Sunday, September 19, 2010

Now That's More Like It

And what a fine week it was!  Seemed like a normal August day now that we're approaching the Fall Equinox.
In Pendleton, they're celebrating the 100th Round-Up, which means a holiday for us!  We spent our free day canning tomatoes (14 quarts) and freezing corn.  On tomatoes, I just need to say that Anna Russian is doing me right this year.  Anna is a strange plant.  She germinates great, grows up ok, but by the time she's transplanting age, she looks terrible.  Kind of whispy, kind of limp.  Somewhere along the way she usually pops out of it and the plant looks great.  This year, she is producing more and better than anyone else.  It's  a great, large, ox-heart style tomato.  It's good in a salad, on a sandwich, canned, in sauce--all around tomato.
I have no complaints about the corn this year.  It's later than usual, but it's on and it's good.  We froze 60 some cups, which should get us through the year, are able to eat our fill daily, give some to friends, and sell at the market.  Can't ask for anything more than that.
Our tables at market were full to overflowing.  We had many compliments on how nice everything looked, which always makes me feel good.  We had 13 empty yellow totes, always a good sign that things are selling.  Also, one of the artichokes is producing crazy amounts.  I took about 15 in and they all sold.  That pays for a few years of artichoke seed.
Yesterday Karen and Ralf came over to help pick serranos in anticipation of canning.  They introduced Shawn last year to pickled smoked serranos, so this year extra serranos were planted.  Today they returned and we fired up the smoker and smoked four or five smokers full of peppers.  Then pickled them.  Totals: 17 pints, 10 half-pints, and 7 quarts (the latter were mostly jalapenos and mariachis).
While Karen and I were at that, Shawn and Ralf picked up bales of straw.  After our bad experience with weed-laden straw, we were motivated to use Teri's straw.  Teri had such a tall wheat crop that she wanted to get some of the straw off.  She found someone to bale in small bales (not easy to find), and now they need to be picked up.  Shawn and Ralf almost finished the job.  I think we have enough garlic mulch for the rest of our lives.  I hope Teri's barn is happy to be used for more than owl housing.

Most of the big red ones are Anna Russians.
In the can, which is really a jar, but not ajar.
This is how many ears it takes for 60+ cups.
Teri gave us a cool corn kernal-removing implement.  The brush is supposed to remove silk--doesn't work so well for that.
One of the big bowls o' corn.
Corn processing debris.  Andy (our dog) loves corn; she enjoys the amount that ends up on the ground.
Serranos getting washed.
Serranos, jalapenos, and mariachis drying.
Serranos getting smoked.
Serranos awaiting brine and lids.
Serranos ready for their steam bath.

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