Saturday, October 18, 2008

I'm No Green Thumb... But I CANCAN


As all of you know who read my posts, I planted a garden of tomatoes, cherry peppers, cayenne peppers, jalapeno peppers, green beans, cucumbers, and red and green Bel peppers. I was hoping to show off my green thumb and domestic skills... but pride comes before a fall. However, don't be too disappointed in me yet. Although I didn't master the art and knowledge of gardening, I did learn to can.

I will say this: before I learned "the art" of canning, I blanched some of my green beans and put them in the freezer and every time we eat them they are wonderful. Aside from that, I probably had 4 edible summer squashes that came from 3 squash plants total. They were awful. The seeds were as big as pumpkin seeds. I also worried and fretted, watered and weeded, over my Bel peppers and tomatoes all summer who failed to produce any fruit. I finally gave up around early September and stopped fussing over them PERIOD. Who would have thought that dehydrated tomato and Bel pepper plants could produce so well? Then there's my cayenne's... I don't even want to talk about them. I have 3 cayenne plants of whose fruit I have done absolutely NOTHING with. They need to be pruned or cut down; they have overtaken my garden, Yes, I had good intentions... I was going to make homemade salsa using them. I was going to dry them and grind them up to use for cooking later. But have I done that? HA! The only positive thing they've done this summer is added a beautiful red splash of color 3 places in my otherwise greenish-brown garden. I won't be planting them next year. Now there's the beloved jalapenos (sigh). I love these little peppers. I have used them all summer to make tacos, spaghetti, fajitas, to add in a steak marinade, poppers with cream cheese and much more. There is no limit with what you can do with them. And guess what? They are still producing like crazy. I'm loving it. (In case the economy completely crashes, I won't have to buy jalapenos and cayenne's... or tomatoes and Bel peppers at this point).

As I stated before that pride comes before a fall, I hate to admit this but my tomatoes never really put out like I had hoped they would. Even now, although they are producing I still don't have enough except to put on a salad every day or so. I had 7 plants and 3 decided early on they were going to check out. So there went my canned tomatoes and salsa... or so I thought. I happened to be mentioning it to Sis.Angela Miller, a dear sweet lady at our church that my "tomato hopes" had been crushed and wouldn't be able to can the goodies I had intended. She didn't hesitate to tell me that she had access to an individual who could get us boxes of tomatoes for $8 whereas they were selling locally from between $12-$20. She also told me she cans tomatoes and everything else all the time and she would love to get together and do some tomato canning. Since I hadn't had any lessons in canning, I gladly welcomed the suggestion and company. We planned the party. The day arrived and Sis.Angela, her daughter Whitney, her son Colton (Noah's age), Sis.Bridget and myself had a blast at my house canning 4 boxes of tomatoes. So after much laughter, learning, tomato skins and stains all over my stove, kitchen floor, and our clothes, we put up 22 12oz. jars and 3 pint jars of salsa; and 12 quarts of canned tomatoes apiece. So although I may not know what I'm doing in the garden yet, I do know how to can thanks to these two instructors: Instructor Miller and Instructor Koehoorn.

Rebekah came by later on her way to a youth activity.

Here's the finished product.


Misha said...

Ahhh, canning....yes, I CAN totally relate with you. If you remember one of my blogs about canning tomato soup! It took us 8 hours!!! Good Lord...but, we're stocked up for the winter with yummy, preservative free, homemade tomato soup. And that was after filtering through five or six lbs of To-mat-oes!

Janell said...

Wow! You and Mish are so talented, I can't believe you guys...canning, gardening, all this stuff! I bet it's YUMMY!!! =)

Tina said...

Oh my goodness! I was laughing so hard about your garden! It sounds like us..we even tried corn! What a joke. I do put my bel peppers in a pot and they make a pretty plant..I still have a few peppers too!
I am so proud of you and your canning you are so domesticated! One day I will learn too!

The Golden 2 said...

I'm impressed with your canning Von! :0)
Miss and love you guys!