September 13, 2023
The wheat harvest has been on hold for the past week. We'd had rain on the Monday of Labor Day weekend, which prevented our continued laboring. (We slept most of that day, catching up.) It rained again the next weekend, further delaying our returning to labor with a combine.
The rain delays did not stop the harvesting in my garden. It did cause several of my cherry tomatoes to burst open upon picking, such that they had to be discarded. The ones that hadn't burst open were taken to the banquet celebrating the end of the women's golf league. Some were shared with our daughter as well. Garden fresh tomatoes are the best.
The corn harvest, such as it was, is over. I took the last of those puny ears to make a half-batch of frozen corn. I use a recipe I got from my mother-in-law years ago. She got it from a lady named Helen Blanders, whose relationship with Glenice is fuzzy to me. But it's a great recipe, and simple. You cut the corn from the cobs to make 20 cups (roughly 20 ears). It doesn't say to scrape the ears (after cutting) for all the extra juice, but that's what I do. Put the corn into a large roaster along with a pint of half & half and a pound of butter. Roast for an hour at 325°, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, chill, then package and freeze quickly. To serve, simply heat the corn through. Salt and pepper it then, if desired. (I put mine in 1-cup freezer bags, sometimes vacuum sealing, sometimes in Ziplocs with the air pressed out and the bags flattened. This keeps for a year or better.)
Before the rains delayed things, I'd been cooking the noon meal for the crew helping us harvest. The next two recipes were well received by them. (Dennis turned up his nose at the salad, but I'd expected that.) The wife of one of the crew messaged me via Facebook for that recipe, plus info on how I make sloppy joes. This is the time of year us gardeners are looking for more ways to enjoy cucumbers and tomatoes. And the dill is out of control. This hits all three ingredients.
Crispy Cukes & Tomatoes
in Dill Dressing
1/4 C cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh chopped dill
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbl EVOO
2 cukes, sliced
1 C red onion, sliced
2 ripe tomatoes, cut in wedges
In large bowl, mix the first six ingredients together. Add the veggies, toss, and let stand at room temp at least 15 minutes before serving.
This next recipe comes from our Aunt Betty Honrud. I often modify the basics of it. I'll use various canned beans (black, white, red) with one of pork and beans. I do use both the hamburger and the bacon. Sometime the bacon is pre-packaged crumbles, sometimes I fry some fresh and use the grease to sauté the onion (the more onion, the better). And I'm generous with the mustard - sometimes yellow, sometimes stoneground, sometimes dijon, sometimes a mix of all three types. It's all good in my book. For the crew, I added a package of Reynold's own Italian sausages, each cut into thirds, and simmered until they were cooked through.
2 (16 oz) cans pork & beans
2 Tbl catsup
1 # hamburger &/or 3 Tbl bacon bits
2 Tbl brown sugar
1 Tbl diced onion
1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp prepared mustard
Brown the burger and onions. Add the rest of the ingredients. Heat until cooked. Serve hot.
The deer are returning to our yard. Dennis thinks it's because the yard is still green. Right before the holiday weekend, a young spike buck wandered through the north yard. I've only seen him once, while Dennis had seen him once before. It's not Stub, the one-antlered guy we had late last summer. I wonder if he survived? This week, a doe brought her twins fawns, still spotted, to visit. She stayed near the lilac hedge, then they went through the west side of the yard. I haven't seen any evidence of deer in the garden (We've not had any raccoons bother the corn, either. Weird.) I'm guessing my electric fence is still working. These deer are all whitetails, by the way. And I'm pleased to see them again.