The Frost Came Early... - Life ... It's Why We Cook. Blog at - 250710

Life ... It's Why We Cook.

The Frost Came Early... 
Sep. 20, 2011 12:00 pm 
Updated: Sep. 21, 2011 6:58 pm
... almost. It was predicted to frost so Wednesday evening, I went from plant to plant picking anything that could be saved for consumption. Then on to my container plants and get them moved to a protected area close to the house. The Basil plants were the more important containers because I still have some use for Basil.
That done, it was time to find recipes for the sudden and unexpected quantity of produce.  I have banana, jalapenos, pimento, green bell, hot cherry, sport, Hungarian and an unknown pepper. I have six pounds of unripe tomatoes (green to bright pink) and twelve pounds of ripe tomatoes. I wanted to have all of the tomatoes ripened for salsa and most of the peppers in various stages of redness. It didn’t turn out that way. So, I had to quickly find new recipes for what I wound up with.
As it turned out, the frost missed us. There was cloud cover that hung around just long enough to keep us warm enough to avoid the frost. Maybe, I’ll get a little more from the plants. The weather prediction is for a return to normal fall weather with a frost expected in mid-October.
The peppers I dehydrated to a brittle state and will blend them together into a single taste treat. My son and I did this many years ago and it was phenomenal.
I changed my mind about making salsa. There are many very good commercial ones that are not loaded with salt, sugar and preservatives that I will buy as needed. I did make a green tomato salsa, though. I found it to be somewhat bland although the flavors were discernible. Instead, I opted to make a chili sauce. (I have never had a good commercial chili sauce.) The recipe I have for chili sauce is from too many years ago and is very close to the recipe my mother used. I finished eight 12oz jars of it.
I’m using 12oz jars as much as possible because they have a slightly smaller footprint which is very nice in the refrigerator. Besides, they have a neat diamond pattern and a place without the pattern to apply the furnished labels. And they’ll make neat wine glasses like Mother Ann wrote about.
I was able to break the 4 mph barrier in my walks. When I finally accomplished it, I discovered the next day that I had injured my good leg at the knee joint. I was laid up for a few days but returned to the walking after four days. I was able to quickly reach that barrier, again and I am now walking 3.9 mph to 4.2 mph each time I have a walk. I have to press myself to get that leg with the P.A.D. exercised correctly. I have to bring on the pain to make the blood vessels re-route. When I walk at a slower pace there is no longer any pain. So, the doctor is right. I can fix it myself!
Microsoft has a very useable site for keeping track of your health records. You can also link seamlessly to other sites to log activities and other health related subjects. I have been using it for only a few days but I have already been impressed seeing all the information neatly organized in one concise area that I had filed away in paper form and rather difficult to look at objectively. Also, your doctors will be able to look at your information if you want them to, but they must belong to the site, too. There are blood glucose meters, blood pressure monitors and pedometers that have software compatible with the site that you can use to upload your statistics to the site. Or, you can manually enter the statistics.  Explore it. You’ll be impressed, I’m sure.    Microsoft Health Vault.
I have spent about nine hours finding information and entering it on the site. Tedious? YUP! But the more information I entered, the happier I was to see it all accumulating in one handy spot. Will this replace paper? I hope not. Hard copy still has its place.
The cost of this membership? Brace yourself… it- is- free!

Sep. 20, 2011 12:36 pm
Ah, I did the same thing. With the almost frost that is. We have had weird weather that has made gardening a bit of an irritation this summer. I did get some nice stuff out of the garden and I've had fun with new recipes this year. The DH has appreciated the links you found and he is downloading stuff to his new smartphone and walking when he stops in the evening.
Sep. 20, 2011 1:02 pm
FREE is great - I will pass that information along. Thanks. As for those pinkish tomatoes - can you allow them to ripen on the counter? So sorry about the fake freeze warning - my pepper plants hold up to a light frost. I have one that is in the ground and still producing after 3 years. That just means we haven't had a hard frost in that time. I would love to hear more about your chili sauce. Congratulations on breaking the 4 mile mark!
Sep. 20, 2011 1:16 pm
Good afternoon, Cat! Anything we pulled from the garden was good. Unfortunately, the quantity was way dowm. I'm putting that into the heat stress file. Looks like your DH is taking care of himself rather well!
Sep. 20, 2011 1:22 pm
Hi, B'Nana! The tomatoes will turn red if left on the counter. However, if they have to ripen too much, they will not have enough flavor to suit me. May as well buy tomatoes from WalMart. ... If I had a spot to bring in a pepper plant, I surely would! This old house was built to keep out the weather so (with the thinking of the late 1800's) that meant letting in little light. ... Thanks for the congrats, B'Nana!
Sep. 20, 2011 1:29 pm
Well done with the walking, Mike. And the harvest, even a small one, is a wonderful thing. Good on 'ya!
Sep. 20, 2011 1:32 pm
Good job Mike! I too have to press hard to hit the 4mph mark - and that is a "fast" walk - but a good cardio work out. To get my feet to movin that quick I have to switch from listening to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata to The Beach Boys "Round, Round, Get Around, I Get Around" - lol
Sep. 20, 2011 1:34 pm
i'm so glad you are able to walk at such a great pace. but all those peppers, good grief man, they can cause a heart-attack...ok, i'm a wuss. good to hear you're doing well!
Sep. 20, 2011 1:39 pm
I think we are both losing weight! And to think I was worried LOL! Hey, I like that music idea to get it moving.
Sep. 20, 2011 2:37 pm
Congrats on reaching such a pace! Good job! Man you have lots of peppers, too! And yes, those jars will make excellent wine glasses; and I now have a set of 4 - my little sister also gave me 2 for my birthday. :-) That health site sounds pretty neat as well, I'll pass that info on to my parents; I think they'd like to mess around with that. Thanks!
Sep. 20, 2011 3:42 pm
Mike - I have a question about peppers you may be able to answer.My son bought some peppers off a "little old lady on the side of the road" (his words, not mine)but we don't know what kind they are. He ate some of them and claims they are HOT, he loves hot stuff so if he says hot, they are. He gave me 2 -one green and one red, both long (about 9") and thin. I'm not sure what to do with them exactly, any clue as to what they could be and what I can do with them?
Sep. 20, 2011 3:46 pm
Hi Mike: I have a wonderful recipe for chili sauce, it has apples, onions, and peppers in it, it is yummy. Cortland apples or spy are the best to use. Walking 4.2 mph is a great accomplishment, you must be really hustling when you walk. You are an inspiration!
Sep. 20, 2011 5:48 pm
Thank you, Duffy! You're right about any harvest being good. I'll take whatever the yield is. Past harvests would yield a surplus that I would give away. Couldn't do it this time.
Sep. 20, 2011 5:54 pm
ROFL, luv2cook! My wife and I just got back from a 1 1/2 mile walk that clocked out at 4.2mph. She said she wouldn't have any trouble staying with me on my six mile walks. Sounds like a challenge. We'll find out this weekend.
Sep. 20, 2011 5:56 pm
Thanks, Gary! Maybe you could take all those round up folks for a five mile walk. It would certainly make for an unbroken conversation.
Sep. 20, 2011 5:59 pm
One of my advisors said to listen to music while exercising, Cat. It distracts you from som of the effort. I don't because I walk in traffic and I want to hear the cars.
Sep. 20, 2011 6:04 pm
Thanks, Mother Ann! That site wil also interface with Mayo Clinic which I have used. ... Those peppers sound like long Cayennes. I grew those one year and they were increibly prolific, excellent flavor and enough heat to start a fire. They are used green or red, equally.
Sep. 20, 2011 6:08 pm
Thanks, Janet! Apples? I bet they are wonderful in a chili sauce. IO bet you use less white sugar, too. My recipe wants 1 1/2 cups sugar in six pounds of tomatoes. I put in one cup, though.
Sep. 20, 2011 6:11 pm
Wow, speedy feet, Mike! Now, I have to see if I can do that! Are you walking on flat ground, or do you have hills? Re. frost, I save old sheets and blankets to throw over the garden plants and flowers I want to preserve from frost damage. Here in IN, we have a few false alarms, and an early frost or 2, then usually have wonderful weather, again, and continued harvest. Last year,I had cukes hiding under Kale, that did not get a blanket. They survived!
Sep. 20, 2011 6:23 pm
Good evening, Mamaw! This area is flat prairie. I have to go about 10 miles to get some hills to walk on. When I cannot make myself walk any faster, I'll go there a couple times a week.
Sep. 21, 2011 5:05 am
Mike, next time you have extra peppers you might want to try what I do; just slice into rounds and freeze. I use them in cooking throughout the winter for a fresh flavor. I also have a green tomato pickle recipe; I don't care for them but my guys love them
Sep. 21, 2011 7:51 am
Mike, if you lived in our remote northern communities, you may be renamed, Mike-rush-too-fast, or Mike-walks-like-blur. That would be a better name than the guy down the street who was caught peering in windows...Tom-took-a-look. Anyway, glad you are on the road again and your tomatoes produced a crop to preserve. Our killer frost came very early, usually does with the harvest moon. Root veggies remain in the garden as some taste better/sweeter after the frost. Horseradish gets nice and strong after several killer frosts-I am waiting for it to bite me back.
Sep. 21, 2011 10:49 am
Way to go Mike! I'm still running and it's getting easier, 8 lbs gone as of this morning. It's weird that you are so far south of us and you're getting a frost. We still haven't had one but by the looks of it, it won't long. Dreams of an Indian summer dashed on the shores of a hard reality. My peppers, such as they might be, I finally harvested last night, 3 peppers totalling maybe 4 ounces. Into the stew pot with the turkey soup along with all the remaining carrots etc.. Lol, aint gardening just the best?
Sep. 21, 2011 11:12 am
Good job getting up to 4 mph! Sounds mean to say I'm happy you leg is giving you pain, but you kno what I mean.
Sep. 21, 2011 6:36 pm
GAHSMOMX3, Good evening! Thanks for the hint but we have been freezing peppers for years in that very manner. It works beautifully! The surplus peppers I have already dried and tomorrow I'll pulverize them to use as a seasoning. ... I had looked at many green tomato recipes and saw nothing appealing- just thatsalsa and it turned out to be a disappointment. Now green tomatoes for a pie filling? I'll eat my fill until I get sick and go back for more! Scrumptious!
Sep. 21, 2011 6:43 pm
Thre's been lot of names for me here, Gramma, but they aren't for public display. ... The very best carrots I have ever put on my tasters were carrots left in the soil all winter. Not only very swee and flavorful but they were huge- like 1 1/2 pound apiece! True wonders! ... We've talked about horseradish once before and I have to agree with you about the flavor being so much better- and hotter- and more difficult to grind.
Sep. 21, 2011 6:53 pm
Congratulations for the weight loss, Randy! Great work. ... The frost would have been a joint gift to us from Sasketchawan and Manitoba. If I remember correctly, there is an warm ocean current that has a strong influence on the weather of British Columbia. Our best freeze deterrant is Lake Michigan keeping its heat for a while- and then it works for only a few miles inland. ... As Duffy said, "Even a small harvest is a wonderful thing." Do you think optimists should be branded with a smiley face, too?
Sep. 21, 2011 6:58 pm
Good evening, BigShotsMom! It seems strange that I would push myself to achieve that pain. Like I'm some kind of mental disaster. But, the doctor is right! I can feel the leg getting better nearly every day, now. If I can achive 4.5 mph I may start doing some sprints during my walk time. I have no idea how that will work, but I goota try!
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Mike Harvey, daPITA

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About Me
At age 16, I began cooking when my mother was injured in an accident that kept her off her feet for five weeks. At first, my repertoire was fried hot dogs with pork and beans, boiled hot dogs with macaroni and cheese or pizza from a box. After a couple weeks of this, my younger brother was the first to protest and demand variety and my dad was quick to support him. That was my first cooking challenge, learning to plan a meal. About that time, mom returned from the hospital and from her bed, began teaching me things like roast beef, fried chicken, stews and all the sides and trimmings. In 1967, I married and my wife designated herself as the cook and this continued until 1999. It was then that I (voluntarily) began cooking again. At some point, I realized that I was having fun and began searching for recipes that were more challenging and interesting. I found AR and used it's recipes for a long time before registering and later becoming an active member.
My favorite things to cook
Soups. How can I go wrong? They are a great way to use up leftovers and those veggies that are approaching the end of their usefulness. They are always an original recipe. Roasts and steaks are favored, also. Getting the right "doneness" and choosing appropriate sides for a tastey and attractive meal is a continuing and always evolving menu.
My favorite family cooking traditions
If creating impulsive menus and recipes is a tradition then, (I guess) we have a tradition. A new tradition is developing. I have a fruitcake recipe that, I believe, is near perfection. I make it just before Thanksgiving so it is aged enough for the Christmas/ New Year holidays.
My cooking triumphs
Without a doubt, my own recipe for a Reuben Sandwich. It has been a demanded item for many years and I shared it in my AR blog.
My cooking tragedies
Too many. I have been able to throw them out and have something new before my wife gets home. Most of the time, anyway.
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