Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Made 10 jars of salsa on Sunday.  I have yet to print the labels for these.  I also canned several jars of "V-3" juice. 

The Salsa "recipe" is as follows (it is more of a process than a recipe):

Cut up all the tomatoes you have ripe into quarters, removing the stem ends and any damaged spots. 

Put these into the food processor with the knife blad and process for a few seconds until the tomatoes are diced small, but some chucks remain.  Pour into colander in a kettle, letting the tomato juice flow through.

Chop about 1/4 as many onions as you have tomatoes. 

Chop about half as much jalapeno peppers as you have onions, and about half as much of sweet bell pepper or sweet banana pepper.

Put the resulting juice aside, put the vegetables into the saucepan, and bring to a boil.  Add herbs and spices to taste as follows:

Cayenne pepper
Ground mustard
Cumin
Garlic (minced fresh, or powder)
Salt
Pepper
Cilantro

If you like, add juice of 1 to 2 limes.

When the mixture has simmered for 5 minutes, using a slotted spoon, pack into sterilized jars.  Put lids and rings on and process for 20 minutes.  The remaining solids and liquids at the bottom of the kettle can be given a whirl in the food processor and added to the juice to be preserved, as well.

My jalapeno plants did not produce well this year, so I bought jalapenos at the local flea market/farmer's market.  One of the vendors added two "cherry bomb" peppers which should make the salsa hotter than normal this year!  Yoo Hoo!

Monday, August 06, 2012

The grandkids have been visiting. It is difficult to wean them from the DS, but they love harvesting vegetables from the garden.  Today we visited Henry Ford Greenfield Village, I hope it give them some appreciation of labor needed prior to mechanization of the Industrial Age...

Friday, August 03, 2012

Wacky Wabbits

As I sit at my kitchen table looking out at my garden patch, I am watching 2 rabbits hip-hopping their way through it. 

The neighbor lent me a live trap to catch and relocate these critters.  I baited it with an apple.  The first day, one of the rabbits went up to the trap, hopped all the way around it, hopped all the way around it again, then went on his way.

Now they just ignore the trap.  They don't seem to spend a lot of time IN the garden, just traipse through it every morning.  I guess I have moved from anger to acceptance.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Green Bean harvest

It has been so hot and dry this summer that the pumpkins and watermelons we planted at the farm did not have a good germination rate.  The deer and the groundhogs have been eating the edamame beans.

For some reason, the sunflowers came up.  Next week when I am there I will take pictures. The sunflowers in our back yard, here on the east side of the state, are very tall, but do not have very big flowers yet.  I still have high hopes although many of our neighbors have sunflowers that have been blooming for weeks.  The variety we planted here is "Mammoth" which promised 9-foot tall flowers.  They are at least 7 feet tall.  I am thinking of planting a fall crop of lettuce, beets, and perhaps some radishes in their shade, if it is not already too late. Maybe even some winter cabbage.

Ed called me last night when he arrived at the farm and said I needed to come and pick green beans, they are as big around as a pencil and 4-5 inches long.  I won't be able to get there until Tuesday of next week.  I hope they don't get tough.  The grandkids will have fun picking, washing, and freezing them! (we planted some LONG rows, LOL)

Early retirement?

It is official.  As of October 31, 2012, I will be leaving my current employer under an early retirement program. 

I have a short length of time to decide if I will jump back into the corporate world with another employer, or take the opportunity to make a life change and spend more time farming, gardening, knitting, weaving, embroidering, planting a vineyard, etc. 

There are many advantages of either choice.  Some of the advantages are even economic!

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