Friday, June 24, 2016

Sweet Southern Sun Tea

As the days of the summer roll and I am trying to quench my thirst,  I think of how can this be done.

 My mind reminisces to the days when I was a kid playing outside in the heat because the house wasn't any cooler.  Really outside was probably cooler than the house.  With three brothers to go on adventures with, who would want to stay inside.  But there always came a time when drinking from the water hose was just not what you wanted.  My mom would make Sun Tea and sweeten it Southern style.  Oh, boy was it ever good....yes cool sweet liquid sliding down my parched throat was just what the body needed.

So the other day I remembered Sun Tea and bought me a half gallon of pickles from Atwoods.  We  finally ate all the pickles and I washed the jar out with warm soapy water to get all the pickle smell out of it. The next morning, I woke up early and put water and two family sized tea bags in it.  That afternoon, I brought the warm jug of tea in and sweetened it, put it in the refrigerator to let it cool.

Yes, Sweet Southern Sun Tea is in my glass as I'm writing.  Just like I remembered!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Dog Days of Summer

I believe the the dog days of summer are here!  The heat is intense on the homestead.  We have started watering the East Garden because the hubby is determined to have those luscious tomatoes we have waited for so long. We have plenty on the vines, they just need a little more time to ripen.  Our corn is coming along nicely and I can't wait to sink my teeth into the sweet sugary taste as it pops into my I hungry or what?

I have tried to fix summer dinners that will appeal to the taste buds even though we have been outside working all day.  Last night I made Iron Skillet Hamburger steak with steamed yellow squash and fresh sliced tomatoes.

I am working at the farmer's market to sell the excess that I have.  The market has several hard working farmers that show up on Saturday to sell their goods. I love visiting with people of the community and being able to provide homegrown vegetables that they can afford.

I have put up 25 pints of various pickles.  I am waiting on the okra so I can pickle some of it. I will also be canning tomatoes, peppers, spaghetti sauce, salsa and anything else I can come up with.

I made two loaves of bread today so we would have fresh bread.  It always seems to be fresh when I bake bread because it never last long enough to get stale.  I sliced it and we had grilled cheese for lunch on it. YUM

Aren't these two the cutest!

Thursday, June 16, 2016


This is a very busy time of the year but a much rewarding time.

I love the ability to be able to can and "put up" what we harvest out of the garden.  This week it has been pickles.  I put up spicy dills and today I am working on bread and butter pickles.  I never did know why they were called bread and butter but any way they have a nice flavor and I love how they smell when canning them.  I guess I will have to research to see why they are called that.  If any one knows, leave me a comment.?

Bread and butter pickles are just a recipe for a sweet sour pickle. They got the name "bread and butter" during the great depression when fresh cucumbers were eaten for lunch with bread and butter, and a cheap source of what was considered a vegetable back in the day. Moms could grow the cukes, serve them fresh as long as they lasted without refrigeration, but then had to pickle them to make them last all the rest of the year. In the summer cucumber sandwiches were very popular, thin slices of cukes on bread with butter- very English. But what then to do with the leftover garden produce?? Pickle it!
While folks back then served what they could grow- and cucumbers were easy to grow in many climates- still the produce outstripped the consumption. Backyard gardens often produced more cucumbers than any family could eat in one season. So they picked and pickled them- adapting and using old recipes that would appeal to their children's pallets, (always a huge concern). While we know now that cooking destroys many of the vitamins in any food product- back then they did not know that. So they used the bread and butter pickle as a substitute for fresh cucumber sandwiches. Which they seriously thought were nutritious. 
~ I gleaned this information from a garden web forum.  I can see this being so true.  I have had/served cucumber sandwiches at a tea and loved them.  I can definitely see the English influence in this dish.  Do you agree?

Monday, June 13, 2016

Mile High Corn

The sweet rain were are getting is making my sweet corn luscious!
Doug on the tractor with the forks raised to show how high the corn really is.

The corn is in the silk stage. Can't wait to taste some of it.

I took this to show how much the flock has grown.
Beans and corn

Kandy Korn!!!
The result of today's canning.  I used Mrs. Wage's spicy pickle mix.  This was the first time for me to use this pickle mix.  We opened one jar and they are good.  They are definitely spicy.  Doug really enjoyed them.  They didn't turn out as crunchy as I would have liked them, but the flavor is good.

Saturday, June 11, 2016


I went to the Faith Keepers Retreat in Alexander, AR and is was wonderful.  Mighty messages were spoken by the messengers and rest for my weary soul was found.  It was wonderful to visit with old and new found friends.  I believe there is no way that any one could have left and not found a renewing of the mind and spirit.  Our Heavenly Father is so wonderful.

We harvested cucumbers and zucchini squash today.  I believe I will have enough cucumbers to make a batch of pickles.  The zucchini we are eating along and I will freeze a small amount of it for bread and stir fry.  I love fresh squash.  I made a salad tonight from veggies from the garden.  It was delicious!

This is a small amount of cucumbers and zucchini that we gathered today.
We have also already put up four pints of blackberries.  Before long, I can make Doug a pie.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Workshopped OUT!

I have not been on here in a few days due workshops.  The other librarians and I went to 3 days worth of workshops and I believe we learned a lot but we are ready for our break.

I will be going to a church conference/camp, so it will be a few more days before I post again.

Started harvesting zucchini today and what I got I gave to our pastor and wife.  I believe in taking care of the shepherd of the flock.  The Good Shepherd instructs us to tithe, so I do my best.  Also, I have always appreciated people who are willing to share their bounty.  I have had a dear friend share so much with me this year, so I know the Good Lord will take care of her and hers.

Top two pictures are the East Garden and the bottom two are the North Garden
They are coming along nicely.  Can't wait til we start harvesting.

Monday, June 6, 2016

More Wedding

Just a few more pictures of the wedding.
The boy cousins

The girl cousins

I thought this was beautiful.

The Bride, Carly, and Madelyn

The Groom, Gus and Alex

All the cousins.
Me, My oldest brother, "Little" Mickey, The baby brother, Josh, and The middle brother, Keen

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Every other Day

We have been so busy that it seems I only get around to posting every other day.

Our nephew's wedding was today so that was our day today.  It was a beautiful outside wedding at Mt. Sherman.  Every thing was perfect.  We prayed for beautiful weather and we were heard.  A slight breeze blew across the mountain and kept the air cool to a perfect temperature.  The bride, Carly Clark, was gorgeous and the groom, Gus Shields, was handsome. The reception was outstanding.  Carly's family did the meal and it was over the top.

The gardens are coming along just fine.  I should be picking zucchini any day now.  The cucumbers are very small at this point but are growing.  My bean plants are huge but no beans as of right now.  We bought bush beans but these have runners, so I'm wondering if I got what I thought.  Any way, Doug says regardless they will make beans.  We shall see. The corn is taller than me.  Wow, I'm excited.  I don't believe our garden has looked this good in a long time. I will post a picture of the gardens tomorrow.  I didn't have time to take a picture today.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Summer Fun Has Begun

Summer fun is here and the kids are having a blast.  We took them fishing yesterday and showed them how a country boy/girl will survive.  They did not really relish the idea of having to bait their own hook, so, I did it!  I didn't get much fishing done but I was there to teach them how much fun fishing can be. 
Madelyn ended up catching four about the same size as this one.  She caught two and said I put my confidence on and I'm going to catch another one.  She did, she caught two more!  She definitely has confidence in herself.
Doug caught a good size catfish.

 Alex caught two fish,  This bluegill was pretty good size.

I love teaching my grands that you can have fun and learn at the same time.  Also, we showed them how to take care of nature.  It was time well spent.  Since we live so close to such a beautiful lake we should enjoy what we have right here in our backyard.