Thursday, July 8, 2010

Green Tomatoes!


Here's how the garden is looking lately.

So far, so good, on the the melons. Here's to hoping we'll get some this year.

A few summer squash.

A poor showing of carrots. The ground is just still too inhospitable. Mulch over winter should help a lot.

Eggplants are doing fairly well.

I've harvested a few brussel sprouts. The little heads are a bit loose. I need to look into why that might be so.

Some peppers.


Swiss chard.

The shady lettuce bed. Not too many of my starts survived. They should have been much more mature before I set them out.

I just love how each year is a new learning experience in gardening! This year I am learning how to deal with green tomatoes. I'm not sure why, but my tomato plants have not done well. Rebels, that's what they are.

It may be because I have them in the same spot as last year. I hoped I was going to avoid trouble in that area as last year was the very first year in that section of ground, but now I'm not so sure. Next year I will be moving things around. However, I am not the only one in this area whose tomatoes are struggling.

In any case, I did not want dessert green tomato recipes, nor a fried delectable morsel, no matter HOW much I love greasy fried things. On a search, I found quite a few savory green tomato pie recipes, however nearly every one of them called for a pound of cheese while using only about 4 green tomatoes. Not very economical.

But I did find a recipe that came from a heritage collection. I knew that would have to be economical! It ended up being very much like a baked summer squash recipe I use a lot.

What else did we do? We supported the movement to retain pioneer skills, no matter what the cost! For about 8 hours of combined work for my very dear friend who offered to come by and help us get ready for the Independence Day party and I, we got 5 quarts of tomato vegetable soup, and 3 pints of hot peppers!

Canning season keeps you busier than you remember being the year before...

Tomato art.

Ah that brings me back to the green tomato recipe.

~~~ Savory Green Tomato Pie ~~~

7 Large green tomatoes (or about 4.5 pounds of whatever size you've got)
2 TBL lemon juice
1 tube Ritz crackers (smash 'em up!)
1 cup of bread crumbs (I like Italian)
1 stick of butter (or two)
1 TBL brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Slice the tomatoes and layer in a casserole.
Sprinkle with lemon juice, then sugar, then salt and pepper.
Then you can mix the crumbs with the butter and brown it all in a pan before applying it to the top of the tomatoes, or you can do what I did, put your crumbs over the top, and then drizzle your butter all over it before baking.

325 degree oven. I'd like to say it will be done in 20 minutes like the recipe says, but it took an hour for my tomatoes. So bake 'em til they are as tender as you like.

Meanwhile, Ashlee and Michael did housework and party prep. They hung some wall decor for me.

And they put together the canopy.

This was the 40 dollar canopy I bought for myself for Mother's Day. It did not go together correctly, and we ended up having to take a hacksaw to shorten some of the pieces. But it finally got up. Whew! The heat wave was beginning to build up a fury.

We watered the grass for about a day, hoping for some green around the house where we'd be using fireworks. But it is much browner now. Sort of like wheat toast... without the health benefits. Or the taste.

Quite a change in summers since last year. Cold and wet last year, hot and dry this year. Wonder what next year will bring?





  1. It looks pretty good this year. I have to remind myself to not be jealous of how much space you have out there, i have to remember that i would never be able to work that much land at this point! :o)

    My carrots are also doing 'just ok', the place i set them isn't all that fertile either and it dries out fast so i wonder if i get any that won't be fibrous. This is the first time that i have been able to get carrots to even sprout for the last few tries, so woody or not i will consider it a small triumph.

    I think loose Brussels Sprout heads are from too much heat... nothing much to do about that. But i'm not 100% sure that is what it is.

    That's still a LOT of tomatoes lol
    They make some juicy and tasty looking Tomato Art.
    I have a few green tomatoes so far, lots of flowers, if all goes well i will have to brace myself for an onslaught of them. I'm not even a big tomato fan, but i still end up growing a half dozen or more types when i can. They are so temptingly described in the catalogs and some have so much acclaim and history.

    I like the little redecorated spot, the wall hangings are nice! Are those leaves the same ones from....what, 10 months ago?

    I like the depiction of manna, it actually looks a lot like water kefir grains :o)

  2. It all looks good to me. My beds are starting to look a bit better than a month ago but will yield just enough for daily eating. Canning days are over for me, I regret. So are big gardens. I'm very grateful to have success of any sort. Hang in there; you are doing very well from what I can see. Its a wonderful life, isn't it?

  3. Your garden looks 10x better than mine! Ours isn't doing anything.
    I do have a question though. How do you always seem to have children who seem to want to help? Or is it that they are just acting like they want to help when you are taking their pictures? lol

  4. Icebear,

    It is a lot to do. We can't keep up with all there is as it is set up. 10 years ago I had a four children and a more hopeful situation marriage-wise. So the land was set up with that in mind.

    If I were to start from scratch with only the two of us, I would be doing it differently. But we enjoy the work. I do not like sitting around and doing nothing. I'm not the type of person to be a couch potato or a career shopper, or just going out to eat. I definitely would not do well in the city! So, we've got more to do than is getting done, but we love it and are grateful.

    The green tomatoes came from the plants that were gasping their last, and I think I've got more out there that have one root in the grave. More green tomatoes coming!

    Tomatoes and peppers are fun to grow because of the variety and relative ease. I'd do a bunch if I had more time. This year I cut way back on varieties. I can't wait to see yours!

    Yes, those are the same leaves from about 3 months ago. Can you believe it? LOL I'm so glad I stuck those in a vase on a whim.

    Strangely enough, there are no images of manna in the Google image search engine. So I used couscous. :oD


  5. Sissy,

    That's pretty much the way it is here. But I'm good with that. I still haven't eaten all the canned goods from last year, and I'd like to spend the time doing prep work increase next year's labor to harvest ratio; raised and mulched beds, greenhouse, and cold frames.

    Canning a big gardens, over for you because of lack of need, or lack of ability?


  6. SFG,

    Yours too? Bummer! :o(

    I wish I had a magic answer for you on the children. I have four children, and the first three resented working and family when they reached the young adult years.

    Though Michael is now very excited about becoming an adult and taking on responsibilities and life in general, there was a few years that he did not want to become a teenager. He was so confused and disenchanted with his older siblings behavior, and he feared that when he became that age he would change. I told him, as I told my other children that changing is a choice. He is the only one it seemed to sink into.

    But of all things beyond personal choice, there are two that I believe are the most important. One ~ parents must set the example. They need to be a team. The father needs to be supportive and equally involved with the mother, they need to speak as one. Be loving and kind and hard working, generous, and consistent in discipline.

    There are other things I learned, but they would probably be more specific to my own situation and my children's personalities.

    The second is peers. This world today sucks kids in and holds them strongly. Young people today are the epitome of selfishness and arrogance, brought on by lack of discipline and being spoiled rotten by their parents and society. Even if you try to instill hard work and loving behavior in your kids, the draw of the world can be strong enough to override it. This is what I saw happen with my older three. The peers in the churches we went to were no different than the peers that you would find anywhere.

    Michael and I have been blessed. We found a group of families who believe as we do. We homeschool, we are extremely active socially (how many ways can you spell exhausted) and we are very serious about seeking the Lord and acting that out in every aspect of our lives.

    Because Michael has this peer group, they support each other in that direction. That is normal for them.

    So if you have children, desire these standards and implement them, find other families who do. Search out places like Vision Forum, Do Hard Things, etc. Find other families, or it is very difficult task. Not impossible, but VERY difficult. Evan most Christians will say you are harming your kids by being too strict, you will swim against the flow. But as you can see, it works! We have well rounded young people who love hard work, helping others, being with their families, doing rightly, having fun, and are actively approaching life in every way. They are fine with interacting with other kids as well, but they do so with an eye of ministry are not quite as close to them. And our young people love the Lord.

    Probably more than you were asking. Hope it was helpful though. :o)


  7. I like the sound of that tomato pie. Our tomatoes this year are scabby, and we are just eating around the scabby parts. I hope I can have enough to make juice. We'll drink juice all winter long, when I have it.


I always enjoy hearing from others. If you become a regular commenter, I'll assume you are being friendly and pretty much comment regularly right back. :o) God bless and have a terrific day!