Tag Archives: Cucumbers

Chuck’s Bed

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I thought I would show you all Hubby’s latest project.  He has been working on making a bed for Chuck.  It is almost finished.  The headboard and footboard used to be our dining table benches.  When we first made our dining table we made benches to go with it.  Years later I decided I was tired of the benches and wanted chairs.  So he made me chairs.  (He’s so good about things like that!)  Anyway the benches moved up to the building for a while and now they are being remade into a bed.  I like that.

We have been busy with our garden here.  Canning is in full swing.  I love it!!!  Lots of good food being saved for winter time.  Our cucumbers are just about gone.  I thought about planting some more seeds but I don’t think they would have time to do anything.  We have been blessed with lots of cucumbers this year so we have made several batches of pickles.  I put the recipe for the Christmas pickles over into my recipe file under canning if any of you are interested.  We had our first taste of fresh corn this past week.  YUM!  I love fresh garden corn.  When I was younger and it was time to put up the corn, my mom would always cook corn on the cob for breakfast.  She said it put us in the right frame of mind.

We had our annual Sunday School Breakfast this morning.   We usually have it at SmartView Park here on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  For some reason (that I will never understand) the Parkway has decided not to open many of the picnic areas this year.  So we couldn’t have our breakfast there.  The road is still washed out going down to the river so we had our breakfast at the Coon Hunters Club.  Yes, ladies, coon hunting IS a sport here.  We have never participated in it but many people do.  Anyway, we had tons of good food!!  It was a really nice way to start off the service.

Tomorrow, I will be helping Hubby texture a ceiling.  After that we have some tomatoes to can.  I think we will make spaghetti sauce with them. In the meantime, I have a new book from the library, a cup of tea and a green swing that is calling my name.   I hope you all have a great evening and God bless.

 

Christmas Pickles

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I have made these pickles for about 30 years.  They are definitely a favorite at our house.  These are made from the large overgrown cucumbers.  We intentionally let these get large for the purposes of making these pickles.  The fat, yellow ones are the best but the large green ones will work as well.

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7 lb cucumbers (after cutting),  1 cup lime, 1 cup vinegar, 1 sm. bottle red food coloring, 1 tbsp. alum, 2 cups vinegar, 2 cups water, 8 cinnamon sticks, 10 cups sugar, 2 packages cinnamon red hot candy or 8-10 drops cinnamon extract.

Peel cucumbers.  Cut in half long ways.  Using a spoon remove seeds.  Slice into thick slices.  Soak in one cup lime and enough water to cover cucumbers for 24 hours. Remove from lime water and wash well.  Soak in ice water 3 hrs or overnight in the fridge.  Drain.  Mix one cup vinegar, food coloring and alum in enough water to cover cucumbers.  Simmer 2 hrs.  Drain.  Put back into ice water.  In another kettle bring to boil 2 cups vinegar, 2 cups water, sugar, cinnamon sticks and cinnamon red hots.  After boiling, pour over drained cucumbers.  Let stand 24 hrs.  Drain reserving juice.  Pack cucumbers into jars.  Bring juice to boil.  Pour hot juice over cucumbers.  Process in a water bath canner 5 min. for pts, 10 min. for qts.  Makes approx. 14 pts.

These taste like spiced apple rings.  Very delicious!

VBS

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Hello everyone!  I hope you are all having a good week so far.  Last week was pretty busy for us.  Seems like VBS is always a busy time.  Our theme this year was “Hip Hopping for Jesus”.  The kids all seemed to have a great time.

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Julie dressed for the part.  All the workers dressed in 50’s style.  I somehow didn’t get a picture of Grace.

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We enjoyed our moon last week and finally (after years of trying) managed to get a good moon picture.  Our place was so bright at night, we had a cat bird that sang all night. I guess he didn’t know if it was night or day.

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We have also been enjoying some of our fresh produce from the garden.  So far we have had salad greens, green onions, beets, radishes, carrots, yellow squash and a few cucumbers.  We love it!!

I hope you all have a good evening and God bless.

Jelly Update

Okay ladies, yesterday we made blackberry jelly.  I used the stainless steel kettle and the pomona pectin.  It turned out perfect!!! We were very happy.  Maybe it was the kettle all along.  Wouldn’t that be something?  I never thought the type of kettle used could make a difference but I do know yesterday’s jelly turned out perfect.  I will definitely be using this kettle every time.  I was very impressed with the pomona pectin.  If you haven’t ever tried it, I suggest you give it a try.  You use about 1/2 the sugar that you would use with sure jell or certo, which saves money.  I will be using it from now on.

First thing this morning, we had some errands to run in little town.  We paid a few bills and then went to the library for a while.  When we came back we starting making bread and butter pickles. These are Hubby’s favorite.  We ended up with 10 pts which is probably all we’ll need.  We do not eat a lot of pickles.  I am thinking if the cucumbers keep producing, we will try making sweet pickle relish.  I do make a lot of egg salad  and I thought it would be nice to have homemade relish to put in it.  Have any of you ever made it?

Supper tonight is chicken, potatoes and squash all fixed on the grill.  I love cooking on the grill.  Less clean up and less heat in the house.  Hubby is mowing while supper is getting ready and the girls are taking a short break upstairs.  Well, time to check on the grill.  I hope you all have a wonderful evening and God bless.

Wineberries

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Wineberries are starting to get ripe here in our area.  They grow wild however we are hoping to get a start of them this fall. 

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I think they look a lot like red raspberries (maybe they are but folks here call them wineberries).  They have a tart taste.

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Grace and I picking berries.

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Julie picking.  We all wore our rubber boots in case we came across any unwanted critters.  Next time we will wear long pants as well.  We took some down to Sam when we went and he dearly loved them.  Daniel would not even try them.  As I have mentioned before, he is not a fruit eater.  Hubby is gone today with his brother down to Grundy.   His Mom has a couple of apple trees that need to be cut.  She was afraid they were going to fall on the power line.  

I plan on working on a few aprons today and maybe going back to pick a few wineberries.  I did make the pickles the other day but I didn’t add the squash.  I had enough cucmbers to do one batch so I just made them using all cucumbers.  I got 8 pts though instead of 6 as the recipe said.  They seem very similar to bread and butter pickles.  I think they will be very good.

Enjoy your day and God bless.

Campfire

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While the kids were up this weekend, we had a campfire Friday night.  We love doing campfires, smores, wieners-sometimes potatoes.  Sometimes we just sit and watch the fire.  So relaxing.  Grace took this picture for me and I thought you all might like a little campfire too.

Hubby and I have been busy today working on building a shelving unit for the new room.  All my stuff is just piled up on the floor in there.  Such a mess.  Hopefully, by tomorrow, it will look much neater.

I gathered quite a few cucumbers this morning and I am planning on making some pickles this afternoon.  I have to check my pantry and see if I have all the ingredients.  I got a new recipe from a friend of mine that I want to try out.  The recipe is:

Crispy Pickle Slices-   4 qts cuc. sliced, 1/3 cup salt, 6 med onions sliced, 4 cups sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. turmeric, 2 tsp. celery salt, 2 tsp. mustard seed, 4 cups vinegar.  Sprinkle sliced cuc. with salt.  Stir with hands until salt is dissolved.  Cover with crushed ice.  Let stand 3 hr.  Drain.  Add onion.  Mix remaining ingredients with vinegar.  Pour over drained cuc. & onions.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and gently cook for 5 min.  Makes 6 pts.

So now that you all have heard the recipe, I have a question.  Have any of you ever mixed squash and cucumbers together to make pickles?  I was thinking of doing that and just wondered if anyone else had tried it. 

Well, I better get busy.  Enjoy your day and God bless.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

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Just a few pictures today to show the progress of our upper garden.  It is finally starting to look like a garden.

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We have been enjoying lettuce and onions for a while now.

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The peas are starting to bloom.  I really love fresh garden peas.

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These are the plants we started under the greenhouse.  We decided since we were not having much success transplanting them, we would just leave them where they were.  They seem to be doing great.

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Cucumbers blooming.  I love fresh garden cucumbers.

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Squash blooming.  I love fresh garden squash. 

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A closer look at the cabbage.  I love fresh garden cabbage.   Can you tell ? I just love ALL fresh garden food!!!!!

Enjoy your day and God bless.

Wild Roses

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Remember the rose bush up by the fence that had not bloomed yet.  Well, this is it.  It is full of tiny white bloom.  Very pretty.

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I thought I would share with you all how my plants look.  This is what the cucumbers looked like before we transplanted them.

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This is what they look like now and this is one of the better looking ones.  Oh well, live and learn.  I am going today to a local greenhouse and hopefully get some cucumber plants.  Yesterday, after school, the girls and I worked on weeded some of our flower beds.  We planted some cosmos seed, some columbine and some seeds that just said “cut flowers”.  It is a little late getting the seeds in the ground but I think they will still have time to make flowers.

Temperature here is beautiful.  70 with sunshine and a good steady wind.  I have clothes ready for the line and another load to wash.  Enjoy your day and God bless.

Mr. Frog

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Check out the size of this frog.  He is huge!  He was soaking up the sun yesterday afternoon in front of our car when we were leaving for piano practice.  We, of course, could not resist taking a picture of him.

Yesterday was a nice day.  Temperatures were in the lower 70’s with sunshine.  My plants looks (maybe) just a little better but I do not think they will make it.  The tomatoes look strong but the cucumbers look the worst.  The squash may be okay-not sure yet.  Lesson well learned.  I suppose it was too hot when I transplanted them.  Maybe if we had waited until the sun went down to transplant them, it would have made a difference.  Not sure.

We had a nice visit with the Horn’s yesterday.  We ate pizza and a strawberry crisp she had made from her fresh strawberries.  It was delicious.  We walked around her yard looking at all her flowers that were up.  Her chicks and ducks.  Everything.  I love doing that.  Just walking around with her looking and talking.  I am so thankful she is my friend.

We hope to finish science this weekend.  We are on our last definitions.  Today looks to be nice.  The sun is shining.  The garden is still too wet to work in but we have plenty of other things to do.  Enjoy your day and God bless.

Our Greenhouse Plants

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Our plants are growing.  YEAH!  Today makes 2 weeks since we planted the seeds.  I think they are doing really well.100_5885

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The tomatoes and peppers seem to be the slower growing.   The cucumbers and squash are the fastest.  The broccoli and okra are growing pretty fast too. 

Today is overcast and windy.  The temperature is 60 degrees though so that is very nice.  I have clothes on the line outside.  We worked on school yesterday and then went into the library and piano practice.   I found a book at the library.  It is written by Ree Drummond.  She has a blog www.thepioneerwoman.com If you have never been to her blog I am sure you would enjoy it.  She has some excellent recipes and many interesting stories.  The book I got at the library is about her and her husbands courtship and marriage.  I think it will be very good.

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Time for school.  I hope you all have a wonderful day and God bless.