Sunday, July 30, 2017

Fresh Sweet Corn

I bought four dozen ears of corn at the farmers market intending to freeze them for winter.  While cooler than the day before, the dew point and humidity levels made it miserable outside, so I decided to prep the corn inside.  

I pick up disposable table clothes at garage sales or estate sales whenever I find them for a reasonable price.  They're great for all kinds of projects.  

Josey loved eating the tassels and the leaves.  

And supervised my work.

There were worms on a few ears. 

Cut and ready for cooking!

I threw the worms and wormy ends of the ears into a ziplock bag and froze them for feeding to the birds. 

I used a recipe from Taste of Home for frozen sweet corn. You can find the recipe HERE

To a large stock pot I added 1 quart hot water, 2/3 c sugar, 1/2 cut butter cubed and 2 tsp salt.

I made two batches.  One using two dozen ears of peaches and cream corn, the second using two dozen ears of white corn.

I thought the first batch was a little too buttery, so I used about a third of the butter and only 1/3 c sugar.

You bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then transfer to large shallow containers to cool, stirring occasionally.  

Theres another container not shown in this picture.  My parents came over while I was cooking it and declared it good!

This ziplock bag holder came in handy!

Instructions say to freeze with some of the liquid.  I wasn't certain how much.  They also shared to leave some head room in the bag for expansion, so I didn't remove all the air.  I hope its as good this fall and winter as it was before I froze it.  I thought four dozen was a bit extreme when I started cleaning the ears, but now I'm thinking I need more frozen for this winter!  Its that good!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Easy Crock Pot Chicken

I've blogged before about Salsa Chicken;

Thawed chicken breasts
Jar of favorite salsa (16oz oz or larger)

Cook on low 6-8 hours. 

You can also add powdered taco seasoning and/or green chilies to the pot. 

I've also blogged about Italian Chicken; 


Marinate thawed chicken breasts in a large bottle of Italian salad dressing overnight. Dump chicken and salad dressing in the crock pot and cook on low 6-8 hours. 

You can also add potatoes and carrots to the pot. 

Recently I made Poppy Seed Chicken in the crock pot and it was so good;


Thawed chicken breasts marinated in poppy seed salad dressing overnight. Dump chicken and salad dressing in a crock pot and cook on low 6-8 hours. 

My crock pots run hot and all three recipes are well done after 6 hours. Chicken will fall apart, so plan to serve it shredded. All three recipes will freeze well and can be used in other recipes. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Farmer's Market

I love our local farmer's market, but I don't visit it often enough and theres good reason!  There is a lot there to tempt you to fall off your budget wagon!  See the above hibiscus?  I really wanted one, but it was already near 90 degrees before 8 am and I hadn't known where I'd plant it, so one didn't come home with me.  Oh, look those plants at the bottom of the picture.  Hostas?  Elephant ears?  I bet they'd look nice on the north side of the house, but until the chimney is fixed, I'm not planting in that area.  I'd love too to have some tall native grasses in the yard, but doubt they'd do well where I want to plant them.  

Oh, look at that cat!  See him?  That looks like Lyncoln and I had really wanted to bring him home for the yard.  Maybe next trip.  The skulls creep me out!  

There are several craft booths.  I like this woodpecker.  He had a bunch to choose from along with toy wooden cars, trains and even boats that float in the water.  (Dede I thought about getting you one to float in your pond!)

I like the flag signs, but didn't price them. 

Oh I love these! All of them! I got a new ort jar from his $5 box. 

Theres plenty to eat now. 

And plenty to take and eat later.

The picture above and below are from an Amish booth.  This is only half of what they had.  

There are several cookie booths. 

If you want baked goods, this is your place!  Jams, honey, BBQ sauce, eggs, those too! 

Apple cider and apple cider donuts from Rees Fruit Farm!  YUM! 

There was every imaginable fruit and vegetable available too, except for white flesh peaches, but it was HOT before I even awoke that day and though I arrived before 7:30, after a few pictures it was time to get down to business!  The farmer's market is much bigger than shown in these few pictures. 

So, what did I come home with?  Four dozen ears of corn, a bunch of tomatoes, some onions, a cantaloupe (that wasn't any good), a blueberry pie for my parents, some mini quick breads (friendship and Hawaiian), a new ort jar and probably more than that, but I can't recall now! 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


The yard is a constant works-in-progress. I have so many plans for it and eventually I hope to have it filled with various perennials. Remember this springs bulbs along my driveway? I planted seed in one stretch. Zinnias, daisies, bachelor buttons, mini sunflowers... only 2 bachelor buttons and 2 varieties of zinnias came up. 


They're so pretty. 




I think next year I'll expand this seed planting area and try again to get more of a variety. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The good, the bad and the ugly! A garden update!

Oh folks, I love my garden, but I wonder whether it loves me. I've been dealing with Blossom End Root or BER. BER is a problem, or so the scientists say, with the plant getting enough calcium. Supposedly adding agriculture lime to the potting soil addresses this, but it didn't fix it for me. 

Picture taken June 18. 


Supposedly first fruits often get BER and the plants fix themselves. 


A respected scientist/gardener wonders if I'm having such a hard time with BER because of fluoride in my city water. Fluoride binds to calcium and the plant can't absorb it. So, next year I've got to get rain barrels up and collecting water each rain. 


I've picked and thrown well over 40 tomatoes with BER. You're not to leave them on the plant. Not because it can spread, but so that the plant doesn't continue to put energy into a fruit that has BER. It's so sad!


I am getting some tomatoes. This is from the 8th of July and is my biggest harvest to date. These are the first cucumbers I picked. The middle one probably needed to grow longer. The green tomato was plucked by mistake. 

So, there's the ugly (BER) and good (still get some tomatoes). The bad is the squash plants. I'm pulling the squash plants, cantaloupe and bell peppers on July 27 if I don't have any fruit set on each. Save my water for the cucumbers and tomatoes. The tomatoes self pollinate with a wind, of which we have here in Kansas. The other plants need pollinators and I don't have many. Also the cucumber beetles are getting the pollen before the bees can do their thing. 

No pollinators mean fruit either don't produce or they do, but quickly wilt and fall off. Here's an example of a pumpkin that wasn't pollinated correctly. 


Here are my zucchini with the same problem. 


I've tried using a kids paint brush to pollinate the squash, but it hasn't worked yet.  The cucumbers look sad. They produce a lot of cukes, but they only grow maybe an inch, turn yellow and shrivel up. Suggestions were to hand pollinate or make my yard more bee friendly. Or my suggestion; next year only plant tomatoes! 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Creepy Crawly!

Human beings are psychologically far more afraid of bugs than they are of driving a car, whereas people get killed by cars every single day, and there is hardly ever a story of people getting killed by bugs. Jeff Pinkner

I am amazed at the bug life in my yard and specifically in my little garden. 

Don't know what this guy is on my tomato, but I'm afraid he isn't a good bug. 


Spider-Man. He lives near my water faucet. We have a deal. I don't kill him and he doesn't move towards my bare feet. 


Yellow grasshopper. 


I think this is a flea beetle. 


Lightning bug or firefly. 


Bad cucumber beetle. 


Much welcome ladybug. 


Many I haven't been able to identify and will someday get by the County Extension office for help with. 


There's even a daddy long legs in my garden!


I think this is called a leaf hopper. He's so pretty! 


No clue what this one is, but odds are he's not a friend. 


This is just a sampling of the bugs I've found in and around the garden. Also interesting to see what I can find. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

First Anniversary Plantings

I hadn't really set out to plant something on the anniversary of my purchasing my first house, it just happened to fall on that date. On a recent trip to Walmart I found an employee taking clearanced plants to the dumpster! Wait! I'll buy them and three separate trips to Walmart found me with four dumpster bound, deeply discounted plants. I felt badly for them! 

Pussy Willow; 


Excuse the weeds. I don't spray for bugs or weeds. Nature is welcome here. 

Two forsythia bushes;


And one Rose of Sharon;


They don't look perfect and they were dry as bones. I've watered them in with plant food and will keep them watered in hopes they can survive. If they don't, they didn't cost much and I tried.