Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Peas, Peas And More Peas

A very, very large bowl of peas
     Our peas have been peaing like crazy lately. This top picture is of one days harvest in a very, very large bowl. We have been getting about this much every day to every other day.
   Shelling peas is much better than cleaning spinach. I can sit in my chair and watch tv and shell peas.
   Of course the pea comments have started. Things like, "I'm going to go pea in the living room", if a pea pod manages to escape out of the bowl and stay in the chair the sheller was sitting in it's "who peaed in my chair?"

The shelled peas from the large bowl

   The deer have discovered the peas lately. Luckily, or unluckily, the peas have about peaed out. They still have some pods not ready to pick and some blossoms yet to do anything.
   After they have run their course, I'll take pictures the
nice 4 serving vacuumed sealed bags in the freezer.
   As a kid, I didn't like peas. My mom tried to trick us into eating them by telling us they tasted like candy. It didn't work. I don't think there would be much call for pea flavored candy.

The results of peaing

   My mom still puts peas in everything, but they still don't taste like candy.
   When my brother was young, he would skin his peas with his fork and have a pile of pea mush on his plate.
   I do think it would be nice if you didn't have to chase the peas around your plate and they stayed on your fork once you caught them.
   When the kids were small, Alyssa used to help me harvest the peas and they never made it into the house. Alyssa was eating them as fast as I picked them.
   I tried telling the kids peas tasted like candy, and they didn't believe it any more than we did. I don't put them in everything, either. I ask our granddaughter, Ashlynn, if she liked peas and she told me " uh...well...uh...I think they are kind of gross. I told Alyssa that and she said she figured that out since Ashlynn's peas kept rolling off of her plate.
   On the news not too long ago there was a story about Obama saying people should give peas a chance. What I want to know is, has Obama ever harvested and shelled peas? Harvesting them is hard on the back and shelling them is time consuming.
   When my mom was a kid, one of her brothers decided to try shelling them with the wringer on a wringer washing machine. I guess it didn't work all that well.
   The green beans are being harvested at the same time. I also take them to the living room to break off the ends. They are also going into the freezer in vacuumed sealed bags. I don't like green beans, but Tim and Chip do. Chip get more excited if you ask him if he wants some green beans than he does if you ask him if he wants a cookie. The dog is just weird. I'll let him have my green beans any old day.
   Our potato crop is going to be smaller than last years. We have some good potatoes out of the garden. Last night we started harvesting some of the onions. I have to let them cure in the house because the deer will eat them if I leave them outside to cure. Those deer are just so much help at times.
   We bought a 20.6 cubic foot freezer last Sunday, since we only have the small refridgerator freezer. We have to put all those peas and green beans somewhere, and I like frozen much better than canned. Unfortunately, the freezer won't be here until Sept. 6th because Sears was out of stock.
   Once the freezer is here, I am going to freeze mashed potatoes and hash browns from our potatoes. Later in the year, I think a deer just might find it's way into the freezer as well. A wild turkey or two or so will also probably end up in the freezer.
   Now it's time to shuffle some onions around so I can find the kitchen. For some reason, people want to eat around here.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

But It Was A 6 Foot Fence

   Well, the deer have been in the garden, even with the 6 foot fence. I guess there is really no stopping them. They had a good old time eating whatever took their fancy. Who needs lettuce, broccoli and watermelon? Who needs peas and beans? We do have a freezer full of peas and beans. They haven't helped us harvest onions yet. I'm sure with time, they will.
   There is a pumpkin with some teeth marks in it, but it's still ok. Chard is also good deer food. I went grocery shopping yesterday. It was a really long day. I noticed people weren't buying the non-necessities.
   Tomorrow there is a farmer's market in Clayton, WA, which isn't that far from here and I am trying to convince Tim we need to go. There are going to be spinners there, with fiber to buy. Who cares that I have a bath tub full of still untouched fiber to do something with. There will be Alpaca fiber to buy and I've always wanted to try some of that. $10.00 for 4 ounces. 4 ounces of Alpaca fiber will go a long way.
   There will be other crafters there, as well. Also fresh cheese, homemade goat milk soap, small farm animals to buy, and free lemonade and cookies. Who knows, maybe we can get more peas, green beans, onions, carrots and potatoes.
   One of our tomatoes that had a big boy label in the pot turned out to be a cherry tomato. Big difference in tomato size. I bet someone had fun playing with the variety sticks stuck in the pot.
   The birds have discovered Tim's black berries and raspberries. He's not happy about that. He put bird netting over them and the birds were trying their darnedest to get in under the netting.
   The wild turkeys are still roosting at the end of the driveway high up in the trees. Tim is getting a good collection of turkey feathers for his fly tying.
   Amy caught Michaela walking yesterday. She just turned 8 months old. Michaela really has that throwing things down pat. She still spits up a storm, too.
   Well, my break is over. It's time to get back to playing in the green beans. Amy and Daniel are shelling the peas for me, but for some reason, they don't like doing the green beans.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Life Isn't Quiet Here Anymore

    Life here isn't quiet anymore. Michaela is not a quiet girl. Today, Daniel and Amy put shoes on here. She screamed and tensed up and shook. Every time she looked down at her feet, the screaming got worse. Amy and Daniel thought they'd try putting shoes on her at a store to see if maybe it was that particular pair of shoes only to find it's any shoes. Michaela has had shoes on before and this hasn't happened. Some parents are so mean. If once wasn't bad enough, they tried later in the day, and the results were worse.

Side view

   A couple of weeks ago, Tim sold one of the 3 generators we had and used that money to buy a wider, flat bottomed canoe. I guess it's not really called a canoe, but I can't remember what Tim was calling it. It was a good deal. Now, he can go on the smaller lakes out here that don't allow bigger boats.
   Last week, Tim took me to Fan Lake and we paddled around the whole lake. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, since I can't swim and don't really like being in or on the water. While we were on the lake, we saw a couple of Bald Eagles. One was carrying a very large fish in it's talons. We also saw water turtles and, believe it or not, fish.
   On the way home we saw many does and their spotted fawns out and about since it was early evening.

   Eventually, Tim wants to get a small motor so he and any passengers don't have to row all the time. The canoe  also needs seat cushions and seat cushions with backs would be nice since, the seats are hard and very butt numbing.

Cherry pitter
    Today, I pitted 10 pounds of cherries with the cherry pitter I bought at a yard sale last year. I think I paid $3.00 or $5.00 for it, and it was really worth it. I wasn't really sure how it would work, since there were no instructions with it. It did pit the cherries so there were no stray pits in the cherries. It also chopped the cherries at the same time, so they'll be great for my cherry jam. I will use the first cherry pitter I bought (also at a yard sale) that uses the plunger method, if I want whole, non-mangled cherries.
   It still took time to go through all the cherries and look for bad ones, remove stems and wash, but pitting was so much faster. When I was finished, I measured out and put in bags, in the freezer, what I need for each batch of cherry preserves. I did it this way last year, and it was much nicer canning in the winter than in the summer.
   I have finally finished harvesting, washing, blanching and freezing our spinach crop. I now hate spinach. I like eating it, but if I never have to do the rest, it will be too soon.
   Tomorrow, I'll be harvesting more peas and beans. At least they are more staggered than the spinach crop was.
   I still haven't done anything with the fiber in the bathtub since I was waiting for me to finish the spinach. It's done, so now I can play. Hopefully. Oh, there is another basket of towels waiting for me to fold, as usual.
   I need to tackle Chip and give him a bath and a haircut. I had to buy a muzzle for him since he's decided to be a nasty dog when I try to cut his hair and claws. Rotten poodle. I have decided to keep Chips hair short, even in the winter. It's funny, since hos hair is much shorter and Tim is mowing our whole 5 1/2 acres, you would think it would be less junk in Chips coat. Not so. Teach me to think.