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Bushels of Beans

September 28th, 2015

Remember that second batch of green beans I seeded back in mid July? They all came ripe. I harvested a nice batch before we left for our trip at the beginning on Sept, when I returned they were flush with beans!
green bean harvest 1
I harvested half a bushel on Friday night and half bushel on Saturday night. Then I blanched them and put them in the freezer. I like to freeze them on cookie sheets then dump them into zipper bags so I can scoop out what I need for a meal. It’s a convenient way to preserve them. These are ‘Maxibel Haricort Vert’ from High Mowing Seeds.
green bean harvest 2
I also like them blanched so I can make this cold green bean salad with them. It’s a great way to taste summer in the middle of winter when you have the need for it.

What are you preserving from you garden before winter comes?

Friday Favorite: Vegetable Soup

August 28th, 2015

Since the garden is bursting with fresh vegetables, I’ve been making pots of vegetable soup. The soup gets ladled into wide mouth pint mason jars and tucked away in the freezer, ready for quick meals come cold weather. We eat some in the summer too, last night I made a pot of minestrone and we will be enjoying that this weekend. It was filled with: potatoes, cabbage, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, garlic, celery, green beans, and herbs from the garden.
curried broccoli soup
I make soup with whatever vegetables are ready to harvest, curried broccoli, tomato, vegetable, etc. It’s nice to know that there are instant meals ready for fall days when I’d rather spend every drop of sunlight working in the garden. I also love using up all those bits of vegetable peels to make vegetable stock for all these soups. I feel like I’m making the most of the bounty of summer.

What’s your favorite kind of soup?

Pucker Up

August 12th, 2015

Sour cherries bring back memories of my childhood. My maternal grandmother had a big sour cherry tree in her back yard. When the cherries were ripe, my grandpa would erect scaffolding around the tree and we’d go down and pick cherries. We’d spend hours pitting them, then my mom would make a pie and the rest went into the freezer to make sauce for ham and maybe another pie or two.
sour cherries 1
I planted a few sour cherries trees in Ohio, but they didn’t produce much before we moved. I haven’t planted any here yet (not sure why). Lucky for me, the neighbors have a tree that produces much more than they want or need. Thus I am able to head down and pick cherries at their place.
sour cherries 2
They can’t remember for sure which variety it is, I’m fairly certain it’s a ‘Montmorency’. I’m happy to have a few pints of cherries tucked into the freezer to be made into scones when the snow flies outside. Personally, I much prefer sour cherries to sweet cherries. I have plans to add a few trees to the garden, in fact I saved a handful of these pits and they’re tucked in the fridge in a container of peat moss hoping they’ll sprout.

Do you grow sour cherries? What’s your favorite way to enjoy them?

Potting up Peppers

November 19th, 2014

I harvested all my peppers almost two months ago, they’ve been living in containers on the back porch. This time of year my back porch is like a walk in cooler, it keeps things fresh forever. We’ve been eating fresh peppers almost daily. The time had come for the rest of them to go into the freezer.
picking peppers 2
freezing peppers 3
So I chopped, and chopped, and chopped some more. I fried, and fried, and fired some more. Pretty soon all the peppers were prepped and ready to be saved for eating this winter.
freezing peppers 2
freezing peppers 1
I ended up with a nice little stockpile of peppers to enjoy this winter. No doubt they’ll be enjoyed in omelets, on pizza, and in fajitas.

What are you preserving from the garden this week?

Picking Pecks of Peppers

September 25th, 2014

This year I had a bumper pepper harvest. I could have left them on the plants longer, but I wanted to clear out that spot in the garden to move the strawberries. Thus I ended up picking mountains of peppers. Most of them will be roasted over a fire and canned, some will be stuffed and frozen (here’s my recipe if you’re interested).
picking peppers 2
Some of them were given to neighbors, others have already been used for delicious meals. There are still a good many to process, looks like I’ll be busy tonight!
picking peppers 1
The small peppers are the Mini Bells I talked about last week, I’m thinking I’ll make mass quantities of bite sized peppers stuffed with sausage, onions, garlic, herbs and cheese. I made a batch of ricotta earlier this week just for them. I think popping a few of these beauties out of the freezer for a quick breakfast or dinner will be so convenient.

Do you like green peppers? What’s your favorite way to enjoy them?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.