Sunday, August 10, 2014

A busy morning After a Long Day of Rest

After a day of rest on Saturday, I hit the floor running this morning.  I'm so delighted that my little garden is providing us with so much food.  In the past three days I've picked 17 cucumbers.  Since I couldn't possibly eat them all I will be canning them this morning.  I may only get two jars from them ( I got four jars.), but it's well worth the time when in the dead of winter I can feast on my harvest.  These jars will be cucumber salad that is made with a warm vinegar and sugar brine. 

My cucumber plant today.  I have gotten 19 pints of pickles from this one plant.  That's not counting the ones we've eaten.

The bean plants are starting to turn brown.  There's still a lot of beans though.  In two days I got enough to feed my family when they come for dinner.  That's a total of nine people. (Four of them are the kiddos.) 

Then there is the basil and parsley.  I have four trays of them in the dehydrator. 

Three trays have basil, one has parsley.  My parsley is just now getting to the point of being able to use it.  It's a slow growing plant.

Dehydrating is so easy.  My dehydrator is a simple one I bought fifteen years ago from the Ronco ads on TV.  There is no thermostat on it so I can only do simple fruits and veggies with it.  No eggs or other items that need higher temperatures in order to preserve them.

Any fresh herb can be easily dried.  They can come from the store, a garden, or the farmer's market.  The most important thing to do is wash the herbs a number of times until you see clear water.  Pat them dry with a kitchen towel and place in the dehydrator.  During the drying process it's a good idea to rotate the trays a couple of times.  Rotate them up and down and in a circle.  In five hours you will have a spice you can use all winter long.  It's such a simple thing, but you get a sense of accomplishment with it.  Time invested is less than ten minutes.  More if the harvest is huge.

The green beans are frozen.  Again, wash them until the water is clean.  You may have to do this up to four times  Place them in boiling water for three minutes to blanch them.  Then right in to a bowl of ice water.  This stops the cooking process.  When they are cool pat them as dry as you can on a kitchen towel.  Place them on a cookie sheet, trying not to touch them to each other.  Place them in the freezer for thirty minutes, then take them out and bag them to put back in the freezer.  Simple and the task is completed in just a few minutes.  The beans can also come from the garden, store (on sale), or farmer's market.

The beans  are in the ice water bath after they were blanched.

The beans frozen and put in an air tight bag.  They are now ready for their home in the freezer.

If you try doing a couple of small tasks, you'll see how good it feels to begin a journey to the simple life. 


  1. A woman after my own heart, I do not have a dehydrator, no room for one, but dry herbs in the window, the sun can be fierce at times, and in the oven. Dried basil has such a warm flavour, I use it very often with some fresh added at the last minute.

  2. Welcome, Pam. I have had the dehydrator for quite a few years. But, when I had a gas stove, I popped herbs in there and used the pilot light to dry them. Works great. It was easy and less time consuming. Thank you for the suggestion of adding fresh with the dried. It sounds 'yummy'.