Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Mimi's Summer Day Camp - Our Senses (Taste) - Tuesday

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Summer camp is finally here! This year Joss is with me, and KT is working with Grumpy on several projects.  
Joss and I were exploring all about our sense of taste this week.  We started out talking about all of our five senses, and Joss cut out some popcorn to make a poster. She decorated each one (especially with glitter - her favorite thing!)

 Next we made some powdered candy using some concentrated flavors - Joss made grape and raspberry candy. She liked the grape the best.
 We used a little kit to explore several things about taste, and she even made her own fizzy flavored soda. 

 It was time for a trip to the library, and KT decided to take a break and go with us, especially once she learned about their new playground!

 We got home and had some lunch. Joss and I took a break and went out to watch Grumpy and KT work on a birdhouse.  Grumpy is teaching her how to use some of her new tools.  Her favorite is the hammer!

Joss and I then worked on a Taste Test, using a blindfold.  There were several small bits of foods that taste sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.  She put them on her tongue and then tried to guess what they were and what they tasted like.

 And our final activity was a tea tasting! We brewed four different cups of tea, and tasted them first without any additives. Then the girls decided what they wanted to add to make them taste better.  You guessed it - sugar won that one. Ha! But we tried lemon, maple syrup, cherry syrup and honey.  

 Time for a swim! I didn't get very many pictures since we were having so much fun!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Garden Log --- June 10, 2018

It's been an entire month since I've done a garden update. I guess I've been in the busy season right now, what with maintaining the garden, picking, and processing it all.

Right now the garden is looking pretty sad - despite watering daily, it's been so hot and the garden is showing it.  I'm still bringing in produce daily, but just staying out there very long is hard.

Let's see ... what's happening right now....starting with tomatoes! So far the tally is at 26 pounds. We've been eating lots fresh, and I'm freezing all the excess.  No jalapenos so far, so I'm not able to make any salsa yet.

The green beans are being picked about every 4 days - about 15 pounds so far. This is one of the reasons we garden -- just love these fresh beans straight from the garden. I've put a lot of these in the freezer. 

The peppers are finally getting going -- they like the heat. These are the Sweet Red Cheese peppers, so waiting for them to start turning red! There's one jalapeno on that plant, and I've spied a Habanada coming along. The hatch pepper plant has one pepper on it (I started that plant from a grocery store pepper!) and the Sugar Rush Peach plant is covered in small flowers but I'm not seeing an actual pepper on it yet.
The cucumbers are a bit disappointing this year - spotty and very few of them. The plants all seem to be struggling.  We've picked about 3 pounds of them, but not enough to do much with other then eating fresh. It's just not going to be a good cucumber year.
Carrots are looking great - these orange ones are the Shin Kuroda and the deep purple is called Black Nebula and they are all delicious!

I finished up all of the peaches that we got from the Rio Grande peach tree by drying them. Ooohhh....I've found a new favorite way to eat peaches. Just like little bits of sunshine. So good!

 I packaged these in 1.5 ounce packs and vacuum sealed them as treats. Delicious! That tree gave us almost 150 pounds of peaches. Just amazing.
 The watermelon plants are really starting to take off out in the field garden. 
The beets are maturing and I'm waiting to get enough to make some new pickled beets for 2018.  So far I have about 2.5 pounds and need about twice that to get going.  It won't be long. 

And finally, the key lime tree is starting to bloom! I'm excited to see how many of these buds actually form limes.

That's it for now -- more coming since the okra and corn is coming along.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

A Visit with Judah

Molly and Marshall are visiting San Antonio and we got to visit with them and their little Judah.  He's almost 9 months old now (where does the time go?!)  He's a real doll, sitting up now and able to pull himself up to stand.  It won't be long before he's taking off.  

 Marshall and Judah
 Molly and Kathy 
John and Judah
 Colleen took these close ups with her IPhone 8.  It has the best camera, and 
she's so good with using it to take some fantastic pics.

 Kathy and Judah
 Do you recognize the house? Yes, they're staying at the Barrera St. house. 
Had lunch with Mike & Kathy and Colleen afterwards at The Patio.  Great burgers and dogs!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


The plums have all been harvested and we got a total of about 22 pounds of plums, mostly from our older Methley tree, and about 2 pounds of the total from the Santa Rosa trees in the orchard.

On Tuesday I made two quarts of plum cordial with some of them. 
 Wash and score or poke holes in the plums, then pack in a sterile quart jar.
 Add 1/2 cup of sugar.
 Pour to cover with white vodka (you can use rum, gin or even whiskey)
 Cover and put away for 30 to 60 days. 

Then I put 6 trays of plum halves in the dehydrator.  They are very delicious little prunes now, and I packed them into 1-1/2 ounce packets using the vacuum sealer.
 Halved plums on the dehydrator sheets.
 Divided into 1-1/2 ounce packages.
Vacuum sealed.

Today I cut up 4 more pounds and started a batch of plum wine. Tomorrow I'll add the yeast and stir daily for five days, then transfer to a carboy. 

Now I think I have just about enough to make some Plum BBQ sauce.  I need a few supplies from the grocery store to make that, so probably won't get to that until the weekend.