My first big picking of cucumbers this week produced one and a half gallons of sliced pickles soaking in their brine.  I am always amazed at what can grow from 2 little seeds. I have a neighbor in her 90’s that loves my 14 day pickles. Normally she buys me the ingredients to make them for her, but this year I will not say anything and just take her a jar from time to time.  When I take them to gatherings and pitch-in dinners there are seldom any left to take home.

I joined a lady’s extension club the year I had my spine surgery. What knowledge I gleaned from the lovely ladies in this group. Most were in their 80’s and 90’s. I loved picking their brains for problems I had in my garden and for new recipes. This is where I found out about these crisp, tangy, sweet 14 day pickles and they are delightful

I am use to growing things to can and freeze, however our root cellar is full this year.  We have not emptied the deep freezers yet either. I am not use to planting a garden not to do a lot of canning from. I thought I cut down on my green beans, however when I picked this week I ended up with a gallon bag from my little patch. This is God’s perfect timing. I will have a big batch of fresh green beans for the camp out pitch-in dinner this weekend.

 The pea pods are getting close to being done, however they keep providing us with crispy snacks and extra for the freezer. I am trimming the sweet potato vines and leaving them on the ground to compost instead of eating them all. They are producing way more than we can consume. The cabbage is heading up nicely and we will pick our first head of Broccoli next week.

This week I experimented with what I will call pot stickers. I hope I do not offend anyone. Duane thought they sounded good and I am all for coming up with foods that he will enjoy that may satisfy a craving to keep him healthy and happy. I read several different recipes and then worked with different substitutions to make them more low fat and vegan. The end result was my recipe below. They would be good served with steamed veggies, over wilted lettuce or just on their own.

  • Filling
  • Pkg. wonton wraps. explore an Asian store I am looking forward to trying different ones.
  • 14 oz extra firm tofu
  • 1 cup chopped fine mushrooms of choice
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons tamari
  • 1/2 teaspoon of tahini
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper more or less to your liking.

Crumble tofu, then mix together the above ingredients except wonton wraps. Lay out 2 wraps and moisten their edges. Put a heaping tablespoon of the filling in the center of one of the wraps. Line the other wrap on top of this one one side at a time and press the sides together to seal the filling in. Repeat until you have used all your filling.

Put a large pan on the stove filled with salt water. Bring to a boil and gently lower wontons into the water. It is good to check the edges of each wonton to be sure it is sealed before putting in the water. I lower them in with a slotted spoon and then once they float to the top I put the lid on and time them for 2 minutes. turn them over and time for 2 more minutes. Remove them from the water and put them on the plate or serving platter. I usually only do 3 or 4 at a time so they don’t stick together or break apart while boiling.

Dipping sauce

3 Tablespoons tamari

1 Tablespoon fine diced onion

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoons ginger

Mix ingredients in the dipping sauce together and drissel over wontons and what ever vegies you choose to serve with them. I served them over lettuce and they wilted it nicely. I think it would also be good with steamed pea pods or california blend too.

I was going to give up on the experiment with planting amaranth this year but a conversation with a friend resulted with me having several lovely plants that will hopefully produce. I put more spinach and lettuce in the bed with these beautiful plants. Mornings and evenings in the garden were cool with lots of bugs to ward off. This week we had to use bug spray to be comfortable in the garden but it was well worth it. I was able to get all but a half row of my 7 rows of strawberries weeded and plucked other weeds as I worked picking the produce. What a joy to find most of our meals filled with fresh produce from the garden.

This week has been filled with surprises. The car needed new brakes and has been a bit of a challenge for Duane to work on. I am so thankful he has the know how to do this and save us a repair bill. Flat tire last week, new brakes on the front this week and the rear brakes next week, should have the car back in tip top condition.

I am also excited to report that God answered our prayers for my niece’s dog to return. After a 9 day adventure Ivy is home safe with her little family. Thank you to all who prayed.

On Tuesday I lost a dear friend Michelle Delarosa after a battle with cancer and what a valiant fight she fought. Anyone in her life could not deny the impact her battle had on them. Her family’s and her strong faith spoke volumes into my life. Miracles come in all shapes and sizes, sometimes the result is not what you hoped for or believed for. What I do know is that God is still in control, and His plans are far above what I could dream or imagine. The greatest miracle of all happened in this situation. I know my sister will wake up in the perfect love of Christ and someday I will join her to dwell in the house of our Lord forever.  I will see my sister again. Please keep her family in your prayers as they learn to do life without her.

The end of the week was spent preparing for a camping trip to Michigan. Duane is a CMM Guy. This has to do with inspection equipment he programs. He belongs to a forum online with a group of people who do the same job he does. Every year some of these guys get together and camping is usually included. We are having a pitch-in dinner. I made brownies, roasted butternut tikka masala, brought pickles and will cook my big picking of green beans.

In the in between times, the set and wait times I worked on the hat I am making for Mr. Duane. I got the outside done and am working on the lining now. I believe this hat will ward off the cold with 2 layers of my hand spun naturally dyed yarn. I am excited to complete it.

 I am also happy to report a pleasant finding with my socks I just finished. The first day I wore them I needed something from the garden. Like the country girl I am, I ran out in my stocking feet without thinking and got them terribly dirty. Later that night I was sad to discover how dirty I got them. I figured they were ruined. I was so excited when I took them out of the washer to hang up and dry. What I thought would leave a stain that could not be washed out looked like new. I had forgotten about the trip to the garden when I loaded the washer and did not even spot treat them. I may keep looking for the right pattern for making socks and make me more acrylic socks if they will wash up this nice. I have a bad habit of not putting shoes on to run outside or down in the wood room.

As I reflect on my week I am seeing how even the hardest of times have blessings hidden within them. I am learning to look for those blessings and praise the one who has made them possible. God is good and we are blessed here in the Wade camper and the abundant life is still flowing on our homestead too.

Upon our return to the farm we found a wonderful blessing. The Honey bees decided that my wooden barrel would be the perfect place to start a hive. I put a phone call in and hopefully we can move them to a safer place here on the farm. If not I guess I will let them have their place in the yard. I have been praying for bees to come back and pollinate my garden. I am excited to see them and will respect their space. I guess my words about abundant life flowing was true. We don’t plan on a milk producing operation here on the farm, but we can now say we live in a land flowing with honey. LOL. God is truly good and we are truly blessed here.