Thursday, August 19, 2010

Late Summer Garden

The last few weeks have found the garden producing well.  I have been picking lots of okra.  Last week I canned about 8 pints of pickled okra.  I had canned a few jars before that and we tried them out on our vacation--to see if they were any good--we all liked them!! YAY!! We have been frying up a few to eat too.  I think that I will definitely be growing that again next year.
We have picked 2 watermelon.  The first one we ate was pretty good, though I have had better.  The second one is sitting on the counter awaiting a fork!
The tomatos have finally started to amount to something worth picking! The big fat romas will start going into the freezer until salsa making day this fall.  The celebrity tomatoes have been much nicer and I am happier with them now than I was a month ago--I was ready to rip them all out then--they were some ugly tomatos!! Must have been the conditions. .  .surely not the gardener!! They are great now.  I planted a cherry tomato bush too, only because I got a free one from Stutzman's last spring.  The kids are eatin' faster than they can be picked!!  I believe that I will include that in next summer's garden too!
The peppers are producing fairly good.  The purple Pinot Noir peppers from the greenhouse have lots of peppers on them, but they are pretty small.  They are the most beautiful eggplant purple pepper you have ever seen! Puts new meaning into the rhyme "picked a peck of purple peppers!!"  I am sad that there aren't more bell peppers--but after the non-germination and oven fiasco last spring, I had hoped the late seeded ones would be farther along than they are now.  But they aren't.  I think that I will dig them out of the flower bed and pot them up for the greenhouse. If they don't shock too badly, they may produce by Thanksgiving.  The hot peppers have been great. I have canned a few jars.  Jeremy loves the jalepeno rings on anything.  I just use the same brine that goes over the okra--so I usually do a few jars of each.  Last night when I got home from a church youth planning meeting, Jeremy was just beaming.  He had made pico de gallo--without a recipe--just a recollection of how I told him that I was going to make it this week.  What a stud!! It was DELISH!!  We gorged ourselves nearly sick. YUUM!
The peaches (our first peach crop) will be ready to deal with in the next few days.  Any evening the guys (all of them) can be found standing around that tree picking the peaches that the wasps are dining on, munching them down, and throwing the pits over the fence.  I thinkest that, with the right conditions, I may have a lot of small peach trees to be giving away!! :-)
They are a little small, but the taste so far has been good! The birds are checking them too. . and some of the shop customers have been caught with their hand in the peach tree!
Not sure what I will do with them all, but likely will freeze most of them.  Has anyone ever frozen peaches whole, skin and all?? Just wonderin' if I can do that with some of them and then peel them later to cut up and use?  They would certainly skin easier that way--Might just have to experiment!
So Tuesday night when I got home from work, I saw that my mother in law had stopped by with a sack of tomatoes and a large sack of nearly ripe pears (YUCK).  I personally hate pears--it's a texture thing--but my guys love them, so I will need to find something to do with the ones that can't be eaten quickly enough!
our crazy Okie friend brought up five (one, two, three, four, FIVE) 5 gallon buckets full of cucumbers, squash, zucchini, hot peppers, cantalope, tomatoes, and a watermelon!! 1 bucket went on to my dear fanatic canning friend yesterday.  And she was still talking to me today!! So this afternoon finds me trying to deal with all of this food! I have a batch of dill relish and a batch of sweet relish standing in a salt bath for a while before I spice them and can them up.  I will grate and freeze the zucchini, which NO one in this house will eat, unless it is sweetened in a loaf of steaming bread!! The tomatos will be cleaned and frozen, and the hot peppers ringed, brined and canned.  C will enjoy an extra afternoon at the sitter's, which will be much more entertaining to her and a lot more work conducive for her mother!!

So for now--much love from
a Martha Stewart wannabee


  1. Martha wannabee? You are sooo there. Wow that's a lot of produce. Isn't it great to have family and friends who will share too? The peaches look amazing. I've never frozen them with the pits and all. Let me know how that works. I don't can produce just freeze it. And, a few refrigerator pickles. My hubby likes jalepenoes done refrigerator pickle style too. Hope you get everything "put up." Enjoy your bounty this winter.

  2. Melanie, I used to can the pears & put some red hots in the syrup. Turns the pears a pretty pink, & the touch of cinnamon flavor is totally yummy. And, if you have some pears that are still a tad green, grind them & mix with pineapple & make pear honey. Even those who don't like pears love pear honey.
    Enjoy your kitchen time. I really don't miss my Martha Stewart days. Good luck with getting all your projects done in one day!!! Superwoman!

  3. =-) Thank you for my "goodies." I'm ready to can can can this weekend. We have lots of pears across the road in that little orchard that we were told we could pick, but I wonder what I could do with them? Cindy's idea sounds yummy though.

  4. Do you give canning lessons? My great-grandmother used to can her garden too, but she passed away before I was old enough to care about learning how. If I knew how it might inspire me to grow a vegetable garden. You are definitely making me hungry.

  5. Cindy, I will have to call you and get the pear honey recipe--I'm intrigued! Sara, I would love to teach you what I know--it wouldn't take long--really water bath canning is SOOO easy and I enjoy it lots. GonSS--we picked peaches last night--and I am sure that I will try some of them by just chunking them in the freezer--will let ya know. Becky-hope you are still talking to me at the end of the summer after all the produce "drop and runs!"

  6. Mel, I have a great peach butter recipe! Very easy to can!

  7. Every bit of that sounds so good!!!

  8. OH, lovely looking peaches. My favorite fruit.