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Shelby

eG Foodblog: Shelby--The Everlasting Garden...Canning...Canning...Canning...

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Good morning, everyone and happy Monday!  

 

It's me again....that girl from Kansas.  :smile:

 

 

This is VERY spur-of-the-moment.  I was sitting here yesterday thinking of all of the canning etc. that I needed to do this week and I thought, well, why not ask you guys if you want to spend the week with me while I do it?  I got the ok from Smithy so away we go!

 

This will not be nearly as organized as my first blog was.  But, really, when does a sequel ever measure up to the first?  :raz:   

 

Most of you know all about me--if you missed my first blog you can read it here.

 

Nothing much has changed around here.  Same furry babies, same house, same husband :laugh: .

 

Right now we have field corn planted all around the house.  In the outer fields we have soybeans that were planted after the wheat was harvested.  Sorry for the blur....it was so humid the camera kept fogging up.

 

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I just came in from the garden.

 

I snapped a few pictures....for more (and prettier) pictures you can look in the gardening thread.  I always start out saying that I will not let a weed grow in there.  By August I'm like..."Oh what's a few weeds" lol.

 

 

 

Here's a total list of what I planted this year:

 

7 cucumbers

8 basil

23 okra

4 rows assorted lettuce

20 peppers-thai, jalapeño, bell, banana

4 rows peas

5 cilantro

1 tarragon

2 dill

many many red and white onions

7 eggplant

3 rows spinach

57 tomatoes

5 cherry tomatoes

7 rows silver queen sweet corn

11 squash

4 watermelon

2 cantaloupe

6 pumpkin

 

I killed the cantaloupes...and I tried damn hard to kill the squash lol.....sigh...squash bugs came early this year and we sprayed with some kind of stuff.  WOW the plants did not like it, but they've come back and are producing.

 

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I just love okra flowers

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Found some more smut  :raz: 

 

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Thanks for inviting us along Shelby. I look forward to seeing what you do with that much produce. The size of your garden makes most of us, I imagine, feel like we have but a microcosm of one. 

 

Since I think it is jut the two of you, do you end up gifting lots or does it get enjoyed during your not so gentle winters?

 

No apologies ever for images - we love them all!

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Yay, Shelby! Thank you for doing this. :)

I tried to plant okra a few years ago in NC but never got to see the flowers since the plants just withered and died quickly - probably due to the black walnut tree poisons coursing through the garden veins. So thank you for that pic of the flowers - no wonder you like them.


Edited by Deryn (log)
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Thanks for inviting us along Shelby. I look forward to seeing what you do with that much produce. The size of your garden makes most of us, I imagine, feel like we have but a microcosm of one. 

 

Since I think it is jut the two of you, do you end up gifting lots or does it get enjoyed during your not so gentle winters?

 

No apologies ever for images - we love them all!

 

I gift a lot of cherry tomatoes, zukes and cukes.  I don't gift my big tomatoes until I can't can another one...which never happens lol.  Honestly only very very special people get a few big 'maters here and there.  We LOVE our tomatoes and it's hard to part with them. :raz:

 

I'm actually getting ready to pack up a box and send it to Colorado to my mom.  I'll take pics.

Yay, Shelby! Thank you for doing this. :)

I tried to plant okra a few years ago in NC but never got to see the flowers since the plants just withered and died quickly - probably due to the black walnut tree poisons coursing through the garden veins. So thank you for that pic of the flowers - no wonder you like them.

Oh I feel your pain on the black walnuts....a few years ago we planted too close to one of those here.  Not good.

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Anything you post always gets my attention so a blog is perfect. I did not get the gardening gene. Skipped my generation entirely. And my grandmother father and daughter got it. But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy yours and particularly what you do with the produce from it. Blog on.

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Ok, so, like I said, I'm packing up a box and I need to get it to the post office.  I'll post this really quick, get that done and I'll be back :)

 

Dinner last night was venison meatloaf.  I had great intentions.  I made a big one so we'd have some to freeze and some for meatloaf sandwiches later this week.  I baked it too long and it got a bit dry.  Sigh.  It should be good on sandwiches, though.

 

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Cornmeal fried okra, mashed taters and 'maters to go with

 

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""  it got a bit dry ""

 

mayo might help you out for the sandwiches

 

thanks for taking the time to blog.

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Forgot to add breakfast this morning was a bologna sandwich on homemade bread with homemade mayo. Nothing beats a messy tomato sandwich.

 

 (Anna, I do really like that KA flour bread recipe.)

 

I split it with Ronnie.

 

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I've noticed that you gorgeous red 'maters seem to be peeled in all applications. Can you give us the back story and your process?

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Oh also on the okra - you probably described elsewhere, but can you recap the fry process. Just tossed in cornmeal and shallow-fried or? Seem to recall some folks use the okra slime to help with coating cling.

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Yeah!!!!!!!

 

Canning is one thing I have never been able to get myself to do.  Probably because I was traumatized by my grandmother's green beans exploding when  I was a wee girl.

 

Any chance of more game photos, too?

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I've never seen an okra flower before. It's very pretty! Would it lend itself to stuffing and frying like a squash blossom?

Add me to the list of readers who are staggered by the size of your garden. I'm looking forward to seeing how you handle it all! :-)

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This will not be nearly as organized as my first blog was.  But, really, when does a sequel ever measure up to the first?  :raz:   

Godfather, Part 2?  :biggrin:  :biggrin:  :biggrin:

 

Seriously, though - looking forward to being jealous of all the stuff you harvest, can, jar, pack, mail, eat, etc.

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YAY!!!!  A week in Kansas with Shelby! I'm so excited! So looking forward to the rest of the week!  :laugh:  :biggrin:  :smile:

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Shelby, those okra look lovely.  Thanks doing this.  Looking forward to seeing your techniques and hoping to get inspired to do some canning of my tomatoes which are taking over the countertop.  I tried freezing some grated cucumber for use in my spicy cucumber soup.  Shouldn't matter that they are not super crisp...what the heck else is one to do with 10 cucumbers (there were 20 but I gifted away 5 and the other 5 are in the freezer).

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Oh good. I made a jar of your "quickles" yesterday, first time I ever pickled anything, can't wait to dig into them. Of course I had to buy the cukes at the greenmarket, but what the hell.

 

I notice you planted a lot of okra. What do you do with it? The only thing I've ever done with okra is pass it by.  :unsure: That's due to city-girl ignorance. (And also because I prefer to bake, and I've never seen any cake recipes that call for okra. At least not yet.)

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Yay! Maybe next year will be garden year for me, albeit not nearly on the scale of yours. Will follow with interest! 

 

Coincidentally, I have at present a meatloaf sandwich (beef, not venison) toasting. Lots of mayo. Smoked gouda, because I didn't have any brie.

 

You had asked, and I had missed it until just now, how I froze the okra. I get it ready like I'm about to fry it -- cut up, dusted in cornmeal/flour/salt/pepper -- then spread it out one layer thick on a cookie sheet and into the freezer it goes. Then I take it out and transfer it to a big plastic bag. That way I can take out what I want to fry. Fry it straight from frozen, just like it was fresh, just takes a bit longer.

 

Problems with tomatoes here; late, cool, wet spring kept them from getting a good start, and then they wthere at the wrong stage when farmers sprayed rice and anything planted in the neighborhood of rice was toast. Finally found some to can. Will be on that myself later this week.

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Oh I want to hear more about canning.  I just canned about 20# diced tomatoes yesterday, along with 5 cups green tomato and pepper jam.  I would have frozen some but I am moving soon and don't want to move too much frozen stuff.  I do have a couple of batches of pesto that I made earlier in the summer which will be moving with me.  

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I've noticed that you gorgeous red 'maters seem to be peeled in all applications. Can you give us the back story and your process?

My mom always peeled our tomatoes (the homegrown ones, not the grocery store kind) so I guess that's why I prefer them like that....I don't want any skin getting in the way of that tomato goodness lol.  She grew a garden here in Kansas when I was little.  The neighbors were always very jealous of her 'maters.  She grows a garden now, too, but up in the mountains the tomatoes just aren't the same.  Anyway, back to the peeling.....If I'm peeling just a few for dinner I turn the tomato bottom side up and run the back side of my knife down the tomato on all areas.  This loosens the skin.  Then, I slide my knife just under the skin and peel away.  I'll take a picture later....my verbal description might not be very clear.  If I'm peeling a bunch like for sauce or canning, I bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop the 'maters in for just a second and then out into a cold water bath in the sink.  Skins slide right off.  

 

The first time my husband ever saw my mom running the backside of her knife down a tomato to loosen the peels, he thought she had partaken of too much wine and he was trying to figure out how to delicately tell her that she should put the knife down LOL.

 

The skin issue causes a great divide between my husband and I when it comes to sandwiches. :raz:  I like no skin.  He insists on skin because he says the "sandwich holds together better".  Thus, (except for this morning) I make his with his very own skin-on sliced tomato.   :rolleyes:

Oh also on the okra - you probably described elsewhere, but can you recap the fry process. Just tossed in cornmeal and shallow-fried or? Seem to recall some folks use the okra slime to help with coating cling.

 

I do mine just like KayB does.  I slice them and put them in a ziplock and let them sit for a while so that the "slime" comes out.  About 20-30 mins.  Then I toss with self-rising cornmeal and fry it in a bit of oil.  After they are nice and fried sprinkle with salt and pepper and that's it!  The "slime" makes the corneal stick nicely and there is no slime at all after they are fried.

Yeah!!!!!!!

 

Canning is one thing I have never been able to get myself to do.  Probably because I was traumatized by my grandmother's green beans exploding when  I was a wee girl.

 

Any chance of more game photos, too?

 

Suzi!  That would have traumatized me, too!

 

I'm not sure what this week will bring.  You never know what could happen around here.    

I've never seen an okra flower before. It's very pretty! Would it lend itself to stuffing and frying like a squash blossom?

Add me to the list of readers who are staggered by the size of your garden. I'm looking forward to seeing how you handle it all! :-)

 

Somewhere around here someone was talking about doing that like squash.  I can't remember where or who though lol.  I think you could.  I know you can eat them in salads and I should try that this week.  They are just so pretty.

 

I couldn't have a garden this big without my husband's help, that's for sure.  Or, if I still worked.  

Godfather, Part 2?     

 

Seriously, though - looking forward to being jealous of all the stuff you harvest, can, jar, pack, mail, eat, etc.

 

:laugh:   Good point.  Forgot about that one.  

YAY!!!!  A week in Kansas with Shelby! I'm so excited! So looking forward to the rest of the week!   

 

 I'm glad you guys are with me.  It will make my chores a lot more fun.

Shelby, those okra look lovely.  Thanks doing this.  Looking forward to seeing your techniques and hoping to get inspired to do some canning of my tomatoes which are taking over the countertop.  I tried freezing some grated cucumber for use in my spicy cucumber soup.  Shouldn't matter that they are not super crisp...what the heck else is one to do with 10 cucumbers (there were 20 but I gifted away 5 and the other 5 are in the freezer).

I bet they will do great for soup.  Yeah, cukes are kinda like squash...they overrun you after a while.  I tried this recipe for baked cucumbers and we really liked it.  That might get rid of one of them for you  :raz:

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Oh, yay! I love seeing other people's gardens because I'm absolutely hopeless when it comes to growing plants. (Proof of this: earlier this year I killed a mint plant!) I'm glad there are other people around who do not have this problem, and I look forward to seeing the week in your kitchen, your garden, and wherever else you bring us along!

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I must admit that I have never heard of self rising cornmeal and felt obligated to Google it. Can I assume that it is a fine cornmeal as opposed to the coarse cornmeal which doesn't seem to lend itself to being mixed with baking powder and salt.

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Oh good. I made a jar of your "quickles" yesterday, first time I ever pickled anything, can't wait to dig into them. Of course I had to buy the cukes at the greenmarket, but what the hell.

 

I notice you planted a lot of okra. What do you do with it? The only thing I've ever done with okra is pass it by.  :unsure: That's due to city-girl ignorance. (And also because I prefer to bake, and I've never seen any cake recipes that call for okra. At least not yet.)

:smile: I love it when someone makes the quickles.  They are so easy and good.  Ya did good!!!

 

This is the first year that I've planted okra.  I don't know why....laziness I suppose.  I really thought I'd have it coming out of my ears by now, but I don't.  I guess that's because Ronnie has decided that he really likes it so we're eating it a couple times a week.  So far I've fried it in cornmeal, fried it in a beer batter and stewed it with some tomatoes.  I want to freeze some for this winter so I can have it in gumbo.  

 

Yay! Maybe next year will be garden year for me, albeit not nearly on the scale of yours. Will follow with interest! 

 

Coincidentally, I have at present a meatloaf sandwich (beef, not venison) toasting. Lots of mayo. Smoked gouda, because I didn't have any brie.

 

You had asked, and I had missed it until just now, how I froze the okra. I get it ready like I'm about to fry it -- cut up, dusted in cornmeal/flour/salt/pepper -- then spread it out one layer thick on a cookie sheet and into the freezer it goes. Then I take it out and transfer it to a big plastic bag. That way I can take out what I want to fry. Fry it straight from frozen, just like it was fresh, just takes a bit longer.

 

Problems with tomatoes here; late, cool, wet spring kept them from getting a good start, and then they wthere at the wrong stage when farmers sprayed rice and anything planted in the neighborhood of rice was toast. Finally found some to can. Will be on that myself later this week.

I know you miss having your own garden, but you do have those lovely farmer's markets.  I envy you on that!

 

Smoked gouda on a meatloaf sandwich.  Heavenly.

 

Oh!  Thanks for the okra answer.  Ok, I'll do some like that.  Have you ever frozen it plain?  I assume I could do it the same way.....

 

Color me ignorant, I didn't know rice was grown around there!  What a shame that 'maters were affected  :shock:   

 

Maybe we will be canning together  :smile:

 

Oh I want to hear more about canning.  I just canned about 20# diced tomatoes yesterday, along with 5 cups green tomato and pepper jam.  I would have frozen some but I am moving soon and don't want to move too much frozen stuff.  I do have a couple of batches of pesto that I made earlier in the summer which will be moving with me.  

Nice!!  20 lbs!  You were a busy person!

 

I'd love to hear more about the green tomato and pepper jam.  Jalapeño peppers?

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Oh, yay! I love seeing other people's gardens because I'm absolutely hopeless when it comes to growing plants. (Proof of this: earlier this year I killed a mint plant!) I'm glad there are other people around who do not have this problem, and I look forward to seeing the week in your kitchen, your garden, and wherever else you bring us along!

 

I bet you're not hopeless....it may be the climate or any number of things.  Someone else around here killed their mint recently.  You're not alone.  :biggrin:

I must admit that I have never heard of self rising cornmeal and felt obligated to Google it. Can I assume that it is a fine cornmeal as opposed to the coarse cornmeal which doesn't seem to lend itself to being mixed with baking powder and salt.

Yes...it's a fine cornmeal.  It looks like flour with a bit of cornmeal mixed in.

 

Forgive the crumpled bag.

 

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