Harvesting has begun…

Aside from lettuces and herbs, and considering we planted late, we are finally starting to get a harvest from our garden. I also notices we have tomatoes starting to ripen and a few peppers that might be big enough to toss into tonight’s salad.

What are you harvesting?  What are you looking forward to?  Let me know!  Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re
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Been Busy…Scattered Update

It’s been a while since I’ve updated, we’ve been pretty busy.  On top of that I don’t sleep well so I’m also exhausted.  Between the two I am almost overwhelmed.  But still pressing onward.  Here’s a quick rambling update:

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Kentucky Wonder Wax Beans

The green beans are in full production and I’ll be getting ready to can some tomorrow.  This is the first year of using raised bed and I think next year that the spacing for the pole beans should be farther apart.  The Provider Bush are doing great this year, but hubby says that the White Half Runners we have growing taste much better.  The Kentucky Wonder Wax beans are just starting to turn yellow.  The McCaslan Pole beans are just starting to produce.  I also bought 10 lbs. of blueberries and 20 lbs. of organic carrots over the weekend and I’ll be canning those as well (the carrots I planted didn’t come up at all.)  All the tomato plants are flowering and have green tomatoes so it shouldn’t be long before we start seeing them start turning red.  The volunteers that came up from last year turned out to be mostly Romas, but a few are Marglobe.  I’ll be saving the seeds from the nicest ones.  We actually have cucumbers this year! Last year we didn’t get one flower, this year we have lots and lots of flowers, and I should be harvesting the first cucumber this week. The peas are almost done, I’ll be planting a fall crop of here soon.  Didn’t get enough to can or freeze since hubby and son ate most of them.  Note for next year, plant twice as many.  Hubby and son finished the third raised bed, we filled it enough to plant a fall crop crop of broccoli.   After lots and lots of rain that flooded the bed, the seedling have poked through so I hope they make it.  The white onion tops have fell and are starting to brown, so I’ll be harvesting those here shortly, but they are really small.  Onions usually do well, I’m wondering if all the rain stunted them.  The yellow and red onions are still going so hopefully they will be bigger. Speaking of rain, we haven’t had any for over a week now. It actually seems weird that it isn’t raining almost every day. And for the first time this year I had to water the garden (not counting when I planted seeds.)  To top it off, this morning I knocked my plastic watering can down and it cracked when it hit the ground.  Glad I have a spare.

I can’t believe that July is almost over.  Public school with be starting in another week and I need to start planning for our upcoming homeschool year…11th grade.  Seems like it was just yesterday when we were ordering kindergarten materials and starting out on our homeschool journey.  Now we’re not only planning for the last two years of high school but making college plans as well.

I guess that’s it for now.  I’ve got laundry to finish and housework to catch up on.  Since my dryer is just barely running I’m glad to have rain-free days to hang laundry outside.   I’m glad dinner tonight is simple…blueberry pancakes and sausage.

Hope you are doing well!  Grace and peace…

Romans 8:38-39 – For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Recipe: Vegetarian Red Beans and Seven-Grain Dirty Rice

I was looking for a good Red Beans and Rice recipe and I came across this one that was aired on Good Morning America at one time.  I made it and both hubby and son loved it.  Even as lunch leftovers, my son asked for seconds.  I thought it might be too spicy for me, but it wasn’t bad at all.  This one is a keeper for our family, it has become one of hubby’s favorite recipes.

Vegetarian Red Beans and Seven-Grain Dirty Rice

Ingredients

2 c. brown rice
1 1/2 c. chopped red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 c. finely diced carrots
1/2 c. chopped celery
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. ground coriander
2 tsps. chili powder
3 3/4 c. vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 c. cooked red beans
1 1/2 c. chopped tomatoes
1/2 c. fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3 tbsps. chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsps. chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

Place medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add the rice, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, jalapeno, cumin, coriander, and chili powder, and heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring almost constantly, until lightly browned.

In another pot, bring the stock and bay leaf to a boil and add to the rice mixture. Cover the pan, lower the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the beans, tomatoes, corn, and salt. Stir, cover, and simmer for 15 more minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat and add the parsley and cilantro. Makes 8 cups; serves 6 to 8.

Canning Dried Beans

One of the things I want t2012MARbeansBo do is grow and raise enough food that we can eat out of the pantry and spend as little as possible at the store. It will be a lot easier when we aren’t in the zoned town limits. Until then we’ll do what we can do.

I would love to grow and can all sorts of beans, but our space is limited at the moment (I would love to just till the whole yard up!) so we just grow green and wax beans.  Since I can’t grow others, the next best frugal thing is to buy dried beans.  They aren’t hard to make at all if you have the time.  And most of the time is the beans soaking or cooking.

I recently read somewhere (I don’t remember where though) that fall/winter is the perfect time to can dried beans and I couldn’t agree more.  Who wants to heat up the kitchen in the summer cooking and canning dried beans if you don’t have to?  And we’re all usually busy canning from the garden.  Having them ready to eat out of the jar is such a time saver as well.  So I am on a mission to pull dried beans out of the pantry and get them canned.

I am canning the beans plain with the recipe below, but you can season them up.  Ham and beans, baked beans, chili beans etc.  The Ball Blue Book is a great place to start.

My next batch of beans will be black beans, those are hubbys favorite.  At some point I want to do pinto beans. In the mean time this past weekend I picked up a 50-pound bag of white potatoes and I’m going to be canning them as well.  Once those are done I hope to get a 50-pound bag of red potatoes and can those too.  But for now, beans.

Beans or Peas – Dried (Kidney, Navy, Pinto, etc.)
from the Ball Blue Book

2 1/4 pounds dried beans or peas per quart
Salt (optional)
Water

Cover beans or peas with cold water.  Let stand 12-18 hours in a cool place.  Drain.  Cover beans or peas with cold water by 2 inches in a large saucepot.  Bring to a boil; boil 30 minutes, stirring frequently.  Pack hot beans or peas into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace.  Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to each pint jar, 1 teaspoon salt to each quart jar, if desired.  Ladle hot cooking liquid or boiling water over beans or peas, leaving 1-inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles.  Adjust two-piece caps.  Process pints 1 hour and 15 minutes, quarts 1 hour and 30 minutes at 10 pounds pressure in a steam-pressure canner.