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Pucker Up

August 12th, 2015

Sour cherries bring back memories of my childhood. My maternal grandmother had a big sour cherry tree in her back yard. When the cherries were ripe, my grandpa would erect scaffolding around the tree and we’d go down and pick cherries. We’d spend hours pitting them, then my mom would make a pie and the rest went into the freezer to make sauce for ham and maybe another pie or two.
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I planted a few sour cherries trees in Ohio, but they didn’t produce much before we moved. I haven’t planted any here yet (not sure why). Lucky for me, the neighbors have a tree that produces much more than they want or need. Thus I am able to head down and pick cherries at their place.
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They can’t remember for sure which variety it is, I’m fairly certain it’s a ‘Montmorency’. I’m happy to have a few pints of cherries tucked into the freezer to be made into scones when the snow flies outside. Personally, I much prefer sour cherries to sweet cherries. I have plans to add a few trees to the garden, in fact I saved a handful of these pits and they’re tucked in the fridge in a container of peat moss hoping they’ll sprout.

Do you grow sour cherries? What’s your favorite way to enjoy them?

Potting up Peppers

November 19th, 2014

I harvested all my peppers almost two months ago, they’ve been living in containers on the back porch. This time of year my back porch is like a walk in cooler, it keeps things fresh forever. We’ve been eating fresh peppers almost daily. The time had come for the rest of them to go into the freezer.
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So I chopped, and chopped, and chopped some more. I fried, and fried, and fired some more. Pretty soon all the peppers were prepped and ready to be saved for eating this winter.
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I ended up with a nice little stockpile of peppers to enjoy this winter. No doubt they’ll be enjoyed in omelets, on pizza, and in fajitas.

What are you preserving from the garden this week?

Picking Pecks of Peppers

September 25th, 2014

This year I had a bumper pepper harvest. I could have left them on the plants longer, but I wanted to clear out that spot in the garden to move the strawberries. Thus I ended up picking mountains of peppers. Most of them will be roasted over a fire and canned, some will be stuffed and frozen (here’s my recipe if you’re interested).
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Some of them were given to neighbors, others have already been used for delicious meals. There are still a good many to process, looks like I’ll be busy tonight!
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The small peppers are the Mini Bells I talked about last week, I’m thinking I’ll make mass quantities of bite sized peppers stuffed with sausage, onions, garlic, herbs and cheese. I made a batch of ricotta earlier this week just for them. I think popping a few of these beauties out of the freezer for a quick breakfast or dinner will be so convenient.

Do you like green peppers? What’s your favorite way to enjoy them?

The Corn Bee

September 3rd, 2013

Yesterday, we celebrating Labor Day by processing corn with our neighbors. Having a bee, is a great way to make a big job much more fun, the work goes much faster when you have someone to talk to while working. It ended up being their best year yet. We spent the day husking, cooking, cooling, cutting and freezing dozens of ears of corn.
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We ended up coming home with quite a bit of corn for our freezer. This will certainly bring the taste of summer back on a few cold winter days.

Do you ever have group work days?

Friday Favorite: Garden Peas

July 12th, 2013

I’ve always been a big fan of garden peas, they’re just so sweet and tasty.  I rarely every have enough for freezing, most of them are enjoyed within a few hours of being picked.
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Since I never end up with enough peas for the freezer, this year I planted a ton.  Two seventy foot long rows to be exact, along with a few six foot rows in the back potager for fresh eating. I grew ‘Green Arrow’ from High Mowing Seeds as my main crop peas. Other sowings included: ‘Little Marvel’, ‘Lincoln’, and ‘Dakota’.
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My plan finally worked, on Wednesday evening we spent an hour shelling peas. After shelling our harvest weighed in at 8 pounds. They were blanched and packed into two cup glass containers for freezing.
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Typically I’m not much of one for freezing or canning much from the garden, peas are the exception because winter soups and stews just aren’t the same without them!
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We’ve also been enjoying our share fresh from the garden. Mostly, I’ve been steaming them then tossing them with butter and some homemade duck breast prosciutto. I always read about traditional recipes featuring peas and mint, but somehow I just can’t bring myself to put mint with peas. One of these days I will.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy garden peas? Do you like peas and mint together?

About

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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