April 23, 2014

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Getting ready for winter PDF Print E-mail

This past week was another busy one on the ranch. Getting ready for winter takes a lot of preparation.
Three of the boys and their mates came Sunday to help. The girls and I pulled plants up and made piles for one son on the tractor with the wagon to pick up and take to the gully. We took beans and cabbages off of the plants and filled baskets. I’ve never seen that many beans on one plant, and most were at least three inches long or more. I hope somebody wants some. I’m through canning, and espeically don’t want to get the pressure canner out for the beans.
I had pulled all the tomato cages (24) up and piled plants and bad tomatoes into several places, along with the last of the cantaloupe. Those got scooped up and taken to the gully. The wild animals are probably having an early thanksgiving feast, sans the turkey. Of course we do have turkey, so maybe!
The boys took all the hoses and the drip system off the blackberries and put them up in the barn. We also got the pool covered, finally. I can’t crawl under the pool or stoop down on top to place the cover, that's why I have to have my kids help, and am most grateful for it. I’m sure they get tired of taking care of Mom’s stuff when they have their own things to do.
I remember doing for my Mom when she was much older and  had her first stroke. I hope she didn’t catch my impatience at having so much to do. That was when I still had the flower shop and was really busy. I know they would rather I give up most everything, but I’ve told them, “I can’t just sit in a chair and do nothing.” I come from a family of hard workers and I don’t know any thing else.
I remember my mother taking care of my grandkids every day when she was in her eighties. Also painting her garage at ninety. I’ll not get to that stage I’m pretty sure.
My daughter wants me to visit and I’m still thinking on that one. Mainly because I can’t decide what to do with puppy. At Farmer’s Market Friday, a helper of Jim’s the fish man, stopped by with his two dogs.
I asked if I could go to the truck to see them, and he took me back. The dog named Copper looked like a brother of my puppy. The other one looked to be part shepherd. His name was Shoes. They were very well behaved dogs, but you could tell which dog was the favorite.
Shoes was the dog who wandered into the man’s life, and he had chosen Copper. So I gave Shoes more attention, even though Copper got out of the truck, sat down and didn’t move until the man told him to get back in, then he wanted to lick my face, just like my puppy. Golden retrievers are very affectionate. Shoes never offered to get out of the truck, just looked sadly out the back window.
I don’t know if we’ll stay two more Fridays at market, but I still have turnips to sell. My kids don’t care for them, husband was the turnip eater, and I can’t eat all of them for sure. Getting late, so here is this week’s recipe.
Wilted Green Bean Salad: Bring three inches of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add one pound green beans and return to boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for five minutes. Meanwhile cook four slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces, in a large skillet over med. heat, stirring until crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Leave about one tbsp. fat in skillet. Drain the beans and transfer to bowl. Add two scallions, chopped, and toss. Pour two tbsp. vinegar, 1/4 teas. salt, and freshly ground pepper, into bacon fat. Mix and add the beans, add the bacon and toss. Makes six servings. Good for you. Enjoy the cool weather before we really have to honker in.
See you next week, behind the Garden Gate.