Thursday, May 25, 2017

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.....

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

I've been married 47 years?

Where in the world has all that time gone? Amazing!
We celebrated by going out for a late lunch to Maggiano's Little Italy in San Antonio.  Delicious!

After lunch we stopped at the plant nursery and I got three landscape roses that I want to plant against the pavilion - yellow roses.  I carried yellow roses at the wedding, and John has brought me yellow roses every year on our anniversary.  
Really -- I love that man!

Spring Garden Log -- May 3, 2017

Just a little tour around the garden today and some of what I've been harvesting.  I've been spending this week wrapping the new fruit trees and putting metal name tags on them, with the date they were planted.  But I do take a tour of the garden every day in the morning and the evening. I love watching how it's progressing.

 The blueberries tomato plants are just covered in these cascades of cherry tomatoes.  I discovered that I actually have two of these plants going - it looks like I mislabeled one of the plants in the greenhouse this winter.  I'm not complaining, I think these are going to be something!
 I brought in some of the oakleaf lettuce yesterday - it held up a little better then I thought it would to the washing and spinning. It's in the fridge and we'll be eating this batch tomorrow.
 I also brought in a handful of the tomatillos - some yellow and some green. These things feel like they're covered in glue when you peel away their cute little jackets. Looking forward to some salsa with these.
 Now that the spinach was harvested, these little celery plants are able to get some sun. These are a long term project - I know they take a long while to look like a head of celery you buy in the store.
The spinach patch is coming back for a second cutting! These plants are growing lots of new leaves! 
 The garden huckleberries are starting to turn purple!
 Can you see my first little green bean?  These are the Jade bean plants.  I think we'll be picking green beans in about a week or so.
I pulled a few sample beets to see how they are growing.  The lighter ones are the Chiogga, and the darker are the Cylindra beets.  Looking good! 
 Savoy cabbage
 I didn't get the number of cabbage that I was dreaming of, but I think we'll get about 6 heads by the time they are done growing.  There's some bigger savoy cabbage and some smaller cabbages.  They are just starting to form heads.
 The sage plant is looking real happy - this one's been in the garden for two years. I cut it back totally during the winter and mulched it, and it came roaring back this spring!
I cut a few kale leaves to have in a salad. All of the kale is looking so good.  These are Siber Frill on the top, Lacinato (dinosaur) kale in the middle, and one leaf of Blue Curled Scotch. All are just lovely.

Today I froze a few bags of peaches - I have a little over 30 pounds of peaches on trays on the kitchen table ripening. It's a good problem to have, but looks like I'll be peeling and freezing peaches for quite a while!