Garden Harvest, Canning, Landscaping & Photography

Just a hodge-podge for today…it’s been a rough week already here at work and I just want to post lots of pictures.

Over the weekend I picked the rest of the green beans from the garden and yanked out the black bean plants. We ate the green beans and I shelled the black beans, blanched and froze ’em for future soups and dinners. Pulled 2 rows of carrots, chopped and blanched and bagged for the freezer. The rest is for eating raw. Did the same for a large amount of squash (Yellow Crook-Necks, Mexican Greys, and Black Zucs). Me thinks I need a small freezer for out back to store all my veggies as my freezer in the kitchen is might full now.

We were rolling the idea around about either using concrete or pavers in the area immediately out front where we have our bench and table under the cedar tree…we can’t afford concrete at the moment and we had pavers in another area of the yard. So, we took up the pavers and the area they used to be in will be planted with corn next spring!

Here is the front during and after ~ before it was redwood bark mulch…full of GOOBER shells dropped by the Scrub Jays. Looked like a western bar floor. It’s a little lumpy in some spots, but it’s nicer than before. 🙂 And my husband wanted me to construct one of my “rock monsters”…”you mean a cairn?” “Ya…just what I said, a rock monster”. LOL!

Playing with the camera again (someone asked earlier what type of camera I have ~ it’s a Canon 2S-IS ~ and no, I don’t use Photoshop, mainly because I haven’t learned yet!) ~ here are some shots of the corn, poppies, pumpkins, and other flowers in the yard.

One of my favorite snacks ~ buy raw pumpkin seeds, spray a tin with olive oil and then spray the seeds, sprinkle some kosher salt on them then stick ’em under the broiler. Yummy.

Leo-Monster…our Bengal-Tabby.

Scrub Jay with his goober ~

Dinner last night ~ BBQ’d Chicken, last of the green beans from the garden, and leftover Crash Hot Potatoes!

Tuesday’s Ramblings ~ Garden Veggies, Soap, Candles, Boys & Critters, Sunflowers & Pumpkins

I know…long title.

Garden Veggies ~

I don’t have a lot of corn to freeze, mainly because we’ve been eating it! 🙂 But I wanted to freeze some of it for a later date ~ either to put in stews, salsas, or just to eat as a veggie with our meal. So far I’ve only blanched 7 ears and then cut the kernels off of the cob ~ which yielded four bags. I have more corn on the stocks, but I’ll let them go a little longer. After I took the picture below I nibbled on the cobs to clean them off…oh my ~ very sweet corn!

Over the weekend I had pulled about a 1/4 of my carrot crop and chopped them in large chucks, blanched and froze.

Cold Processed Soap ~

I cut the Fall Apple Crisp, Sierra Nevada Forest, and Oatmeal Milk & Honey (with a tad of Arabian Spice) cold processed soaps…they are up in the window nooks for at least 4 weeks of curing.

Apple Crisp
Sierra Nevada Forest
Oatmeal Milk & Honey

Soy Candles ~

A coworker gave me some orange peel and glass containers to make her sister some Essential Orange soy candles to take back with her to Czechoslovakia. Below is my “high tech” candle making operation and the finished candles. I made her some Essential Lavender candles with lavender from my garden.

Boy & Critters ~

Had lunch with my mom, sister, bil, and their kiddos yesterday. The boy wanted to show me his loose tooth. Calling him Shark-Boy as the permanent teeth are already up shoving the baby tooth forward looking like a snaggletooth. Gotta love the hook the nose pic ~ 🙂

Here’s a dragonfly that was next to our table at the park yesterday ~

Pumpkins & Sunflowers ~

So…by now I assume you know I love pumpkins and sunflowers. Here are more pictures! Imagine that! 🙂 Taken this morning in my yard…was killing time waiting for the primary voting polls to open just down the street.

Jamming in the Kitchen!

I got up early Saturday morning and decided I wanted to make jam. I make my Christmas presents every year and decided I’d like to add jam into the baskets this year. The two Farmers Markets in Sparks are on Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon, so I drove over to the one on California Avenue in Reno. Bought a flat of strawberries and four baskets of blueberries. Figured that would be a good start!

Blueberries went off without a hitch…made 7 – 8oz jars.

Then came the strawberries. All was well until the last minute of boiling! Gonna need a bigger pot! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Luckily I only had 3 feet to carry the pot over to the butcher’s block (I did leave a trail of strawberries on the wood floor) to pour the mixture into the jars…I knew that I would NOT have strawberry jam, probably strawberry syrup, but I was not going to waste anything by throwing it out. I ended up with 10 – 8oz jars of strawberry goop. Sunday morning I opened up a jar and put it on our whole wheat pancakes…OH MY GOODNESS! It was very tasty! And it wasn’t as syrupy as I thought it would be. Good save, if I say so myself! 🙂 Unfortunately, my stovetop did not fair too well. That large crescent on the right side somehow etched itself into the ceramic top. Boo Hoo! 😦

I have lots of peppers growing in the garden so my next canning project will be to make Hot Pepper Jam. I also would like to make either peach, plum, or orange marmalade jam.

After the Farmer’s Market I went to a couple of yard sales in the area and lookie what I found! The cutest wooden sewing machine!

And three hardback books of Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery ~ the lady had bought them at Prince Edward Island.

Sunday morning while picking some squash I was admiring said peppers and just happened to look over at the green beans. I have beans! Went inside to grab the colander and started to pick green beans…then saw the black beans were there too. Picked enough for dinner that night and a bag to give to my mom. So dinner was bbq-d chicken breast with steamed beans (which I then lightly sauteed them with two strips of bacon) and extra-sourdough bread.

I picked lots of carrots…needed to thin them so the rest of them will grow bigger. Ate a bunch right then and there and brought in a gallon bag-full to work. They are VERY GOOD! Also had two funky looking cucumbers.