Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wardrobe Wednesday

First off, I need to apologize to Kelly, our gracious hostess of Wardrobe Wednesday for turning her fun mid-week meme into a trashy spectacle. I'll clean things up for next week, I swear.

So let's get right into it. As most of you already know, we attended the most trash-tastic event of the year over the weekend. This was our parking pass for the day...We thought about going back to watch the fireworks in the evening after the guys had cleaned up and we all ate dinner back at the cottage, but our parking pass was a little under the weather from a little too much fun.

This one is actually real, but he was fun and even fake arrested me on the way out for a fun photo opportunity.
Look closely. This guy (below) is wearing a hat made from beer cans and from what I can tell, approximately 7 yards of coordinating rick rack.
Not sure what event the woman below thought she was attending wearing white pants and a white T-shirt, but with the rain earlier in the day, she came prepared with her purple nylon jacket and animal print umbrella.

I wonder if she was trolling for men...
Sorry ladies, drunk Santa the man in the striped overalls is taken.

The sticker on this guy's shirt reads: My Pussy Doesn't Lick Itself

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday Garden Club

It's still Monday right? The Gardener and I were gone all weekend and returned home to a shaggy looking lawn and about 347,562,178 mosquitoes swarming around. We cut the grass right away and I went out and picked enough cucumbers that if I sliced them thinly, I'm pretty sure there would be enough to cover the eyes of every tired looking person in the entire US. That may be a bit of an exaggeration but not by much.
I brought the bucket of goodies in the house, but the cukes and zucchini (from one of 3 pickings since yesterday!) on the porch are still out there. There is NO MORE ROOM IN THE FRIDGE for such giants. I'm secretly hoping someone or something will drag them away overnight.

Too, the girls were gone all weekend to Minnesota with the Gardener's family and didn't arrive home until late last night. Couple that with swimming lessons starting this morning and the local Farmers filling our barn with hay today and blocking our driveway and the garden in the process, it was a busy day.

So no more excuses and on with the gardening!The giant pumpkins are continuing to live up to their name, completely crushing the row of rhubarb down the middle of the garden. This one here is already about twice the size of a standard basketball!

Having never grown okra before, I was a little confused at how the pods grew and assumed that they must have something to do with that beautiful flower, but today as I was poking around at the flower looking for where the pod would emerge, I noticed a few pods already on the plants just below the flowers.Only about 5 were ready so I picked them and tossed them into homemade garden soup for lunch. Delicious! I grew the red okra from seed planted directly into the garden, as I read on the seed packet that they only take 58 days to mature. Everyone I had to talked to who has grown them in the past had bought the started plants from a garden center, but I'm telling you, save your money and buy a seed packet!
I had to toss a few of the broccoli florets that started to flower when we were gone over the weekend but the rest is growing great.

Now for all you gardeners out there who wish to participate, either leave a comment on what's growing in your yard, or post a Monday Garden Club update on your blog. Don't forget to drop your link in the comments and I'll add it to this post.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Shit Happens When You Party Naked

The Gardener and I just got back this afternoon from a weekend up at the cottage with some close friends and family for the annual Hog Wrestling extravaganza at one of the local watering holes.

You would think that at such an event, the squealing hog in the ring would be the most outrageous thing to witness all the day. Guess again...This is just a taste of this week's Wardrobe Wednesday. You've been warned...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday Garden Club

Monday again. Time for a garden update.
This is what we woke up to last Thursday morning. I'm actually surprised that the damage wasn't worse. The weather overnight was so severe that we had the kids sleep downstairs in the living room in case we all needed to make a mad dash down to the basement. The lightening alone was terrifying enough but when a big CRACK of thunder followed along quick and loud, Binny freaked. Not a fun night. She finally crawled in bed with us around 2 and both kids got up when the Gardener left for work at 5, oh and it was still raining and storming. Shortly after the sun started to rise, the storm moved out over the lake and it was over, leaving us 3.2 inches of rain and one hell of a mess to clean up.There were branches down all over the yard and shingles in the back field from the barn, again in addition to the muddy, mosquito-y mess in the garden. The worst was that the sunflowers (and pole beans!) fell over with the heavy rain and high winds. They uprooted just like big old pine trees. The ground was incredibly saturated and the whole garden was one big muddy mess. My brother came by that morning anyway to borrow a trailer and was quickly recruited to help stake up the sad looking sunflowers and ferocious pole beans that had already started curling themselves onto the tomato plants across the aisle.
It was just a quick fix until I had a chance to get a lot more staking supplies the wind went down and the rain had a chance to soak into the ground.
Did I happen to mention it was muddy?
So after 2 days of staking and re-staking after the wind would blow down the sunflowers and the piece of re-purposed conduit and baler twine they were staked to, they are back up and not one pole bean plant was lost in the process!
I also trimmed up the leaves on the sunflowers again, allowing the beans to continue to climb up the stalks and not branch out onto the leaves and tangle themselves together. It also allowed for some room between the sunflowers so they aren't constantly being pushed around by their neighbor sunflowers in the wind. The tomato garden was hit pretty hard too but I'm having trouble getting the plants to stand up in their wimpy cages. Seriously, does anyone have a better way of staking and training tomatoes other than the flimsy wire cages I use? Maybe next year the Gardener will build something better for me. Hint, hint.

Now for all you gardeners out there who wish to participate, either leave a comment on what's growing in your yard, or post a Monday Garden Club update on your blog. Don't forget to drop your link in the comments and I'll add it to this post.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Using Up All Of That Zucchini

Zucchini is in season and I have tons of it, almost literally if you've seen the big honkers I pulled out of the garden a few days ago. Every year when the zucchini comes in, I'm always amazed at how much of it grows and how fast it grows too. Seems like some of them double in size overnight.

I prefer not to use the very large zucchini for anything other than grating up to use in bread or the Gardener's favorite, chocolate chip zucchini cake. I gave a few of the largest zucchini to my father in law along with a recipe for zucchini wine. I personally think zucchini wine sounds absolutely awful, but he wants to give it a try. I guess we'll find out in a month or two when it's done.

The smaller, more manageable sized zucchini are great for sauteing in some olive oil or butter and enjoying along with some pasta or rice. Monday night, I made a pasta dish with fresh vegetables all grown in my garden. Basil, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes and garlic (from the farmer's market). I started by browning up 2 seasoned pork patties (only because I had it in the freezer, this would be great with just vegetables too) then added all of the chopped veggies to the pan and cooked for about 10 minutes while the pasta boiled. I added a few ladles of the salted pasta water to the sauce, seasoned with pepper and topped with Parmesan cheese. Believe it or not, my kids asked for seconds!I was so proud of myself for coming up with this tasty and healthy recipe in only minutes, then realized that almost the exact same recipe was on the back of the box of whole grain pasta I used.

Yesterday I kept the zucchini trend going by making 2 loaves of zucchini bread using this recipe (The only change I made was to squeeze out the extra water from the zucchini with paper towels before adding it to the batter. Makes for a bread that is NOT soggy and gooey.)

I also took Riot Kitty's advice to make a stir fry with all of my produce and raided the garden again for fresh veggies. broccoli, pea pods, zucchini, summer squash and scallions

I had some dried mushrooms in the pantry so I re-hydrated those and added a scrambled egg to the top.

Anybody else have a great zucchini recipe?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday Garden Club

It's been another warm (and off and on rainy) week for the garden.

The weeds were getting so bad that I couldn't stand it any longer and forced myself to bathe in bug spray and get my ass out there with my handheld weeder and buckets to clear out the unwelcome greenery.
From the tomato garden (below) alone, I pulled 6- 5 gallon buckets full of weeds and wore out a pair of rubber covered gardening gloves.
Once the weeds were cleared away, Binny discovered and picked the first ripe tomatoes!

And peas...
I blanched and froze some already!

The lettuce is still hanging in there even with the warm weather we've had, but the spinach didn't like it and bolted already.
The pole beans are still climbing up the sunflower stalks and starting to flower.

The cucumbers are becoming more difficult to find under the big leaves and encroaching vine plants that refuse to be tamed. We found this giant yesterday!
The summer squash and zucchini are already kicking my ass and growing faster than I can pick them

Winter squash...
Giant pumpkin...
I'm thinking I have enough basil to make pesto, although I don't have a food processor so I may have to get creative...

The weather this summer has been a little on the warm side for the broccoli. I already picked one head (and ate it while walking around the garden) because it was starting to flower, but the rest seem to be hanging in there. I will have to keep a close eye on them though.

Last year was my first time growing broccoli and you could have knocked me over with a feather when I discovered that after picking the large crown in the center of the plant, the plant kept producing smaller florets all over for the next several weeks! Check them out here just below the big crown.
Brussels sprouts...
The girls are loving the raspberry bushes this year. There are finally enough that they don't have to fight over the one ripe berry hanging on the branches.

Yesterday's haul...

Anybody want any zucchini? I have been trying to use it wherever possible but still I have so much that I can't even fit it all in the fridge.

Remember the flower bed I made earlier this spring to cover up the ugly septic tanks in our yard?
I think this would be considered a gardening success.
Besides the free perennials a friend gave to me, I started all of my own annuals from seed this year, and let me tell you, they are the best flowers I have ever grown! I didn't use any chemicals or anything special besides good old H2O and sunshine and look at them now.
The pink feathery looking flowers (above) are Celosia, an annual and the purple flowers (below) are Mallow, another annual. I was a little skeptical that the tiny plants in the flats would reach 5 feet tall as it said on the package, but as soon as I planted them in the ground they took off.
These petunias I started from seed as well. Believe it or not, this is only one plant from one tiny seed...

Now for all you gardeners out there who wish to participate, either leave a comment on what's growing in your yard, or post a Monday Garden Club update on your blog. Don't forget to drop your link in the comments and I'll add it to this post.