Category Archives: Harvest

Quickie Post


~ Picked 5 cantaloupes tonight that makes 8 total so far.  I plan on putting (mashing) one up in the freezer to make cantaloupe Bread later this year.  (If you’d like the recipe, just ask.)

~ Picked 22 tomatoes.  I’ve not been counting but I’d say I’ve picked over 60 all together.

My pretty Arkansas Traveler tomato

My pretty Arkansas Traveler tomato

The city of Warren, AR celebrates with a Pink Tomato Festival every year in June.  The festival is famous for its Heavenly Tomato Cake.  The tomatoes grown for the festival are Arkansas Travelers which grow really well here in AR.  I’ve not make this cake, yet. :O)

Heavenly Tomato Cake

2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup water, hot
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup pecans, chopped, toasted

Instructions
Line a 15 ½ x 10 ½ x 1-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with non-stick spray.

Cream together margarine, shortening and sugar. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each.

Sift together cocoa, flour and soda. Add to butter mixture, combining thoroughly.

Combine tomato juice, hot water and marshmallows; add to batter.

Add vanilla. Batter will be thin and marshmallows will come to top.

Pour the batter into the prepared jelly roll pan. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 35 minutes.

Turn cake out onto a cutting board and start on the icing.

Combine 1/2 c. margarine, 1/4 c. tomato juice, 2 Tbsp. water, 4 Tbsp. cocoa and 1/4 tsp. salt in a sauce pan and heat until boiling. Pour this mixture over 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted and beat well. Stir in the nuts.

Spread the hot icing over the cake. The icing sets up quickly so you have to work fast.

———————–
Sorry I forgot about posting the Historic Canning recipes; perhaps later this week.

Advertisements

Canning Potatoes and Corn Relish

6-30-12
The potato plants are drying out at different times; some are still green and some have been dry for a week or more.  This morning at 6:30 I went up into the garden and dug up 17 of the dry plants.  Believe me hunting in the dirt for potatoes is not easy work.  I think I only sliced through 3 potatoes with my shovel.  After an hour of digging the sun starting coming up over the tree line and I was getting tired so I stopped; covered in sweat.  There are still about 15 or so dry potato plants to dig up and I’ll be out there in the morning doing it all over again.
   
Once I finished with the potato digging I decided to make my corn relish before canning the potatoes.  This is a recipe I made up.


Southwest Style Corn Relish

Makes 2 pints

2 cups fresh corn
1 1/2 cups tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp canning salt
1/2 c. cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. cilantro
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. lime juice

Place all ingredients in an enamel or stainless steel pan. (A large stainless saucepan is big enough.)
Bring to a boil and let boil for 15 minutes.
While relish is boiling get your jars and boiling water bath ready.
Fill jars with hot relish and place on your lids and tighten the rings.
Place in boiling water bath. (Remember the boiling water should cover your jars by 1-inch.)  Leave in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.  Remove jars; sitting them in a draft free place.  Wait for the lid popping sound and you’re done.

                                    ~/~/~/~/~/~/~/~/~/~/~/~/~/~/~/~
 After putting the relish away I canned 4 quarts of the potatoes I picked this morning.  The recipe and instructions I used came from my Kerr Canning Book.

                 ========================================
7-1-12
    Dug up more of the potato plants this morning; 18 today leaving 10 green plants up in the garden.  Dug up another wash tub full.  I canned another 4 quarts.  There were lots of little ones attached to the large potatoes and some small ones so I decided to put them away in pint jars for stew this winter.  I don’t know why I insist on putting myself through all this work.  I guess I just can’t throw good food away.
    To prepare the little ones I stood at the sink using my dish scrunchy and rubbed all skin off each one under running water.  I had to trim off each one.  Potatoes have a tendency to turn brown after they’ve been peeled for a while so I place them in a bowl of cool water with a squirt or two of lemon juice.  I always rinse them before I place them in the jars.  I do the same lemon water soak with my cut potatoes I placed in the quart jars.

It was a busy weekend and I could use a day off now. :O)  I will say I enjoyed myself.  I LOVE TO CAN.  Have I mentioned that?
The weekend was a hot as the week and the fields, woods,and creeks are drying up.  I heard they have banned fireworks in our county and the next one (Fort Smith,AR’s county).  Guess the 4th won’t be much of one unless we get a good soaking rain for a day.  We’ve deer on our property that graze in our field behind the garden and drink from a spring just down below the hill from our house.  We’ve seen generations of these same deer over the years and one doe has had several sets of twins.  Dad and I went out for supper this evening and on the way in we saw four of them by the spring.  They just stood there and looked at us as we drove by.  I saw the buck in the back field last Thursday.  It was the first time I’ve seen him in the open.
     Well enough about the pretty deer.  Hope everyone had a GREAT weekend and the same for the week to come.

Corn Harvest and Tomato Shade

6-27-12
     The temps here have been in the 100s this week.  I’ve been watering the garden every evening hoping to keep it from burning up from the sun.  Today I discovered that the sweet banana pepper and bell pepper plants had scrubed to the heat.  The peppers on each plant had sun burn spots on them so I decided I’d gotten my share and decided not to water them anymore.
     I picked the corn today.  Sad harvest.  The ears had 1 worm each and some had ants and/or some kind of long thin black bug.  The bugs had eaten anywhere from a quarter to half of each ear.    I only picked 25 ears and out of that I was able to only put 6 away, in the deep freezer, for corn on the cob.                  I cut the rest of the corn off the cobs to make some Corn Relish.  I didn’t have any garlic so I waited till Sat. to make the relish. (Friday shopping)  A couple of years ago I made a Zucchini and Corn Relish that you could pour over your pan fried chicken breasts.  I wanted to make something similar, so I invented a recipe using ingredients I had on hand.  See the July 1 post for the recipe.

 6-28-12 
With the sun blaring down on my tomatoes I was concerned about them getting burned up.  I was thinking, during the day, about how I could shade them a little.  My Dad used to put 6 fence posts up, two on each end of the row of tomatoes and two in the middle.  When the days started to get too hot he would then lay a piece of rebarb, he had laying around, on top of the tomatoes. (Hog fencing would work also.)  He would use wire to tie the rebarb to the fence posts.  Once this was done he would take the old corn stalks and lay them on top to shade the tomatoes.  He always had beautiful bushy tomato plants that grew up through the rebarb and then they ended up shading themselves.
Anyway back to shading my tomatoes…Having the corn stalks in mind I decided that I would lean some of the corn stalks against the West side of my tomato plants.

In The Garden

Quick post:
     I’ve picked 10 tomatoes so far but the plants are full.  I’m afraid to let them ripen fully on the vine because of the “sucky bugs” You know, the ones that suck the juice from the tomatoes.  I’ve no idea what they are. ? I dislike using it but I sprinkle Sevin Dust on the tomato plants. 
     I also picked 3 more bell peppers that are green, not orange.  I’ve one plant that I have left the bell peppers on longer than the others and they are not turning ornage either.  The sun has partically baked them with a sun spot.  As I said in an eariler post I can’t eat green bell peppers so I’ll be giving these way.
     I’ve yet to get gas for my new (replacement) tiller so the garden is a bit grass.  I am thankful that most of the grass growing amoungst the plants is crabgrass so it is easy to pull up.
The potato plants are still greenish; there is one in the garden that is still flowering.  I can’t believe that, but there it is. :O)
     I was watering the green beans and picking them at the same time Friday night.  I only got 3 pts. and one 1/2 pt.  So far that makes 13 1/2 pts this year.  The plants are still lush, green and flowering so I’ve hopes yet of canning more than 30 pts.
     The weather is supposed to turn HOTTER (100 degrees plus) with no rain in site for next week.  I see the water bill going up. :O)
     When I water tonight I’m going to put some 10-20-10 fertilizer around the plants.  They look like they could use it.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~
May YOUR garden produce beyond your expectations.

Morning Gardening

Green Beans and Corn 6-17-12Morning sun on the green beans and corn.

I went out before breakfast and picked the green beans.  I didn’t get as many as the other day.  While I was in the garden I dug up two potato plants that had dried up. I got 4 big potatoes and a few medium sized.    I have one tomato that is just about vine ripe and I am dying to pick it.

My Dad will be home today from his Bluegrass Festival.  I hope I get the green beans canned before he arrives.

CornCobs6-17-12The corn ears are getting larger.  When do you know they’re ready to pick?  Last year my Dad took care of the corn so I didn’t pay any attention to the proper picking time.  Guess I could ask him when he gets home but, what do ya’ll think.?

Fruitful Day

The weather this evening turned cooler after 7:30 so I went out into the garden.  I’d planned on picking the green beans in the morning but since it was cool  I went ahead and picked three of the 5 rows.  I didn’t get much, but not bad for the first picking and the plants are full of blooms.  I’ll finish picking in the morning.  Looks like I’ll be canning tomorrow when I get home from work.

I picked 16 more Sweet Banana Peppers this evening.  That’s a total of 38 off 4 plants.  I remain stunned that my pepper plants are doing so well.  The Bell Peppers are getting big enough to pick, but they are not turning orange like they should.

Waiting for the red…

Pretty little cantalope…
One last note:  Sears called today and said my tiller was not repairable and would give me a replacement.  YEAH!  I can till the garden again; it needs it…BAD.