Monday, September 5, 2011

we heart okra and other bits from the past few weeks

We heart okra with just a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  I have to make sure I give everyone equal amounts or they complain. Tonight we saved up a few days of okra and had a huge skillet full of it.  I think everyone was happy.  How do you feel about okra? 


We've been busy pulling out everything from the garden like beets, carrots, basil and onions.  Our freezer is full of pesto!  (Anyone want some pesto??)  We harvested two of our cabbages and started fermenting those.  This is the first year I've tried growing cabbage and I've decided I'm going to plant loads of them next year.  They're just so pretty.  Cutting up the cabbage and getting it all in the jars is a messy endeavor but worth it!

I've always just froze my beets but this year I canned them all using this recipe.  I like that calls for honey and apple cider vinegar.

Our sunflowers rocked this year.  These are the biggest we've ever grown.  Jonathan went out the other day with the tape measure and they were 10 feet tall!  (Amelia says, "Don't forget to tell them they were mine!)  And if you're wondering why I don't post a lot of pictures of my daughter, I might be able to explain it this way;  she's turning 13 next month.  Every time I try and take a picture of her she's either reading or scowling at me for taking a picture of her. She's sweet and lovable the rest of the time though it's just she's being an elusive (almost) teen.  I can't complain.

Oooh, delicata squash.  You're doing well this year.  What didn't do good this year in my garden?  Tomatoes and corn.  sniff, sniff.

Let's see, in other news we started school last week.  These pictures were taken the day before school.  The lazy days of summer are gone but we still try and read outside most days and get our garden time in amongst breakfast and getting our clothes on  (Solomon stays in his undies most of the day however!) This usually takes us until 10am. : )

They call this "making volcanoes".  Water + sand = volcanoes.

We're trying on new thing this year with homeschooling.  Because Amelia is in middle school, we thought we'd try one of the public on-line schools for all the kids.  I'm really liking it.  Well if you talked to me last Tuesday while I was having an overwhelmed moment, I was about ready to send Eli to public kindergarten.  But after going to the farmers' market and taking a few deep breaths I decided it was just the first week of school.  It's always hard, no matter what.

Other factors that led up to this decision?  I think I need a little more structure.  The money was a factor. 

We have a great teacher to support us.  She raises cows for milk, pigs, chickens and has a huge garden outside Winnemucca, Nevada.  Her husband is a cowboy.  We spent a long time on the phone talking about cows.  It felt really good to connect with our teacher.

This weekend Amelia had a soccer tournament in Truckee, CA.  We spent much of our time driving back and forth.  It was good start to the season.  Her team got to the championship and won third place.  (I know it's not about the winning...we had fun too)

We've been observing grasshoppers lately.  We also found a baby lizard today when were walking the dog/scooting to 7/11 for a slushy.  It was the coolest little guy, about 1 inch long.  I've never seen a baby lizard before. 

And last but not least, my t.v. broke the other day.  It's my t.v. that I got 20 years ago when I first moved out of my parent's house.  A little 19 inch color job that was faithful to us for a long time.  We didn't use it much but for the occasional dvd.   When new friends came over to the house, they'd comment on our t.v.-less house.  We'd show them behind the curtain in the living room our small little beast that we couldn't even get the basic channels on because of where we live.  It's kind of sad in a way.  Farewell old friend!

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