasted today.  Not just Romas, but slicing ones, too.  I'm really disappointed because one of the reasons I planted so many varieties of tomatoes this summer was to conduct taste tests.  But they all taste blah.   Well, maybe next year will be better.

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.  

spaghetti sauce

spaghetti sauce

The last of our frozen cherry tomatoes - a huge bag of them.  Threw them in the crock pot (they reached the top!)  and cooked them down.  Cherry tomatoes are quite watery, so I let them stay in the crock pot for four hours or so.

spaghetti sauce

We bought some local ground beef the other week at the Indoor Market....

spaghetti sauce

... with some onions (I'm hoping to grow my own onions this year), dried basil from my garden last summer, and the usual suspects - oregano, garlic, a little tiny bit of sugar, salt and pepper, and extra tomato sauce from the can.

spaghetti sauce

Other than some dehydrated tomatoes (that I use to make 'sun-dried' marinated tomatoes), all our garden tomatoes are gone for the year.  Looking forward to the upcoming growing season!

using preserved veg in Moroccan Lentil stew

This recipe is one of our crock pot favorites.

So today, I used some of the dehydrated potatoes, dehydrated pumpkin (in lieu of the butternut squash that the recipe calls for), frozen cherry-type tomatoes, and frozen zucchini.   All but the potatoes were from either our home garden or the community garden.

using preserved veg in Moroccan Lentil stew

Put it all together along with the rest of the recipe ingredients, and added a turnip, and turned on the crock pot.

Yum!!  The only thing I'll do differently next time I use frozen and dehydrated ingredients is to use more tomatoes.  I only used four cups, but since these cherry-type tomatoes were frozen whole, I didn't realize how they'd cook down.

using preserved veg in Moroccan Lentil stew

EDIT:  Oh shoot, I forgot the green beans!  Will put them in now, but no photo of that!



what to do with dehydrated food?

First off, in response to Poodle's comment on my last post, here's a photo of the dehydrated pumpkin.  It fits in a pint jar!  I will use this in soups or stews.

what to do with dehydrated food?

So the big question is, what have I done with all this dehydrated stuff?

Well, when it comes to things like dehydrated apples, bananas, eggplant jerky and zucchini candy, these snacks get eaten up pretty darned quickly!

Prompted by a phone call from my son, I took some of the dehydrated tomatoes from the summer, cut them up into smaller bite-sized pieces, put them in a jar with some Italian dressing, and added more oil and vinegar, and let them sit in the fridge for a couple of days.  And look what I got - beautiful tasty marinated 'sun dried' tomatoes!  YUM!

what to do with dehydrated food?

With dehydrated zucchini, I have used them to make more Refrigerator Zucchini Pickles - I just put some into the cold jar along with the original pickle slices, let them sit for awhile in the fridge, and they were nearly as tasty as fresh.  Which reminds me, I should make some more soon as we're all out, using dehydrated cucumbers, too.  And this time, I'll do the hot method (meaning I'll heat up the vinegar mixture in a pan).

I don't believe I blogged about dehydrating chard with oil - which I did during the summer and then froze two pints of it (freezing because I had coated the chard with oil and didn't want it to get rancid sitting in the shelf).  One pint is already gone - my husband used it in soups and casseroles!

what to do with dehydrated food?

So far, so good as none of the dehydrated items have gone bad in the pantry or freezer yet, and I'm super pleased about the marinated tomatoes - unbelievable how good they are.

PS:  Yeah I know I keep changing the name of my blog - I started this blog to document some of the projects I was working on, and I still am not 100% satisfied with the name...

curried green tomato pickle

Boy oh boy do we have a lot of green tomatoes!  I was afraid that it would freeze last night (which it didn't btw) so I harvested all my larger green tomatoes from our garden.

Here's three pints of curried green tomato pickle.  It looks reddish because 1) there were a few green toms that were starting to ripen and 2) the spices added plus the apple cider vinegar added a little red hue to the mixture.

This recipe is from The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich.  I have made this before and I recommend it!

curried green tomato pickle

some summer thingsgot wood?tomatoes in the ground, and baby bunny updatespiced pickled beets, and roasting more tomatoesplanted tomatoes todayspaghetti sauceusing preserved veg in Moroccan Lentil stewwhat to do with dehydrated food?dehydrating (the last of the?) tomatoescurried green tomato pickle

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