Monday, July 27, 2015

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

So a follow-up from the last post (which was almost 2 months ago!) - I did have poison ivy, but it was contained to about 3 small bumps on my arm and thankfully didn't itch nearly as bad as I was afraid of.  I really hate getting that stuff, and am absolutely miserable with it, but thanks to some kind of steroid cream that Clydie had, we nipped it in the bud pretty quickly.

What have I been up to lately?  Putting veggies in my freezer and canning pickles!  I know I've posted this stuff on Facebook, but in case any of you have missed it - we put up a bushel of black-eyed peas a while back, and shortly after that, we put away a bushel of purple hull crowder peas, a bushel of speckled butterbeans, and snapped a bushel of green beans.  We froze the peas and butterbeans, and canned the green beans. 

The quality of the 3 bushels we got last time and the one from a couple weeks earlier was better than anything we've gotten at the farmers market before - absolutely fantastic!  Very few dried out bean or pea shells, and the amount of beans that we got on the green beans was phenomenal!  Those green beans came in a small wooden crate, and it was absolutely packed FULL.  We ended up with 24 quart jars, a gallon Ziploc we gave to the neighbors, and a huge pot we cooked for dinner (expecting leftovers for another meal, but nope, we ate them all!)

And our little backyard garden - oh my at the stuff we're getting out of that!  We've already been able to put up about 10 bags of pink eyes, 2 bags of butterbeans, and we've canned at least 20qts (between the quarter and pint jars) of pickles.  I've also had to give away cucumbers, we can't keep up with how many my 4 little plants are producing!  We pick 6-9 cucumbers 2-3 times a week!  I finally have 2 cantaloupe growing - they are each about the size of a racquetball.  We also got one meal of pole beans (those didn't do very well this year), and we've had zucchini about once a week or so.

Oh did I mention our peppers?!?  We have ghost, reaper, habanero, Hungarian hot wax, cowhorn, jumbo jalapeno, Serrano, and an assortment of cayenne and tabasco peppers.  Clydie has canned at least 2 dozen half-pint and pint jars of pepper sauce, made some home-made sriracha sauce, and of course we eat the peppers with dinner frequently.  Well, I should say Brian eats them with dinner frequently.  Clydie can't do the peppers so much anymore, Steven doesn't care for them but is usually a good sport when Brian wants him to try one, and I dabble in them occasionally.

I got the "pleasure" of trying out a Carolina Reaper pepper a while back.  It's supposed to be the world's hottest pepper, but I just didn't get that out of it.  Not that it wasn't the hottest damn pepper I've ever had, but still.  I expected more.  To be fair, I only ate 2 small pieces of it (when I say small - each piece was maybe 3mm in size).  The first bite produced a very warm sensation but not a lot of stinging.  The second one required a milk chaser!  But the burn was quite different than when I eat a hot jalapeno, it's hard to explain, and it really wasn't that painful.  Even wiping a piece of meat or some of the mac&cheese we had that night over the spot where the pepper had been cut was enough to heat your mouth up.  The flavor of the reaper was really good (and yes, I could actually taste the flavor of it over the heat).

We had a surprise in a cowhorn pepper recently - those aren't supposed to be as hot as jalapenos, so normally when Brian eats one, he just bites off a big chunk and enjoys the flavor.  He did this the other night and his whole head immediately went bright red and he got the hot pepper stomach lurch!  It was really funny.  He cut me a slice and I tried it and holy hell it was hot!  That was another night of milk with dinner.

The pleasant surprise so far is the Hungarian hot wax.  Those are very mild so far, like a hot banana pepper.  We shall see if they continue to be mild, or if they have gotten hotter from lack of water.  We have read several articles on caring for peppers, and all of them say to withhold water for hotter peppers.  You let the plants get to where the leaves are wilting before you water them.  Water them sufficiently to end the wilting, and let them wilt again.  Apparently that worked really well on those cowhorns and they weren't even ripe yet!

One final note - my birthday is Saturday.  I haven't thought a lot about it so far, but it's kinda weighing on my mind.  I just can't believe I'm going to be 39.  Again.  LOL  Seriously, I will be 47.  FORTY-SEVEN!!!!!  I don't want to dwell on it too much, some birthdays are worse than others.  30 was really hard for me for some reason.  I remember thinking I'd be in my 20's forever, and 30 was just unbearably difficult.  Cried for at least a week before.  40 was easy.  Other than the early night and following hangover.  41 was brutal - thanks to the 3 day hangover (thanks Brian!) 

I think we're going pretty low-key this year - I love going to a Mexican restaurant for my birthday, so we're going to La Vaquerita here in Carrollton.  If any of you would like to join us, please feel free to do so - but let me know (or message my husband or my mom-in-law Clydie Cote or my son Steven if you want it to be a surprise) - not sure what time we'll be going, I'm guessing around 5pm.


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