|Cherokee Trail of Tears Beans|
One of the "must have's" around here this year is Salsa. We've enjoyed the 18 quarts I put up last year. It's versatile enough that it can be used as straight up salsa and is also a great addition to things like beans, chili, taco's and a number of other things. One goal this year is putting up enough to last us all year without having to "nurse" it through the winter. I've still got a whole bunch of tomato's in the freezer and I'm planning on using them for the "cooked" tomato's called for in the recipe. I need the freezer space.
With that in mind I wanted to make sure we grew most of the ingredients to do it. Tomato's, onions, peppers, cilantro are all in various stages of growth. There are tiny tomato's coming on pretty well, the onions have probably 3 weeks before I pull them and I've got a second round of cilantro started and ready to go in the ground soon. I'm drying the wintered over cilantro and saving seed for both next year. The seed is also called coriander. I've never cooked with it before and so it will be another first. Does anyone have any recipes that call for coriander? Time to do some recipe searches!
I had a pretty good run with the spinach this year. That's a first! I was even able to put about 8 quart baggies stuffed full and freeze them. I'll be replanting for sure because you can never have too much spinach. This year I'm going to try saving the seeds from them. From what I've been reading I'll need to let the seed form and thrash the seed out onto a tarp and winnow it. We'll see how it goes.
I'm hoping it's not to hot to start some more lettuce. We've been enjoying lots and lots of salads so far. I'm sure it won't be long before the early spring romaine and Simpson start bolting. Gotta have some lettuce to go with all those tomato's you know!
I'm finally getting caught up on the weeding. (for now) I've been trying to do at least a row a day and then just keep repeating. We'll see. I've also mixed up a batch of bug spray and have had to use it several times already. Always with the dang bugs. Oh, speaking of bugs... those %*@*# squash bugs are back. I've moved the squash from last years spot and actually have them seperated and spread out around the garden. The thought is maybe they won't decimate them all. Long shot I know but..... So I've been using a product called Eight, which is a "safe" product. It seems to help some but I'm still finding and scraping little eggs off from under the leaves and picking off the bugs as I see them to stop the infestation if I can. I'm beginning to understand why I see so many hoop houses around.
Yesterday I finally got the rest of the runner bean trellis finished. And just in time I might add. They were starting to try and climb each other! I wasn't able to plant all the beans I would have liked but some things can't be helped. Last year I planted a double row about 50 ft long. This year I only had room for half that. I did plant more of the Cherokee beans this year. Those are some yummy beans and we really enjoyed them last year.
We are forecast for some scattered thunderstorms over the weekend. At least it's dropped the temperatures down to around normal (whatever that is) again. We are back in the low/mid 80's at least for the next couple of days. I'll take what I can get. Having no A/C once it hits the high 90's can be challenging sometimes, but we manage.
So there you have it! This is what I've been up to since getting back from OKC last Sunday. I hope I've not bored you to tears. I know a lot of you are doing the same sort of things right now. I really do love this time of year, even if I do have to hustle my butt off to get things done. I'm still a few weeks away from canning. Then the fun really begins!