Daily Grind – Breakfast Sausage

A few months ago I blogged about buying two new gadgets for the kitchen.  The first was a meat cuber/tenderizer and I have used this countless times already.  The second has been used just as much, probably more, but without the success of the cuber.

This second gadget — a meat grinder, was purchased so we could take advantage of the great price on pork butts that seems to be an almost weekly occurence lately.  Hubby and I researched various options and chose a grinder that was heavy-duty so we could grind the pork to make our own sausage.

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The first time we used the grinder we discovered that although heavy-duty and literally “heavy” it would not sit on the counter while we cranked the handle.  This led to us using several clamps to hold it firm while we worked. Next we found that the grinding plate with the smallest holes continually got jammed with fat when we tried using it. I read up on it online and found that putting the meat in the freezer for 45 minutes or more would make the process of going through the grinding plate easier.

I cut up the meat, put it in a pan, and tucked it in the freezer for an hour.  When we fed the partially frozen meat into the grinder, it was better, but still not very good.  The meat still jammed and we were getting quite frustrated.

In order for us to grind the meat, we had to use the grinding plate with the larger holes. We did this and the grinding process went much easier. When we used the meat in burgers that night however, I was not happy with the texture of it.  It was chunkier than I like and still had a good amount of grizzle that had not been ground up.

Because of all the trouble we had with the grinder, it became more of a thorn in my side than an asset.  I didn’t want to use it.  I didn’t want to make more work for myself.  The purpose of the grinder was to save us money on buying ground pork, but in the process what I had really done was make a lot more work for myself.

After letting the grinder sit for about a month, I finally recovered from the initial disappointment of our purchase and decided to suck it up and try again.

First I cut all the fat off the pork butt I planned on grinding.  Next I cut all the meat into 2 or 3 inch pieces and placed them in a bowl with the fat.  After an hour in the freezer I was ready to start grinding.  With the large hole grinding plate in place I began to slowly feed the pork into the grinder.  The meat slowly eased through the machine and produced a coarsely ground meat.  Once all the meat was done I began feeding the frozen fat through the machine. Fat is a necessary component of sausage, so grinding the fat along with the meat is a must.  About 3/4 of the way through the fat the machine began to jam.  I forced the remaining fat through as best I could then put all the ground meat and fat back into the bowl and returned it to the freezer.

While the meat cooled in the freezer I disassembled the grinder, removed all the unground grizzle and fat, discarded it, and then cleaned the grinder.  Once it was clean I reassembled it and removed the cold ground meat and fat from the freezer.

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With the clean grinder I began to feed the ground meat and fat through the machine again to grind the meat finer.  After all the meat and fat had been fed through for a second time I again disassembled and cleaned the grinder. Then I got out my food processor and began to process the ground product in small batches.  This ground the meat fairly fine, removing most chunks of meat and fat that might have gotten by the grinding blades in the grinder.

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This procedure of grinding twice and then processing with the food processor worked!  I made pork burgers one night and moussaka another with the ground product and everyone agreed it was as fine as ground pork from the store, but far tastier.  Success!

With the grinding process down, I decided to set to work on a recipe for homemade breakfast sausage.  After several attempts, this afternoon Grace confirmed that the recipe I ended up with is a keeper.

Homemade Breakfast Sausage

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8 lbs. Freshly Ground Pork Butt

3 Tbsp. Salt

3 tsp. White Pepper

6 tsp. Rubbed Sage

3/4 tsp. Ground Ginger

2 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg

3 tsp. Thyme

1 tsp. Dried Rosemary

12 Ounces Ice Water

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

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Mix well.

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I made small patties of the mixed sausage and fried them in a pan.

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I purchased a pork butt this morning for $1.19 a pound – 10 pounds.  After trimming, removing the bone, and grinding the meat we ended up with 8 pounds of meat. I used all of this for the sausage and now we have four bags with two pounds each in the freezer.  It works out to be less than 1/3 the cost of what breakfast sausage costs in the stores.

Although the process of grinding my own pork is not as easy as I first thought it would be, now that I have a procedure to work with the task isn’t as daunting. I don’t mind having to do a little work to save some money and produce ground meat that I believe is of a higher quality than can be bought at a grocery store. With fresh breakfast sausage ready for cooking in the freezer, my next task will be to test recipes for Polish sausage and begin learning how to stuff sausage in casings.

New gadgets are great, most of the time, especially when I finally get them to work the way I need them to, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

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Obstructed View!

After our new windows were put in the other day, I was thrilled to sit in the great room just staring out the new doorwall. It was not only nice to have a new door, but it was great to have a window that was clean.

Although I pride myself on being a fairly good housekeeper, windows are not something I specialize in or for that matter do very well at all.  I do clean them often enough, but to clean them and not leave behind streaks is not going to happen. After the installers left on Thursday, it was wonderful to sit and stare out freshly cleaned glass without any sort of film, streaks, or grime.

Well, this morning when I got up my bubble was burst.  Yep, chalk one up for the birds.  They managed to somehow mark their territory quite well, right through the screen on our new door.

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Very Nice!

So, now that my doors have officially been “broken in,” I guess I’m going to have to add insult to injury and clean them, most likely leaving behind streaks.  I’ve tried most everything in the past, Windex, ammonia mixed with water, vinegar mixed with water, soap and water, you name it, I’ve probably tried it.  I think it’s me really.  Some people excel at certain things, and cleaning windows is definitely not one of those for me.

Oh well, it was nice while it lasted. I suppose I can always look at the pictures I took of the doors just after they were installed, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

Garden Update – June 20, 2015

Things are proceeding quite nicely in the gardens. While we were on vacation the weather cooperated perfectly and upon our return we were greeted with flourishing green plants, spreading like wildfire.

Bush and Pole Beans two days before we left on vacation.

Bush and pole beans the day before we left. Hubby and I put the poles up the night we left.

Bush and pole beans the day before we left. Hubby and I put the poles up the night we left.

Beans one week later.

Notice how the pole beans climbed almost to the top of the poles in the week we were gone.

Notice how the pole beans climbed almost to the top of the poles in the week we were gone.

Cucumbers before we left on vacation.

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Cucumbers after I had to tie them to the A-frame one week later.

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Corn and pumpkins before we left.

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Corn and pumpkin vines that had grown beyond the garden and had to be flipped back towards the corn, one week later.

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I hope this pace keeps up.  Already there are tiny cucumbers on the cucumber vines and lots more flowers. The pumpkins have flowers as well.

It’s amazing how quickly things change in the garden.  Looking at it day in and day out I don’t always notice the changes. What a difference a week makes.  I’ll definitely have to start paying better attention, otherwise I might not witness all the wonders nature has to offer in the garden.

My garden is growing, growing, growing, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

Cruising Essentials – Days At Sea

Having been on four previous cruises, I have learned a thing or two about what things from home can make your cruising experience even better than just the amenities on the ship.  This cruise I was sure to pack a few things I knew would make this cruise even nicer for the entire family. Most of these are personal preference, but the first one I’m going to list is for me an absolute essential.  Without it, I couldn’t cruise.

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Sea Bands and Bonine!

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I am not one of the lucky ones that does not get sea sick.  The first two cruises Hubby and I went on some 20 years ago I bought Dramamine before getting on the ship not knowing how I would feel when the boat started moving. The moment the boat began to move though, I found out that Dramamine alone for me was not going to cut it. First off the Dramamine made me drowsy. This isn’t good when you are trying to enjoy all that the cruise ship has to offer. Further, once that boat starts moving, the Dramamine had little effect.  Apparently the patch and sea-sick pills need to numb your inner ear prior to getting sick.  Not having done this before getting on the ship, the first two days on my cruises were pretty miserable.

Before our third cruise, I did a ton of research to find out what my options were. The one I found that turned out to be a life saver was something called Sea Bands.  These little wrist bands can be put on at any time during your cruise and work almost instantaneously. There is a tiny little bead on the underside of the band that presses against the veins in your wrist and immediately takes the sick feeling away.

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I put the bands on before getting on the ship, just because I actually can feel the ship moving when it is docked. Perhaps this is all in my head, but my brain tells me there is motion, so I start feeling queasy.  I know that they work at any point though because one night I decided that I didn’t want to wear them in the shower so they wouldn’t get wet. As soon as they were removed, the sea sickness was almost too much to bear.  I finished my shower and immediately put the bands back on. Within seconds I felt relief.

In addition to the Sea Bands I also pack Bonine.  This pill is my backup. Although most of the time the Sea Bands are enough to keep the sea sickness at bay, when we cruised to the Bahama’s a few years ago we had one evening when we went through a storm.  The winds got up to over 70 miles per hour and the ship was literally rocking so hard that you could not walk down the corridors without staggering from side to side.  All shows and entertainment were cancelled for the night, the upper decks were locked down so no one could go out on deck, and everyone, and I do mean everyone including the staff and well seasoned cruisers, were sick.  People were sitting in the hallways with buckets and even Hubby who prides himself on having the greatest sea-legs, was curled up in bed, feeling awful.  I handed out Bonine to Hubby and the kids and took some myself and although the rocking of the ship psychologically could not be turned off, we all felt at least well enough to not need a bucket.

I’ll take the Bonine if the ship hits some rockier waters, just as a precaution.  Being sea sick is the worst possible thing when you are on a cruise.  There is nowhere to go to stop it until you hit port and then when you do, the motion sickness doesn’t just go away.  It takes time for your body to adjust to being back on land which can then ruin any sightseeing you might have planned.

For the small investment of about $8.00 for the Sea Bands, which come in a light blue or black, I would suggest everyone pack a pair of these regardless if you think you’ll get sea-sick or not.  Plus, for about $6 more, a package of Bonine can’t hurt.

Water Bottle & Insulated Mug

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Although there are areas on the ship where you can pretty much always find free beverages (coffee, tea, iced tea, lemonade, water, and a few other flavored Kool-Aide type drinks) having to continually get up and refresh your drinks might not be all that convenient.  Taking along a water bottle to store extra thirst quenching beverages and an insulated mug so you can drink hot coffee or tea after leaving the buffet area makes sense.

These two personal amenities are also quite helpful when heading off the ship for shore excursions.  Some of the places cruise ships visit are not sanitary enough to feel comfortable buying anything to drink and others are extremely expensive. Having the option to carry a bottle of something to drink that you know will not get you sick or cost you next months rent/mortgage payment, is definitely the way to go.

Deck Slippers

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Now this is definitely something that I thoroughly enjoy having while on board. Most of your time while on the ship will probably be spent outside your cabin. Unless you are heading for the pool or hot tub, this would mean throwing on your shoes and spending the day walking around in those. Comfort to me is not having to wear shoes at all, but the next best thing is to have slippers on.  Not wanting to drag along my fuzzy bedroom slippers and endure the curious stares of my fellow cruisers, I opt for a comfortable pair of slip-on, hard plastic bottom, plushly lined slippers.

I found mine at JC Penney, made by Dearform. These puppies were $24 but they were on sale and I had a coupon, so I paid a mere $0.26 for them.  Yep, that’s twenty-six cents.  The woman at the register couldn’t believe it, but that’s what my total ended up being.

These slippers were super comfortable, didn’t look like the typical bedroom slipper, and with the hard bottom I could walk around the pool and not worry about water soaking through to my feet.  Had I not found these I would have brought a regular pair of hard bottom slippers to wear during the days, but these worked out nicely.

Lap Blanket

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Regardless of where you cruise, sitting out on deck can be quite chilly.  First the ship is moving and it’s windy. Even traveling South towards the Bahama’s, Mexico, or the Caribbean, sitting around the pool or outside areas can get cold. Second, you are up a lot higher than street level.  This adds to the wind factor and pretty much ensures that there will constantly be some sort of breeze to contend with.

I like to pack a few small blankets to take on deck with us when we sit outside.  Actually though, with how low most of the cruise ships that we’ve been on keep their air conditioning, having a blanket for my lap when sitting inside can sometimes be nice too.

This past cruise to Canada/New England warranted having a blanket for sure.  Sitting on deck was cold. Being that we went north rather than south, most days the temperatures while at sea hovered around 60 degrees.  This didn’t stop people from enjoying the hot tubs or taking a dip in the pool, but once out of the water, it was down right cold. Factor in the wind, and we’re talking Goosebump City.

A lap blanket doesn’t take up much space in the suitcase and can really help make sitting around on deck more pleasurable. Plus, the beds in our staterooms had only a blanket on them. Having the extra blanket at night was a nice touch from home too.

Beach Towels

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This is truly just my personal preference because expecting my kids to take responsibility for anything can be risky. Every cruise that we have been on provide towels for use by the pool. The catch here is that you are responsible for those towels and have to be sure that when you leave the ship, your stateroom still has the exact number of pool towels your room was stocked with prior to you getting there.  Every pool towel looks identical.  This can cause a problem when throwing your towel down on a lounge chair while you head over to soak in the pool. Many a time I could hear people complaining that their towels had been taken mistakenly while they were away. Of course with kids, them forgetting them after they’ve dried off can be a problem too.

To avoid any issues with lost towels or having to argue about paying for a towel that became misplaced, I always pack a couple beach towels when cruising.  When we head to the pool, our towels are distinctive and no one can claim that they mistook our towels for theirs. Also, these towels are nice to use as a lap blanket should you opt not to bring one along or say you forget it along with the handful of other things that every cruiser is bound to forget.

Pool Side/Day Time Entertainment

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Although Hubby and I are content sitting around most of the day people watching and chatting with our fellow cruisers during the days at sea, it is always nice to have the option of having something else to do. A deck of cards, UNO, Scrabble, Dominos, or any other game that travels nicely and can be packed easily into your suitcase is nice to have. This past trip I packed UNO and Scrabble.  We played them only once, but it was nice to know they were there to pull out if we wanted.

So there you have it.  These are a few of the things I have found to be Cruising Essentials when we head out on a cruise. Planning ahead can truly make all the difference in the world between getting by and thoroughly enjoying the days you are at sea. Actually though, even when you are in port you are probably not going to be off the ship the entire time, so these little amenities can come in handy your entire cruise.

I am not a big vacationer. I am a true homebody. So for me, having a few little touches from home that can add to the vacation experience and make it more comfortable and enjoyable is essential. Planning ahead is key, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

Staking Tomatoes – A Near Devastating Mistake

Several weeks ago my tomato plants finally started to take off after being transplanted from the plastic cups they’d been grown in to the garden.  They had nearly doubled in size so I decided to secure the stalks to the stakes that were set in the ground beside them when planted.

First I removed the first couple rows of leaves along the bottom of each plant. These leaves are not necessary and snipping them off would allow the plants to absorb more nutrients.  Second, all the suckers were removed.  The plants were still pretty young, but surprisingly already suckers had started growing between the branches. Finally, I took a twist tie and secured the stalk to the stake, just below the first row of leaves.

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Before we left on vacation, all the tomato plants were staked and given a good dose of fertilizer. On our return, the plants had at least doubled in size and were again in need of staking.

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When I set to work on trimming the bottom branches and removing the suckers again, I noticed something. To my horror, the twist ties that I had used to tie the stalks of the plants to the stakes just a week ago had cut into the stalks, nearly cutting them in half.  I had twisted the ties too tight and forgotten to allow room for growth.  Every stalk had a huge cut in it where the twist tie was, threatening to sever the plant in half.

My first order of business was changed from trimming the plants to cutting lengths of material to use for staking.  I remembered my father used to cut up old bed sheets into strips and use that to tie his tomatoes when he had a garden.  I have lots of old sheets, so if it was good enough for my father, it would certainly be good enough for me.

Once the strips were cut and at least one was attached to each tomato plant I began loosening the plastic twist ties. Carefully I untwisted the ties, but didn’t try to remove them from the stalks.  I just wanted them loose enough to allow the stalks to grow. A few ties fell right off, but most of them had become part of the stalk, the plant having literally grown around the tie.

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What a mess!  This could have been such a disaster had the twist ties cut the stalks in half. Thankfully I caught my mistake before it was too late.

Gardening is definitely a learning process but I’d hate for the lessons I learn have to cost me this years harvest. Now I know better than to use plastic twist ties to stake tomatoes and won’t make that mistake again, and for this I am —Simply Grateful.

2015 Strawberry Canning #2 – Raspberry-Strawberry Spread

I have been canning for 28 years but have yet to win a single Blue Ribbon for my efforts.  This is due in part to the fact that I have never entered any contests, but even if I had, I seriously doubt my canning results would warrant any ribbon, blue or otherwise.

When I can I am concerned with two things, taste and making something healthier than can be bought in the store. I don’t follow recipes as written most of the time because usually they call for more sugar than I want to us and many require wait time for liquids to clarify.  You would be hard pressed to find a jar of jelly or syrup in my pantry that is not cloudy.  This is for two reason:  First and foremost, I like to have some pulp in my jellies and syrups because I believe this produces a tastier product and when I press liquid through cheesecloth, a sieve, or process through a food mill, I want every last drop of liquid I can get from whatever fruit I am using. The pulp doesn’t change the consistency of the end product, but the pressing does make it nearly impossible to end up with a clear jar of jelly or syrup.  Second, I am impatient.

The second project I decided to work on with the strawberries I picked this week was based on a recipe from Blue Ribbon Preserves by Linda J. Amendt, Raspberry-Strawberry Jelly.  I say based on because although some of the ingredient measurements are the same, I changed up the procedures, amount of sugar and thickening agent. I didn’t want to lose any of the fresh strawberry or raspberry flavors by clarifying the juices or cover up the taste of the berries with a ton of sugar. And if you’ve read any of my previous posts on canning jams or jellies you know I’m a Clear Jel kind of canner.

Raspberry-Strawberry Spread

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To Make Juice:

7 Cups Sliced Strawberries

7 Cups Fresh or Frozen Raspberries

1/2 Cup Water

Spread Ingredients:

5 Cups Juice

4 1/2 Cups Sugar

2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

7 Tbsp. Clear Jel dissolved in 7 Tbsp. Water

  • Place fruit and water in large stock pot.  Bring fruit to boil and boil uncovered 10 minutes.  Remove cooked fruit from heat and puree with stick blender. Run pureed fruit through food mill or fine mesh strainer to remove seeds.  Press to extract as much juice as possible.
  • Return strained fruit juice to stock pot adding sugar and lemon juice.  Heat over medium-high heat to near boil.  Stir in Clear Jel slurry and bring to full boil.  Boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat, ladle into hot jars and process in water bath for 10 minutes
  • This recipe made seven 8 ounce jars plus one 4 ounce jar.

I called my version of this a “spread” rather than a jelly because the consistency with the Clear Jel is easier to spread than I consider a true jelly to be.  Since starting to use Clear Jel for 95% of my jams and jellies, I won’t even consider using something that would produce an end result of something that tears up bread when I try to spread it.  The only exception to this rule might be cranberry sauce but even then I’m willing to forego the cranberry ‘mold’ option and just spoon it out of the jar.  It tastes the same and actually being able to spread it on a turkey burger is more important than having it slide out of the jar in one chunk.

My canning might never earn me any “Blue Ribbons” from a local county fair, but having Hubby finish off an entire jar this morning on his breakfast crepes says more than winning any contest ever could, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

What A Difference A Door Makes

When we built our home some 23 years ago, we knew very little about what we should and shouldn’t do.  Tons of mistakes were made and from the day we moved in, I began a list of things NEVER to do again as well as everything we should have done differently.

Probably the biggest mistake we made was in choosing our windows.  Our builder convinced us that wood windows were the way to go and boy was that wrong.  Less than 10 years after moving in, our wood windows began to rot. With 32 windows in our house, having to replace these has become an ongoing saga. Every few years we reevaluate our windows and decide which ones absolutely need changing and which ones can possibly hold on for a few more years.

This year Hubby and I decided it was time to change our French doors.  These were standard for our home when it was built and one of the biggest selling points.  Everyone thought they were so elegant, so beautiful, so perfect. I agreed with them for about ten minutes, but after moving in I quickly realized how impractical they were.  With no screen doors to keep out the bugs, these doors were forever shut, never opened until they began to leak.  Then Hubby took weather-stripping and stuck it in every crevice, sealing them shut.  Then when we had siding put on the house, we instructed the installers to seal the doors with siding along all the edges of the doors on the outside.

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For the past ten years this is how these doors have sat.  I hated them.  Why have doors if you can’t use them?  Hubby contended they looked nice.  Nice, smice!  Who really cares what something looks like if it doesn’t work.  So when the subject of which windows to get this time around came up, first on my list were the French doors.  Hubby wasn’t sold, but I held to my guns even though converting the 9 foot French doors to a sliding doorwall with a transom above it cost more than all the other windows we were having done, today it was done!

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I am so happy!  It is amazing how much light these doors allow in, how much cross ventilation we now get with an open door, and yes it even came with a screen.  Could it get any better?  Well, they are vinyl, so there should be no upkeep and there are three safety locks.  Safe, secure, practical, and beautiful.

Now if I could only find some way to get Hubby to have the half-moon window above the transom removed and filled in with drywall, this room would be real close to perfect.  Maybe next time we replace more windows I’ll tackle that one — one can hope.

It took us far too long to fix something that has been a thorn in my side for too many years, but now that it’s done, all I want to do is sit here in the great room and look out through our new doors at the garden, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

2015 Strawberry Canning #1 – Strawberry Syrup

The worst part of canning is not having anything to can.  Last year I canned nearly every recipe I could find that called for strawberries which has left me with very few choices this year.  Of everything I canned, there is still ample amounts of everything in the pantry except Strawberry Syrup.  I have one jar left which will be opened Friday morning when I make fresh waffles for breakfast, so Strawberry Syrup was the one “must make” with the strawberries I picked the other day.

Homemade Strawberry Syrup

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10 Cups Hulled and Chopped Strawberries

3 Cups Water

3 Cups Sugar

1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

4 Tbsp. Clear Jel mixed with 1/2 Cup Water

  • Put strawberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in large stock pot.  Bring to boil and boil with lid on for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and puree with stick blender.
  • Strain pureed strawberries through a food mill or fine mesh strainer, reserving juice. Press pulp in strainer to release as much liquid as possible.
  • Return strained juice to stock pot.  Add Clear Jel slurry and return to boil for 1 minutes.
  • Ladle into hot jars and process in water bath for 10 minutes.
  • This recipe made 7 – 12 oz. jars and one 4 oz.

This syrup is not sugary-sweet, but rather tart with a strong fresh strawberry taste.  If you prefer a sweeter syrup, feel free to add another cup or two of sugar prior to straining.

As much as I love having a full, stocked pantry, I also love to make fresh canned goods to update and maintain it.  Most of the strawberry canned goods I made last year are still holding strong, so now that the syrup is replenished, I can start playing with some new recipes I wanted to try but never got to last year, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

Michigan Strawberries Are Here!

Last year I planted six strawberry plants.  By the end of summer we had harvested a few handfuls of the sweetest strawberries we’d ever eaten.  This year, I’ve been watching the strawberry plant progress since spring —

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Before we left for vacation the strawberries were beginning to form and tiny green berries hid beneath the green foliage.

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On our return, we were surprised to find strawberries galore!

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Of course, there aren’t enough for canning — not this year anyways.  Next year, you never know.  Perhaps I’ll have enough for at least one batch of strawberry jam.  For now, I’ll make do with the two flats I picked yesterday.

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Two hours, two flats, twenty-two pounds.  The possibilities are endless, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

Welcome Back Harvest!

Before we left for our vacation about a week and a half ago I weeded all the gardens, fed all the plants, staked what needed staking, and hoped for rain while we were gone. You know the saying, ‘Be careful what you wish for?”  Well, when we got back, I couldn’t believe what I found.

The turnips were bursting from the ground, begging to be pulled.

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The scallions were practically uprooting themselves, ready for eating.

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And the peas!  Well, before we left the plants were doing pretty good, with just a few flowers.

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When we got back, the plants were double if not triple the size, toppled over on the ground from the weight of all the peas, and spreading everywhere.

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This is after I tied the pea pods to the make-shift trellis.

This is after I tied the pea pods to the make-shift trellis.

So far we’ve enjoyed eating the turnips raw and using some pea pods and scallions in a stir fry.

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By the end of the week I’ll have to pick more pea pods, freeze them and start preparing the snow peas and others for canning or freezing.

I’ve only pulled five turnips so far, but the entire row is ready for harvest. Anybody want some fresh turnips? They’re super tasty.

While we were gone my neighbors told me it rained every afternoon, was humid, and the sun came out every chance it could between showers.  Since our return we’ve had one day of rain and the rest have been humid and sunny. Perfect for the garden and perfect timing so I can water when needed and pull out all the weeds that seem to be outgrowing the plants 3 to 1.

Coming home to a garden full of fresh vegetables waiting to be picked is a great way to end a vacation, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.