Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Prepping 4 Peppers

3rd follow up to my posts on solo gardening. 

Two year old Green Bell Pepper Plant misshaped  & looking ruff but still alive and producing. All told I've harvested over a dozen bell peppers from this one plant generally averaging around the size of an orange.
I'll repot in a larger container for the winter. On days that are especially cloudy add a grow light. Right now this time of the year the Sun is lower and the trees still have enough leaves to block sunlight in this side window.

Hopefully we might even get a Winter harvest which would be a nice addition to the salad fixings that we are able grow in the cold frames.

Hearth and stove are dusty from remodeling not use even though we've had more than a few chilly nights. Later this week weather forecasters are predicting lows of 40 with rain. It will be nice to have a small fire in the evening to take the dampness out of the house.

This is the two Yellow Bell Peppers that I received from a barter this Spring (Plant Sale) that a former co-worker's mother started from seed. Got 4 good sized peppers which I used to make 9 pints of Zesty Salsa pg. 207 Ball Complete Book of Home PreservingCanned 8 pints left one in the fridge for hubby to snack on. Lasted two days which is a good sign that we approved of my canning efforts.

These warm cement steps belong to my next door neighbor who still receives sunshine on her front yard in the waning days of Summer.
When it's one of those wonderful sunny bright Autum afternoons I sit with her and we watch her granddaughter who is two as she thoroughly enjoys chalking up the city sidewalk a few feet away.

The line up on the top step on my neighbor's front porch just after the Sun was eclipsed by a city tree; Yellow Bell Peppers transferred to a larger pot, Italian Roasting Peppers, a Habanero Pepper plant from a coworker of Wood's, bright red peppers of made it into the Zesty Salsa, and the old timer of the bunch Green Bell Pepper plant.

They are all looking a bit wilted due to high somewhat dry winds we've had lately. Need to come up with a good liquid fertilizer for Winter Feeding.
Hopefully the grow light won't be too expensive to run.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Free Coffee

Ask me how happy I was when the ups man delivered my latest amazon package.
Free coffee.
I love coffee soo much as my children you to say I should marry it. The problem of course is that I couldn't remain faithful to just one bean with so many flavors to choose from. I won't even start discussing grinds, my heart will flutter.
No doubt I would be a serial bigamist coffee spouse. Wrong on so many levels I know.

Amazon's deal on coffee for September is save 10% when you enter this code 8COFFEE4 @ checkout.
Use Amazon's subscribe & save option for an additional 15% off.
25% off of a name brand quality coffee.
Use your Amazon gift cards earned on Swagbucks and you get a free cup of coffee for ... depends on how much of an addict you are. This stash should last me 3 or 4 months if I don't alternate with another flavor. Did I mention it was free ?

Here's what my packing slip reads - four 11 oz. bags of French Vanilla Whole Bean - $18.13, minus promotional code $4.53, minus the 15% from subscribe & save  = $13.60.

If flavored coffee isn't your cup other varieties of 8 o'clock coffee are also on sale remember to use the promo code 8COFFEE4.  

One bag is going on the kitchen shelf the others will be vacuum sealed then placed in a 5 gallon bucket marked coffee for long term storage. Whole beans store better then ground coffee. These bags of coffee have an expiration date of 6/27/12 08:43. Down to the hour hmm anyone wanna make a bet that they last that long ?

In honor of my new supply of whole bean coffee I'd like to introduce a new label on my blog 
Non-Electric Tools
The coffee grinder pictured above was brought to the homestead when I married hubby. 
It's a Mr. Dudley International I believe that he bought it @ a thrift store for under $5. Interesting enough he wasn't a coffee drinker when I met him. 
Yeah I turned him. 

~~ pelenaka ~~

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Free is my Cup of Tea

Amazon green tea order bought with my August swagbucks which makes all 120 Lipton Green Superfruit Black Currant & Vanilla Tea bags free.
Here how the deal went down - $26.60 minus a promo code for $3.99, minus the subscribe & save option (free shipping), total was $22.61 or $3.77 per box a savings of $2.88 on each.
Kept one box out for immediate use the rest were vacuum packed in canning jars earmarked for next Summer when a tall refreshing glass of ice green tea sweetened with home grown Stevia is called for.

What is it with cats & boxes anyways ?

~~ pelenaka ~~

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Almost a pound

Sink full - these are the tomatoes that were grown by the gf who had bartered pork for tomato seedlings last Spring.  Hodge podge of what was ready to pick that morning, including Cherokee Purple & Howard German. The third variety floating in the sink is a hybrid canning tomato she bought @ a local nursery. 
Her garden receives all day sun like no body's business.
I have garden envy. 

Proof is in on the scale a 12.8 oz. Howard German Canning Tomato.
Dry & meaty but a bit bland. I would mix this variety with a stronger tomato tasting one such as San Marzano when making pasta sauce. 

I am on one hand very proud that she has already put in her seedling order for next spring not to mention that her neighbors have all asked her where she bought her tomato plants. One, a little old Italian gentleman asked for a tomato so his friend could seed save. He apparently was a bit taken aback when he was told that the large horn shaped tomato wasn't an Italian canning tomato. 
On the other hand seeing one grown to this size makes me realize I need to come up with a better plan or quit gardening in my backyard.  

~~ pelenaka ~~

Sunday, September 4, 2011


This years 1st harvest of canning tomatoes San Marzano out of our backyard garden.

Ended up picking a market basket full of those mini San Marzano tomatoes. I removed the skins by the boiling hot water method, then threw them in the crock pot with rosemary, basil, and sage from the garden along with a few sauteed carrots, eggplants, onions, and peppers.  Also added some dehydrated parsley from a barter deal a few years ago.  Bay leaf came from a houseplant I use to have way back when.  Original recipe called for red wine so I subbed water with a few beef bullion cubes instead. 
Ended up being enough for 3 for dinner & left overs for hubby's work lunch the next day.

~~ pelenaka ~~