Monday, August 30, 2010

All the best of Indy

This weekend was jam backed full of Indianapolis goodness! I know this isn't really garden related but it was such a fun weekend that I decided to share pictures with everyone. Enjoy!

Friday: Happy hour with work friends at Plumps in Broad Ripple. Who doesn't love enjoying a drink with friends while sitting outside at a bar in Broad Ripple!?!?!

Saturday: Worked during the day but it was a great event with about 130 freshmen learning how to be great students! I love overachievers :)

Saturday evening I had a hot double date with my sister-in-law (she was my date) and my parents. We went to Symphony on the Prairie at Connor Prairie to see a Beatles tribute band. Other than the crazy traffic getting there, it was a great evening...good music, great weather, fun company, and tasty wine :)

Sunday: Attended Dig IN with the family for our weekly "Sunday dinner." This was a new event this year at White River State Park highlighting all the great food and beverages Indy has to offer. We had a lot of yummy samples from various restaurants and farms. We sampled Indiana wine and beer. We got a commemorative wine glass to take home. We recorded stories about our favorite food memories (I talked about our annual Christmas cookie baking) and got free t-shirts. It was a great day and if they have the event again next year I'll be the first in line to get tickets!

Later Sunday: After stuffing ourselves at Dig IN, my dad and I went to the MotoGP race at the track. I haven't been to a race at the IMS since high school and I think those motorcycles are crazy. We were lucky enough to get free tickets so we decided to go see what it was all about. After watching the race I have to say those motorcycle drivers are crazier than I thought! It was amazing to watch though.

What's your favorite event in Indy?

Feels like fall

Okay, maybe not this week but last week it did! And the veggies we picked from the garden remind me of fall...pumpkins, okra, eggplants, purple cabbage

We also had our first harvest of carrots from our raised bed. I have to say they did much better in the raised bed than they normally do in the regular garden.

We had some very large carrots (the one in the middle is a normal sized carrot)

And some weird shaped carrots...

Anyone have any good carrot recipes?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Corn????

What says summer more than fresh corn on the cob?!?!? And this year there was an abundance of corn! Last week we picked all of our corn (after eating it nightly for about two weeks) to freeze for the winter. Corn is a great summer crop to put away and enjoy during the colder months. Each year at the beginning of August we freeze our corn for the winter...and especially for Thanksgiving.

Each year while we'd be freezing corn, my dad, aunt, and mom would talk about freezing it for Thanksgiving dinner. Finally, one year I asked why it had to be saved only for Thanksgiving!?!?! Now it's a running joke each year that we're freezing "Thanksgiving corn." In reality we only use a few bags for Thanksgiving, the rest is up for grabs anytime.

Last year we had to buy corn from a local farmer because our corn crop didn't do as well. Luckily this year was much better! However, if you don't have room to grow corn in your garden, you can usually buy it in bulk from a local farmer! And since it stores so well, I would highly recommend buying some and freezing it!

Steps to freeze corn:

1. Pick and clean the corn

2. Blanch in boiling water for about three minutes (I'm not sure why the water is not boiling in the picture???)

3. Immediately remove the corn from the boiling water and place it in ice water to stop the cooking process. Keep it in there for a few minutes...until it's cool to the touch

4. Remove the corn from the cob. We've tried using the special tool made for taking corn off the cob but we like using knives better. We've also tried to freeze the corn on the cob but found that it was mushy when we cooked it later.

5. Place corn into freezer bags and freeze!

(Notice--another picture with Aunt Mary in it...she was complaining again!)

Final product

Notice the large bag in front...that's the specially designated "Thanksgiving corn"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer Harvest Family Picnic

Every summer we have a big family picnic on the first Saturday of August. We get together at two of my uncles' houses (they live right next door to each other) for a baseball game, grilled corn, lots of food, and homemade beer.

The baseball game used to be a leisurely event that was fun for both the young and old. Well our young aren't so young anymore and as a result, the baseball game is a little more competitive. This year I was on the winning team...yea! I have to admit I hit pretty well, but I really just hid in the shade of right field when our team was in the field. Each year my brother and some cousins dress up the outfield hill. This year they went with a big "M."

After the game, we head to my other uncle's house courtesy of a hayride. The tracker used to pull us was actually my great-grandfathers old John Deer (I'll try to get a picture). Then it's food time!

My Aunt Mary and I decided to make some festive cupcakes. First we had a floral bouquet:

We also made corn on the cob cupcakes:

Overall it was a great evening!

Deb's quote of the week:
My mom has decided that crossword puzzles are her new thing. She's getting really good at them. However, she'll occasionally ask for help from the family. It then turns into a family activity and she gets mad because we've taken over her puzzle :) Here are two mistakes we found recently when trying to help her:

Clue-- Barbecue
Puzzle-- _ _ _ l l
Mom's answer--, how about GRILL

Puzzle-- _ _ _ _
Mom's answer--, SP means Spanish so it's TORO

She's so great! Only mom would think they'd put SHIT in a crossword puzzle!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


It's tomato season! We've actually had a great crop this year. We tried a variety of new plants...some with great success and other we won't be planting again. We really like the new type of cherry tomatoes we planted that actually look like tear drops. There will be multiple plants of that variety next year!

So what do you do with tons of tomatoes? Make SALSA!

First, pick your recipe. We use a mix from Mrs. Waggs. It's not my favorite because I think it has a hint of chili powder flavor but everyone else loves it.

Next, you want to boil the tomatoes for about 3 minutes. Just long enough that the skin starts to crack. Then immediately place them into ice cold water. Finally, remove the skins from the tomatoes.

Chop your tomatoes into whatever size you'd like.

Then add the seasoning packet (or you could just use your own seasons), fresh peppers and onions and boil for 10 minutes.

Once it's done cooking, carefully place it into your storage contains. We used Ball jars just because we had them handy. You can actually can salsa but we made just enough to eat this time.

Other ideas for tomatoes:
-Cucumber tomato salad
-Pizza sauce
-Spaghetti sauce
-eat plan with a dash of salt!

What do you do with your fresh tomatoes?