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July 13, 2015

two very tired boys

Happy Monday!  It was a beautiful weekend in our neck of the woods, albeit a bit toasty, but no rain!!  The veggies in the garden finally have a nice chance at ripening.

My sister-in-law came up to give us a hand and my mom stopped in to help package products because we have a busy week ahead.  We have a show up at the Adirondack Museum in addition to the market.  If you're going to be in the area, it looks like a phenomenal event.  The museum will be open as usual and, in addition, there will be more than 60 vendors selling their handmade products.  Stop by and say hello if you come.

We started off Saturday with a visit to Eagle's View U-Pick Farm.  We had picked 24 pounds of blueberries in just over an hour.  It's a spectacular place with HUGE berries.  Typically, we use some of the blueberries for jam but I don't think we'll have the opportunity to can this year.  So instead we have dreams of pancakes, scones, topping for oatmeal, muffins, blueberry-maple syrup {super simple recipe coming soon} for waffles, fresh blueberry pie, frozen blueberry pie for later, SCRUMPTIOUS blueberry tart, individual berry cobbler, berry vanilla yogurt pudding {a great quick snack}, fruit & yogurt popsicles, roasted blueberry ice cream, mixed berry lemonade {throw a handful of crushed berries in it}, infused water, and smoothies.  Those that get frozen for use later are washed, dried, spread out on a freezer paper lined cookie sheet and placed in the freezer.  I then transfer them to a freezer-safe container for use later.  They don't stick to each other and make it very easy to use as little or as many as we want.  Plus, the dogs love them frozen {Jack likes to chase them around the house before the dogs eat them}.

My garden is doing ok.  It's not getting the attention it deserves and it shows.  We'll likely be buying much more veggies this year than we would typically need to buy.  I also meant to plant more blueberry bushes and 2 more Asian pear trees but, well, that hasn't happened yet.  We've been able to enjoy a few tomatoes right off the vine, but most are still green.  The peppers and eggplant are coming along slowly and the zucchini and green bean picking will begin this week.  Asparagus has run it's course.  I have to re-plant carrots and beets since some little critter has enjoyed the nice young morsels.  The broccoli, kohlrabi and cauliflower were moved to a new spot this year and I fear they may be in too much shade.  They are growing but very slowly.  The cucumber plants look like they are not enjoying the amount of rain we've received.  Hopefully they'll pull out of it.  A squirrel or chipmunk feasted on most of my melon plants early on, so the 4 plants remaining {out of the 18 planted} will hopefully produce a couple of melons each. 

We've had the first corn-on-the-cob of the season!!  Every single year after we eat it we say "next year we'll wait until it's been out a couple of weeks before we buy it" because they always, always, ALWAYS pick it too early.  It's ok, it's not great.  And every single year I jump the gun and buy it early.  {Sigh}......maybe next year.

The Coop Girls watch the progress of their sunflower patch daily and give me a lot of feedback.  Usually it's that they are growing way too slow.  They are not known for their patience, as you know.  But when they are finally ready, they will be feasting on over a dozen yummy sunflowers!  Yesterday I had given them the watermelon rind with some fruit and juice left in it.  It was an 86 degree day with some humidity so I thought it would be refreshing.  All girls jumped on the 4 wedges except for Lori.  She enjoyed pecking at the dry bread received earlier in the day.  She was just happy as could be.

The meat birds have been processed and are in the freezer.  We had this first batch quartered.  The next batch, which we will be picking up the end of August, will be halved with probably 10 left whole.  It's only the two of us, so I think baking half a chicken rather than whole will work out well for times we won't be making soup or casserole later in the week.  We ended up having to buy a second stand-alone freezer.  This will be mostly full of chicken so we can have space in the larger freezer for pork, beef, fish and garden bounty.

On the menu this week:  Slow-Cooker Baby Back Ribs with Mac & Cheese and Green Beans; Quick & Easy Chicken Parm with Pasta and Zucchini Wedges; BBQ Pork Tenderloin with Dirty Rice and Green Salad & Marinated Cucumbers; Beef Teriyaki with Creamy Orzo and Green Beans; Grilled Chicken Breast {marinated in Italian Dressing} with Rice and Fresh Tomato-Mozzarella Salad; and Grilled Soy-Ginger Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Pickled Green Beans.

Hoping you had a lovely weekend!!

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