Sunday, July 19, 2009
Garden Gone Wild
Our garden has gotten completely out of hand. I guess that can pretty much be expected by the end of July. Our Pastor had a sermon a few months ago about "starters" and "sustainers". He was trying to get the congregation members to "use their talents" in the church in any way that worked for them. He told a couple of stories about folks from other churches he'd preached at and how their talents had contributed to the church. Some it turned out were great "starters" and good at getting programs, projects, ministries etc. going but others were great "sustainers" and would work on really long term programs, projects and ministries. You know who they are. They are the tried and true folks who are the foundation of the churches and organizations but would probably have never even gotten that project off the ground in the first place if it weren't for those "starters".
Turns out I'm a starter.
I see that in my work too. I like change and I like to do the new and exciting and see immediate results for my efforts. I've also become more and more a fair weather girl in my slightly middle age. I like to do it all once and then move onto the next project, idea or thing. Gardening is very similar it turns out.
I like planning, picking, starting and planting. It's the SUSTAINING where it gets tricky for me. In my defense, I think if it was 72 degrees outside EVERY DAY like it is TODAY, I might be more inclined toward the sustenance side than I am when it's 90 degrees plus, then again... old dogs and all.
Once the thing is chugging along full speed ahead, I lose interest a little I'm afraid and start looking for the next big thing. Luckily, that didn't happen with Bryon and I and we celebrated out 19th wedding anniversary this June 15. I used to wonder WHAT IN THE WORLD people could talk about for that long, but it turns out there is ALWAYS something.
One lucky accident of raising the pigs has turned out to be a windfall of squash in the former pig pen area. I'm not sure exactly HOW we ended up with this many ornamental pumpkins but by lucky coincidence, I really LIKE the little ornamental guys.
We haven't watered them or tended to them in any way. We just tore apart the old sty and up they popped.
One thing I have been looking forward to is peach season. Last year I think I canned about 20 pounds of peaches and the lasted right up until March of this year. So the plan this year was to can twice as much and make it through the entire year until peach season again. A solid plan.
Thursday when I was out and about in my territory for work, I ran across a guy selling Missouri peaches at a road side stand. He had 3/4 bushel for $20. I don't know if that's a good deal or not, but I was in the market for peaches and he was selling local ones. I stopped back by on my way home and bought them.
I don't know how much 3/4 a bushel is in weight exactly, but I'm guessing it must be close to 20 pounds because it was a freakin' lot of peaches. Of course it didn't seem that bad until I finally got going on them to get them canned Friday night. I put them in the garage fridge Thursday evening since I knew there was no way I could do them that night.
Seems to me I vaguely remember Bryon and I used to go out to eat every Friday night. In the big city. At nice restaurants. And then spend the whole evening at Borders.
Let me tell you canning peaches is a far cry from that, but Bryon took Grace to the Webster County Fair with Grandpa in tow too and I had a house full of jars, lids, peaches and sticky sugar syrup. I watched the 40 Year Old Virgin and dove in.
3 hours later, Bryon and Grace got home and Bryon got her to bed and came in to help in the home stretch. We thought we were finally done and cleaned up and Bryon says, "Um, what are these peaches for?" "WHAT peaches!?!"
Well THOSE peaches were just regular old peaches that got left in the bottom of the box, so Saturday, I finished them up and put them into the freezer instead canning two cans of peaches.
Out of all of the peaches I canned, only one quart didn't seal so we got to have Peachy Stuff for dessert last night. Peachy Stuff is a recipe my friend Becky Shockley made for us one time and it's been a regular part of the Medley diet since. Here it is if you'd like to make your very own Peachy Stuff:
Melt 1 1/2 sticks of butter in an oven proof deep casserole dish. (mine is about 12x8x3). Mix 2 cups of flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 cup milk, 4 tsp baking powder and a little salt. Mix it all together until it's a batter. Pour it into the melted butter in the dish. Pour a quart of sliced peaches in heavy syrup (syrup and all) over the top of the batter. Bake about 55 minutes at 350 degrees. I cover it with foil loosely the last ten minutes or so to keep it from getting too brown.
It's YUMMMYYY! We have it two or three times a month usually. Sunday nights are the best for it :)
Another summer time staple is blackberries. I've been waiting and waiting for them. Now they are finally here and I haven't picked but a handful. I was going to take the four wheeler out into the field to see if the wild ones have done anything but I'm hesitant because I REALLY don't want poison ivy for our vacation which starts on Friday. That and Grace just laid herself down for a nap about 40 minutes ago for no good reason. Seriously, if I had begged and beaten her she would NOT have taken a nap. I hope she's not getting sick.
I think she thought she'd messed up the Wii while I was outside taking blog pictures because when I left she was racing her Mario Cart like a demon child and when I returned the thing was messed up and she was in bed. Maybe she really did just run out of steam but it's all very suspicious to me. Hmmmm.
I did pick a handful of blackberries out behind the barn and garden while I was out there and I ate everyone of them by myself. No one even needs to know they were consumed. Of course Ruger may tell on me.
He's just found the pleasures of berries on the bush as well. Our sweet lab Daisy used to eat them off the bush every chance she got. Well, these berries might be the only sweet thing about Ruger. He sure enjoyed them though. I suspect I'll never see another berry under two feet high now that he's figured it out!