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Saturday, July 27, 2013


When we first moved here in the summer of 2011, there was nothing but weeds, especially sticker weeds, on our lot.  Well, except for one little Charlie Brown tree as I liked to refer to it - our barely living Live Oak tree that stood in the front yard.  Two years and a lot of hard work later, we have a beautiful yard with several raised beds for vegetables and a separate pepper garden for my Apache, Serrano, Poblano, Banana, and Jalapeno peppers.  We've planted tomatoes, corn, zucchini, butternut squash, okra, carrots, tomatillos, green beans, cantaloupe, garlic, and onions.

While we had some success with all, some have flourished beyond imagination.  The weather and watering schedule have a lot to do with it.  Last year during the drought we watered more, and the zucchini loved it.  It seemed like I had zucchini growing out my ears.  I couldn't give it away fast enough before it was time to harvest more.  I do have to say that my neighbors love me though.  

This year it is tomatoes.  We planted Beefsteak and Roma tomatoes plus Cherry (pictured) and Grape tomatoes which are a little bigger and more oval than the cherry and sweeter.  They just won't stop producing.  I have started freezing them for the winter.  Yes, you can freeze whole tomatoes.  You won't be able to use them sliced on your hamburger, but you can use them in all cooking dishes.  I spread them out in the freezer on a shelf so that they are not touching.  Once they are frozen, I put them in a zip lock bag.  This way when I need some, I just take out as many as I need.  

Today I have really been a busy little bee.  I worked in the garden some this morning and discovered a whole new crop of peppers and tomatoes that needed to be dealt with.  So my little basket and I collected about two dozen tomatoes and a pound of peppers.  It was time for making my home-made green hot salsa.  Don't ask me for the recipe because there isn't one.  

I cook the old-fashioned way, by sight, smell, and intuition.  I've been doing it for so long that most things come out pretty edible.  I'm always reminding my husband that none of my family or original recipes ever come out the same, and he always answers, "But it's always good!"  

The main ingredients though are tomatoes and which ever peppers I have on hand at the moment, but mostly the Apache, Serrano, and JalapeƱo.  These are put into a pot and boiled quickly and left to stew for a bit.  Then into my blender with fresh garlic and salt.  It's a family thing, and we eat it on almost everything.  It will range from spicy to hot depending on the ratio of peppers I used, but then you just add a bit more on your food.  Gotta be careful though, at my house you want to taste sauce before adding too much.  As my son said recently after dinner one day after a new batch of sauce was made, "Note to self:  one spoon of sauce on each taco is too much!"  I'm still laughing about that one.

Gardening for me is fun.  It is therapeutic.  It is me time.  I put on my ear buds and the song of the day and do the happy dance through the vegetables. 
Advice of the day:  Find whatever it is that makes you want to do a happy dance and make sure that you do it whenever you can!

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