Friday, July 20, 2012

Shoe-matoes : )

We love to raise all of the vegetables we possibly can in our small city yard, so we sometimes get creative in our planting.  Sometime I will take pictures of the recycled fun and useful items we have plants growing in, but for now, I will show you one of my favorites:

Shoe-matoes!  We have tomatoes growing so many places, including a hanging "Topsy Turvy" planter.  All of them are doing pretty well, except the ones I planted in a pair of garden shoes we had lying around outside this spring (nothing is safe from being used as a container! lol!).  That's ok with me.  I just love to look at them hanging on the fence so whimsically : )  I can see them from the house, and they make me smile everytime I look at them.

We put soil inside the Croc type shoes, and carefully poked tiny tomato seedlings in from the outside.   I think we planted yellow pear tomatoes in the shoes so the plants wouldn't get terribly heavy.  I'll take more photos if they do, indeed, set on fruit. 

Those are tomatillos, cucumbers, and green beans growing in the garden beneath the shoes, along with some strings tied so they can climb up the fence. It is our first year for tomatillos. Last year, we got some in a Bountiful Basket, used them to make salsa, and really liked the flavor. They have a ton of blossoms on them already, so we are hoping for a great crop.

Happy gardening!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pineapple delicious!

We participate in the Bountiful Baskets food program occasionally, and love the new things we get to try because of it.  Last Saturday's offerings included 19 pounds of fresh pineapple for $12.00; certainly too good to resist!

We turned most of it into pineapple jam, using a very simple recipe from the Ball canning book:

1 quart of finely chopped pineapple
2 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 lemon, very thinly sliced
1 cup water

Cook until sugar is melted, then boil gently until it is gelling.  Pour into small jars, and water bath process for 15 minutes.

Of course, we had to open a jar this morning and try it on bagels and toast : )  It is so delicious!

The pineapples we got were small, so it took about three of them to get a quart's worth of chopped fruit.  Each recipe makes about 3 1/2 pint jars.  We made two recipes and still had fresh pineapple to eat.  Not a hardship, let me tell ya : )