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Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

Keeping busy in garden & kitchen

Friday, July 20, 2012

Zucchini, cabbage, peas, kohlrabi, beans, peppers, cucumbers and potatoes are being brought into our kitchen on a daily basis. My husband is out pedaling beans to non-gardeners at this very minute. We do not have an excess of any of the rest of those vegetables yet. Our area, like so many around us, is in desperate need of rain. The weatherman promises a chance for rain almost daily. Clouds appear, then disappear without leaving any moisture behind them. The corn is tasseling, but the leaves are beginning to roll up. Our prayers are that within a week the redeeming rains will fall.

The rains not only help the field and garden crops but, in our case, helps entice our out-of-state families to come home. There is nothing that draws the adults and kids back to Iowa like knowing the sweet corn is ready. We would not have to serve anything but corn on the cob for a meal and all would be satisfied. We tell about my niece's husband during a visit to Iowa. It was time to set out breakfast. Grandma asked Ward what he would like. She offered bacon and eggs or waffles. He asked if she had any of the corn they had eaten the night before. She did. That is what he wanted and that is what she served him.

Grandson Charlie phoned his grandpa the night before we were coming to Kansas to visit. "Grandpa, we don't have any more pickles. Would you bring us another jar, PLEEEEASE?" he begged. He and his little sister love the refrigerator pickles grandpa makes every year. We were down to the last pint, but Grandpa didn't want to disappoint them, so the pickles went along to Kansas. Charlie and his dad don't have much room in their back yard but they did find a place to put in 3 hills of cucumbers this year. He hopes to make some of grandpa's pickles for himself. Meantime, his grandpa plans to make twice as many gallon jars of them this year as last, but he must wait for those rains to come and multiply the cucumbers he has to harvest.

We have a few bags of peas and beans frozen for use this winter. Some of the zucchini is already made into jam. We found a recipe in the local paper for Zucchini-Pineapple jam. It sounded good so a batch was made up. Once it was rated as very good, we went to paste the recipe in our personal cookbook, Roder Family Favorites. Oops. We were pasting it right below my mother-in-law's recipe which was exactly the same. We should have checked her book first.

Recently I decided to do a little baking so I would have something to take along when visiting a friend who is home recovering from surgery. Since my husband doesn't like me in the kitchen when he is working there, I did it while he was spending his usual two early morning hours in the garden. By the time he got back home I had two loaves of apple bread cooling on the cupboard. As soon as it was cool enough, I glazed it. Of course I had to take a taste of it to be sure it was good enough to give away. I took a slice from one loaf and gave it my approval. Then I wrapped that loaf and put it into the freezer for use when our sons and their families pay us their usual Sunday morning visit. I wrapped the other and let it sit out on the counter ready to take to my friend. I guess I should have put a note on it: DO NOT EAT IF YOU VALUE YOUR LIFE. That is what I did when I made something reserved for guests when the kids were still living at home. But I didn't and I left it unguarded.

I was working in my office when my spouse called to me, "Hey, this bread is really good." That meant that loaf, too, was now partially eaten. It's back to the kitchen for me at six tomorrow morning. I'll be baking while he is at the farm watering his vegetable garden.

By Mary S. Roder
Musing With Mary