Sunday, August 28, 2011

A little of what's going on around here.

So this is part of what's been happening here recently.
Okay - so this has been in the works all summer, but I love seeing the veggies grow up over the deck. Most of this is beans, but there are some cucumbers to the left.
And lots more tomatoes.
We've been able to use our own for a large part of what we've canned this year.
T.Lynn just loves helping out with the food mill.
All these tomatoes (and this is my really large stock pot),
cooked down into this much tomato paste.
These little 7oz baby bowls were perfect for holding the standard 6ozs of tomato paste once you left the proper head-room for freezing. Don't worry, the paste is red, but the bowls are blue and green so it makes it look weird.
This bushel of peaches we picked up were far from ripe, but since the grower had recently had a death in the family I didn't get picky. We laid them out on some tea towels and covered them with a couple more until they ripened. It took about a week. You can see them in the back of the photo of T.Lynn. That was my biggest problem. For a week we either ate on tray tables in the living room, or took shifts eating at the table. To say the least, it was a little interesting.
But when all was said and done, 16 more quarts of peaches made it into the cupboards. And everything was finished up just before my grandmother got really sick and then passed. It allowed me to go visit her without worrying about everything I still had left to do. I know I shouldn't worry about something like that when this sort of thing happens, but it's to easy to obsess over everything you think you should be doing - especially when it comes to putting up food for your family. After buying food in bulk, or even if you have a large surplus from your garden, it's not easy to walk away when you know that preserving it will feed your kids the rest of the year. I'm thankful the canning was done and I felt free to spend time with her.

The girls have been at my mother's since my grandmother's funeral a week ago Saturday. It's been a nice long vacation for them, but for me? Well......
The garden doesn't seem to know that the girls aren't here, and that hubby and I can't eat nearly as much produce by ourselves. Too bad gardens don't come equipped with a pause button.  What's pictured, with the exception of two of the tomatoes, came in on just one day. I added it to the other 2 dozen tomatoes and 6 or 7 cucumbers we already had, and we are eating what we can. On top of that, 8 cantaloupe have ripened  this past week, plus I've cut okra every other day, and pulled beans off almost every day. I haven't pulled many of the peppers though. There are a lot of them that I've left on the plants because they'll last better that way. The plant will slow down it's prouduction, but in the case of the black hugarians, that won't be too bad. BTW - the red peppers on the table are black hungarians. If you leave them on the plant they, like any pepper, will turn red. So, while the girls have been gone I've been tending the gardens, foisting extra produce off on the neighbors, and when all else fails and you just can't let it go to waste... can it, or blanch and freeze it, even though all your little helpers are unavailable.

Sometime in the next few days I'll share a bit more of what I did this week, but this post is already long, and to be honest, I kind of want to kick back and relax for a little bit before the girls come back tomorrow evening. 
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