Monday, September 25, 2023

Fall came with a lot of rain!

 Last Friday I enjoyed a warm summer day--just right temp in the 70ºs. During that night, the sky opened and it's been raining ever since. We've picked all our tomatoes and have pumpkins and squash drying. 

Cute, huh?

There are a few more, pie size. Also picked 8 Jack Be Little pumpkins. Love to decorate with them, so, netting this many from one vine is exciting to me.

The other squash I grew is the mini spaghetti squash. Wanted the smaller size as I am the one who eats this squash. Next year, I'm growing the Four Sisters garden by including sunflowers to the group I did now. I am leaving the Glass Gem corn and the Mandan corn on their plants to dry. The other corn known as Sweet Corn has been harvested for eating. Love the taste of this corn.

Do I love fall, harvesting and preserving? Yes, yes, yes. The colors of this season are my favorites.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Fire and this time it's not the Goddess of Fire, Pele

 I grew up on the island of Oahu. Once you live anywhere in Hawaii, it doesn't matter where you're from. Hawaii is in your heart, your soul, every cell in your body. You come from a culture that is unique and no one else understands.

To watch the fire that engulfed Lahaina the other night broke me. I was so shocked and horrified for the people, the horror they endured just to save their lives. And, to now know so many are still unaccounted for. I need to help  I just feel that something inside of me is aching and I must do something. 

In the past I have often gone to other quilters for quilt tops or completed quilt for hurricane and tornado events which left people homeless. Some donated. Most ignored me. This time I just don't know how to get help as I feel this is my family that I must help, fellow Hawaiians. I see so many giving money and I have too. This lifts my heart.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Summer Musings

 Garden surprises keep coming. We built 7 raised garden beds, filled with commercial organic dirt, composted, fertilized, watered well. Plants are slowly growing. Meanwhile......

We dugged up some plants, weeded and put in some corn seeds. Bingo! Sprouts, super growth, then beans near the corn, and finally squash seeds, They sprouted within days and are rolling along showing growth daily. This is just dirt, folks. Nothing more! It's my 3 Sisters garden. I have so much joy looking at it everyday. I'm baffled. Most seeds planted elsewhere in the garden, either never came up or it took them over a month. We have the watering system on a timer, so everybody is getting the same amount of water, same soaking hoses.

The Mandan corn plants grew the fastest and have tassels. The glass gem corn is doing really well. The sweet corn is very high and I'm sure we'll see tassels soon.

I hope all of you are going to get a good harvest year......I love Mother Nature. Just need to learn more about her....

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Dehydrating the Walla Wallas

These sweet onions grown in eastern Washington are my favorite onion. Every July I buy pounds and pounds of them. Pull out the dehydrator, fill the trays and the next day-heaven. I will warn you, put the dehydrator on your covered patio as the aroma created by these onions can be overwhelming! I vacuum pack them into mason jars and toss them into stews and soup during the winter. Well, that's the plan. Reality is: they are my best snacks. You can eat just one slice, or tidbit, or crumb.

This year I'm going to also preserve them in a Garlic-Onion Jelly. The batch makes 4 half-pint jars. Perfect size recipe for the Jam Maker. I figure I'm into making several batches. You're supposed to serve this jelly over cream cheese. Dang, more temptation. Hope some jars make it to at least Halloween......maybe Thanksgiving.....

I also pickle them. My grandmother made pickled onions and went to her grave with some important facts about her recipe despite aunts, uncles pleading with her to share. She never said she used the Maui onion which is a super sweet onion like the Walla Wallas. I discovered this by doing a recipe I found on a blog. Bingo, there was that fantastic taste. I have since shared this with family members knowing that everyone in the family was desperate to have Nana's good stuff.

Hope weather is good where ever you are. Keep well.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Pumpkin Butter

 Love pumpkins, can't you tell?

I have already been chewed out by a jam and jelly group on Facebook. I am fully aware of the USDA's warning about canning pumpkin butter. But, I am looking for some brave soul who did what I did. I made pumpkin butter, put it into 4 ounce Ball jars, used my canning pressure cooker. When I removed the jars, I carefully opened one and tested its temperature. It was 240°. I call that temperature safe-to-eat. I ate it, my family devoured it and I'm ready to do it again.

Has anyone tried this?  I am proposing that you all run out and do this. Just curious about anyone doing small wee jars and succeeding in producing a safe product.

 Apple butter is also on the to-do list this fall as my SIL loves it. So, apples it is. What varieties have you used? From your own orchards, farmers market? Recipes or techniques to share?

Friday, September 24, 2021

Whew! What can I say about 2020 and, so far, 2021

 My family, husband, my home, and friends all take on a special meaning. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on my family and friends. 

I completely lucked out when it came to my health issues. Had 2 surgeries for carpal tunnel syndrone last fall. You sure have a reckoning about your hands and what you do with them! Dang, that was too much.

The scare came this year with breast cancer. A lump was on my left breast. It was a very rare cancer but one that had fast growing cells. Surgery was 3 weeks after diagnosis. No treatment required as the pathology report said no cancer anywhere. Surgeon took out the lymph node (the cancer highway) and found nothing. Flesh around lump: no cancer, no seeds, nothing. Prayers were answered. Future: monthly breast exams and 3D mammograms. Covid cancelled my 2020 mammogram. My advice: don't ignored this test. 

So there's my garden. Mother Nature is still playing her tricks. Lousy production. Did try some new varieties and very pleased about the taste of some of these veggies. Have pie pumpkins and raised some gourds for ornamental purposes. I have big smiles looking at them hanging from their vines.

And, it's fall, my favorite time of the year. Chilly mornings, warm afternoons. Football has returned. I do love my alma mater's football games. Cheering, cussing, eating, wine or pumpkin ale jugging, all is fun. 

Holidays are coming and I may actually be with my family. We all have our shots. Last year. the holidays were very lonely. I do so hope this pandemic leaves us soon for many reasons. Too many people are dying.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

It's Raining

 Don't you just love the smell of rain? I live in the suburbs so the smell is mixed with many things. But, oh, it's so wonderful.

We've had to live with smoke so thick I could only see a block from my house. Our air is clear now. I can go back and live in my garden. 

The garden hasn't been great this year as many plants simply didn't produce much or grow to their normal size. We do have pumpkins. My grandchildren are in high school now but are as excited as little ones anticipating some pumpkin carving. Their grandmother, who has equally waited for several years to harvest pumpkins, has evil thoughts of not sharing. All I see are pies, lots of pies, and scones. There are only 3 large pumpkins who have exceeded their normal size. Size was supposed to be 8 pounds max. They're really big!

I did at an earlier date shared why pumpkin growing has been a challenge. My doxie named Turk plucked every green baby pumpkins off the vines. He also enjoyed jalapenos, banana peppers, tomatoes, etc. You get the drift. He has crossed the Rainbow bridge, lived 17 years. We can now grow pumpkins and other vegetables he was fond of. 

We are thankful and so happy to have our garden, its fruits, and a healthy family in this year we'll never forget.

 Last Friday I enjoyed a warm summer day--just right temp in the 70ºs. During that night, the sky opened and it's been raining ever sinc...