Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What's Cookin'?

In two and a half weeks, I go back to work.  Classes at the university start August 27, so I have been working on syllabi for 3 classes. I have two finalized and will finish the 3rd in the morning then get the last two emailed to the English office so that they can be printed. I have to update the course web site, too. I'll be teaching two sections of freshmen composition, one section of Writing on a Theme with issues in education as the theme, and the desert of the day,  introduction to literature. So the summer is winding down. It is still very hot--in the 90s. Still no rain. I've lost some incentive to garden, though I keep the watering it.

The week started a birthday party for a little one who turned four.
But the party didn't last long since there was work to do at the Garden Spot--there is always work to do.

What a sweet little princess she is

We've had company this week, too. My dear long time friend Pattie who lives in a small town on the western slope, Olathe, had meetings in Denver so she brought her 8 year old granddaughter Emelie  with her to keep her company on the long drive from the western slope. My friend grows the most beautiful roses, so Miss EM and I went to my favorite nursery to a buy her a rose to commemorate  her oldest daughter's birthday yesterday, August 7th. Only her daughter Rayleene wasn't here to wish happy birthday. She died suddenly the end of April after surviving cervical cancer, but not the treatment. The lost was sudden, devastating, leaving a family asking why and grieving. So  Emelie helped me pick out a perfect pink (her aunt's favorite color) David Austin Rose. We both espied it at the same moment and knew that it was the perfect rose. Pattie loved the rose and will nurture it well.

She brought a box of Olathe sweet corn and a box of fresh peaches. Does your super market carry this wonderful sweet corn from Olathe, Colorado? It is supposed to be the best, the sweetest.  So guess what I did today? Her oldest granddaughter, Rayleene's daughter, Sheyanne lives with us while she attends UNC, so she helped today can peaches and freeze corn.

So here is this week's pictorial.

Iris after a few years get clumpy and wild looking, so I dig them up every few years.

 I want to redo the flower bed that curves around the back patio, so the iris were the second to go after the cosmos. I split the clumps up into individual rhizomes that I will replant some and give some away.

I trim down the leaves into a nice point after I separate the toes from the main rhizome.  Did you know that each toe of the rhizome only blooms once, so when you divide your iris, you can throw away that one because it will not bloom again, though it will grow more toes if you want to save it.

We had two boxes of peaches to can. One box was ready to can; the other box is still a bit unripe, so we will can again Sunday. I planed the quarts pretty close. I figured I could get about 5 peaches sliced in each jar. Shey did the blanching and peeling, while I sliced.

These peaches are so sweet, so delicious. They will taste good over the winter.

They look so pretty in the jars. The last two jars we filled with halves just because the peaches looked so pretty.

After a nap and supper, we did the corn. Even the head gardener helped husk the corn.

I always dreaded freezing corn when I had to help my mother. It was messy and it was hard work. Today, however, Shey and I chatted and laughed. We talked about our memories helping our mothers and grandmothers preserve food for the winter. She remembered how great grandma fixed the sweet corn and how good it was. Good memories.

It was nice having help in the kitchen. Actually it was Shey who asked her grandma to bring sweet corn because she wanted to freeze it. She loves to cook, and I have fun teasing her about having dinner on the table when I get home from a hard day at work, too tired to cook. She laughs. We both laugh. She will take a full load of courses at school and work 25 hours a week at Walmart pharmacy, while keeping her girlish figure taking a dance class. Maybe we can get the head gardener to cook. (He calls for pizza).

We had a good discussion about what it was like to put up food long before there were electric stoves and freezers, thankful that we didn't have to stand over a wood burning stove. Can you imagine?

And the sun sets on another full day at the Garden Spot. So what's cooking in your kitchen this week?


  1. Your food preservation photos are delightful, Ann! So summery!
    How kind to gift someone with a rose when they are grieving.
    You're so good!
    Two weeks, huh? May it stretch and last! You'll be ready! I can tell you already have the enthusiasm!

  2. Those peaches, and that corn look so good. It's such a huge amount of work, canning might be in my future, but not right now. We inherited a glass topped stove with the house, sigh of relief, lol. It doesn't do canning.

    Meanwhile I will live vicariously through your photos.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  3. Thank you for your comment on my blog Ann, and in answer to your question Lucy is 16 years old and the tests were for thyroid and diabetes but just because she is old and skinny not because she is showing signs of illness.
    Any way...
    those peaches are like bottled sunshine and they will be a warm welcome in winter months.

  4. What gorgeous canned peaches and the corn looks great, too! Doesn't it give you such a since of accomplishment to put up fruits and veggies!

  5. What a lovely gesture to Pat to remember Rayleene. And such a fabulous day spent with sheyenne. I would like some peaches. I am glad you are keeping the head gardener busy. Love u.

  6. Lovely, golden gifts. Olathe sweet corn is so good, and I think I smell the peaches!

  7. Sounds like you've been quite busy. The peaches and corn look delicious. Yum!