Friday, April 22, 2011

A Little more Garden! + How to Cook what comes from it!

First off, you knew I had to post some pics of our ever growing garden! So here ya go!

On the right MORE RADISHES! And on the left you've got some Rutabaga's... Read below for how these turned out on my first attempt to cook them...

I'm so excited about this cabbage, I LOVE cabbage! My new favorite recipe is Cabbage Beef Soup Add Chili toppings to it.. It's amazing! (but it will give you the poots! so weekends are prolly the best time to make it ;) I got this Bierocks recipe from my Brother Russ it's also really good! But he showed me to use the cans of pizza dough! You just roll it out and cut it into squares!
I also like it sauteed with a little ham and butter! Or you can add link sausage instead of ham. I'm going to be trying

OKAY! So who wants some Squash? Because I'm going to have a TON of it soon... This was the biggest one when I took this picture last week, but now I've got about 20 this size and who know how many a bit smaller! PLUS, They are still getting blooms! So I've promised my mom some and I'll probably give some to a few of the older people in our neighborhood. (this is actual size btw, though it's bigger now because like I said, this is a picture from last week!)

Can anyone tell me what they see here? If you said a Green Bell Pepper, you are correct! This is our first one on these plants! It was so tiny! I put my finger with it so you can see just how tiny it was. It's now 3 times bigger, AND (!!!) It has 5 little siblings! Dustin has already planned Stuffed Peppers for these little ones. I don't have a link to that recipe, Sorry! He made it up! I do know it has 2 boxes of Mexican rice,1 can tomato sauce,1 can diced tomatoes,1 lb hamburger and cheese.. LOTS of Cheese! salt and pepper to taste. Start by browning your meat, While that is browning, wash and cut out the tops of your peppers (this recipe will make 6 large peppers but have 7 on hand) clean them out with a spoon. Then you blanch them. Put 6 them in the pan you'll be baking them in, and chop up the 7th adding it to your ground beef. Add both tomato cans mix well. Add about 1 cup of cheese mix again! Fill the peppers with your mixture, surrounding them with the extra rice mix and top it with cheese, bake at 350 until the cheese is toasty and eat.... YUM!

OK, so the other day I realized that while I have shown you everything we've been pulling out of the ground, maybe you'd like to know how we knew things were ready! SO, these... are ready! You can see they stick up over the ground so MOST of the time it's really easy to tell. But sometimes you get one that stays under ground, and it's not easy to tell in that case. BUT at least with radishes, you can brush away the top soil and look to see, not ready? Cover it back up and leave it for a few more days. The radishes out of everything in our garden have the fastest growing time. From seed to pick they were ready first.. Umm about 4 weeks? Maybe?

These are R.E.A.D.Y(for us I know some people like them darker red but.. not us)!! We picked them right after I took this picture! And BOY they were good! Dustin said he likes to eat them like an apple when they taste like this... And I have to admit, after my first slice I could have too!

This is Bob... Yes, Bob the Tomato Plant.. He loves me, I bought him from a little ol' lady in Blountstown. Every first Saturday of the month, they have a.. well I don't know really! You just go up there and set up a booth in the square! They have people selling all kinds of things, for puppies, to pickles! Tomatoes to, Furniture! All kinds of things. Anyway, back to "Bob"! He's a plum tomato plant, and as you can see, he's bloomin'! Still none ready.. :( but they will be soon!

........ I love them..... I had them at a church dinner for the first time and BOY they were awesome! So I decided to try to cook them.. It didn't come out so "awesome"... First off, (MISTAKE#1) I didn't know how they lady form church had cooked them, so I just guessed! I looked it up on google, and found one that started off right. Well,(MISTAKE #2) of course I didn't read it all the way before I started! And by the time I got to the end they were talking about adding pepper and I knew hers didn't have any of that, Hers were SWEET!... *sigh* so I left google to it's own, and started adding things on my own. That was MISTAKE #3! because I do NOT have a good sense of what will taste good with what. Needless to say.. I ate about 5 bites and the rest are in the trash.. :( So if anyone knows a GOOD way to cook them, let me know! I've got 2 more in the ground!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


OK, so last year Dustin and I started to go to church again. Well, every 3rd Sunday they have a lunch after church. At one of these lunches, I saw something that looked like potato's, but they were in an very pale yellowish/orange juice. So I thought it must be butter and some kind of spice on potato's... It wasn't... It was Rutabagas! And I loved them! They had a slightly sweet, buttery taste and they melted in my mouth. mmmmmm... *drool*

So when Dustin was asking that I wanted in the garden I said (can you guess!) RUTABAGAS! So, Here they are, 2 of them at least. Dustin and I disagreed about if they were ready or not so he pulled up 2 and I made him leave the others in the ground.

Last night I tried my best to cook these stubborn things. First off, they have the texture of a potato when cooked, but they have a peel that you have to get off. It LOOKS like an onion peel, so you would think it would just pull off pretty easy right?! NOT! I had to get a peeler and peel, and peel.. and peel.. it's a lot thicker then it looks and harder. I got it off, and cut it into slices and got it in the water to boil (the "true southern" way to cook the according to google!) added the 1/2 tsp of salt called for despite my thoughts that something sweet should not have salt in it. "Bring to boil and then let boil for aprox. 16 minutes"...... really? aprox. 16 minutes? so 15 won't work? sheesh.. OK, brought it to a boil, boiled for 16 minutes... OK maybe it was more like 20 oh well,I may have ruined them. And then began to "add butter salt and pepper to taste" WHAT?? pepper??? There was no pepper in the ones that I had at church! They were sweet I tell you! So I do the unthinkable... I close the computer and take matters into my own hands... And after adding a few things from the fridge I tasted it.. and it was OK.. more crap from the fridge and it was tasting a little better! The problem was that I had already eaten dinner, and wasn't hungry anymore! So they are in my lunch for today! Hopefully they will taste as good today as they did last night. We'll see!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Radical Radish!


I really don't know why I'm excited about the radishes, I don't eat them! BLAH! But I'm so excited because they are only the first of many things to come! We planted a whole row of radishes because Dustin's mom LOVES them. Normally Papa, Dustin's dad plants them for her. But he's been ill and is on full time oxygen now, :( so this year WE planted them. Aren't they pretty? That's the first batch we picked!

When I saw those were ready I decided to really start looking and do you know what I found????

Banana Pepper Blooms! For all the little blooms a pepper will grow! It's kinda hard to see them but they are the little things in the middle of the picture!

Wait I'm not done!!

Yummy! LOOK at those TOMATOES! I don't know about where you are, but in my area tomatoes are over $2.00 a pound! YIKES!

So, I don't think I had ever even HEARD of a rutabaga let alone eaten one before Dustin and I started going to the Methodist church lunches. But I L O V E them! This is the smallest of the 4 I planted (Dustin doesn't like them so I didn't want to plant alot) and it's the only one that has some above the ground, so I'm excited to see the other below the ground! GROW BABY GROW!

I'm not really into the bell peppers, I'll eat them though. I don't like the texture, but I love the flavor they give! Look at those blooms! There will be a pepper for each bloom!

Okay, NOW we are talking! I LOVE grape tomatoes! mmmmm In a nice avocado and tomato salad! HM.. Maybe I need to look into planting an avocado tree! That would be AWESOME!

I used to hate cabbage! Now I can't get enough of it! But then, I've found some really great ways to cook it! Like This! Add a bit of sour cream and cheese and it's pretty much Chili! lol, Just with Cabbage! I love the fact I can prep it the night before and then put it in the crock pot the next morning and not have to worry about it!

Look at that! It's a teeny tiny little squash! HA! Right now, that little squash is about the size of a paper clip! Squash... Aww how I love thee... I can't wait to cook you!

On a sad note, we didn't read up on broccoli before we planted it, and due to the heat our broccoli has all "gone to seed". That's a term I've gotten to know quite well! Basically, broccoli will only grow if the temperature of the soil stays between 50 and 80 degrees. If it gets to warm, it will "go to seed" meaning bloom all over with seeds and then they fall off and the plant dies. :( I really was hoping to save some money there! But oh well, we'll get it in this fall and I'll have to plant lots and lots of it and then freeze it for next year. (on a side note, Dustin pulled it all up this morning)
I saw the blooms and thought we were about to get A LOT of broccoli! I didn't realize that some plants have blooms that turn into the vegetable, while others (like broccoli) the bloom is the seed, not the veggie.

So, What do you think? Do any of you have gardens? What are you growing? Dustin's an ol' pro but do you have any tips for a newbie like me?