Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Writer's Block and Busyness

This space has really been neglected of late.  It's funny.  We have fewer children at home and I'm running around much less frequently, you'd think I'd have plenty of time to write.  It could be some of my new hobbies have taken up the energy and time I had for blogging.

I'm still trying to take photos every day for my 365 project, which is 65% complete as of today.  It is amazing how much I've learned and improved just by committing to taking at least one photo every day.  The great thing about photography is that it doesn't really take all that much time.  I can spend a few minutes each day choosing something to shot and another few minutes composing and shooting.  I can then just leave the photos on my camera for several days before uploading and editing several at a time.  I probably spend just an hour or two a week in total with this little hobby and I really enjoy it.

Our hobby garden has become so much more than that this year.  We are still processing squash, jalapeños, onions, potatoes, and tomatillos.  I spent an entire afternoon canning pickled jalapeños and tomatillo salsa.  I spent a good hour today stringing ristras to dry.  We are expecting our first frost tonight and that should be it for the garden.  We can then dump our four cans of compost right into the garden bed to be tilled under.

This will be the first year we have actually saved money by having a vegetable garden and I've come to the conclusion there are a few items that really are not worth the effort, time, or money to grow myself.  First item to go will be potatoes.  I've tried growing potatoes two years in a row and have had very little success.  I think this year I ended up harvesting only twice as many eating potatoes and the number of seedlings I planted.  That makes for some pretty expensive potatoes in my book.  Not to mention the mounding up of earth over the leaves of four mounds, the constant weeding around the mounds,  and then the careful digging and searching for edible spuds. We really don't eat that many potatoes around here, so they are definitely not worth growing ourselves.  I'm vacillating on whether to continue to grow my own onions.  I thought they weren't doing all that well this year until I went to dig them up.  I had over two dozen.  We do go through onions.  They aren't super difficult to grow.  Hmmmmmm.

We ended up with over a dozen butternut squash.  We don't really eat much squash, but I guess we will this winter.  The great thing about winter squash is its shelf life.  If anyone has any great creative ideas for using squash, send them my way for sure!

I do have posts floating around in my head.  We toured the Ogden temple in August and I have a bit to say about that.  I just haven't had the time to really sort through my thoughts and what I would like to write about the experience.  It was interesting, to say the least.  I guess I'll try to sit down and write more often as the weather makes sitting at a computer more appealing than being outside.  At the very least, I always have photos to post.

This is my favorite resource for canning, etc.  The recipes are simple and diverse.  There are great instructions for all manners of preserving foods, including freezing, drying, pickling, and canning.  Most recipes for canning/pickling come with instructions for putting up temporarily in the fridge or preserving for more longevity by hot water canning.

This is the tomatillo salsa I canned earlier this week.  We served some over taco pizza on Tuesday and it was fantastic!

These are my Ristras.  I can't wait to see how they'll look after they have completely dried.  I'll be sure to post an after photo here.

One of several dozen tomatillos which surprised us in the garden this year.  They are lovely fruits and so yummy too!

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