Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Long, Hot Summer

So far this summer it has been exceedingly hot. We had almost a week in June where the temps were over 100 with heat indexes around 110-115. And it hasn't rained since Memorial Day weekend. At least, not more that 10 or 15 minute showers.

It is making gardening more difficult this year. I have been having to water about every other day just to keep everything from getting crispy. It completely killed my crop of wax beans and it is really slowing down the melon and squash.

I picked our first black-eyed peas yesterday and got enough for dinner. I have limited garden space so there will not be enough to can, but just for eating fresh, we should be good for a while. If I can keep them watered. I will probably be able to pick bell peppers by the weekend but they haven't put on much of a crop either. My okra isn't even putting on bloom buds yet. I don't know what is wrong with it. I am usually up to my eyeballs in okra by now.

My dad gave me some purple hull peas and a few ears of corn over the holiday that I need to do something with. I will probably do that this afternoon. I would like to go by my favorite farm market and pick up some more tomatoes and peas to put up. I think I have 1 pint of tomatoes left from last year, and I would like to make some juice and sauce this year as well.

I have some potatoes I need to can and I need to get some more beef and chicken as well. I will have to wait for a sale on that though.

I did dry about 9 pounds of onions a week or so ago, but that won't last long. I love to cook with dried onions. It is just so much easier than chopping up an onion every time I need a little for a recipe. I wonder when I will be able to find some more on sale?

I really wish I had an outdoor kitchen to do my canning in. I hate heating up the house every time I get out the pressure canner. But if I had a shop like my Dad's, I could set everything up out there like he does. He cans all of his garden on his fish-fry burner out in the shop. He has a "kitchen" out there, complete with running water, cabinetry, sink and a couple of refrigerators and freezers. No range, but with the double gas burner, he doesn't really need it. It is really a good setup. He will spend most of the day out there pretty much all year. He has some big exhaust fans for the summer and a wood stove for the winter. And every week or two, his Lodge buddies will have a pot luck in his shop. It works out great.

I am jealous.

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