Thursday, May 25, 2017

Tomatillo Salsa

Wow, this recipe for Tomatillo Salsa turned out fantastic! I was starting to get a huge bag of tomatillo in the fridge, so it was time to make something with them.  

I LOVE this salsa, and use it primarily on top of chicken breasts in the oven. So-so-so good. It's also really good as a dip, or in any dish that you'd like a little zip and tang! There's just a small bit of jalapeno in it, so there's not much heat.
These are primarily the Amarylla (Yellow) tomatillo, with just a couple of the Purple De Milpa (Purple) tomatillo.

I roasted them first and it really releases their flavor. 
 Mix all the ingredients in the food processor.
Canned. Sorry you can't see it, I used those purple jars.

Spring Garden Log -- May 25, 2017

Whew! Where to's been a while since I've posted. It's been so busy and it's all I can do to keep up with the garden.  Growing it is one thing, but processing it to save and use it is a whole 'nuther job!

The Aunt Molly's Ground Cherries have started to ripen.  This plant is very interesting - they are very sweet with a hint of pineapple. I'm trying to save enough to make something with them, but they are awfully tempting to just eat in the garden.  

When they are ripe, the plant sheds them and drops them to the ground! So that's when they are ready - pretty handy, right?

 I've been bringing in some squash already - this one is a new one for me called Zepher.  I've also brought in some patti-pan squash called Benning's Green.

 Oh my, the beans! Every day...beans! I've frozen some and given some away...just to keep up with them. These are Red Swan bush beans....
 and these are Jade bush beans.  These Jade plants are so prolific!
And boy, do they add up fast!

Destined for the freezer

The pumpkin and winter squash bed is should be since it's been planted on an old compost pile!  
This is one of the pumpkin plants called Fortna Pumpkin.  There are several already showing up. The vines are crawling everywhere, up and over the back and sides!

I've already picked a lot of these Garden Huckleberries.  I made wine with them last year, so I think these will be used in something else. I already have 2-1/2 pounds of these in the fridge. 

 Those blueberries tomatoes are starting to ripen. They are a blue/purple on the shoulders and one side, and they do ripen red on the other.
 The cucumbers are ripening, too.  We're eating these as they come in - no pickles this year. 

These Mikhalych Tomatoes are monsters...this one was over one pound...huge!  I pick my tomatoes as soon as they start to ripen on the vine because if I leave them out there, the birds will beat me to them.  They ripen well in the house.

 The Green Goliath broccoli has started to head up, and I've already brought one in.  There's five more plants out there that are just starting to show.
There are a few of my tomato plants has blossom end rot.  I've had to throw away about 8 beautiful tomatoes with black bottoms.  I bought some lime to add to the soil and hope that will take care of the problem.  We'll see.  It's only this one plant.
And of course, the usual problems I have with squash bugs.  Arghhhh!!!!
This year I have lots and lots of kale.  I'm trying to find other recipes to use it in other then salads all the time.  This kale & potato soup was fantastic, even John praised it.  
We also tried these kale cups made with ricotta cheese.  Very tasty! John liked them too, and even ate some the next day with lunch.  I call that a win!

The banana trees have all grown like crazy! They are three times bigger then they were when I first planted them.  I'll probably have to plant them up this summer if they keep it up.
The Mississippi Brown cotton plants are starting to bloom.  They do have a beautiful flower.
 We're picking plums finally.  If I get enough, I'm planning wine with these!
 I found such a great deal on these two pomegranate trees - the HEB in San Antonio that I stopped at the other day had these right out front for $5.95 each! Can you believe that? One is a "Wonderful" and the other is "Angel Red". I went ahead and bought two different varieties since I didn't know if they needed a pollinator, but have since found they are self-fertile.

 We finally netted the blackberry bush to keep the birds off of them. 
And finally, I've gotten to use my outdoor sink! Cleaning up these beets before taking them in the house.  I love it!!

Max's First Sleep Over

We were honored to have Max overnight for his very first sleep over on Saturday.  His parent's went to Austin for a concert, so this was the perfect time to see how he would do.
I think Max will make a great drummer some day!

He was perfect! He did wake up a couple of times during the night, but didn't seem to upset to find himself at Mimi's and Grumpy's house instead of in his own crib.  We had lots of fun with Max and really bonded with him. What a smiley, happy boy!
Here's a few pics of our weekend....

 This little tractor has amused quite a few babies through the years!
 Grumpy and Max reading a book before bed
 Max on Sunday morning!
What's this?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Peach Wine

Because of the surplus of peaches, I decided to try some peach wine! I think its going to be fantastic, it's only been in the bucket for a few days and it already smells so good. 
 Peaches, hot water, sugar, and yeast nutrient mixed in my MUST bucket and allowed to cool down.
Add the wine yeast into the MUST and cover with a muslin towel and a rubber band around to keep dust, etc. out.  Stir daily for a week.

This will all be going into the carboy on Friday. I'll probably add some additional water and sugar at that time and the fermentation will continue.  I'll post more about it when I move it to the carboy. Looking forward to seeing how this will taste!

Peach Peel (Jelly) Syrup

Well, I tried.
I had a surplus of peaches and saw a really great recipe for using all of the peelings that I created while processing and freezing them. Sounded great.... except.... after waiting the 24 hours afterwards that it recommends, my jelly didn't gel.
BUT -- it makes some really delicious peach syrup. That's how we'll use it!

Here's the recipe in case you have better luck then I. Thinking back, the only thing I did different was to double the recipe, so that may have been the reason it didn't work. Next year, I'll try again.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Spring Garden Log -- May 10, 2017

Things are moving along in the garden.  I have two large savoy cabbages that are getting so big! Beautiful plants.  And there's a few smooth, small cabbages in there that seem to be doing well too.
Doesn't this cabbage remind you of "Feed me, Seymour" from the Little House of Horrors?

All of the kale are growing so well, but I'm so proud of how these Lacinato (Dinosaur) kale look this year. I'm using BT on these to keep the cabbage worms at bay and it is really working.  Tomorrow I'm making this potato and kale soup recipe with some of this. 
This Fantasia Swiss Chard is a beautiful color! I've been giving so much of the chard to our chickens this year -- our granddaughters go and pick some every time they are here to feed them. 
I have high hopes for this year's onions - finally! Look how well these white Grano onions are starting to bulb. There are onion plants tucked here and there all over the garden, I really over-did it this year.
The peppers are all doing fine - these are the Aji Golden peppers here.  I'm just going to start saving these in the fridge as they produce and try my hand at some fermentation when I get enough.  I'll combine these with the Aji Angelo's when they start producing.

Aji Golden

I've picked two Cubanelle peppers so far - there's only one plant that lived.  I may leave the remaining peppers that we get on the plant until they get red.
The Gypsy peppers are just beautiful this year (although I didn't get a picture of those) and we've already picked over a pound. My favorite sweet pepper!

No ripe tomatoes yet...darn!  These Blueberries cherry tomatoes are sure pretty, though.
 We have tiny green beans - these are the Jade variety.  Nothing big enough to pick yet.
I see a little cucumber!
Some of the climbing beans have started growing up the wire! 
Oh my goodness, the peaches have taken over my life.  This is finally all of the crop - we're done picking.  Now the hard work begins ... processing all of these.  I've been freezing most of them after peeling and cutting up.  

I chopped some up in the food processor and made some peach pops...YUMMM!
I'm making some peach jelly with the peelings.  I've found a good recipe, so hope it works! I'll do a post about it tomorrow.
Such beautiful peaches!

And in other developments, the elderberries are starting to form up.  These are the York variety.
These amaranth plants are such a striking color and they've started to form their seed heads now, although they are only about 3 foot tall so far.
And finally, my dream of growing rice is dying a slow death.  I'm not sure why, it started on one side and they are all just withering up and dying.  Sigh.....