Tag Archives: green beans

Notes on the Garden

27 Jul

This year has not been the best for gardening.

The garden

I have some luffa gourds on the vines.  I put the panel up for them to climb on because the last time I planted luffa gourds they were horribly dirty and difficult to clean.  I thought this might help them stay clean.

luffa gourd

My sweet corn is not ready yet, but look at all of those ears!  I’ll certainly have enough to eat and give to the family and freeze for the winter.  That is as long as my electric wire keeps the raccoons away.

sweet corn

The weather has not made it easy–from late freeze to cool and rainy to hot and dry.  My poor tomato plants are dying.

tomato

When I planted, we were fairly cool and getting rain nearly every day.  They didn’t put down deep roots.  Now those roots are so close to the surface that the heat we’ve had is just baking them.  It doesn’t seem to matter how much I water them.  I’m hoping that the tomatoes will finish turning even if the plants do die.  I’ve quit weeding in hopes that the grass will provide a bit of shade because the tomatoes are getting horribly sunburnt as well.

I picked a few ripe ones the other day, and I’m seeing quite a bit of hail damage.  Some of the places have scarred over, but others are rotting.

hail damage

I did have enough ripe tomatoes that I decided to play with the new saucer.

tomato juice

It came out as a perfect tomato juice.  I did want sauce, so I decided to drain some of the liquid using cheese cloth.

That helped, but I still had to cook it down for a while.

That takes forever, which is why I went to roasting tomatoes to make sauce.  Anyhow, while I was waiting for it to cook down, I washed, chopped and froze a bunch of hot pepeprs.

jalapino and Anaheim chili peppers

Then I snapped and washed the small bucket of green beans that had finally set.

green beans

After about two hours, my tomato sauce had cooked down enough to add spices.

By the end of the evening,

taco sauce and green beans

I had canned eight half-pints of taco sauce and five pints of green beans.

A New Gadget

17 Jul

With a big garden for a family of one, I tend to have a lot of opportunities to play with my food.  My nephew said he wanted French style green beans.  I ordered a bean Frencher.

Now I just need the garden to cooperate.  I have lots of lovely bean blossoms,

green bean blossoms

but the beans aren’t setting.  We’ve just been too hot.

purple bean blossoms

My sister brought me some beans from her garden.

I got to play with the bean Frencher!

It worked quite well.

These will go to my nephew.

The little farm hand and I worked on the rest of the beans.  They will go home to his family (my other nephew).

Now I just have to wait until fall to see if the cooler weather will let them set beans then.

Summer Pasta Salad

26 Aug

With the garden if full swing, I’m trying to come up with new and interesting ways to use my green beans.  I decided to go with a summer pasta salad!

Start with 2 cups of pasta.  I  used rotini and penne, but you can use whatever you want.

Cook and drain the pasta.

While it’s cooling, you can work on preparing the veggies.  I started with two cups of halved cherry tomatoes (from my garden).

Then I added two cups of washed and snapped green beans.  If you wanted to, you could blanche them to soften them a tiny bit and make the color pop, but I went with raw.

Add 1/3 cup of diced onion.

By this time, the pasta was cool enough for me to add the veggies to it.

Then I crumbled and measured out 2/3 of a cup of my homemade feta.  Add this to the pasta and veggies.

Finally, you need to add your dressing.  I used equal amounts of Italian and Ranch dressings–3 Tablespoons of each.  Add more or less to your taste.

Mix it thoroughly, and it’s ready to serve.

It’s a perfect dish for the hot dog days of summer!

And it’s another way to use those green beans.