Friday, June 22, 2012

This picture was taken several years ago at our other house, but I still have the same basket that is just as full of squash and zucchini now as it was then.  My legs are sore from picking green beans so instead of walking my lazy self downstairs to take a picture, I just pulled from my archives.  We weren't suppose to have so much squash and zucchini.  I had a moment  of  not paying attention and I planted double squash seeds instead of watermelons.  I should have known better since squash seeds are yellowish and watermelon seeds are black, but I was thinking about other things.  My husband wanted to till the extras up and replant watermelon, but I put my foot down.  He said he didn't want to hear me complain about the overflow.  Thus far I haven't said a word about the overflow of squash, but I have complained daily about the overflow of green beans.  I have 70 quarts of green beans in our pantry.  We have eaten enough green beans to float a boat, and we have given bushels and bushels away to friends. ( By the way, if you live close to me you are welcome to come pick green beans for your family.  They are free for the picking)!

Well, now that I have all of these squash and zucchini plants, I have to come up with creative ways of using them.  I wanted to share a quick recipe that I made for supper last night.  My family loved it.  Plus it was easy, quick, and cheap!  What more could I ask for?  I could ask that you would come pick beans and save my back and legs from that!!!!!

Smoked Sausage Stir Fry

Cut  into bite size pieces as much smoked sausage as needed for your family.  Put it in a stainless steel skillet.  Add a bit of olive oil.  Cut up an onion and turn on the heat.  Slice squash and zucchini in the desired amounts.  Add Crazy- Mixed- Up -Salt.  Be careful to taste before you get to heavy handed with the seasoning because it does have a lot of salt content .  (You can find Crazy-Mixed- Up-Salt in Walmart or your grocery store.  It is located in the spice section).  Cook until tender. I served over rice with some homemade sourdough bread.

grace and peace,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

This Post Made Possible by Contributions From the Cleaning Fairies

I awoke with a jerk this morning around 4:00 a.m.  The first thought on my mind was the mounds of green beans still waiting to be broken and canned.  I then remembered the state of the kitchen.  I left it so undone that if my own mother showed up unexpectedly I wouldn't have allowed her through the door.  At that moment, I had a thought that I could just give the green beans away to a friend, a stranger, or an enemy.  I didn't care who got them, but I knew that I couldn't do everything that was before me for the day.  I went back to sleep only to wake again around 6:15 a.m.  I once again remembered the green beans and my decision to give them away, and then I panicked wondering what I would do if I couldn't find someone to take them off my hands.  I decided if I couldn't give them to a person I would share the loot with the cows.  My children and husband could never know of the deed since they also spent their time picking the beans from the garden.  I felt pretty safe that the cows wouldn't tell on me. 

With my plan fixed in my mind, I climbed out of bed dreading the chores that I had left undone all day yesterday.  I quickly dressed and headed slowly downstairs in search for a cup of coffee.  As soon as my foot hit the last stair, I noticed that the living room was put together.  The strewn blankets were no longer on the couch.  The shoes that had become an obstacle course were no longer in sight.  Then my eyes slowly glanced at the kitchen table.  It was spotless.  There were no remnants of last nights late dinner to be seen anywhere.  My counters were spotless too.  I then saw one of many garden baskets full of green beans that had all been broken and left as a gift.  There was a beautiful toilet paper bow tied on the handle, and a precious note left by my three cleaning fairies.

 One of my sons, who will remain nameless because he doesn't like anything that he does to be made public, and two of his friends stayed up late last night.  They sat on the front porch  and drank coffee.  This is something that happens almost every night at our home, but my husband suggested that while they sat and talked they could break a few beans.  After they broke ALL the beans, they came in the house and started cleaning.  I have waited all of my life for the cleaning fairy to show up, and quite frankly, last night was much needed.  Those boys couldn't have spent $1,000 on me and made me any happier than what they did for me last night.  The only negative about last night was that I was left with an eerie feeling...if those boys could break all the beans and clean the house without us waking up what might a burglar get accomplished while we slept?  Maybe we need to purchase a better watch dog!

grace and peace,

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sunflowers and Green Beans

I haven't posted much about our garden this year because I have been disheartened with it.  First, we were much later than usual getting it all planted.  I still have more corn and flowers to plant, so technically I am still not finished.  Second, we have grown a bumper crop of weeds.  I don't know how this has been possible, but we managed.  Also for the second year in a row I can't get my okra seed to germinate.  I have come to conclude that it must be me because I am now using seed from my neighbor.  His okra is thriving while mine has done nothing.  I have planted okra twice this year already, and I will be planting it again this week.  I don't have high hopes of seeing my own okra this year, but our neighbor is good to share his bounty with us.  Next year I will be starting my okra seed in my basement so I can watch it!

With all the negative talk out of the way, let me share the joys of the garden from this year.  I have sunflowers everywhere.  They are standing tall and proud in the first two rows of the garden.  I also have them in vases and containers all throughout the house.  They make me happy!  I also have zinnias in bloom and they too are poked here and there in pretty jars in our home. 

This year we planted bush beans because I wanted my green beans to come in all at the same time so I could can them in one fail swoop.  Oh boy, has that ever happened.  This past week we have picked 7 bushels of green beans from our garden.  I have spent so much time picking beans that the treadmill is starting to look pretty good to me right now!  Don't think it is just me picking these little treasures.  My kids, husband, and the neighbor children have joined in to help.  When we haven't been in the garden picking beans, we have been on the front porch breaking beans and drinking coffee.  If all goes well, I have one more day of canning ahead of me.

We are also enjoying green onions, zucchini, squash, peas, and lettuce from our garden.   We also planted 3 more small rows of pole beans so that we can have fresh green beans for eating all summer long.  I won't be canning these!

What have I learned from this year's garden?  Although it may not be perfect, I can still enjoy and use it.  I just have to step over the weeds from time to time.  Come to think of it, it is kind of like my life.

grace and peace,