Thursday, June 7, 2007

I Feel Like I Gotta Ramble On...

Due to an unexpected trip to Jonesboro on Wednesday Lamar and I had the opportunity to visit with Jessica and Emmy for a few hours. Of course I had my camera! I took several pictures and I'm just going to post them to the left without captioning them. Everybody already knows Lamar, Jessica, Emmy and me by now without me having to give all the particulars.

This was the first time Lamar had seen Emmy in 2 weeks and I think he could see quite a bit of difference in Emmy's appearance. She's staying awake longer at a time and is more alert. She focuses on faces more and is beginning to smile more often. Grandpa isn't taken with Miss Emmy in the least, as you might gather by the sappy look on his face. No comments from the peanut gallery about the sappy look on Grandma's face, if you please!

Jessica and Emmy have an appointment with the doctor next week so we should find out then how much Emmy weighs now. She's doing very well on her formula and is taking 6 ounces sometimes! I told Jessica at this rate she'll be asking for a pork chop before too long. :-)

I'm doing my best to make sure that none of that sweet baby sugar goes to waste, and I have the pictures to prove it! Emmy likes sugar and smiles when you smooch on her. Grandma likes it a little bit, too. I'm not too selfish though. I do leave a little sugar for Jessica, as you'll see in the next pictures.

GreenEyes, that second picture of me? That sugar and that snuggle is for you. :-)

If all goes as anticipated Jessica and I have our day planned for Friday. Jessica is going to pick me up Friday afternoon and she and Emmy and I are going to run some errands then I'm going to spend the night with them so I'll be there to watch Emmy on Saturday while Jessica works. I could have watched Emmy here at my apartment but this way it saves Jessica from having to haul all Emmy's paraphernalia back and forth between my place and hers, plus it will save her a little gas.

Changing the subject just a bit, I mentioned a couple of posts back that I'd been promised some garden produce. Well, I've been given so much yellow squash, green snap beans and cucumbers that I've been sharing what I haven't cooked, pickled or frozen. Not that I'm complaining by any means, mind you. I'm thrilled and very grateful that others share their garden bounty with me. But I'm very careful to share with others in turn and I'm even more careful that I don't let anything ruin or go to waste.

When I bought groceries Tuesday I didn't buy as many fresh, canned or frozen vegetables as I usually do, keeping in mind
those garden goodies that I knew would be forthcoming. I wanted to take full advantage of the fresh stuff while it's in season.

One thing I've been doing with the yellow squash is grilling it. I slice it 1-1½-inches thick then drizzle a little oil on both sides. I grill it over medium heat until it has good grill marks on it and it's tender crisp. It is absolutely delicious!

Another way I've been preparing the fresh
green beans is to stir-fry them in a little oil until they show a little brown color and are tender crisp. I sprinkle on about a ½ teaspoon of sugar and soy sauce to taste. Stir until the sugar dissolves and serve immediately.

I grilled yellow squash, stir-fried green beans and grilled country style pork ribs tonight and Lamar and I almost hurt ourselves. I wish you all could have tasted it and I hope you'll try the squash and green beans prepared that way.

My mother in law, Lida tells me that the corn is still a few weeks from being ready but I'll be glad when it's ready for grilling,
frying, steaming and just generally any way it can be eaten.

One hint I can share about freezing corn you probably will shake your head and think, "That's silly and it'll never work!" But
I promise it will. I freeze whole ears in the shucks, just like it comes from the field or garden. The shucks prevent freezer burn and keep it from drying out. The corn is much better quality than the traditional method of shucking the corn and blanching it then freezing it. I put several ears into a plastic grocery sack, tie it up, then put that bag in another and tie it up. Then I put the grocery bags of corn in a large heavy garbage bag and put it in the freezer.

When I'm ready to cook the corn, I take out the amount of ears I need then retie the bags. I thaw the corn under cold running water just enough to peel back the shucks and desilk them, then break or cut off the shucks. Trim the top of the ears if needed, then boil or grill, or thaw completely and cut off the cob for whole kernel or cream style corn.

It may sound like a lot of trouble but it's not, and it's totally worth the little effort you put into it. It beats all that blanching and bagging at one time and you have a better product in the end. It tastes like it's fresh from the garden.

I gave away squash and green beans today, and I still have both in the fridge. I gave Cecil and Sue squash when they were here Tuesday, plus cucumbers. The rest of the cucumbers I used to make my Kosher dill
pickles and my homemade refrigerator pickles.

Dawn asked for a picture of my pickles, so here it is. The 3 jars in the middle are quart jars of small Kosher dills. Those are mine! I like the little bitty ones that still have the bloom attached. As my Mama would say, they're still cryin' for their mamas, LOL. ;D

The two big containers on either side are gallon jugs of homemade refrigerator pickles. These are Lamar's and Jessica's favorites. The jug on the left is slices only, and the jug on the right has whole cucumbers in the bottom and slices on top. I keep these in the fridge because they aren't sealed. The containers are recycled gallon birdseed containers that I scalded and washed. I like glass gallon jugs for these but they're getting harder to come by in these days of plastic and they're much heavier and more breakable, so my recycled containers work just fine for this.

The refrigerator pickles will be ready in about a week for full flavor and the Kosher dills will be ready to eat in about 2 or 3 weeks. Of course you can eat any of these anytime before then but they won't be at peak flavor.

As I get more cucumbers and other produce we'll eat as much as we're able, freeze, pickle and can some and share some with others.

Since Jessica and Jason don't have internet access I'll be out of pocket for most of Friday and Saturday. As far as I know I'll be back home to do my Sunday Dinner post sometime Saturday evening but it may be late by the time I get it posted. I won't be leaving until sometime Friday afternoon so I'll be making the rounds, reading and commenting on my buddies' blogs until I have to leave.

I still have to pack for my overnight trip to Jessica's so I'll post this and wish everyone a Happy Friday and a wonderful weekend.

Blessings to all,


Jen said...

enjoy Friday and Saturday

i enjoyed all the photos

Jen and family said...

Daniel is sitting on my knee he saw the photo of Emmy and said "Baby!"

Lyndy said...

Now Lamar is not a bit taken with that baby now is he. (lol) It is so sweet seeing how he looks at her.

Looks like you had a busy day canning.

Have fun Friday and kiss that sweet Emmy for me.

Love and Hugs, Lyndy

Dawn said...

Thanks for showing the pictures of your labors. I'm with you on the tiny pickles - only I like them even smaller than that! Love your momma's saying.

I'll gladly split the difference with you on the temps. Hoping for better weather today - the wind has finally died down.

This trip to Minnesota is that - a trip, a visit - definitely not a vacation! I'm glad I had my Georgia vacation. But you're right, I'll need another one when I get back.

Sounds like a fun Saturday day for you - have a great time with Emmy all by yourself.

mombo said...

The food sounds WONDERFUL! What time's supper? And that baby - wooftie she's a beauty! I really mean it - so bright eyed. You can smooch her for me, too. One of these days I'll get one of those for myself. Then watch out! Such smoochin' you've never seen!

"Early Bird" said...

How I wish I had a deep freeze...maybe some day...I mean you can just do so much with one as you've just brought forth!
Baby Emmy is a little doll and I know you are going to be having a great time with her this weekend!
Love & Hugs to YOU!!

Greeneyes said...

OH Diane!!!!!
You made my week , Thank you , you are such a wonderful person ! I can smell that sweet baby sugar from here , my heart is melting !!LOL
I will drink it in !!! I do copy some of your pics hope you dont mind , and for certain this will be one , everyone looks so happy and full of love , wonderful pics , she even got her eyes open , yahhh she is adorable !!!!!!!
HUGS and sugar right back and lots of love . Thanks Diane , BSH just for you , with sugar of course LOL
Love you ..
PS You can hardly tell from the pic of lamar and Emmy that she has him wrapped around her little finger already !!!hahahahah He will never be the same !!!!!


Connie said...

I just have to tell you that Jessica and Emmy look so cute in their pictures together. Thanks for making me smile.


Linda said...

It sounds like a wonderful two days. I agree that it's lots easier for you to go to Emmy than for her and her "stuff" to come to you!!
Your pickles look so good!! I appreciate that tip about freezing the corn. It makes perfect sense.
Enjoy your time with the girls Diane.

Barb said...

Such a pretty baby. Awake, asleep, yawning, smiling...she's just so sweet. Jessica's looking great too!

As a matter of fact, you all look good. Almost as good as those pickles! LOL

Enjoy your weekend with the kids. I know you treasure time with that precious baby.

Talk to you again on Sunday.

Granny said...

Emmy is getting cuter by the minute.

Wow, you've been busy what with the picking, canning, freezing.

I'll have to try your idea with the corn. It's not quite in season here yet. They have it in the store but it will be cheaper soon.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Brenda said...

I believe I've never seen a sappier looking Grandma. LOL

Emmy is absolutely beautiful!

Susie said...

Enjoy your time with Emmy. I love to see the pictures of her and can tell how she's growing!
The tip on the corn is one I've never heard. I'll have to try it when corn is more in season (two or three weeks I think?)
I may be doing some picking if all those blossoms on my cucumbers turn into fruit!!

Dick said...

Grandkids are such fun and your photos are great. We are close to being ready to head off on our first trip with the new motorhome. I can hardly wait and hope Pat will like it as well as I do.

Rachel said...

What truly wonderful pictures!! She sure does enjoy the sugar! Just look at that sweet face when you are kissing her!! Just adorable!!

The corn tip I have heard before! I learned something about corn recently too. If you put a ear in the microwave for 4 minutes and you put it in with the shuck still on. Then when you get it out it will be slightly cooked and the silks every one just come off with no problem. The worse problem is that it's so hot you can't hardly touch it at first so you have to let it cool a bit, but it is quick and good that way too. Just watch those fingers!! I love that fact that it takes every silk off so easily.

Oh, I loved what your Mom used to say about the little cucumbers!! How cute!!!

Have a wonderful Sunday Diane!!!

Hugs to you!!!

Myrna said...

Well, you're just a barrel of information about freezin' and cannin' and all! I have never tried that corn-in-the-shucks freezing, but I have heard others talk about how good the corn is when frozen that way. May have to try it.

That little girl is really growing up already1 Such pretty, bright eyes. I know you are lovin' being with her.

Mountain Mama said...

LOL! I got so carried away looking at all the pictures of you and Emmy and Jessica and all that I forgot to read your post! Had to go back and do that.
Well the recipes sound really good. I wish I had fresh green beans from my garden and I'd try your recipe with sugar and soy sauce. However all we have right now are from Mexico or California and they are so stringy and woody they are nearly impossible to eat. My bean plants are just beginning to ger runners so at least I will have some eventually!
The pickles sure look good too. I can't eat much salt so until I can find a 'good' recipe that takes very little I can't have them. DANG!
I have to say the pictures of Lamar, you Jessica and all, with baby Emmy are just adorable. You all have such love in your faces, even little Emmy! It sure is easy to see that you are a very close family. You are so blessed.

Hope you are having a wonderful week-end.

Judith said...

Loved all the pics. My favorite though, was Mom and Baby together.
Amazing, that bonding thing.

And thanks for that great idea about how to freeze corn. I leave it as God made it, when cooking it in the microwave, and shuck it later.

Sorry I haven't been much in touch. This working life sure interferes with living.