Friday, September 2, 2016

Gardening, Canning, Dehydrating, Quality Time

This summer our garden has been a blessing. It is the first year we didn't produce squash, which is sad but peppers and tomatoes did well. I am so thankful for a dear friend who helped pick all the produce while my husband was in the hospital, then took it to church and sold it all, well really took donations. It helped us with food when we first got home. I was out of money between gas, hotel costs etc. 
I will admit at first it was a bit overwhelming trying to keep up with all the work. Right now it really needs a good tilling and some peppers desperately need to be staked. I had to give so much away while I cared for him the first couple months, I just didn't have time to can, process or even cook with much of what we were producing. 
At this point, we still have quite a few peppers growing and okra is crazy. My husband seems to really love the pickled okra recipe we came across. The tomatoes are done. We are hoping to get out into the garden this weekend, till the land and get some new plants in.
My daughter has decided she LOVES bellpeppers. We had bought a variety of peppers. I was so thankful she gave them a try. She doesn't care for them cooked, she likes them raw and she likes just them not ranch etc. Couldn't be a better addition to her lunch or for a homework snack.
We have learned to dehydrate the chilis and red  peppers. I did learn when you grind them the dust they produce makes it hard to breathe. Lots and lots of coughing occurs. We have canned a couple batches of the okra now. Its pretty easy really.
We have made a variety of pepper jellys and candied jalapenos. I can't wait to try them. One more week.
Dehydration is probably the easiest method but I enjoy the quality time gained from the canning sessions. Its nice to just be in the kitchen together. He doesn't last terribly long though. It makes his back hurt and he becomes super stiff. 
We recently canned three days straight and that was probably too much. He had swelling start back up in his leg. I am betting we do more okra this coming weekend. He gets a pretty good crop about every 2 days. Lately he has been blanching and freezing them. Much quicker than pickling them.

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Pleasant words are as a honeycomb: sweet to the soul and health to the bones. Proverbs 16:24