Sunday, August 21, 2011

True Confessions

Want to know a secret?  I have a confession to make.  I wanted to keep it a secret, but it's been going on so long now, I just can't hide it any longer.

I haven't been gardening.  Nope.  Not at all.  I go outside for perhaps 15 minutes a day.  Total.  And I only do that to walk around, take pictures, and refresh the hummingbird feeders.  No pulling weeds.  No new beds being created.  No vegetable gardening.

What could make an obsessed gardener stay inside all day?  The heat!

Tufa Girl posted about it today.  100 degrees at 9:00 p.m.  Lows in the mid-80's.  Highs way too high.  95 degrees feels cool!  Who wants to go outside and work in this heat?  Who wants to see the garden in this shape?  Not I!

So, I've been doing what Hanni has been doing.  Canning.

Apricot butter in the making.

It's thrilling to see the jars lined up on the pantry shelves.  Yum.

Tomatoes, peas

My vegetable garden burned up, so I've been getting most of my vegetables from the local farmers market.  The markets here stay open through October.

Pickled okra

It's addicting.  And so rewarding!

Blueberry jam - it's fabulous!

I have a goal of canning enough vegetables to last us through Christmas.

I even canned a few potatoes!

Will I make it?  I don't know, but the longer this heat continues, the closer I get!


  1. That is a lot of work and I can't even think about cooking in this heat. I've been only cooking things that take a very short period of time. Congratulations though on all your canning. Everything looks fantastic.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. WOW!!! That's a lot of canning!! I guess your new motto is, "If you can't take the heat, get INTO the kitchen." Ha! The heat is getting to me...had to write a song about it :-) "The Heat Goes On"

  3. You're doing the only thing we here in Texas can do - go out early for a stroll through the garden and then retreat indoors for the rest of the day. All your canned things look delicious! It's great that you know how to do that.

  4. I was wanting to start my fall gardening. I live in zone 9 south of Houston. It is so hot though I don't even know if anything will even grow. Weeds are doing good

  5. I read Tufa's post and would not feel like gardening either. Amazingly, we got rain today and the temp right now is 64° at 8:30 pm. What a relief after weeks of no appreciable rain. Your pantry looks like a country store. What goodies you have amassed. At least inside is cool, but I still would not want to be cooking or canning.

  6. That's a lot of jam! May be you should post the recepi for the jam! hahahaa...
    You have done a lot of canning job! thumb up to you!

  7. Oh, I'll bet you have enough to last through January -- at least for some of the veggies. Looks tasty!

  8. Wow, indeed. All the canning you're doing is awesome. I've never canned, but my Mom used to can and freeze peaches in California. It was great having them in the winter.

  9. Amazing that you have got so many bottles done during the heat. They look very impressive. I've never done canning and have yet to finish the bottle of fruit chutney I bought last Christmas.

    Thank you for sharing your canning secret. :)

  10. Canned potatoes? Girl, you need to patent it!!!

  11. Now, where are the recipes? ;-)

    Everything looks great, and it puts my measly two jars of blackberry jam to shame. It might cool you down that this summer - even before the last summer month is over - has entered the top-10 list of wettest summers in Denmark since records began in the 1850's... I'd rather enjoy a hot, sunny day!

  12. No wonder you are unable to work outside in that heat. Summer in my part of the world has been very poor, highest temperature was 72f but more often 60 with a number of days in the 50s. Very impressed with all that canned stuff, hope it gets a bit cooler soon.

  13. Cher - It does get hot and steamy! But it's so nice to have things already cooked in the cans.

    Toni - haha It's hot in the kitchen, but cooler than outside! I'm hoping the heat will go away soon - my garden needs weeding!

    Cottage Dome - Yes, I used to try to work through the heat, but I can't imagine doing that this year. It gets hot too early in the morning.

    Susan - Glad to meet another Texas gardener. I, too, need to start my fall garden. It's hard to believe it will ever get cool again! Isn't it amazing how the weeds are never fazed, unlike our prized plants.

    GWGT - Glad to hear it's getting cool somewhere. That gives me hope. Glad you're getting rain, too! We need some of that precious precipitation.

    Malar - I get all my recipes from books. I don't know much about canning, but I can follow instructions. Canning has been much more satisfying than I thought it would be.

    PlantPosting - We are already eating from our supply, so it won't last as long as one might think. Of course, the jams will last for a while!

    GirlSprout - This is really my first year to do much canning. I've tried not to freeze too much - there's already talk about brownouts and I would hate to have that hard work spoiled.

    One - They stack up pretty fast, and I know that the harvests won't last long, so I need to do it while I can. While I CAN - haha! ;)

    Tatyana - I haven't opened them, so I'm not certain how they'll turn out. But I suppose I can always make mashed potatoes from them. I know most people just put potatoes in a cool dark spot, but I always forget about them.

    flaneurgardening - I got the recipes from the Ball canning book. It's amazing how odd the weather has been this year all over. Records are being made - just in different ways.

    Alistair - I'm amazed how beautiful the blooms are in your garden with those cool temperatures. Those are our typical fall temperatures.

  14. We are getting torrential rains and more torrential rains. Good weather for canning too. Maybe I should try it.

  15. You will have lots to eat this winter. I freeze, dry, and make other dishes to freeze. My mother cans, but I have not tried it. Maybe I will give it a try. The heat can be a real party-pooper...when it comes to gardening.

  16. Carolyn - Your weather sounds much better for canning! Sounds like good weather for baking, too. Or just staying in bed!

    Sage Butterfly - I agree about the heat being a real party-pooper! I get pooped out from the heat just after about 10 minutes outside!

  17. Holy SMOKES! You are officially the Canning Queen! :)

  18. Hanni - haha I think you've got me beat on that!

  19. I've heard of canned potatoes but I've never seen anyone do it. Can you eat them straight out of the jar? do you warm them up or eat them cold?

  20. Marguerite - You can actually find canned potatoes in the store. They are cooked through, so they can be eaten cold or warmed up.

  21. My mind wandered at first on what possible confessions you will share, then i laughed. I am used to the metric system so computed first your 100F to Celsius which is only 37.8C! Why only? Because we get 39 sometimes during the dry season and that is coupled with high humidity which is more icky than the dry climes. Our annuals and weeds totally dry up and some trees die too! I am amused again with you so many canned bottles, as if there will be no more harvests coming, hahaha! But i appreciate people who are diligent in doing so, as we seldom do it because we want them fresh!

  22. Holley,
    WOW, what a canning job you had. I can see some good eating this winter. The blueberry jam looks very tempting.
    I completely understand staying in from the heat. Ouch. I start dodging the heat when it hits 75 let alone 100.
    Yael (Otherwise from Home Garden Diggers)

  23. Andrea - I feel for you and your 39 degrees! I agree about wanting the vegetables fresh, but in the winter, these will seem like fresh. You must be able to harvest fresh vegetables year round?

    Tokan - Thanks for stopping by!

    Yael - I am very proud of the blueberry jam - although I only followed a recipe! But you're right - it will taste so very good this winter.


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