Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Sunday in August

August is usually the hottest month around my neck of the woods.
July closes with dog days and August heat usually brings tomatoes and corn in abundance.

August start with a cold front and so far one day this month tried to climb into the low 80's.  My tomatoes are sputtering and the corn is slowly getting ears plumb enough to warrant pulling.  

My green beans would be almost finished, yet they are cranking away.  I will be glad in mid-winter,but now I have had plenty.   My first round of cucumbers met their fate via deer. They gingerly walk into the garden past tender peas and attacked my cukes and radicchio. They did devour the Giant Sunflowers planted by the peas and kindly left me one.  

I waged war on Raccoons and deer alike. spraying and shooing.  I put extra spinners and shiny things to ward them off.  For awhile it looked like the wild life was winning.  The blackberries came in and they stayed in the pasture dining on the juicy berries.  I was charmed enough to take pictures of the Idyllic nature displayed there.  Late evening brought the howls and yips of the coyote, who wisely kept hidden.  They did worry my plans of next years chickens,that added to the nuisance of raccoons.  

I used this respite, to can and freeze the burgeoning harvest of the second go of cucumbers,and the prolific green beans. the abundant squash and zucchini.  Then the snap and sugar peas kicked in and had their turn.  

August also marks my son Sean's waiver program year.  So,we have be signing papers, having visits with nurses and his case worker.  Monday the last of the paperwork will be faxed from his Doctor to WVMI and approval for this coming year money and billing hours.  

I waver between elation and tiredness. Sloshing though paperwork and canning vegetables.  I look forward to having a chance to take a hot cup of coffee or cocoa and sitting around.  I sorely need to catch up on my knitting projects.  So here is to the future with crisp cool Fall days.  Football and tailgating.  I need the rest.  :)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

My week in pictures

Canning the garden harvest is tiring work.  Along with looking after the boy,the cats,the housework and the outside chores,my butt is worn out. :)
Lots of stuff went on,and I did carry my camera.  It has become a extra appendage lately. LOL

So here is my week in Pictures! Enjoy...* see footnote. Thanks

out in the garden with my morning coffee-wee pumpkin
bush beans and runners explosion
I love Green Beans!
First of the jars
View from Red Oak Ridge looking south to East River Mountain

chard  being cleaned to be frozen

Freezing green pepper and a pepper onion mix
water bath ready for the jam
Blackberries from the pasture down the lane
The Blackberry goodness
coffee on the front porch with the Morning Glories
Morning walk up the back lane looking down on the farm house
Sunlight  and the leaves
Morning walk with the haze coming off the valley
My road from Red Oak Ridge Road

slicing peaches for sorbet

sorbet before freezing
MMMM so good
Pickles from my daughters garden,Momma canned them she took them home
After dusk coming up from working in the garden

Deer in the pasture
Need some dishcloths
Half done while the lil cat sleeps

Dinner mostly from the Garden

Rain on the Morning Glories

My morning walk down the lane
View from the lane over towards East River Mountain
The old stables
My road out to Red Oak Ridge Road under the apple tree
My walking companion..Lil cat Jeffey
Brickyard Win! YAY
Jeff Gordon kissing the bricks
More storm clouds to the south  toward East River

*I have a page over on Facebook too. check it out.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Canning on the Ridge.

Busy time up on the Ridge.
My first major harvest from the garden.
So, I dug out my canning jars,recipes,and Canners to preserve some of the bounty.

I also froze some of the vegetables like the Summer Squash,Zucchini,Bell peppers,Eggplant,and Chard.
I had sage,basil,Rosemary,and Thyme that needed to be dried,and I cut some up in ice cube trays. Add either unsalted butter,or olive oil to use in cooking sauces,Roasted meats, etc.  These went into the freezer to solidify covered with wax paper.  I put them in freezer bags for easy access when they are needed.

I had to prune the Roma and heirloom tomatoes so I did pick some green tomatoes to make pickles and Chow Chow with.  I did have a few cukes,so those were made into refrigerator pickles. I am not sure how many I am may get. The deer have decided they like them too.  Sean love the snap peas so those go into a baggie in the vegetable bin. I serve them raw or lightly steamed.
I had tons of Hot banana peppers also.  So, those got put up in a hot,spicy brine too.

The pasture just over from me was thick with Blackberries.  So I had to have some of those too!

Yes, Thursday of last week,the weekend and today were full of putting food up for the freezer and pantry.
Here are some pictures of what was done.  Recipes are after them.  I love the garden and putting food from it away for the winter.  It is a definite good thing.  LOL
First Green beans of the batch.

Garden fresh Vegetables from The Ridge

Chopped up and in the freezer

Zucchini loaves one for eating,one for freezing

Blackberries from the berry patch,and the result 4 pints of jam and a quart let for pie or cobbler
Chard in the sink being cleaned

Green Tomato Pickles

Chow Chow
Recipes for the Chow Chow,Green Tomato Pickles, Zucchini bread and the Blackberry jam are here.


July 13, 2014 at 11:51am
Recipe from the Ball canning site. <>

Makes about 6 to 7 (8 oz) half pints

Waterbath Canning
5 cups finely chopped cabbage (about 1-1/2 med heads)
4 cups chopped cored green tomatoes, unpeeled (about 8 medium)
1-1/2 cups chopped onions (about 2 medium)
1 cup chopped seeded red bell pepper (about 1 large)
1 cup chopped seeded green bell pepper (about 1 large)
3 Tbsp salt
1/4 cup pickling spice
4 Tbsp coarsely chopped gingerroot
2 Tbsp mustard seeds
3 cups white vinegar
1-3/4 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground turmeric
6 to 7 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

COMBINE cabbage, green tomatoes, onions, red and green peppers and salt in a large glass or stainless steel bowl. Cover and let stand in a cool place for 12 hours or overnight. Transfer to a colander placed over a sink and drain. Rinse with cool water and drain thoroughly. Using your hands, squeeze out excess liquid. Set aside.
PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
TIE pickling spice, ginger root and mustard seeds in a square of cheesecloth creating a spice bag.
COMBINE drained cabbage mixture, vinegar, water, sugar, turmeric and spice bag in a large stainless steel saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Uncover and boil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, for 1 hour, until thickened to the consistency of a thin commercial relish, about 20 minutes. Discard spice bag.
LADLE hot relish into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot relish. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
PROCESS jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Pickled Green Tomatoes

July 13, 2014 at 12:12pm
Gather your canning supplies
water bath canner
canning jars
canning seals and rings
jar lifter
canning funnel
large pot
large spoons
sharp knife
crinkle cutter is optional
towels and dish cloths

Green tomatoes - enough to fill 6 pints or about 5 pounds
3 1/2 cups vinegar
3 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup canning salt
6 garlic cloves - one for each jar
dill seeds or fresh heads of dill - one for each jar.(or your pickling spices)  I used both 

Start by preparing jars,and get water in your canner heating. 


Wash tomatoes. Cut into desired size. If you use cherry or pear cut in half, full size tomatoes can be cut in half or quarters. Smaller if you have very large tomatoes.

Combine vinegar, water, salt in large pot. Bring to a boil. 

Place 1 garlic clove and 1 head of dill (or 2 tsp seeds) in each jar. (for crisper fruit place 1.5 teaspoons per quart and 3/4 teaspoon per pint.  of Calcium chloride in your jar.)

Pack tomato pieces into jars and cover with vinegar solution, leaving 1/4 inch head space. 

Process according to water bath canning instructions. *see bottom Altitude chart

Let these pickled green tomatoes set for 4-5 weeks before opening, this allows the flavors to fully develop. 

Wipe rims clean and process according to water bath canning directions. 

process pints for 15 minutes *( am at 3001-6000 so I go 10 minutes)

Altitude Adjustments for Boiling Water Bath Canner
Altitude in Feet Increase processing time

1001-3000  5 minutes
3001-6000  10 minutes
6001-8000  15 minutes
8001-10,000  20 minutes

Zucchini Bread Recipe
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup water
2 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine oil, eggs, water, zucchini and lemon juice. Mix wet ingredients into dry, add nuts and fold in. Bake in 2 standard loaf pans, sprayed with nonstick spray, for 1 hour
This is the jam recipe I used.  It was for liquid pectin, so everything worked for me,I hope you have the same results.  Blackberry Jam

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Baking Bread and Daytona

My son is watching the rain delayed Daytona race.  Several big wrecks have the field down to seventeen lead cars.  His driver is banged up but still hanging in.  Ms. Patrick is surviving also.

Cooling and smelling good!
I am making bread.  One loaf of breakfast bread,cinnamon swirl and  one white bread.  The recipe is simple and a no knead bread.  You add the yeast into the flour and then the warm water.  The dough never fells to rise so far.

Recipe for both are as follows:  Note* I divide the dough and use the second ball to make the swirl bread. I am not adding raisins today but if you do add them the same time you do the topping. 1/4 cup is good.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
61/2 cups bread or all purpose flour
2 packs of active dry yeast
3 Tbsp sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cup warm water
2 Tbsp of melted butter

place 31/2 cups of the flour into the mixing bowl. Add the yeast,sugar,and salt.Blend together and add the warm water and melted butter. Mix until well moistened and gradually add the rest of the flour. Mix until the dough pulls away from the sides and forms a ball.  Remove the dough hooks and cover the mixing bowl and let rise in a warm place,until dough doubles in size.
30 minutes should be sufficient.
Punch the dough down and place on a floured board to divide into 2 loafs.
Roll each ball of dough into a rectangle and roll up. Fold the ends under and place into a greased loaf pan.
 *note if you wish spread some cornmeal out and dust the bottom of the loafs with it.  I do this but some don't.  I will not do the bottom of the Cinnamon Swirl bread with cornmeal just the white bread loaf.
I make breakfast cinnamon swirl bread with the second dough ball.  Rolling out into the rectangle and spreading melted butter and cinnamon mixed with sugar on the top. Roll into a log and fold the ends under and bake about 5 minutes longer than the other loaf.  Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Turn out onto a cloth covered board and brush melted butter over the top. Cool before cutting.

Ingredients for the cinnamon swirl bread.
*see note about raisins for raisin cinnamon swirl bread.
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp melted butter

gather your ingredients
half the flour in the mixing bowl with the sugar and salt added

yeast is added

mix until the dough pulls away from the sides

Cover and let rise in a warm place about 30 minutes
Doubled ready to punched down and divided
Before dividing the dough

divided into two loafs
roll into a rectangle before rolling into a log 

The cinnamon and sugar mix spread out and starting the roll
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Second rectangle gets melted butter . 

Both loaf in the oven