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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fresh Veggies…

Last Sunday I did up oodles of corn with my friends Denise and Jean.  This was after Ron and I did a boatload of corn the Wednesday before.  I now have enough bags of corn in the freezer that we can have corn at least once a week, and some weeks twice, for an entire year!  YUM, that will be good in January and February!


This was just Wednesday’s haul.  On Sunday we worked up 2-3 times this much! 

THIS weekend it was a tomato weekend.  A neighbor gave us 50-60 pounds of tomatoes, and a church member gave us 10-20 pounds, and…I had ordered 40 pounds through our CSA …of course, before I knew these kind people were going to share their bounty with us.

Sunday, I (with MUCH help from Ron, a great deal of help from Ethan, and some help from Cameron) canned 7- 1 1/2 pint jars of salsa, 15 pint jars of salsa, and I froze 10 bags of spaghetti sauce and 8-10 bags of salsa.  We also ate on fresh pico de gallo (and homemade guacamole) all day long…oh man it was yummy!  (Although Rachel’s friend Bridget got a REALLY hot and spicy bite!  Sorry Bridget!)

I still have a lot of tomatoes to go, and our neighbor said he still has more…I can have as much as I want.  I think I’ll make some more spaghetti sauce for sure…if I can bear to peel all those tomatoes again!

Here are some recipes for those fresh veggies.

Pico de Gallo (aka salsa)

(this is VERY much a “go by how it looks” “ recipe”   It is loosely based on the Pioneer Woman’s recipe…she has step by step pictures if you want to see it all come together)

  • fresh tomatoes
  • fresh green peppers
  • onions
  • jalapenos (to taste)
  • lime juice
  • fresh cilantro
  • salt

chop the tomatoes, peppers and onions and jalapenos as finely as you’d like in your salsa.  Use however much of each as you want to make it to your liking.  I usually go with 4-6 tomatoes, 2 peppers, 1-2 onions, 2-3 jalapenos (chopped up WITH seeds and membranes ‘cause we like it HOT around here).  Sprinkle with a little salt (I like kosher best).  Squeeze some lime juice in…maybe 4-6 T. or so.  Pinch off a nice bunch of fresh cilantro leaves and roll them up and chop with a knife.  I would say …5 T. or so (it has a strong flavor, so use less if you want) 

Then mix it all up and chow down with nacho chips.  This is my family’s favorite snack.

As a treat for my hubby, I often take a few spoonfuls of this and mix it with a couple of mashed avocados for guacamole.  He LOVES it.

Recipe # 2 is a fairly new way my family has been enjoying some of those tomatoes we’ve been gifted with. 

  • 3 large, fresh tomatoes, sliced 1/2-3/4 inch thick
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • pepper ( we like fresh ground!)
  • fresh basil (I used some I froze)
  • shredded mozzarella

Arrange the tomato slices on a large platter. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt, and fresh pepper.  Sprinkle a few pinches of basil on top of the tomatoes, and then sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.  These look VERY pretty, and taste good, too!

And finally…a new idea for some of that zucchini!

slice zucchini fairly thickly.  Toss with olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh pepper.  Grill (a grill pan is a GREAT tool for this) til nicely browned.  When they are done, sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese. 


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Are You Ready for Some ….


Ethan has had 3 days of football practice so far.  Here is what he looks like when he comes home from a hard 2 hour practice…




and full of smiles!

This is the picture I got when I said,

“Ethan.  Football players don’t smile.  They just look TOUGH!”


It is just impossible for that boy to NOT grin!

Happy Football season, Ethan!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

On the First day of _______ Grade

As the song “Billy Joe McGuffrey” from the Veggie Tales Jonah movie goes…

Now Billy Joe McGuffrey was a really clumsy kid
On the fifth day of fifth grade, I'll tell you what he did
He went into the garden shop looking for a rose
Sniffed a baby's breath and got a bee caught up his nose
First aid in the fifth grade
First aid in the fifth grade
First aid in the fifth grade
You could buy a zoo with all the doctor bills he paid


Ethan—fifth grade


Now Billy Joe McGuffrey was a really clumsy kid
On the ninth day of ninth grade, I'll tell you what he did
He fed the pigs on grandma's farm, two piglets and a sow
Slipped on their slop and then got stepped on by a cow
First aid in the ninth grade
First aid in the ninth grade
First aid in the ninth grade
You could buy a zoo with all the doctor bills he paid


Rachel…off to High School…


Now Billy Joe McGuffrey was a really clumsy kid
On the eleventh day of eleventh grade, I'll tell you what he did
He swept and missed an alley cat while taking driver's ed
Ran into a tree and bumped the dashboard with his head
First aid in the eleventh grade
First aid in the eleventh grade
First aid in the eleventh grade
You could buy a zoo with all the doctor bills he paid


And Cameron…a Junior!!!

Caleb is…done…no pictures of him.  He told me he won’t ask his roommate to take a picture of him on his first day at The University of Iowa.  I’ll at least try to get pictures of moving in day this weekend!

(now…how many of you have that ANNOYING song stuck in your head???)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wordless Wednesay

(except that technically…by the clock…it is Thursday)

Maui beach 09

Corn, Corn, Corn….

We have great friends.  They plant sweet corn, and then say “come and get it!”  So Ron and I did.  Today at about 1 or so we headed out to the farm and picked for 15-20 minutes.  Then, we took our chairs out and put them under the tree and started shucking.  While being stared at by beef cows.  8 of them.  They just kept staring!  As we’d shuck, we’d toss the husks over the fence.  They’d gobble them up and stare some more.  Those 8 cows got 165 corn husks today.  And they ate them ALL.  And then, when Steve came out to feed them, they ate their dinner!  Wish I’d have had my camera…I’d have taken a great pic of the 8 of them in a straight line…just staring at us…waiting til we tossed another husk at them!

So, we had 15 ears for supper tonight, with about a dozen or so left for another meal.  I have 15 bags of this recipe in the freezer.

  • 1 quart water
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. sugar

Cut the corn (RAW!) off the cob.  (That’s why I like this recipe so well…NO cooking/blanching) Put the desired amount into a freezer bag/container (I usually aim for 2-3 cups).  Pour enough of the water mixture to ALMOST cover.  Then, squeeze the air out as you zip it up. 


Now…I’m a HUGE fan of that recipe because the corn is absolutely DELICIOUS, and you don’t have to blanch the corn at all.  It is frozen raw.  I’ve been freezing corn this way for 8-10 years and we really, REALLY like it.

BUT…today I tried a new recipe.  And it might be my new favorite.  I’ll still do the easy/no cook kind, but…I’ll have to always make this.  The online recipe that is similar is called “Spectacular Sweet Corn” and I have to agree…it’s spectacular all right.

  • 12-15 c. corn, cut off the cob
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 pint half and half

Mix the 3 ingredients.  Bake in a 350 oven for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 15-20 minutes.  Taste test to be sure the corn is done.  Cool and then freeze in freezer bags/containers in the amount desired.


Thanks, Steve and Jean for the corn…and especially, Jean, for sharing the recipe.  It is OH, so good!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fishing Fun

Ron took Ethan and his friend Trey fishing on Thursday morning.  They had a great time, and brought enough fish home for lunch!


KT had to stick her curious nose in the bucket to see what exciting and interesting things might be in there.  Ethan and Trey were worried she’d get “stung” by the fish!


She also had to get “up close and personal” with Ronnie’s bass!


Trey and his catfish bullheads.


Ronnie’s bass.  He didn’t even catch it by accident!  Honest!


I don’t know which was more fun…catching the fish or beating it on the head with a screwdriver to kill it before cleaning it!


See how much he enjoyed it?


It was a good day of summer fun!