Sunday, May 27, 2018

The POW/MIA Table

I was touched when I first saw the "place setting for one, a table for all" but it is never occupied.  It is waiting for a Prisoner of War or a Missing in Action member of the Armed Services to come home.

A small round table with a white and crisp table cloth is visible at any military organization and any veterans association in your community.

The items on the table are special and symbolize different things such as the following:

The bread plate contains a slice of lemon to remind us of their bitter fate, captured and missing in a foreign land.

The salt sprinkled on the plate is to remind us of the countless tears of their families and friends whose grief know no end.

The single red rose, displayed in the vase, signifies the blood they may have shed in sacrifice to ensure the freedom of our beloved United States of America.

The red ribbon, tightly tied on the vase, represents the red ribbons worn on the lapels of the thousands who demand with unyielding determination a proper accounting of our comrades who are not among us today.

The candle is the light of hope which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from their captors, to the open arms of a grateful nation..

The wine glass is inverted for they can not toast with us today.

The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.

The American flag reminds us that many never return--and have paid for supreme sacrifice to ensure our freedom.

The chair is empty!  They are not here.

"We all called them our comrades, brothers, sisters, and friends.  Do not let them be forgotten for surely they have not forgotten us,"

The above information was gleaned from "Navy Live," the official blog of the US Navy on October 6, 2014.

Thank you for your service.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Frozen Sweet Corn

The corn kernels were flying in my kitchen this afternoon and the floor got its share of husks.  Food fight?  If so, I had one all by myself.

The local market advertised its sweet corn for a ridiculous price.  There was no way I could grow corn for that rate.  I bought a dozen ears and they were sweet.

I put four of them into the fridge to be eaten rather soon.  I shucked the rest and I could not decide if I should blanch all of them and put them into the freezer.  Ah, they were so good looking! 

I compromised--half and half.  I cut the kernels off of four of the ears.

To sweeten the pot for blanching, I added the following:
4 cups of water
1/2 cup of sugar
2 tbs of margarine
1/8 cup of salt (go easy on the salt)

I let the water come to a boil and then inserted the four full ears of beautiful corn and let them blanch for a couple of minutes, dipped them out of the pot, cooled them under running cold tap water, and  let them drain.

I added the kernels to the sweet smelling water and let them blanch for a few minutes.  I drained the corn through a colander that I had placed on a bowl to catch the left over water for use in soups later on.  I also let the kernels cool under running tap water.

I bagged the whole corn as well as the kernels and put them into the freezer.  I will bottle the water and also put that into the freezer.  I may have to use several small plastic bottles.

Thank you for visiting my blog.
It is harvest time at the Back Forty.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Freezing Zucchini

This is the season for zucchini.  The dry weather has been perfect for growing zucchini.  The dryness has prevented blossom rot but has allowed the plants to blossom and produce huge zucchinis.

This spring, I bought one plant that actually contained two plants that I was able to separate and put in a nice sunny place in the garden.  I fertilized them a few times and watered them sparingly.

The plants took off, grew tall and green, and produced giant zucchinis.

I gave two big ones to my neighbor and she told me that I could make Patty cakes like I would crab cakes.  Just add a beaten egg, flour, and grated zucchini, mix and make cakes, and fry in Canola oil until golden brown, she said.

I also grated the zucchini and measured out into two cups to put into the freezer to use later on to make bread.

This morning, I cut up a huge zucchini into bite size pieces.  I left the skin on but I cut away some of the seeds.

I blanched the zucchini for a minute or so, drained, and cooled under running tap water while the zucchini were in the colander.

I had covered a baking sheet with parchment paper and now spread out the zucchini on the baking sheet and put the sheet into the freezer where I will leave it overnight. 

Tomorrow I will divvy the zucchini up into bags, label them, and put them into the freezer for using later.

It is recommended that parchment paper be used or the zucchini will stick to the baking sheet.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Mother's Day 2018

Once again, a special day is upon us and it brings back memories of the wonderful Mother that we once had--a Mother that always cared for us and always loved us.  We treasure that memory.  Always

Once upon a memory
Someone wiped away a tear
Held me close and loved me,
Thank you, Mother dear.

On this special day, we want to honor all the Mothers today and every day. 
They take care of their children, our grand children, a future generation. 
Thank you for all that you do.

Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

My May Vegetales

While I was busy blogging away at the A to Z April Challenge, the vegetables in my garden were busy blooming and growing.  April is gone and it is time for the May harvest.

I loved going out to the garden and eating the Oregon Sweet Peas in their pods but they matured faster than I could eat.  Consequently, I had to pick them, shell them, blanch them, cool them under running tap water, bag and label them, and put them into the freezer for use at a later time.

The green beans, the snap beans, the Haricot Verts or any other name for the most common, most liked, and most easy to grow vegetable matured shortly after the peas were harvested and the vines were pulled.  I picked the beans but they are still blooming and producing enough to pick for dinner.  I have better keep a watchful eye on the beans or they'll grow too large if I should blink.

The versatile, nutritious, and simple to prepare for cooking is the zucchini. I have two plants with tall and green growth and with large yellow flowers tucked into the foliage.  I was admiring the plants that were free from disease and rot when I caught sight of one giant zucchini which I carefully removed and brought into the kitchen.

I grated two heaping cups of zucchini for baking bread later but it will have to wait in the freezer for the baking time.

I proceeded to cut up the zucchini into bite size chunks to saute with minced onions and a few cloves of minced garlic.  I left the skin on and the seeds in.  I used both margarine and oil for sauteing the zucchini.  Simple and tasty.

It did not take long for these surprisingly sweet chunks to become slightly translucent for a side dish at lunch today and tomorrow.

It is a lot of work to participate in your own food production but it is most satisfactory to bring your own vegetables to your table.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Zen Moments

I wouldn't call it a New Year's resolution but more of a temporary habit:  I decided to take pictures of the morning sun from the Back Forty.  A blazing orange sky is a Zen moment.  A rainy day is a Zen moment.  A Zen Moment gives me pause, a time for reflection.

Everybody has their own personal definition of Zen and it's all right. What is right for me isn't necessary right for you.

The other morning, I went out to the yard to take a picture of the sun. When I turned around to go inside, I saw the moon setting. The sky was pink and rosy.  A beautiful Zen moment.

They were moments of stillness, of peace and harmony, moments of gratitude-- Zen moments for me. They were fleeting moments when I felt connected with nature and a higher power.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Yellow Mellow Corn Soup

In he heat of the summer, corn is plentiful and inexpensive.  We found it easier to buy fresh corn at a Farmer's Market than to grow the pale Silver Queen in he garden that takes up a lot of space and a lot of effort.  For the best color for this soup, use yellow corn.

Here is a Yellow Mellow Cool Corn Soup recipe for the summer and any other time for that matter:

3 ears of fresh corn, shucked
2 tbs (un)salted butter
1/2 cup minced yellow onion
1 tsp minced garlic (two cloves)
2 cups of broth, more or less
1/4  tsp Kosher salt or regular salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 tbs oil
1 tbs white vinegar

Directions:  Mix onions and garlic with butter in a pot and let it cook until they are somewhat soft.  Add the broth.  Add the corn.  It doesn't take long for the corn to cook.  Let it cool and when it is cool, puree in  a blender, a little at a time depending on how coarse you want it.

The soup may be served cool/cold garnished with a few leaves of sweet basil, bits of bacon, green or red peppers.

Thank you for visiting my blog.