Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I am growing vegetables in my garden that I can harvest in the fall and winter. These rutabagas were planted on July 20, 2012. They will be ready to pull around November 1. I have a recipe for rutabagas au gratin in my soon to be published cookbook: Dad's Home Cooking, Traditional Recipes for Preparing Healthy Family Meals. This recipe is a delicious way to serve rutabagas. This raised bed also has red beets (lower right corner of photo) and turnips (upper right corner of photo under row cover) that were also planted at the same time. The row cover over the turnips is to keep the root maggots (they love turnips) out of the turnips.

Friday, August 17, 2012

This week I have been canning pickled dilled beans. I now have 21 pints canned and today or tomorrow I will need to do more since more beans are ready in the garden. The above photo shows the cut-to-length beans, dill, garlic and peppers ready to place in the jars. I am using a recipe from my soon to be published cookbook, Dad's Home Cooking, Traditional Recipes for Preparing Healthy Family Meals.

  The above photo shows the sterilized jars filled with beans, garlic, dill and pepper, ready to receive the brine. Note the stainlees steel jar filler being used to make filling the jars with brine easier.

This photo shows the jars after the brine has been added and the lids and lid rings installed. Note the jar lifter being used to pick up and insert the jars into the hot canner water.

The jars are now sitting on the canning rack in the hot water being heated to boiling.

The water has now started boiling. The lid on the canner is put in place and the timing of the rapid boiling processing time is started.

The finished product with sealed lids-2 batches of pickled dilled beans ready for storage.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dinner was served to 7 guests last evening  on my patio. We had drinks and appetizers consisting of shrimp dip, pickled dill beans, and cheese and crackers. The dinner consisted of cole slaw, BBQ pork, chorizo sausages, corn on the cob from last year's garden and green beans fresh from this year's garden. Since this was a birthday dinner for 2 of the attendees, we had chocolate cake with ice cream for dessert. Everyone enjoyed the warm summer evening, the food and the good company.

Friday, August 10, 2012

My Blue Lake pole beans are ready to pick for making pickled beans and for freezing. I like this variety because they take up little space in the garden and they produce heavily well until frost. With the dill, garlic, and jaleneno peppers from my garden, I now have the major ingredients for making pickled beans. The recipe I use is included in my cookbook, Dads Home Cooking, Traditional Recipes for Preparing Healthy Family Meals to be published this fall.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Since July 4th, I have been picking blueberries from my 6 bushes collecting about 1/2 gallon every two to three days. Today I picked less than 1/2 gallon since the season is just about over for the varieties I have, namely Dorrow, Blue Crop and Toro.The different varieties were selected to assist in good cross-pollination for top production.
After picking the berries, I wash and drain them and remove any stems. They are then placed in a single layer in a baking pan and frozen. Once frozen, I place the berries in quart plastic freezer bags marked with the date and contents and place in the freezer. Freezing the berries in this fashion allows the removal of a few berries at a time without thawing the entire bag. I then serve the berries for breakfast throughout the winter or use them to make pies.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Eggplant is a favorite in many dishes. I grow a variety named "Millionaire" because it is early to produce. It is a beautiful plant and the flowers are very unique.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Tettnager and Hallertauer hops are growing. They have flowered and the cones are growing so it won't be long until I can harvest.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Yellow Multiplier Onions

Today I pulled my yellow multiplier onions and set them in the shade to dry. These will keep for a year after they have dried. They are great to use in dishes that require a small onion and work well on the grill in kebabs. In the fall, I will select a few of the largest ones and replant for next year"s crop.