Garden Update 7-22-2016 – peppers, cucumbers, carrots, corn

0-stuffedpeppersMy blogging buddy Dianna mentioned in a comment on my pepper post that she used to make stuffed peppers.
I’d never made stuffed peppers and since I have oodles of them at the moment, I found a simple recipe and made some.
I used a green pepper and a purple pepper so we could compare their taste.
I served the stuffed peppers with a baked potato and cornbread. We really enjoyed it.
The purple pepper was really good. It had a nice smooth taste to it.
We didn’t care much for the green pepper, it had a harsh taste to it. The stuffing was good so we emptied the green pepper’s stuffing out on our plates and ate it that way.

I used a recipe for Broccoli and Rice Stuffed Peppers by Knorr
I made some changes and additions to it:
ground turkey instead of ground beef
chopped fresh tomatoes
chopped fresh basil
in the casserole dish bottom I put 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce with 1/2 cup water.
After the peppers were done, we sprinkled them with the Worcestershire water
my husband topped his with mixed shredded cheese
I topped mine with ricotta and sour cream cheese
—————

0-cucumbersMy blogging buddy Sheryl posted on her blog about fried cucumbers. It sounded like something I’d be interested in trying except I would bake them. I peeled a cucumber, quartered it up, coated it in a bit of olive oil, coated it in crushed herbed croutons and grated parmesan cheese and added them to a tray of squash sticks prepared the same way.
The cucumbers had a nice texture and smelled great, but I think the taste would be described as an acquired one.
I think if I had of used the recipe on Sheryl’s post and deep fried the cucumbers they may have been more to our liking.
—————

0-carrotsWe planted a pack of mixed color carrot seeds. So far only a few of the white ones have matured enough to pick. I topped them, washed them and scrapped the skins clean.
Well, the taste was really not very carroty. It was more like a big crunch with very little taste, for some reason it reminded me of a very bland radish.
—————

2016-02-01 10.18.55We harvested, shucked, cleaned, cooked and tried to eat some of the ornamental corn. We didn’t care for the plainness of the taste. I think if I had of add a lot of sugar to the water and it would have been better. It’s edible though and would be welcome if one was hungry.
Thankfully, we didn’t grow the ornamental corn to eat. We grew it just to be growing it and maybe get some to dry for decor. If the birds and critters leave us any for that.
We have a large patch of sweet corn for eating, so we’re still hoping for some delicious corn on the cob.
—————

P1040229Here’s a photo of our bounty for the week. I’ve got a few last stragglers of squash. My squash didn’t do very well this year. We’re still getting a few tomatoes. We’ve been eating the tomatoes like candy. Yum! I’ve got oodles of peppers and I’ll be up to my elbows preparing and freezing them someday soon.

Next year we don’t plan to use the variety mix of color seeds. They were a disappointment. We plan on buying individual colors in plants or packs of seeds.
—————
And that’s all of my gardening updates at the moment.
I wish you all a nice relaxing weekend.

.

Bell Pepper Harvest

P1040187We harvested our bell peppers yesterday. Unfortunately, out of the 50+ plants only about a dozen produced fruit. It’s possible over the next few days some of these green peppers will change ripen to a different color… or not… you never can tell about peppers.
Whatever they do, I plan to chop them up and freeze them using my flash freezing method. It’s handy to have frozen bell peppers for cooking any time of year.

I hope you all are having productive flower and vegetable gardens.

Productive Purple Bell Peppers

P1030514I was surprised to find purple bell peppers that have already turned this season.
P1030600I was worried that we may only have one purple pepper plant out of the 50+ plants I started from seeds. I know of 2 plants, so far. Hopefully, they’ll be more.

An interesting point about the purple bell peppers is that they grow a yellowish pepper that turns purple. Most of the peppers I’ve ever grown have started out green and then turned another color.

I think it’s pretty neat what one learns about familiar veggies when you grow other colors/varieties of the same kind. I’m looking forward to harvesting other colors of bell peppers. I’ll put them in a basket and take some photos (and then eat some and freeze some.)

I hope you’re having success & enjoyment with
your Summertime gardening &/or hobby projects.

Edited in:
Another interesting thing about the purple pepper is that’s it’s  cream color on the inside.0prplppr

Flash Freezing Bell Peppers for the winter

1-IMG_4364I’ve harvested quite a few peppers this year. My husband has feasted heavily on the baby bells. Fortunately, there was several left to put up along with the big bell peppers.
Flash freezing and vacuum packing is my favorite chosen method for storing peppers.

Flash freezing is quite simple.
2-IMG_4392I wash the peppers, hull and de-seed them and chop them in to small pieces.
3-IMG_4383I spread the pepper pieces on a tray and put them in the freezer.
*I use my refrigerator freezer. I don’t have a cookie sheet small enough to fit in it, so I cut cardboard the width of it and then cover the cardboard with wax paper (or freezer paper sometimes).
4-IMG_4403It usually takes about a half hour for the peppers to freeze.
I write a date on the vacuum bags. I take the frozen pepper pieces out of the freezer and put them  in the vacuum bags. Seal the bags and put them in freezer to use at a later date.

I look forward to using these peppers in the wintertime in stir fries, soups, meat-loafs and oodles of other recipes.

Here’s wishing you all a fabulous harvest of smiles to
keep stored in your memory like rays of sunshine
to warm you during cold days of winter.
t09017chef-2snowman
spacer2

Beautiful Weekend for Gardening

IMG_9162It was a beautiful weekend. The temps were in the 80’s and it was mostly sunny. The wind was gusting from time-to-time, but thankfully it wasn’t chilly.

IMG_9356My husband rotortillered the garden and got half of it planted. He planted onions, beans, potatoes, spinach and radishes.
I like his row markers. It’s bamboo with plastic golf balls on top.  🙂

IMG_9250.IMG_9252

It rained last night and the temps are dropping, it’s  in the low 60’s today. It’s a gray dreary day. It’s not supposed to get below freezing or anything, but it might frost at night or get cold enough to nip or kill non-cold-tolerant plants/buds/blooms.

IMG_9348It’s officially Dogwood winter.
and we still have several little winters to go before warm weather sets in for the year.

The next few weeks will be up and down like this. This part of Spring usually costs home-gardeners dearly because they’ll be convinced the cold snaps are over and plant plants that aren’t cold tolerant and then lose them all with a frost. I’ve seen it happen so many times. It always makes me sad.
Some folks, like us, keep containers on hand to cover up any plants in the garden, during the colder nights that might frost or be cold enough to kill plants .
We try to be patient to plant, but it’s so very hard when the sun shines and the stirring of the need to be out digging in the soil overwhelms us.

Planting/starting seeds/seedlings in trays in the house helps curb some of my anxious need to plant in the garden during this ‘chancy’ time of the season. I tend the plants so carefully that I feel a bit like they’re my babies and I become over protective of them. I’ll keep them in the house during cold days and nights. When the days are warm I’ll tote them outside and set them on the porch. it’s a lot of work, but I need the exercise. lol
IMG_9390..IMG_9387
I’m quite pleased with my seedlings. They’re healthy and happy. I transplanted them to bigger containers.
I took a photo before I wiped off their new cups, I hope you didn’t mind seeing a little dirt. lol
IMG_9380..IMG_9384
I planted my basil and parsley in they’re permanent containers for season. They’ll be just fine growing in them during the Summer. I love having fresh herbs on hand. 🙂
IMG_9386I still need to wait for the peppers to grow some true leaves before I transplant them to a larger container.

It was a peach of a weekend. My husband and I look forward to more pleasant weather and gardening.

I hope you all had a pleasant weekend and was able to go outside and enjoy some soul refreshing sunshine and warm weather. 🙂  (except for Barb, I hope she’s enjoying some nice cool breezes and getting a much deserved break from the hot summer temps of Oz. 😉 )

Wishing you all a great week!
gardeningcouple3-spcbg