Tuesday, July 27, 2010
People come home from all over the world (or just come from all over the world) to attend the Neshoba County Fair. It's a huge reunion every year.
William and I don't attend this giant get together mainly because it's hotter than heck without being around the huge engines running the rides and the crowds of people bumping into each other swapping sweat.
William and I have looked forward to this week for another reason. We have had a very dry summer. There has been no rain to amount to anything for close to two months. BUT.......
Every year during the Neshoba County Fair it rains. It rains most every day. It thunders and there's lightening. This has been true this week. It has been a little rain every day since Saturday. Some days it was only a short sprinkle, some days it came a good shower for about fifteen minutes but today it rained for almost an hour. A good soaking rain...just what we need for our old veggie plants and the new ones we have growing.
William and I have discussed several times the probability of rain the week of the Neshoba County Fair. If we had bet on it we'd won and won big time.
The best thing about this is today is only Tuesday. By Friday we should be saturated. Maybe!
This is how dry we have been here in East Central Mississippi.....The Kudzu is withering and drying up. Now when Kudzu withers and the leaves start turning brown from lack of water, it has been extremely dry for quite a spell.
Friday, July 23, 2010
I canned these four jars of hot peppers on Thursday, July 22nd. If the vinegar gets as hot as the Jalapeno peppers are, I don't know if we'll be able to eat it.
I ate a Jalapeno pepper with my dinner last night and today I have a small blister on my bottom lip. Can't imagine what my innards must look like if the pepper blistered my lip. It was really, really good even though it was really, really hot! That's what summer is all about.....Fresh ripe tomatoes and hot Jalapenos. :)
That's enough about the peppers.....Today is my Sweet William's birthday. He's sixty-three years young today. Happy Birthday, Honey. I still plan to keep you to your promise of drinking coffee together each morning when we're eighty-two (You'll be eighty-two and I'll be eighty-three but who's counting?). You are my Sunshine!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The Yellow Tommy Toes, the Jelly Bean Grape, the Red Pear and the Red Tommy Toes are producing a lot of tomatoes. Why do I do this every year? One plant each would be plenty to nosh on but NO! I plant three of each and then we can't eat all the tomatoes they produce and nobody wants the little tomatoes, they all want the ones the worms wanted. Well, I wanted them too. LOL
William gathered a plastic dishpan full of small tomatoes. I made salads, we ate them for snack, I cut them in quarters and put them with our eggs and bacon for breakfast and there were still loads of little tomatoes. So......I cleaned them and cut them in pieces, put one cup of water in the boiler with the tomatoes and cooked them. Then I strained the juice and all the pulp I could get through the strainer, put the juice in pint jars and canned it.
Now it doesn't look that good but it taste pretty good and will certainly flavor stews this winter. All those tomatoes only made five pints of juice but that's five pints of juice I didn't have. :)
I was feeling over run by "little" tomatoes but now I'm hoping that we have another load of them.
I've canned tomatoes before but never used the over abundance of little tomatoes to make juice. I'm feeling kinda, sorta proud of myself for finally getting IT!
Don't let produce spoil....Do something with it even if it's canning pale colored tomato juice. Looks aren't everything.....Nope....and I'm really glad for that!
Monday, July 19, 2010
I just set out eight tomato plants for tomatoes until frost. There's four Marianna's Conflict for sandwiches, two Roma's for salads and two Red Pear for salads and eating straight from the vines.
We got a sprinkle of rain so I thought this would be a good time to get those plants in the ground. When I started digging in the dirt only the top was damp. A quarter of an inch down was dry as dust. We need a week of good soaking rain. Of course, there'd be some complaints about it raining so much.
In the morning we plan to plant some Yellow Squash and a couple of Zucchinis. We're going to take down the bean vines around the tepee and replant with Louisiana Purple Pod beans. They'll have time to make before the weather starts getting cold here.
We're probably going to pull up some of the cucumbers that are about gone and plant a hill or two of cukes.
Everything else will do until later on in the season. Then we'll plant some kale, swiss chard, lettuces and collard greens. If we can get another bed built I'd love to plant some turnip greens for fall/winter eating.
The multiplying onions are beginning to come out again. That is good. They're just off the back porch about three feet. I love to run out, gather green onions for salads, omelets and soups/stews.
That's about all that is going on in my world today. We're getting ready for a cookout on Saturday to celebrate my Honey's birthday which is Friday, July 23rd. He's getting to be an old man but he'll never catch up with this old woman. :)
Sunday, July 18, 2010
This variety of tomato is one of the largest that I've seen in years.
Not only is the Dorothy's Mennonite Big Heart a large pinkish color tomato but it's a great tasting tomato.
My dinner tonight was a tomato sandwich.
Now this is what I call a "Tomato Sandwich"! Yum, Yum!
I have gathered seven tomatoes from the DMBH vine... We got three and the worms got four. Unfair odds, I would say. The tomatoes are growing so large that it's hard to see any wiggly critters on them until we pull the tomatoes.
We have the Marianna's Conflict variety also. They're making a larger than usual tomato this year. Funny thing is the worms have left the Marianna's uneaten. They've only gone after the DMBHs.
Here's a couple of pictures of the Marianna's Conflict tomatoes:
This is one of my favorite varieties to grow. They're a tasty tomato.
We're enjoying all the Tommy Toes too. I make a salad with the Yellow Tommy Toe and Red Tommy Toe Tomatoes: The salad is a light, healthy salad, colorful and pretty..
The recipe is below.
5 Red Tommy Toe
5 Yellow Tommy Toe
1/4 of a red onion
1/2 Burpless cucumber, peeled and sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a bowl with a top, cut the tomatoes into quarters, slice the onion into thin strips, and add the peeled and sliced cucumber. Add salt and pepper to taste. Put enough Italian dressing to coat all the vegetables and stir well. Put the top on the bowl and refrigerate for about an hour (can refrigerate longer if you'd like).
This makes a delicious salad served with baked or grilled chicken or eaten as a light lunch. Serves two people.
Note: I use Low Fat Italian dressing..
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I went back to check on them the next morning. When I pulled them around to look at them there were big holes in two of them where worms had bored into the tomato. I pulled those and put them into the compost pile.
Today, William tells me that another tomato is turning pink. I go check it out and lo and behold another hole in the tomato. These tomatoes are big as saucers and would feed a family ripe tomato slices from one tomato.
I am so disheartened. I don't want poison on the tomatoes but I don't want the tomatoes to be worm food either. William bought some Dipel yesterday so I guess tomorrow we will spray Dipel on the tomato vines to see if we can get rid of the thieves eating our tomatoes.
It's strange that we have Tommy Toe tomatoes and some Red Pear tomatoes in the same bed that are ripening but have no worm holes in them. Only the big, pretty ones attracted the critters.
I guess I can understand that since the big pretty ones are the ones that attract me too. I have to even out this score. Better yet I have to stop these worms in their tracks.
One thing of note, Felder Rushing says Dipel is safe for humans but will kill worms. His statement that people could drink the Dipel if they could stomach it makes me think that Dipel must be very safe to use. I hope he's right.
I don't think I've mentioned on my blog that I hate worms. I'd rather have a snake thrown on me than a worm. That's how much I really, really hate worms.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Our granddaughter, Symanthia, has been visiting with us this week. Symanthia is entering her second year of nursing at Itawamba Community College this fall. We are very proud to be her Pappy and Granny!
She has made this visit a learning experience. She told her Pappy that she wanted to learn to use some of his saws. They spent one afternoon working with the saws. She was proud to tell me that she learned to saw a straight line. Good for her. Most girls are too girly to want to learn about saws or anything else that can help them help themselves later on. But, not our Symanthia!
Then she told me that she would like to learn to make bread. She mentioned Banana Nut Bread. I explained the difference in making breads like Banana Nut Bread or Pumpkin Bread and the yeast breads. She decided she wanted to make the yeast bread.
We found a French Bread recipe and got all the ingredients together then she set to work.
I guided her as she measured and stirred the ingredients. We had to take time to smell the yeast after it was added to the warm water. There's nothing that smells any better than yeast when it's activating. Unless, it's the bread after it's baked.
When all the ingredients were well mixed, I showed her how to knead. I think she kind of like the kneading. She learned quickly how to pull the dough up and turn it. She worked the dough like a pro.
She put the bread into a bowl for it's first rising. When it was time to punch the dough down, I thought she was going to punch it OUT! LOL She did a good job of that too.
After she let the dough rest for 15 minutes she rolled it out into a rectangle and then made her loaf. She sprinkled the cornmeal onto the cookie sheet and then put the loaf of bread on the cookie sheet to let it rise the second time.
She enjoyed watching the bread rise and become a much larger loaf than what it was at the start. When it had risen the second time into the oven the bread went.
She was so excited. The bread was smelling heavenly and she couldn't wait for it to finish baking so she could taste her creation. But wait she did..........
When the bread was finished she put it on a baking rack to wait for it to cool. Well...folks we waited just long enough to get the butter and for her to slice her first loaf of homemade bread.
Top of newly baked loaf:
Bottom of loaf perfectly golden brown:
Symanthia cutting the first slice of her loaf of bread:
Slices waiting for the butter:
The bread is delicious. I know because I got the first piece. Wasn't that sweet of her to let her old Granny have the first piece of bread she ever baked? I slathered some butter on the bread and had some good homemade bread baked by my granddaughter.
She's taking the rest of the loaf home with her tomorrow to share with her Mom, Dad and brother, Jonathan.
We made a memory today. Maybe, some day when I'm no longer around Symanthia will be serving fresh, homebaked, yeast bread and tell the story of baking her first loaf of homemade bread on a hot, Saturday afternoon in July with her Granny Jan.
Even if the story is never told and she never bakes another loaf of bread today has been a very special day. I spent the afternoon with one of my granddaughters. That's time well spent.
Friday, July 9, 2010
When we came home from shopping I jokingly told John we'd roast marshmellows and wieners. While I love both of those, I'm not sure if they would have tasted good if we'd done the roasting over burning pine.
Chad and John have a hot job. We had to park our truck at the end of the drive and walk in when we returned from shopping. The heat from the fire was rough walking by it and they are out there keeping the flames under control.
William and I are trying to keep them furnished with plenty of cool water to drink. I asked them if they had any water and Chad was getting ready to drink water from the water hose. YUCK! I won't say what that would have been like but it wouldn't have been good.
I've been looking at our trees we have growing in the front yard. The Chaste tree is blooming. This is the first year that it's bloomed. The purple flowers are pretty.
The Crepe Myrtle is in full bloom also. The limbs are heavy with blooms. The color of the blooms is called red but it is more of a deep pink. This is one that Jackie Matthews gave me when I was babysitting Trinity.
The Weeping Mulberry has limbs touching the ground. It's so pretty with the dark green leaves and weeping limbs. It's not yet tall enough for children to use it to hide under the limbs.
The Butterfly Bush has been pretty too. The blooms on this bush are such a dark purple that they appear black. I gave it a good pruning in the early spring but it's grown at least three feet since then. Most of the blooms are gone. I need to check to see if another pruning will give me another burst of blooms.
Daddy set Crepe Myrtles across their front yard next to the road. When suckers came up he brought me some of them. They were set near the road at the home where I lived at the time. I later move from that house. William and I married and bought the place where we live now. Sandi brought me one of the trees that had come up from the suckers Daddy had given me several years before. I put the one Sandi gave me in our backyard. It's beautiful this year. I now have one of the trees that came from Daddy's Crepe Myrtles. :)
I enjoy walking around in our yard looking at the trees, bushes and flowers. Most of them were given to me and bring back sweet memories.
I can't blog without mentioning the garden. The Dorothy's Mennonite Big Heart Tomatoes are beginning to turn pink. One of them feels soft so I don't know if it has blossom end rot or if a "critter" has bored into it. I have to remove the soft one to keep the others from becoming infected with whatever is wrong.
That's it for today. The limbs are still burning but the yard is looking so much better, I walked around making pictures of trees in ninety-six degree weather and got a snapshot or three of the tomatoes. If I had to sweat at least I enjoyed the getting sweaty part.
Thanks for coming in for a visit. Hope to see y'all soon.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
The vegetables have been fertilized again and watered deeply this morning. I'm sure the heat will evaporate the moisture pretty quickly. At least they got a drink of water.....We'll just have to give them another drink in a couple of days.
The skies got a little dark a few minutes ago. Every time this happens my heart leaps just knowing rain is coming but the sun is shining again now. I know the rain will come so I'll not give up hope.
The younger tomato plants are beginning to give us ripe tomatoes. William picked some Tommy Toes and Red Pear tomatoes this morning. We still have several other varieties that have green tomatoes on them but none are ripening yet.
I've been watching the Dorothy's Mennonite Big Heart tomatoes. The fruit on those vines are large as a saucer. I hope they have a good taste. I know sometimes the large tomatoes aren't as good as the smaller ones but I have great hopes for these. If the Dinner Plate tomato produces larger fruit than the ones on Big Heart I can't wait to see them.
We going to rip the squash and zukes out, rework the soil and add some composted cow manure then plant tomatoes where the squash were. I have some Roma plants, Marianna's Conflict and the Jelly Bean plants almost large enough to set out. We doing this in hopes of having tomatoes until frost. :)
The green beans have some new blooms on them. Maybe the rain we received last week has caused the beans to start blooming again. The beans on the tepee aren't looking so healthy. Because of this we are thinking about ripping those vines out and replanting with some Louisiana Purple Pods. There's enough time before frost in our area for more beans to produce.
We're also thinking of digging an area to plant some late peas. We haven't gotten past the thinking part of this though. It's hot and the ground is hard. Thinking about the peas may be all we do. LOL
A side note: Today is the Fourth of July. The day we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence so many years ago. We have been a free country for a long time but only because our young men and women have been willing to fight to keep us free. I want to take this time to thank all our soldiers who have fought and died for this great country down through the years.
On a personal note I want to thank my Daddy, my Father-in-law, my sweet Husband, William, my precious son, Mark, my precious gift and grandson, Matt and my sweet son-in-law, Lance for their service to our country. I love you all and appreciate all that you've done to keep us free.
In rememberance: Joshua Shane Ladd; Rest In Peace precious one. Your family misses you. Your service to your country cost your life. We can never repay you. Thank you seems so inadequate. You'll never know the appreciation we have for you and your love for the United States of America. We do thank you, appreciate you, love and miss you.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Nothing has changed since the last time I blogged. It's still too dang hot to be outside for any period of time and we still have a need for rain even though we had a good shower one night last week.
Our garden is just sitting there wanting water. We're getting tomatoes, cukes, hot peppers (and I do mean HOT!!!!!!) okra and some beans along but that's it for now. Not much of anything though.
There was one small incident that I can relate. Our water bill has always been wonky. One month it is twenty-two dollars but the next month it will be nearly fifty dollars. It seems the fifty dollar months are months we do not use an excess amount of water and usually a month that we get plenty of rain.
This morning an employee from the water company came calling. He was looking for the location of our water meter. hee hee hee....Go figure. Now I'm afraid to get this months water bill. It will probably be a hundred and fifty dollars. Why can't people do their jobs correctly. If they can't find a water meter ask where it's located before the bill runs sky high.
We still don't have our air conditioning unit fixed. But we should have a new one in the next couple of weeks. Window units come in handy when it's necessary. However, with the high water bill I'm expecting there will probably be an extremely high electric bill too. Looks like no food for August. ROFL
That's all the excitement around here. Fact is, I couldn't stand much excitement as hot as it is. :)
Thanks for dropping in. Maybe next time there'll be more to report.