Saturday, July 22, 2017

I canned the Chanterelles...

Since I've never eaten a Chanterelle mushroom before, I cooked up a small amount and ate them.  Very nice flavor and I didn't die.  After watching a few YouTube videos, I chose to pressure can the rest of them.

First, I divided them into smaller pieces and put them with 1 cup of water in my cast iron skillet.

Then, on medium - high heat, and stirring, I cooked them until they were cooked "down."  It only took a few minutes.

I packed them into two half - pint jars, leaving an inch of head space and covering them with the liquid from the pan.  Each jar has 1/4 teaspoon of salt as well.

They were processed at 10 pounds of pressure for 30 minutes.  (Consult a good canning guidebook.)

Here they are!  I am thinking that some day I will fry them in a little butter and serve with potatoes, some meat and green beans. That will be a special meal!

Chanterelle Mushrooms!

Last year, I saw these mushrooms growing near my woodland path and thought they were Jack-O-Lantern mushrooms, which are toxic.  I was out walking in the woods yesterday and saw them again, so did some research and found out I was wrong!  These are Chanterelles.  I brought in three quarters of a pound.  I'm very excited about it.  I've been collecting Oyster mushrooms for a few years here, and now I've found another edible mushroom.  If YOU find some that look like this, the first thing to do is break open a stem.  The inside of the stem should be a creamy white, NOT the same color as the outside of the mushroom.  Then, check the gills.  Chanterelles do not have true gills. Lastly, try pulling one apart lengthwise.  It should come apart similar to string cheese.  Don't take my word for it. Mushrooms can be very dangerous.  Do your own research.  Ideally, find a mushroom expert.  Be very careful, please.  These grow in hardwood forest on the ground, not on trees.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Tip for stained fingernails...

I work in the garden a lot.  I also do other things that make my hands look terrible.  I have discovered that if I want to remove stains from my fingernails and skin on my hands, all I have to do is soak them in lemon juice for a couple of minutes.  Voila! Obviously, the following picture is not of my hands, but you get the idea.  It really does work that well and that quickly.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

July 6, 2017 - About a million pictures...

Hello, Gentle Readers.  I have been having a wonderful time working in the garden today and I took a lot of pictures, too.  Some of them are very poor quality.  I know you won't mind.  Yolanda

Leeks and garlic on left, then carrots then on the right is Jericho lettuce and baby radishes.

The asparagus ferns.  My garden fairy and I transplanted these from the roadside a few years ago.

Leeks and garlic and you can see the giant sunflowers too.

Comfrey, and kale.

5 giant sunflowers.  When I was little my mother and my uncle used to have a contest each year to see who could grow the tallest one, so this means a lot to me!

The Bee Balm is so pretty!

Two volunteer Mullein plants.


Cat mint circled by a nice concrete sign that my late neighbor lady made for me.  She passed away recently and is missed.

Another view of the sunflowers and Bee Balm.

Left are Brussels sprouts, and on the right, some cabbages.

Pepper plants.  They are not doing so well, yet, although I've had a few peppers.  The ground was so wet there and it kind of stunted them, I think.



Rabbits ate all of our green bean plants, so my husband replanted here yesterday.  The marigolds are still there.  They help keep the bean beetles away.

First crop of sweet corn.  Deer were munching on the plants.  I put some chunks of Irish Spring bath soap in the rows and it seems to be keeping them away.

30 tomato plants.  Half are in cages and half are on stakes.  Between the cages I also have lots of Basil. 

Another planting of cucumbers.

Baby pie pumpkins!

Straight 8 cucumbers.

Baby beets.

Second planting of sweet corn.

Here is the row of sweet potatoes... 50 plants.  The Rabbits have been eating the vines, so I got some Shakeaway and put quite a bit in there.  So far, so good.

Just a view.

Little apples.


Apple trees (2)

Rose of Sharon bush.  It looks much nicer in person.  The hummingbirds love these flowers.

A friendly spider on the clothesline poles.

Some of my houseplants are living outside for the summer.

We have 4 ducks and 10 chickens this year.  The ducks are so funny.  We've never had our own before.

Partners in crime!

I even have a little bit of elderberries growing at the edge of the woods!

Basket willows I planted a number of years ago.

Another view.

My grandpuppy.  His family is out of town for a few days.  He likes it here.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Apple Butter from Windfall Apples!

This has been the best apple year I've ever had.  I never spray my trees, so I have to cut out the bad spots.  This is a dishpan full of windfall apples... and... here are the jars of apple butter I made today!

I have never followed a recipe, as they call for apple cider and I didn't used to ever have money to buy that.  My apple butter is just made with cut up apples (no need to core or peel), some water, not a lot, and cooked slowly and put through the Foley Food Mill.

Then I add brown sugar, white sugar, lots of cinnamon and some ground cloves.  I don't measure anything.  I just throw it together until it tastes "right." Then I put it into a Crockpot, leave the lid off and cook it on low until it is as thick as I want it to be.

These were processed for 5 minutes in a steam canner.

It really is yummy.
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