Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Squash Soup

My dads garden is giving us a lot of squash right now so I've been making squash soup with it. This is sort of my own little recipe that I put together, so here is the recipe in photo form. :)

First I get 4 or 5 medium squash and a large leek,

then chop up the squash in small pieces.

Cut the leek up real thin.

Then add some oil to a pot. 
Any kind of oil, I cook mostly with unrefined coconut oil, 
but you can use whatever you like.

Then add the leeks and cook for a few minutes, 
then add broth. You can use vegetable or chicken broth.
Don't put a lot of broth because the squash will make plenty of it's own liquid because squash is mostly water.

Then after the leeks have softened up some, add all of the chopped squash. 
You shouldn't see any of the broth that is at the bottom after you add the squash.

Bring to a boil, then bring the heat back down to a low simmer and cover with a lid. 
Let cook around 20 minutes until the squash gets softer.
Add the whole pot to a blender and blend, you may have to blend half the pot at a time.

Then I add some salt and shredded cheese for more flavor.

Then you have delicious Summer Squash Soup!

This stuff is so addicting, I've been eating it almost every day.
I am going to try to freeze a batch of it to see how it freezes, not sure if that would work or not, but boy would I love to have some of this on hand throughout the year, especially in the winter months.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Green Bean Day

Yesterday we spent the whole day canning green beans.  Talk about having fresh home veggies, we started out first thing in the morning picking them from the garden. We had so many huge bowls of beans I wish I had taken a picture, but I completely forgot to take pics of the processes until the very end when we had them all canned.  So these cans are from all the hard work we did yesterday. Canning them involved...

  • Picking them from the garden
  • Filling sink and soaking to wash off dirt
  • Snapping each bean (snap off each end, then snap into bite sizes)
  • Then filling sink again and re-soaking to wash off remaining dirt
  • Sterilizing Mason and Ball jars
  • Fill each jar with beans 
  • Add pinch of salt
  • Sterilize lids
  • Add lids
  • Set pressure cooker and put jars in cooker (this sterilizes any contaminants or bacteria in beans)
  • Remove and put on table and wait for that POP sound when the lid seals

We finished with 61 cans of green beans.

It was a  fabulous and fulfilling day, now we have lots of green beans to get us through the winter. 

Here is my post from last  year when we were - Canning Green Beans.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Garden Progress #3

I was having a hard time with my garden because of the weeds.  When I would try to weed I was getting attacked by mosquitoes so I gave up on it.  I have just figured out, if I weed around 3pm in the afternoon, there are no mosquitoes out there. They can't take the heat, but I can! So I have started weeding my garden and now it looks so much better and is growing better now. I guess the weeds can suck the nutrients from the plants or something, I'm not sure.  Here is the progress in the photo above.  Click links to see when I first started it at month 1 and month 2.

Bell Peppers
I planted a ton of bell peppers because they are just so pricey in the stores and I can't bring myself to buy them all the time. Thought I would grow my own and freeze what I can't eat.

Bell Peppers - Already growing and looking good.

Below is all the basil I planted. This stuff grows like crazy. Last year my basil did really good, so I figured I would grow it again and make pesto and freeze what I don't use now. The back is Thai Basil and in the front is Sweet Basil. (To the left of them are cucumbers that are growing out of control.)

Thai and Sweet Basil

I always have to grow Banana Peppers so I can have peppers for my authentic homemade salsa.

Banana Peppers

I haven't done real well with my herbs, but I must say, between the basil and the dill, they are very hardy and strong herbs that managed to grow very well, despite my limited gardening knowledge.  I could not for the life of me get my cilantro to thrive. It did horrible, just puney little shoots that didn't last but a couple of weeks then poof. My mint didn't last long either.  Cilantro is my favorite herb and I use it almost daily. I would give anything to be able to grow it.


I got 3 Blueberry bushes and planted in the garden a couple of weeks ago.
I am not sure if I'm going to have my garden in this spot next year is why I put them here, but now that I can weed the garden in the middle of the day without the mosquitoes, I am questioning if I should have put them here, because they will grow too big to have a garden around them.  Did any of that make sense? lol

Blueberry Bush

Here is my patio, things are growing okay here, too. I'm not getting as many cayenne peppers from the potted plants as I did when I planted them in the garden last year though. I may need to replant them in bigger pots. 

Patio garden

One of my tomato plants on my patio finally started giving me some tomatoes! I'm so excited.

I've been regularly going out in the garden and grabbing me some cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes almost on a daily basis. It is so fun to eat veggies when you grow them yourself! If you have a child that is a picky eater and doesn't like veggies, this would SO encourage them to eat them if they grew them themselves. :)

My Topsy Turvey has been giving me lots of little cherry tomatoes.

That is my progress for now. I want to find a pickle recipe and pickle my cucumbers. 
If I get enough cayenne peppers I want to pickle those, too.  I am going to can some green beans at my dads farm this week, his garden is amazing! He has squash like there is no tomorrow, so I've been making summer squash soup lately with it. I will have to post the recipe for it later.  We've been eating a lot of food from his garden, so I'll post that soon, too.

Last but not least, I also planted 2 new rose bushes. One in front of my house next to my front door and one in the back yard.  Pretty eh?

Happy gardening to all my fellow gardeners!