We live in zone 6a and I have been gardening and cooking for years. This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my success and those failures that come about on occasion. Plus, I want to hear from all the gardeners and bakers and cooks out there and learn from you. Feel free to share your ideas.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Podcast-All About Pie-A Pie For All Regions: Serving Up The American Slice

I n keeping with this week's TWDBWJ Blueberry Nectarine pie post, I thought the pie lovers would enjoy this podcast from NPR. Now I really love their conversation about pie for breakfast. That is living. What pie would you eat for breakfast? I would go for the  berry type of pie.
Click on the podcast below!

A Pie For All Regions: Serving Up The American Slice

A Northeastern Bakewell Pie (left) and Western Chocolate Raisin Pie cool on author Adrienne Kane's Connecticut kitchen counter.
Adrienne Kane A Northeastern Bakewell Pie (left) and Western Chocolate Raisin Pie cool on author Adrienne Kane's Connecticut kitchen counter. Photo from the NPR link.

Tuesdays With Dorie: Baking With Julia- Blueberry Nectarine Pie

This Blueberry Nectarine Pie was a piece of cake to make ( pardon the pun).

Close up of baked pie

The pie crust was easy easy to make and so was the filling. I did cut back on the sugar for the filling. I used a scant  3/4 cup. What I mean by that is that I used less than 3/4 of a cup of sugar, but more than 1/2 cup. I made this the day before the 4th of July and that is why I decided to not use a complete top crust.  Instead  I took what would have been the top crust and used my star cutter to cut stars out of the tope layer. I then placed those stars all over the top. It was a great 4th of July treat.

I would  absolutely  make this pie again.

Before pie was baked

Just out of the oven

I forgot to add this info when I first posted, so I revised the post by adding the following.
Thanks to our hosts  – Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake and Hilary of Manchego’s Kitchen.  Check out their blogs to read about their baking experiences as well as for the recipe itself. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Harvest Monday

Carrots and tomatoes are still being harvested. There is one onion that I decided to try. My onions still need time in the ground obviously. However, for now this is the last of the cabbages. I have replanted beans for a second go round since I have pulled up all the bean plants from this harvest. I have harvested over 6 pounds of cabbage. Plus,  a pound of carrots and over a pound of tomatoes. As far as the beans, I did not write down the amount harvested.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Flowers From the Garden

 I have given the daylillies a severe haircut and I am seeing flowers already.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fall Planting and Daylillies

I planted basil last week and it is coming up. I just cleaned out half of a bed and planted more bush beans. My second planting of bush beans from a few weeks ago are about 10 inches high and they look great. While I was at it I planted the last of the basil seeds that I had. Next week I plan to sow swiss chard since I have space for that now.

I also have a small melon and I hope my melon crop will be successful. We will see.

This morning I trimmed back all of our daylillies practically down to the ground. By the time I was finished, the huge garbage container was filled to the brim. It is worth doing this, because  it will help these plants bloom again in the fall. Besides it was a great work out. It took me over an hour to complete this project.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Rain-Second Day In A Row

We are having rain for the second day in a row. I wanted to get out into the garden to harvest a cabbage for dinner this evening.  I will have to wait until the storm passes over, since there it is lightening.
Love that rain-yipee.

News Flash-I Will Be a Co-host in August for TWDBWJ

This August I have been selected to be a co-host for Tuesdays With Dorie: Baking With Julia. My co host is  Andrea of The Kitchen Lioness and we will be featuring the  Berry Galette , along with the recipe from the Baking With Julia Cookbook.

I am very excited and can hardly wait to bake this wonderful galette. Humm-I wonder what berries I should use?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tomatoes and Carrots

For now it is all about tomatoes and carrots. I know this winter I am going to certainly miss the home grown tomato right out of the garden. We had the carrots and tomatoes for dinner this evening.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tuesdays With Dorie: Baking With Julia August Recipes

August recipes for Tuesdays With Dorie: Baking With Julia  have just been announced.

August 7 is the Berry Galette on page 377 of Baking With Julia
August 21 is (are?) Popovers on page 213 of Baking With Julia

Ahh-I will be baking the the Berry Galette which is like a free form pie. My thought is to use blueberries and strawberries and perhaps peaches. The recipe uses very little sugar, which I prefer, because I would rather taste the fruit. Stay tuned for the photos.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Question:Considering Blueberry Bushes

I am thinking about planting the shorter blueberry bushes. How long will it take for them to produce blueberries? I have read that it takes at least 3 years. Is that correct?

Appreciate advice from blueberry growers. Also what is your favorite blueberry bush?

Weeding and Beans

I weeded the garden and filled a large trash bin to the brim, and I mean large. Included in that, were the bean plants I started in mid May. I pulled those plants and picked the remaining beans. I ended up with approximately 15 oz.

Now I have an empty space in the raised bed and I need to think about what I will plant in that area next. I am thinking of beets and lettuce for fall.

I also planted more basil seed just to see if I get another round of it. The basil I have needs to be picked and the next step is to make pesto. Pesto freezes well and I try to make enough to get us through the winter.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Harvest Monday

I picked a wonderful selection of tomatoes: Roma, Goliath, Cherokee Purple, and German Johnson. The harvest came in at 5 pounds .75 ozs. This is what makes my summer so wonderful-tomatoes. I love them. Plus, my squirrel fence is working. They had a chance at one tomato, and then I put the fencing up, and now they have been cut off from these beauties.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cabbage Rolls From Our Garden Bounty

I made cabbage rolls yesterday from two heads of cabbage straight from the garden. I froze the majority of what I baked and we have enough cabbage rolls for 4 more evening meals.

I have 4 heads of cabbage left and I need to figure out what to do with them next. Suggestions always welcome.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Great And Easy Salad

I had a bagful of tomatoes of various kinds : Mortgage lifter, Cherokee purple, Goliath etc. What to do, what to do?

So I chopped them up, along with a cucumber and a small amount of onion, and a touch of fresh basil. Then I sprinkled about 4 oz or so of feta on top and poured  a homemade garlic vinaigrette dressing  over it and popped it in the fridge.

My husband and I had this for lunch. There is nothing like tomatoes from the garden. Easy and delicious.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Cabbage Adventure For the Weekend

This weekend will be the when I decide to start trying to get through the rest of the cabbage in the garden and the winner for this adventure is: cabbage rolls. I have not made them in years, but I found a recipe that is very similar to what I have used before. Forget trying to find the old recipe, because as I said--I have not made these in years and who knows where that recipe is.

I can make these and freeze them for the fall. As I recall they are somewhat of a pain to make because they are so messy. Perhaps that is why I have not made them in YEARS. However, I cannot let the cabbage go unused.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

First Seed Order Is In

I just ordered my first round of seeds for  Fall planting from the Territorial Seed Co.

Bettollo Beet - 5 grams

Bright Lights Swiss Chard - 3 grams

Music Garlic - 8 oz

Yaya Carrots - 1 gram

This is just the beginning.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fall Planting Decisions

Our first frost date is 10/23/12 and with the help of Parsnip Love I found a great site for planning your fall garden at Simple Bites. I have never panted a fall garden before and so I have been doing my research.

Here is what Simple Bites has suggested.

12 to 14 weeks before your first frost
  • Direct-sow beans, parsnips, rutabagas, and begin planting lettuce and radishes.
  • Start brassica seedlings and kale indoors, and set out the seedlings within 3 weeks.
10 to 12 weeks before your first frost
  • Set out brassicas and kale.
  • Direct-sow beets, carrots, collards, leeks and scallions, along with more lettuce and radishes. In some areas, even fast-maturing peas and potatoes will do well in the fall garden.
8 to 10 weeks before your killing frost
  • Direct-sow arugula, Chinese cabbage, lettuce, turnips, spinach, mustard, pac choi and other Asian greens.
  • Sow more lettuce and radishes, including daikons.
6 to 8 weeks before first frost
  • Make a final sowing of spinach.
  • Make a final sowing of lettuce beneath a protective tunnel or frame. (I have hoops over one of my beds for my Christmas Salads.)
On or around your first killing frost date
  • Every fall garden should include garlic and shallots to be harvested in the Summer of the next year
Current Plans
12 to 14 weeks before your first frost
Plant various lettuce and endive and Bright Lights Swiss Chard.
Considering peas.

10 to 12 weeks before your first frost

Plant Bettollo Beets, Yaya Carrots and kale.

8 to 10 weeks before your killing frost
Plant spinach

6 to 8 weeks before first frost
More lettuce and Bright Lights Swiss Chard.

Plus in October I will be planting "Music" garlic.

Friday, July 6, 2012

First Large Red Tomato of The Year

This is a Goliath tomato that came in slightly over 9 oz. Very exciting!
Plus I was able to keep the squirrels away with the fencing surround and top that is now in place.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Latest Photos From The Garden

 Onions and kale

Lots of beans.

If you look closely, you will see the first eggplant

Also here is the first tomato in my squirrel proof cage.

As always, cabbages.



Round 2 of the cucumber adventure.

Meyer lemon has 11 lemons on it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Just wanted to share our Uncle Sam with you on the 4th. He withstood the big wind storm last week. He was spun around and his hat needed to be nailed back on since it was slightly askew. Obviously we still need to work on that hat a bit because we did not get it fixed completely. That was some storm with winds at over 60 miles an hour, but he made it through.

Also a sneak preview of the blueberry nectarine pie I made yesterday to celebrate the 4th. We tried it last night and it is delicious.

Cucumbers: Round 2

Ok, I had to pull up my cucumbers that I planted in May because they were diseased. So that was not going to stop me. I planted news seeds a week and a half ago and they are now sprouting. This time I planted them in a large container and have a very fine netting (tulle) that I bought at the fabric store that has been placed over them. Hopefully this will keep all the bugs that infect with wilt away from them. Since they are Diva seeds, pollination is not suppossed to be an issue and I can leave the bridal veil ( tulle) on them forever.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ice Cream

I have not made ice cream in years. Granny at Annie's Kitchen Garden inspired me to do so with her post from yesterday.So I pulled out the old Waring Ice cream machine and turned it on. At first nothing happened and I thought well perhaps it is time to toss the thing. Then all of a sudden I heard the wherr of the machine. Eureka, it was working. I decided to make a low-fat vanilla:

4 cups 2% milk
1 scant cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the above together well and add it to the ice cream can and start the ice cream machine according to the directions.

 Although the directions state you can use any fat content milk or even skim milk, I would not try skim milk. I used 2%.

I also made the blueberry nectarine pie from my June 25 recipe post. Instead of putting a top crust on the pie, I cut out 2 1/2 inch stars on the rolled out crust and placed them on top for the 4th of July. Since I belong to the Tuesdays With Dorie: Baking with Julia group, I can't post pictures of this month's baking adventure until the end of the month. But what I can tell you is that it looks very festive!

Tomorrow I will be making my sister-in-law's (Theresa) baked beans. They are the only baked beans I like and I will post the recipe. So stay tuned.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Harvest Monday

The garden is all about cabbage, beans and lettuce for now. The cabbage is a 3 pounder and we will use it for cole slaw on the 4th of July. The beans, I pick as I need them,  and this is enough for two of us with a 4 oz. harvest.

So far the lettuce continues to grow in a rather  shady area and has not start to bolt even in this very hot weather.
Daphne's Dandelions is the host for Harvest Monday, where you can share links to your harvest for the week. Please visit her blog and leave a link, so we can have fun viewing your harvest photos!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


We are getting rain and that is wonderful. It also is being combined with ice cubes, also known as hail.

The 4th of July Week

This is one of my favorite time of year. We went to Findlay Market yesterday and bought real homemade German hot dogs for the 4th and brats. I plan to make a four bean baked bean dish which has the typical baked beans and the added plus are the butter, lima and kidney beans.. I can take or leave baked beans except for this recipe. Also planning to have cole slaw. Just picked a 3 pound cabbage from the garden. Plus, today  I plan to make the pie crust for the blueberry nectarine pie that I will finish up Tuesday evening for the 4th.
The garden is doing great and will post pictures this week.