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


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Good evening!  Ok so, I just got done with everything and I'm just not worth a plug nickel (as my Grammy used to say).  I will be here bright and early to post todays adventures.

 

Sweet dreams, everyone :)

 

My grandparents said that, too, although it was "not worth a plugged nickel." I can imagine that you are plenty pooped (as they also used to say) after your gardening/canning/cooking, etc. I can't imagine doing half of what you do. 

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Thanks so much for blogging, Shelby!

 

It's been a fantastic ride so far, and I'm looking forward to additional posts tomorrow, but sad that it is ending. You're amazing, girl, and such an asset to this site!

 

What a perfectly lovely example of turning lemons into lemonade with your use of the grasshoppers to catch those stunning fresh catfish for dinner. Yum, I love fried okra with fish.

 

Do you eat the carp? Some folks don't like it, but I reckon, Ronnie would have thrown them back if you all weren't going to eat them or otherwise use them. I love croaker, but it's slow going because of the bones that can't be filleted out. I understand that's most people's problem with carp too. I haven't had carp, but if it tastes as good as croaker, I could be patient and careful around the bones.

 

Yup, that's poke salad, and I used to eat it down in Louisiana. After research I don't anymore, but I still make a dish prepared like it's done in the parishes of LA with spinach or another green like escarole, eggs, onions and sometimes cheese, and still call it poke salad.

 

Newman, what a character! Too bad we haven't seen more of your furry babies. I promise not to be the idiot that takes the blog off topic if you choose to include a few photos of them in your food pics.

 

Your soybean crop looks great this year. Not boring to me in the least. I'm so glad you've had good rain this year.

 

Blog on, Kansas lady! I can't wait.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Shelby,

 

I'll be back later after I get a working LIKE button back.

 

Apparently there is a quota for the day which I did not know about, but I'm extremely proud to have worn out my LIKE welcome with your AMAZING blog.

 

Thanks for liking my upthread post Deryn. I can't like yours back right now.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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My grandparents said that, too, although it was "not worth a plugged nickel." I can imagine that you are plenty pooped (as they also used to say) after your gardening/canning/cooking, etc. I can't imagine doing half of what you do. 

Maybe she did say plugged  :unsure: All I know is I wasn't worth anything LOL.

 

Thanks so much for blogging, Shelby!

 

It's been a fantastic ride so far, and I'm looking forward to additional posts tomorrow, but sad that it is ending. You're amazing, girl, and such an asset to this site!

 

What a perfectly lovely example of turning lemons into lemonade with your use of the grasshoppers to catch those stunning fresh catfish for dinner. Yum, I love fried okra with fish.

 

Do you eat the carp? Some folks don't like it, but I reckon, Ronnie would have thrown them back if you all weren't going to eat them or otherwise use them. I love croaker, but it's slow going because of the bones that can't be filleted out. I understand that's most people's problem with carp too. I haven't had carp, but if it tastes as good as croaker, I could be patient and careful around the bones.

 

Yup, that's poke salad, and I used to eat it down in Louisiana. After research I don't anymore, but I still make a dish prepared like it's done in the parishes of LA with spinach or another green like escarole, eggs, onions and sometimes cheese, and still call it poke salad.

 

Newman, what a character! Too bad we haven't seen more of your furry babies. I promise not to be the idiot that takes the blog off topic if you choose to include a few photos of them in your food pics.

 

Your soybean crop looks great this year. Not boring to me in the least. I'm so glad you've had good rain this year.

 

Blog on, Kansas lady! I can't wait.

Thank you so much!  I'm honored that I wore out your like button  :raz:

 

The carp are fun to catch and we've talked for years about cooking them, but those were for bait.  Ronnie cuts them up and mixes them with chicken livers and I don't know what else.  I'd ask, but he's at the lake.  I'll find out his "recipe".  I DO know that it smells reallllly bad, but the fish reallllly like it lol.

 

 

Good morning!  

 

I've got an iced coffee with tons of sugar and milk (I'm out of cream) and I'm ready to type.

 

Ronnie and his brother went to the lake to fish for a while today.  I got him up at five, got him out the door and then Chum and I went back to bed.  I made him a breakfast sandwich last night to heat up and eat this morning before he went.  Ham, egg and cheese.  

 

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I had a LOT of tomatoes to can.  I really try to can frequently because I like to do just one batch (6 quarts) at a time.  I stress out when I have to keep the jars hot for 45 mins. for the second batch.  But, I had a lot so two batches happened without any issues (yay).

 

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I got out my biggest pot so that I didn't have to mess with two.

 

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Nine quarts of 'maters and three juices canned up

 

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One and a half quarts that I didn't can so Ronnie can drink them.

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Now for the pickles.  This crock has been in the works for three weeks.  

 

 

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I love this cookbook.  Tons of great pickling recipes.  As you can see, it's been well used.

 

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When you take the lid off the pickle smell wafts up.  I usually grab one, rinse it off and split it with Ronnie so we can munch on one.

 

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Dump the pickles into a strainer with a bowl underneath to catch all of the brine.  Throw away all of the old garlic, grape leaves and spices.

 

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Put the brine in a pot and bring it to a boil.  Boil for about 5 minutes and then set it aside to cool to room temp.

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Wash all the pickles off in nice clean water.  Then, either slice them (I had some super big cukes) or leave them whole and pack them tightly into sterilized mason jars. You don't have to, but I like to put some fresh dill, garlic and a couple of those Thai pepper in there too.

 

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Then when your brine is cool, pour it over, put a lid on and you're done!  I don't can these, I just keep them in the fridge outside.  They keep just fine for year.  They stay nice and crunchy.

 

 

 

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Then, I wash my pickle crock up really well and start all over.

 

 

Wash your cukes and your grape leaves.

 

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Your ingredients:  Fresh dill, garlic, pickling salt, cider vinegar, pickling spice and water.

 

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Make your brine-6 quarts of water, 1 cup cider vinegar and 1 1/4 cups pickling salt.  Stir until salt dissolves.

 

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Put a layer of grape leaves in the bottom of the crock.  Grape leaves help them stay crunchy.  Then a layer of cukes, dill, some garlic and a tablespoon of pickling spice.  Then more cukes, dill, garlic and another tablespoon.  Use only 2 total tablespoons of spice--if you use more it's way too strong.  Trust me lol.  

 

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Pour brine over everything and put another layer of grape leaves on top.

 

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I take a ziplock bag and fill it up with leftover brine and put it on top to weigh everything down.

 

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Put the lid on and you're done!

 

After 3-4 days I check to see how everyone is.  Sometimes a white "scum" forms.  That's perfectly ok.  Just use a spoon and get it out.  If the "scum" is on the grape leaves I simply rinse them off really quick.  I make a note on the calendar to check them after 2 weeks and another marking 3 weeks when they will be done.  So, on September 5th you'll know what I'm doing  :biggrin: .

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I admire your 'Industry' both w canning and pickling.

 

Ill look for that book.

 

thanks

 

ps  my library system has it and i have it on reserve.

 

looking forward to it.

 

id like to make my own 1/2 sours.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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Aaaaaand, dinner last night.  I'm still obsessed with AnnT's lemon, sea salt and pepper wings.  Along with I stuffed a Hatch chile with cheese and some salsa, baked beans and 'maters.  

 

I could have done the wings a bit longer to get the skin more done, but I was starving and needed food :)

 

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I woke up this morning in such a panic!  I'd been dreaming of tomatoes.  A tomato nightmare!  Heaps and heaps of beautiful homegrown tomatoes like Shelby has been showing us.  Except that they were all in my house.  Covering every surface.  And every time I turned around there were more of them!  I knew it was my responsibility to put them up but I had absolutely no idea where to begin or how to go about it and no one to ask.  And there were more of them every minute.  And all the garden work was going to be wasted if I didn't figure something out right away. 

 

Yikes - it was a glimpse into Shelby's world and I was clearly not up to the task.   Shelby, I'm in awe of all you are doing!

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The farmers came down and started the irrigation last night.  Since they did that, I figure I better water the garden so I'm doing that this morning.

 

View from the front porch.  I think you can see the water spraying over the soybeans.

 

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Lots of little baby pumpkins coming on.

 

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I snapped a picture of one of the sprinklers.

 

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Matilda had a HUGE grasshopper for breakfast.

 

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Here is our greenhouse.  Ronnie built it on to the back of the garage.  It's not fancy and I know I could spiff it up more, but it works for us.  He did a great job using salvaged windows and other materials we had laying around.

 

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We set the plants out here to harden once they've gotten going in the greenhouse.

 

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Doorway into the greenhouse

 

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Skylight

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These windows push open so that we can cool it off in there if we need to.

 

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Shelving

 

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Today's pick:

 

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Ok, I'm off to do a mountain of dishes.  I'll be back in a bit :)

 

 

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Ive always wanted a green house.

 

just like yours.

 

a scrounged-around  green house.

 

I was in 'training' for a long long time.

 

I used to subscribe to Country Living  ( if thats what it was called ) and carry it around with me all the time.

 

very effective therapy it was.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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id like to make my own 1/2 sours.

Trouble is, they don't stay half sour. Because the half sour pickles I know are a fresh pickle, they get picklier as time passes. The only way to get half sours, which I've also heard called "new pickles," is to get to them before they become full sours.

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MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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BaTampte is one brand I can find as well. If the jar isn't too old, they're half sour. If they've sat around in the grocery case, they're more than half sour. Even in a refrigerator, they continue to age. You really can't keep them at the half-sour stage without either adding some kind of chemical preservative to end microbial action or cooking them to kill off the organisms that do the pickling. I suppose freezing could also do the trick, but you wouldn't have that nice snap once the pickles are frozen.

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MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Shelby, what are your favorite kinds of tomatoes to grow?  And do you make different relishes, as well as pickles?

 

I used to have a large garden at the same time I had a "part-time" restaurant in my home (all inspected and legitimate back in the late 70s and early 80s) and froze eggplant and tomato Caponata and corn for winter months, but mostly used the bounty fresh. 

 

I'm unable to garden any more, but still "put up" my favorite relishes and freezer jams in small batches.  And eat at least one tomato a day while the farm stands have them.

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Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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Shelby, what are your favorite kinds of tomatoes to grow?  And do you make different relishes, as well as pickles?

 

I used to have a large garden at the same time I had a "part-time" restaurant in my home (all inspected and legitimate back in the late 70s and early 80s) and froze eggplant and tomato Caponata and corn for winter months, but mostly used the bounty fresh. 

 

I'm unable to garden any more, but still "put up" my favorite relishes and freezer jams in small batches.  And eat at least one tomato a day while the farm stands have them.

I like all of the usual kinds...I think this year I have Beefsteak, Big Boy (or is it Better Boy?), Early Girl and Brandywine.  I'm not picky....I'm not big into the latest kinds.  I like the tried and true.

 

I don't make relishes.  I love looking at the ones people make here, they are always so pretty.

 

I'm glad you have access to good tomatoes.  Summer=tomatoes in my book :)

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Love the greenhouse - your husband is certainly well-rounded in the talent category :)

 

Had to smile at  the little rectangular seed pots, the repurposed aluminum pans and the cut down gallon jugs - deja of our greenhouse/work area

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You don't grow Roma or plum tomatoes ever, Shelby? Not that there's anything wrong with that!  :laugh:

 

I love your blossom of the day. And thank you so much for taking so many pics of the steps you follow for your various preps and canning. Love to see all the pics and really appreciate all the effort you are putting into this blog!!!   :smile:

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You don't grow Roma or plum tomatoes ever, Shelby? Not that there's anything wrong with that!  :laugh:

 

I love your blossom of the day. And thank you so much for taking so many pics of the steps you follow for your various preps and canning. Love to see all the pics and really appreciate all the effort you are putting into this blog!!!   :smile:

:blush:  I'll eat them, but Romas aren't my favorite.  Not juicy enough.  

 

Thank you so much.

 

I just had a nap  :laugh:

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A modest proposal :

 

? weekend update ?

 

show us your Pumpkins ?

 

like that 

 

How's Matilda doing , from time to time ?

 

see 

 

Id like that, others might too.

 

sleep on it .....

 

just saying

 

:biggrin:

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A modest proposal :

 

? weekend update ?

 

show us your Pumpkins ?

 

like that 

 

How's Matilda doing , from time to time ?

 

see 

 

Id like that, others might too.

 

sleep on it .....

 

just saying

 

:biggrin:

Ok, sounds good.  I'll try :)  I'll miss Matilda when she's gone.

 

I still haven't forgotten about that tomato skin salt....I just was too busy to mess with it yesterday, but it will happen.

 

Ronnie has wanted me to make pickled eggs for a looooooong time.  I've had one that was store bought.  I really didn't like it.  Strong vinegar taste and....rubbery.  Maybe I'll like these better?  

 

I've been saving some eggs from my girl down the road so that they wouldn't be so fresh and hard to peel.  They were still hard to peel :angry: I find shelling peas relaxing.  I find shelling eggs to be an activity that makes me want to hurl the eggs out the window.

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I hard boiled them a couple of days ago.

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One part cider vinegar to four parts water, salt, fresh dill, Thai peppers, chopped onion and garlic and two teaspoons of pickling spice.  I guess we'll wait a few weeks before tasting....should be ready just in time for teal and dove hunting.  God help whoever hunts with Ronnie after he eats those ;)

 

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If when you are cleaning up your garden after its finished for the year,  you see what look like fairly round  little brown sacks don't destroy them, Matilda's babies are in there, waiting for Spring  to guard your tomatoes  against grasshoppers .  It you google Argiope spider you'll find lots of pictures.

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"A fool", he said, "would have swallowed it". Samuel Johnson

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If when you are cleaning up your garden after its finished for the year,  you see what look like fairly round  little brown sacks don't destroy them, Matilda's babies are in there, waiting for Spring  to guard your tomatoes  against grasshoppers .  It you google Argiope spider you'll find lots of pictures.

COOL!  Thank you!

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I hope ya'll are having a good evening :)

 

Ronnie's catch today at the lake:

 Four catfish on the left, two drum on the right.  Lots of people don't keep Drum and consider it a "trash fish" but it's good.  Nice white meat.

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I can't pass up fresh fish so I'll fry some up for dinner on Tuesday.

 

We decided on pizza for tonight so I made dough and let it rise for about an hour.

 

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I always make at least a double batch and freeze some so that it's easy next time.  

 

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We like a 3 cheese pizza....shredded cheddar, parmesan and mozz.  I roasted a couple of Hatch chiles, diced some onion, sliced some black olives and threw some pepperoni on.

 

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I turn the oven on with my pizza stone in like 3 hours before I do pizza at 550 degrees.  That's as high as it gets, but it does get hotter with the stone in there.

 

All done

 

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I wanted some eggplant so I do a "light" version of eggplant parm.  Fry them briefly in oil and layer them with sauce and a bit of cheese.  

 

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Bake in the Breville oven for about 30 mins at 350 degrees.

 

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I neglected to take a pic of the pizza on the plate with the eggplant parm..sorry.  It sure was good :)

 

 

I'm off to bed.  Last day tomorrow, I hope you guys will hang in with me :)

 

Sweet dreams, ya'll :)

 

 

 

 

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Your sizzling eggplant looks lovely and delicious, but raises the same question I face when I fry eggplant: how much of that oil is left after frying the eggplant, and what do you do with the oil afterward?

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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