Tag Archives: okra

The Start of the Canning Season

14 Aug

Despite the drought, my garden is doing well.  I am fortunate enough to have a well, so I can use it to water my garden.  For some reason, Sky doesn’t seem quite as destructive as he had been.  That’s good, too.

okra blossom

butternut squash

dill

bottle gourd

I have lots of tomatoes starting to ripen.

I made a small batch of sauce and four quarts of juice.

I’m guessing they will really start ripening just as I have to go back to work at the end of the week.

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Weeder Geese and the Garden

4 Jul

I’ve always wondered how well weeder geese would do.  This year it looks like I’ll get my chance to find out.

Weeder Geese_1095ews

There are several of my slim bodied geese that are coming through the fence into the yard.  Now they’ve found their way to the garden.

Weeder Geese_1101ews

In theory (and I do believe it), they will eat the weeds and leave your garden plants alone.  It makes sense as long as your garden has sprouted and started growing when they enter it.  Geese like the tender new shoots and digging through loose soil for roots.

Weeder Geese_1098ews

Of course, looking at the tomato plant, it looks like the geese (and I) have a lot of work to do.

tomato_1111ews

I did go out and do some weeding today too.  I found that my dill has completely flowered.  Oh well, it’s still pretty.

Dill_1114ews

I found my first pick of the year.

Zucchini_1106ews

It won’t be long before I can pick the Anaheim chili pepper too.

Chili_1116ews

I even have okra growing this year.  I hope the geese don’t like it, or it better hurry up and grow.  Do you see how dry and cracked the soil is?

okra_1113ews

I did water everything tonight too.  I watered the pumpkin patch and weeded out there yesterday.  We actually have chances for rain again this week.  I have my fingers crossed!

I do hope you’ll come back and join me for Friday’s Hunt.  I have the items for this week listed at the top of my sidebar.

Vegetarian Gumbo

4 Aug

Since when did this become a cooking blog instead of a farming blog?  Oh yeah, when Iowa turned into a rain forest making it nearly impossible to get anything done.  I might as well cook!  After yet another heavy rain, I put on my rubber boots and slopped out to the garden.  There I waded through the mud and picked everything I would need from the garden to try another okra recipe.

This time, it would be vegetarian gumbo!  I looked around at a lot of recipes and decided there was at least something I didn’t like about all of them (mostly meat).  That means, I just made my own.

I started by cleaning and chopping my veggies:

1/2 cup onion finely chopped

1/2 cup celery chopped

1-2 cloves garlic pressed or finely chopped

1/2 cup green pepper chopped

1 small zucchini diced (about 1 1/2 cups)

2 cups chopped tomatoes

2 cups sliced okra (keep separate from other vegetables)

In a large stock pot measure out 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 tablespoons of flour.  Mix them thoroughly.

Notice it is very light in color.  Cook it over a medium-low heat until it is a rich nutty brown.  It took mine fifteen minutes to achieve the proper color.

Next, add the bowl of veggies (onion, celery, peppers, garlic, zucchini).  Mix them thoroughly and let them simmer for a minute or two.

Next add the chopped tomatoes.

Mix the tomatoes in and then add 12 ounces of vegetable stock.

Now it’s time to add the spices!  2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of oregano, 1 teaspoon of thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Then we add the extra spicy ingredient:  1/2 teaspoon Tapatio hot sauce.

Finally, because this one is vegetarian I added one can of drained dark red kidney beans.  This adds protein in an otherwise all veggie dish.  If you want to do the more traditional gumbo, leave out the beans and add sausage or chicken or crab meat instead.

Cook this over a medium heat and bring it to a boil.  Turn the heat down and let it simmer for 30 minutes.

By this time, it should be thick and smell spicy delicious.  Find the two bay leaves and remove them.  Then add the 2 cups of sliced okra to the pot.

Mix the okra in and let it simmer for another ten minutes.

I served this gumbo over cooked rice, which is traditional.

Oh, this one is definitely a recipe to keep and try again.  I’m thinking of freezing my vegetables prepared for this so I can fix it in the winter.  Maybe I could can it already made.  Any ideas on that?  I must say, it might become my new favorite comfort food.  All you Southerners, did I do it justice?