Monday, September 3, 2012

Sweet Sweet Corn !

The end of August and the beginning of September can be overwhelming for those of us who can & freeze our harvests.However, if you have Bailey the Corn  Plucker and Ed the Corn Shucker,you will be OK.All will turn out well because many hands make the work load light.

This year I planted Bodacious Corn and it was all it's name claims to be.Yum! I can eat it raw by the handful ,cramming every mouthful  between the vegetable chopping blade's strokes down  each side of the cob. Kernels bounce off the counter and spill to the floor but the cats are also lovers of fresh juicy corn and they keep the floor tidy for me.Everyone here loves corn plucking season.As I pick each ear of corn, empty corn stalks get pulled and tossed in piles.Later I carry them to the horses, sheep and goats.YUM!!! They devour the fresh green leafy stalks.I always throw in a few ears of corn for each of the corn fans as they chomp away.At the end of this, I will give you "LEE MILLER'S MOTHER'S CORN PUDDING RECIPE", a recipe I use every Thanksgiving, because it's so GOOD! 

Here is my favorite man,Ed the Corn Shucker.This year our corn ended up being planted a little too close together but NO MATTER ! Gus, the dog,helped us out!! He ran through the corn, happily leaping about and flattening out whole sections, thus allowing sunlight to beam its' warm rays throughout the interior corn plants who before had no hope (:<  "WHAT did I do"  with the downed corn plants ? you ask. Of course I dragged them off to the barn to awaken the senses of the drowsy lazy horses and sheep who were hiding out in the dark stalls of the barn hiding from flies .

August is a hot listless month.Horses hide in dark spots of the barn rhythmically swatting flying intruders with their tails and we with our swatters on the porch. Who the heck feels like canning veggies in a hot steamy kitchen ? Yours truly and a goodly number of others who may have read Proverbs 6:6-8   and Proverbs 31:10-31  in the Bible. Did you know that the OLDEST profession in the world is gardening? Just read the first few chapters of Genesis. Man was created in the field but God placed him in the garden. He became a farmer.Woman was created in the garden. Maybe that's why we love flowers and men yearn for the field where hunting and fishing exist. Isaiah says that in the end of this world, men will beat their swords into plowshares and will not learn WAR anymore.We go back to farming and the contended life of  producing from the earth. God says that men will sit under their own fig tree.The frenzy of city life I hold at arms length.        

3 eggs  
4 TB flour
1/3 c. sugar
2 c. milk
2 c. kernal corn, drained
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 stick margarine
pinch of nutmeg (save till last to sprinkle over the surface)

While mixing other ingredients,melt margarine in casserole pot (that you will bake this in).Add other ingredients.Sprinke the pinch of nutmeg over the surface of the pudding mixture.
BAKE 400F  45-60 min.Middle should be firm. Stick knife through middle, to test  for doneness. If it comes out clean, it's done.                                                                                                                               

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dill spears

I have never had any success making keg dill pickles. Therefore, sweet pickles/ Bread and Butter Pickles have always lined the shelves and keg pickles were tossed over the embankment.
    (LONGGGGGGG   SIGH~~~)   I have FINALLY found a yummy, YUMMY dill pickle spear recipe and  years of frustration have come to an end ! I will share these recipes with you. There are more than one.The basic trick is a 1:1 ratio of white vinegar to water , however one recipe below calls for 2 cups water and 1 cup vinegar.. The rest of the recipes are merely spices added. Taste your mixture as it cooks on the stove. If it makes you leap in the air, cough, gag and eyes tear up, then add a little more water.

1..  This is the recipe for the spears you see on the right.Tumeric was added. That's why there is a difference in color.The recipe is from McCormick's recipe site .Specifically

2.Another recipe I used ,I added spices .
           4-6 cucumbers (about 1 lb.) sliced lengthwise into spears.
           1 cup white distilled vinegar
           2 cups water
           1/4 c sugar
           3 Tbs coarse Kosher salt (NON-iodized or your pickles will turn brown in the canning process)
           Dill seed & weed cut from a dill plant (a sprig for each jar.) (1 tsp dill seed  1 tsp dill weed )
           5-8 peppercorns
           2 garlic cloves, peeled,smashed & chopped.( Pressing it between 2 spoons releases flavor better than only chopping it)

           A) In a saucepan combine vinegar,water,sugar,salt,dill seed & weed and garlic. Bring to boil stirring until sugar & salt dissolve.
            B) Place cucumber spears in sterilized glass Qt canning jars & pour boiled hot liquid mixture over it. Make sure that all jars have dill seed,weed & garlic & peppercorns.Add more to skimpy jars if you need to.Fill jars leaving 1/2" head space & seal according to Ball or Kerr canning book directions. HOT WATER BATH ONLY!    Do not pressure can. They mush.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Growing celery a fun way!

I have never had much luck growing celery in the garden.It never made it off the ground. Now I have found this wonderful site on Facebook~ Homesteading/Survivalism  that gave me new hope. yes, I do believe I am at the end of  my celery sorrows. I tried this crazy idea for growing celery and it took off like a rocket.When you are nearly finished with your celery,cut off the base and stick 4 toothpicks,one in each side and suspend it in a jar of water on a window sill. SUDDENLY !!!! You will wake up 2 mornings later and it will be like Christmas !!! CELERY GROWING OUT OF THAT DOGGONE STUMP !! HOO HAH !! 

I thought about this thing and it occurred to me, "How much nutrition is in plain water?"   Not a heck of a lot.So, I added a few drops of plant/veggie food to the water and the growth continued to dark green leafy stems. All within a short period of time.

Eventually,roots began growing and once I had a decent amount of a dangling root system I transplanted it into potting soil.

I shall let you know the outcome. (:>     You can do this with ginger root, scallions and some other things that I forgot, but am too lazy at this moment to look up.