Someone once told me that if you slow cooked can green beans they would be close to the garden ones. And they are. I put a can of green beans in the slow cooker and cooked for a couple of hours and enjoyed them. Didn't add any potatoes, so don't know how well that works out. Might be best to used canned too, instead of bagged.
Last Edit: Aug 13, 2017 13:13:59 GMT -6 by Mini Mia
I don't think I'd ever make it as a Southerner. I do not like green beans cooked for hours (even with ham-hock like my mother-in-law did!). It was tradition that my brother's ex-wife at our family gatherings was always in charge of "beans, roes, and pi" which is "beans, rolls, and pie" without her Kentucky accent; she cooked green beans for hours like Hubs' mom did. Even after all the years they've been divorced, whenever we all get together, "beans, roes, and pi" is still her contribution to family meals. A big family meal isn't compete without them.
Hubs and I prefer them cooked only until al dente and still bright green; his mother always said I took the Southern out of him (and she did not say it endearingly!) Tonight we had them one of my favorite ways - with chopped fresh tomatoes, feta cheese crumbles, and a splash of Italian dressing. Most times it's minus the feta, but there was some in the fridge, so why not?
It was the only way I had most vegetables. My sister went to a Japanese restaurant once, and discovered she did like vegetables after all, when they weren't overcooked. I do like fresher veggies, but sometimes I crave them the way I had them growing up. I also didn't realize how good green beans were when in a butter sauce, and not in bacon grease. TV dinners taught me how good veggies were in a butter sauce.
I also didn't realize how good green beans were when in a butter sauce, and not in bacon grease.
Hubs has said when he was growing up, his Mom always had a jar of bacon grease next to the stove; she cooked everything in bacon grease! (I've wondered exactly how much bacon one has to eat, to always have a jar of grease from it handy?)
Mom collected the grease from bacon (or any other meat, like hamburger) in a jar also, but she never cooked with it; she'd put a lid on it, and throw it away. She saved jars for this purpose. I do the same - strictly to prevent clogged pipes from draining the grease into the sink.
Although she never cooked vegetables in bacon grease, that isn't to say she didn't overcook them! OMG, us kids used to tease her endlessly about how dead and gray-colored broccoli was by the time she got done cooking it! She'd get us back though, whenever she came to dinner at one of our houses, by saying the meal was great, but the vegetables were underdone (except for, of course, my sis-in-law's green beans). It was a running family joke.
We've had lots of meals here lately that remind me of summers during my childhood - meals that consist completely of (not overcooked) vegetables from the garden: green beans, sliced tomatoes, potatoes (Hubs has been digging ours, and found he'd planted two kinds of fingerling potatoes - oh-my-god good and so tender!), and corn on the cob from Crazy Cheryl.
Speaking of Crazy Cheryl - she gave me a big bag of different kinds of winter squash while I was visiting the other night. She insisted I take them, although I'm not a fan of winter squash (neither is Hubs or BP). I took them to work for my co-workers except for two of a new variety; they look like white cucumbers with green stripes, and are supposed to taste like sweet potatoes.
And speaking of cucumbers...Hubs forwarded me a text from the neighbors the evening I was at Crazy Cheryl's. We've been trading produce with them the last couple of weeks; Hubs brought them tomatoes, green beans, and beets that evening, and in exchange picked a few pints of their raspberries. Only the son was home at the time, and Hubs asked him if they'd like some beet greens also - the son wasn't sure anyone would eat them so he texted his parents (turned out his dad - Computer Guy - loves beet greens!) In response, Neighbor Lady texts Hubs, and says "We have cakes if you want a couple" followed by a cake emoji. So Hubs forwards it to me, and I text Hubs back - "Hell, yeah! I never turn down cake! But a couple of them? Maybe only one - or even just a slice will do!" I get home from CC's expecting dessert, and was disappointed to find nothing. The son couldn't find the cakes, and had no idea what his Mom was talking about.
Come to find out that she was talking about cucumbers - "cukes". Damned auto-correct on her phone changed "cukes" to "cakes" and even auto-added the cake emoji. She brought over a couple of cucumbers the following day.
I spent a good bit of time yesterday "mulching" tomatoes - running them through the food processor to freeze for making sauce throughout the winter. I did about twenty tomatoes - coring and de-seeding them before putting them in the food processor; it's a lot quicker than canning. It would have been even quicker if I didn't de-seed them, but Hubs requested the de-seeding. Pfft! "Can you even taste them?" Of course not, but he can see them. "Then close your eyes." I relented though, and dang, those heirloom tomatoes have a lot of seeds! The tomatoes - yellow, purple, and pink - are all nearly softball sized varieties, and every time I thought I got the seeds out, I'd make another cut, and find a hidden chamber full of seeds. We've got neat freezer bags full of tomatoes ready to be made into sauce though - each of them different colors, all of them pretty. I didn't bother to separate the varieties, but each bag turned out different depending on how much of each variety I threw into the batch and bagged. Since the three varieties each have a different taste, it'll be kind of fun to taste the different sauces.
Today, I picked a big bouquet of sunflowers in different yellow hues, hydrangea blossoms dried to a brick red, and white garlic chive blossoms. Pretty, pretty. I love having flowers in the house, and nearly always have at least one somewhere; many times more than one.
Other than that, I have done nothing in the gardens all weekend. And they all are in desperate need of tending!
I have two jars in the refrigerator with bacon grease in them. I would say that I never throw out bacon grease, but I threw out tons of jars of bacon grease at Mom's house. I had no clue if Mom had put any other kind of grease in them, with her mind going and all. I really hated throwing them out too.
Really? You have two jars? Your mom had tons of them? How long does it keep, and what do you do with that much of it? Never having cooked with bacon grease, I had no idea people used it often enough to have a lot of it on hand.
I think we tend to put bacon grease in pretty much everything. I use it when frying potatoes, in all kinds of beans, and other vegetables. I've never made stewed potatoes, but I've no doubt Mom put it in that. I've never seen any of the family throw out bacon grease, but that is probably because they used it before it could go rancid. I keep mine in the refrigerator because I don't use it as often as they did. I always smell it to make sure it's still good.
Our vegetable gardens are pretty much done for the year. I had to buy zucchinis at the grocery store this week!
We're still getting tomatoes, though Hubs pulled one of the plants out the other day - the Black Krim. He didn't mean to actually, but was threading one of the branches through the trellis, and the main stem broke. A handful of beans here and there, but nothing more than a one night's dinner side. The lettuce I planted in August though, is still kicking - it looks really good, actually. Everything else looks tired.
I was cutting back perennials the other day - daylilies mostly; they look pretty bad this time of year. Hiding underneath the foliage, burrowed in a little depression in the soil, was a fat toad - the darkest-colored toad I've ever seen. He was so dark, he was almost black. I wonder if it has anything to do with the weather?
Last year, or a few years back, I told how Mom gave me a long piece of cloth, (the shape of a long table runner), to wear around my neck at work during the summer. (Metal building addition, two small windows, two large doorways, no a/c.) I would hold it under the faucet and fill it full of water and then hang/drape it over my shoulders to keep me cool. (The building was an old high school, so the dripping water didn't hurt anything. Although, I was too hot to care about that when the owners didn't care about their employees suffering in an oven during the summer heat and humidity.)
I think I may have mentioned my farmer neighbor who was covered from head to toe as he worked in the heat of the summer sun. He said once his clothes were wet with sweat, any little breeze cooled him down. I tried this trick once when setting tobacco. And once I was covered in sweat, my clothes kept me cool.
I was thinking about this, and I thought:
* Why not wrap some sponges up inside a bandana, get it all sopping wet, and tie around the neck? * Why not do the same with sponges wrapped up inside a towel, or 'table runner?' Get it all sopping wet and tie it around the waste? * Why not wear a flannel shirt over the shirt you're wearing ... and get it sopping wet before putting it on? Same with thin baggy pants? Get them sopping wet and wear them over your shorts.
When these get dry, or almost dry, get them sopping wet again?
Last Edit: Jun 3, 2018 19:15:18 GMT -6 by Mini Mia
There are a few people on the landscape crews at work who wear long-sleeved shirts and jeans all summer long. Personally, I couldn't do it for a couple of reasons - the first being, I'd be way too hot. Secondly, because I work on the retail side of the business and am in contact with customers all day, being covered in sweat, I feel, is not presentable - it's bad enough being sweaty in short-sleeves and shorts; I couldn't imagine being completely drenched while taking care of clients.
They worked fairly well, but you'd end up with a kind of slime from the crystals that seeped through the material if you kept it on for any length of time. Good to keep in the fridge, and use for a few minutes at break-time though.
I'd think - again a personal opinion - that getting your clothes sopping wet, either just your shirt or pants, or both, would be highly uncomfortable. Not to mention, you'd prune! I've worked in sopping wet clothes many times, when a customer just had to be shown trees or the like in the pouring rain - they always say 'a little water never hurt anyone', and then they get to go home and dry off, while we're stuck in wet clothes for the rest of the day. Urgh! It's not pleasant at all!
It may work differently outside. I only got the towel/runner sopping wet, and it didn't stay that way long inside the metal oven. I would be dry in no time, and I'd have to race to the bathroom to get it sopping wet again. I wish I had thought of the sponges, it might have taken longer before I needed to race to the bathroom.
I only did the cover up one time, but I don't recall being wringing wet with sweat. But, then, a storm came up and lightening strikes were all around us, and Dad wanted to get the last of the plants in the ground before the rain made it impossible to get the tracker out in the soft dirt. Got sopping wet from the rain, and we were delighted to survive it. IIRC, that was the last year we grew tobacco, so I didn't get a chance to try the cover up again.
One thing that was great about growing tobacco, was the money it brought in. (Well, not to me. I was free labor. My payment was food, clothes and a roof over my head.) But the money helped pay off loans, or to buy needed stuff. It is no longer an option these days. Shame. My sister and I could use that nifty 'make extra money' trick. I wonder what other crop we could replace tobacco with?
Well, we lease the farm out, and the farmer grows corn, soybean, and wheat. But the wheat doesn't make enough to bother with anymore, so now its just the two crops now. We only get a third of the profit, and we pay a third of bills to grow the crops. So, we make very little from crops. The tobacco we raised ourselves, so all the profit went to us. (I keep saying we and us, when I was free labor only. ) ... And with the way things are going, these two crops may not be worth bothering with at some point either.
"...I'd choose spearmint", she says as she kills the one spearmint plant she has.
I love spearmint, and have had a pot of it for years; it didn't survive this last winter very well though, so I decided it was time to replace it. I bought a new spearmint plant, and all my other herbs and annuals about three weeks ago. I managed to get eight pots planted back then, but everything else is just sitting out there in flats, or their tiny pots, patiently waiting to get planted. Except the spearmint! It couldn't wait any longer to be planted, and shriveled pretty badly. I watered the heck out of it, just in case there was any life left in the poor neglected thing.
Last night, I got around to planting a little more than half of what I had left (8 more pots!) before I ran out of soil again. The spearmint plant still sits there waiting to get out of its tiny pot...and miraculously has come back to life overnight.
Been busy in the garden of late. Started work on a new border today. Bought edging stones from the diy store and plum coloured slate from the landscape centre. Got about 8 feet done so far but I had to stop, it's just too hot to dig in this weather (28c). The greenhouse is looking good though. Tomatoes, peppers, beetroots, chilli and lettuce coming along nicely. I'm trying something new this year, Cucamelons (also known as mexican sour gherkins). I read about them in a gardening mag and thought they might be interesting.
Been busy in the garden of late. Started work on a new border today. Bought edging stones from the diy store and plum coloured slate from the landscape centre. Got about 8 feet done so far but I had to stop, it's just too hot to dig in this weather.
Sounds like it'll be lovely when finished, Moonglum! After busting my butt to get ready for last year's garden tour, I've got no big garden projects planned for this season - except to weed and maintain, of which I'm falling behind!
Tomatoes, peppers, beetroots, chilli and lettuce coming along nicely.
Lettuce! I never did get my lettuce seeds planted. I wonder if it's too late? The variety I got is slow to bolt in heat, so maybe not. Our spinach is ready to start picking though.
I'm trying something new this year, Cucamelons (also known as mexican sour gherkins). I read about them in a gardening mag and thought they might be interesting.
I've never heard of cucamelons, but just drilled. Ooooo, they do sound interesting! Let us know what you think of them - it might be something I'd want to try growing next year, or at least keep a lookout for them at the farmers market.
All that gorgeous deep green spinach I had growing in the garden last week, quickly bolted and turned yellowish from the heat and humidity toward the later part of the week. Spinach is cool season crop, and I'm kicking myself for not getting out there and picking it when it was looking so good. I pulled all of it yesterday, tossed most of it away...and bought a tub of baby spinach at the grocery store.
'Wasting' food is not something one feels good about. Most especially if you paid good money for it. And who wants to spend money on something that you wouldn't have had to buy if 'only' ... you'd picked it in time.
I filled the empty place the discarded spinach left in my garden with marigolds....or that is the plan anyway. I bought the marigolds, but haven't planted them yet. I haven't planted the lettuce seeds yet either - those will go in the other veggie garden where the spinach was. Need to get it going before it's too late!
Everything else in both the vegetable gardens looks amazingly good right now.
My favorite time in my gardens is early morning - everything looks so fresh and rested as opposed to late afternoon when I get home from work. By then, some of the flowers look as tired as I do, all of us being out in the sun and heat all day.
This morning's favorite time in the gardens was spent doing one of my favorite things - cutting a bouquet to bring into the house. It's comprised of pale pink 'Fairy' roses, deeper pink-almost fuchsia 'Seven Sisters' roses, delicate lime-green Lady's Mantle, yellow yarrow, and fern fronds. It's a huge bouquet - special because it's for BP's birthday.
Our potatoes aren't ready yet...actually, I don't know if we'll get any at all. Hubs got a little over-anxious waiting for them, and dug up a couple of plants this past week, expecting at least "new" potatoes. There wasn't anything! Big, leafy gorgeous plants without anything but roots underneath! Not even a marble-sized potato!