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January & February 2020 - Northern and Central Midwest

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/1/2020, 5:39 pm

Well Happy New Year, SFG’ers!  Here we are in a new decade, and I am excited to dig into some catalogs in the coming weeks!  

As I speak, my new Instant Pot is cooking up the last of my Yukon Gold taters, along with some kraut and ribs, can’t wait to try it!  Might get me into a pressure canner, lol.  My kids got it for me for Christmas, total surprise!  

Will keep you posted!

What does 2020 bring for you all?
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Post  countrynaturals on 1/1/2020, 7:38 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:What does 2020 bring for you all?
A bigger garden with deer fencing and BLUEBERRIES! (I hope, I hope.) bounce
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/1/2020, 8:46 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:What does 2020 bring for you all?
A bigger garden with deer fencing and BLUEBERRIES! (I hope, I hope.) bounce
Oooo, I will love to hear of the blueberry venture.  I think they are hard to sustain and make perpetual around here.  Love them!
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/6/2020, 6:14 pm

Instant Pot= BIG win!  Ribs were fall off the bone tender, also made a big batch of beef stroganoff, also very yummy, and one pot to wash??!!!

So today I opened one of the catalogs, and realized I have to go through and cull the seeds that either I
A.  Don’t like 
B.  Are too old
C.  OK, there are only 2 categories...

And then figure out how much space I have and when!!!  Love planning❤
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Post  sanderson on 1/11/2020, 2:41 am

Note to self: Never read the Forum when you are trying an all-plant diet. The Instant-pot sounds so delicious during the cold weather!

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Post  OhioGardener on 1/11/2020, 7:41 am

@sanderson wrote:Note to self:  Never read the Forum when you are trying an all-plant diet.  The Instant-pot sounds so delicious during the cold weather!

lol! 

You wouldn't believe how great the Instant Pot cooks up barbecue ribs!  Or, for that matter, Ham & Beans Soup.....   Very Happy
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/11/2020, 11:26 am

I know, OG, I love that thing!  The flavor is off the charts.  

Sanderson, I give you props, I don’t think I could do it all the time, as far as plant-based diet.  I can do a few days at a time, but revert back to my old ways.

Weirdly warm here, rainy.  Reminds me of the blizzard of ‘78 weather before the cold front hit!  

Trying to figure out my space.
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Post  CitizenKate on 1/17/2020, 12:55 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:
What does 2020 bring for you all?

Well, they finally let me out of the pressure cooker at my day job, last month, and it's looking like I might have enough time and energy to do some gardening this year.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/17/2020, 9:05 pm

So glad you are back, CK!  Welcome!  Hankering for anything in particular for the upcoming season?  Missed ya!   January & February 2020 - Northern and Central Midwest 3170584802
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Post  CitizenKate on 1/17/2020, 10:16 pm

Likewise, SR, I've missed you and my other SFG forum friends, and glad to be back. Thanks so much for the hearty welcome.

In the 2018 growing season, I didn't do much, but I did fill an entire box with milkweed to see how many Monarch butterflies I could attract. I got some interesting results from that, that I intend to post here, sometime.

I also raised some tabasco peppers and used them to make a fermented hot sauce similar to what McGIlhenny & Co. does, but on a smaller scale, and more of a 6 week time frame (rather than 3 years). It turned out great, so I'm itching to pick up where I left off with that.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/20/2020, 4:59 pm

Yum!  I have like 6 different hot sauces at any given time.  They all have something different to bring to the table (literally)!  My go-tos are Frank’s and Tabasco original.

I have a dedicated area by my pool pump and air conditioner that I plant stuff for butterflies, and have allowed it to naturalize in with milkweed.  Love it!
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Post  CitizenKate on 1/21/2020, 11:01 pm

I've tried making sambal oelek - Asian pepper jam - and what I made was not bad, but nothing like the commercial product. That stuff has an amazing flavor. I must find their secret!

I also love Cholula sauce, of hispanic origins - that too has an amazing flavor. I haven't made an effort to replicate it so far, but it's on my list.

Tabasco sauce is my gold standard. That's what I've been trying to focus on with my recent efforts. My first batch of pepper mash produced a really nice balance of flavors. It was a really lucky first result, because, you know, I have no [bleep]ing idea what I'm actually doing.   Laughing
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/22/2020, 6:18 pm

@CitizenKate wrote:I've tried making sambal oelek - Asian pepper jam - and what I made was not bad, but nothing like the commercial product. That stuff has an amazing flavor. I must find their secret!

I also love Cholula sauce, of hispanic origins - that too has an amazing flavor. I haven't made an effort to replicate it so far, but it's on my list.

Tabasco sauce is my gold standard. That's what I've been trying to focus on with my recent efforts. My first batch of pepper mash produced a really nice balance of flavors. It was a really lucky first result, because, you know, I have no [bleep]ing idea what I'm actually doing.   Laughing
Oooo!  I love Cholula also, and their garlic version is amazing on chicken and eggs.  

I made jalapeño jelly 2 summers ago..not very hot (I chickened out and took the seeds out—mistake!). My jalapeños are much hotter than store bought, and I freaked a little and bailed on the recipe.  Live and learn!  Still have one jar of that left.

This summer I made Cowboy Candy—beautiful candied jalapeños both red and green!  Ca’t wait to try some on crackers with cream cheese—sounds like what I’m trying this weekend...lol
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Post  CitizenKate on 1/23/2020, 9:14 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:
Oooo!  I love Cholula also, and their garlic version is amazing on chicken and eggs.  

I made jalapeño jelly 2 summers ago..not very hot (I chickened out and took the seeds out—mistake!). My jalapeños are much hotter than store bought, and I freaked a little and bailed on the recipe.  Live and learn!  Still have one jar of that left.

This summer I made Cowboy Candy—beautiful candied jalapeños both red and green!  Ca’t wait to try some on crackers with cream cheese—sounds like what I’m trying this weekend...lol

A friend of mine I worked with brought some jalapeño jelly for me to try, once. I couldn't quite wrap my brain around why a sweet jam could taste good with hot peppers in it. But when I tried it, I totally got it, it was delicious. Never heard of Cowboy Candy before, but it sounds tasty!

Here are some photos of the experiment I did with making tabasco sauce in 2018. For my first try at it, I was really happy with the results.

This was done with some fully ripened jalapenos added, since one of my two tabasco pepper plants was under-producing.
January & February 2020 - Northern and Central Midwest Proces10

Seeds and all...
January & February 2020 - Northern and Central Midwest Proces11

The mash went into fermentation for six weeks with a 2% brine and some toasted oak chips.
January & February 2020 - Northern and Central Midwest Proces12

Before squeezing the juice out of the mash, I mixed in some vinegar - I think it was a couple tablespoons of it into that pint of mash.
January & February 2020 - Northern and Central Midwest Proces13

January & February 2020 - Northern and Central Midwest Proces14
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/24/2020, 7:41 pm

Looks time intensive!  Were you happy with the result, Kate?
 
What happened to the other stuff?


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 1/24/2020, 7:42 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Other stuff)
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Post  CitizenKate on 1/24/2020, 9:42 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Looks time intensive!  Were you happy with the result, Kate?
 
What happened to the other stuff?
It takes time, but not really that time intensive, as far as needing attention. Once you mince up the mash and put it in the jar, it just sits there for weeks without requiring any attention. Then about 30 minutes extracting the liquid from the mash into the jars.

For my first try at it, I was very happy with the result. For what little effort I made, it was surprisingly close to the commercial product. They don't make any secret of how they make this sauce, by the way. I think that's because most people don't have the patience to ferment the mash for 3 years.



I wanted to try to replicate the process of fermenting the mash in oak barrels, the way McGIlhenny does, as best I could. But since oak barrels are not practical for a home gardener, I visited my local brewing supply store and got some toasted oak chips to mix into the mash to give it the same natural oak-fermented flavor. That worked pretty well, you could taste it. But I think there's a reason they ferment their mash as long as they do. Mine didn't have quite the depth that the commercial product has. On my next try, I'll probably give it more time for fermentation.

Do you mean by "the other stuff", the pulp? For that batch, I just discarded it. Then afterwards, I wondered if it might make a good topping on my next batch of hummus. Next time I try this, I might give that a try.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/25/2020, 11:18 pm

Interesting, yes, I meant the mash I guess!  We got snow today, haven’t had much yet this year.
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Post  sanderson on 1/25/2020, 11:18 pm

Kate, Can you make a new thread showing your tobasco process? I don't want it to get buried. Thank you

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Post  CitizenKate on 1/27/2020, 9:01 pm

@sanderson wrote:Kate,  Can you make a new thread showing your tobasco process?  I don't want it to get buried.  Thank you  
Done.  :-)
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/2/2020, 9:50 am

Groundhog Day, sunny here finally; Punxsutawney Phil emerged at 7:28 and did NOT see his shadow, early Spring predicted!  Yay!  

I bought a 48” round galvanized fire ring at TSC yesterday with my 15% discount coupon, plan to fill and plant this round foot garden this year!  Also getting ready first to site my cold frame.  Excited to use that method finally.  

Doing some research into an asparagus bed.  I love asparagus, and see all the lovely sprigs you guys eat on here!
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Post  OhioGardener on 2/2/2020, 10:05 am

Sounds great, SR!  Fire rings make excellent beds for perennials like Rhubarb and Asparagus. They are easy to keep clean, easy to harvest from, and the open bottom allows the roots to grow as deep as they want.

January & February 2020 - Northern and Central Midwest Imag3617
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Post  countrynaturals on 2/2/2020, 10:32 am

@OhioGardener wrote:Sounds great, SR!  Fire rings make excellent beds for perennials like Rhubarb and Asparagus. They are easy to keep clean, easy to harvest from, and the open bottom allows the roots to grow as deep as they want.

January & February 2020 - Northern and Central Midwest Imag3617
Beautiful, OG. Do you have a video tour of your gardens posted anywhere?
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Post  OhioGardener on 2/2/2020, 10:47 am

@countrynaturals wrote:
@OhioGardener wrote:Beautiful, OG. Do you have a video tour of your gardens posted anywhere?

No, but that does sound like a great idea!  I will try to make one after everything is up and growing.  I made one last summer of the flower gardens, but never thought of making one of the vegetable gardens.

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Post  countrynaturals on 2/2/2020, 11:41 am

@OhioGardener wrote:
@countrynaturals wrote:
@OhioGardener wrote:Beautiful, OG. Do you have a video tour of your gardens posted anywhere?

No, but that does sound like a great idea!  I will try to make one after everything is up and growing.  I made one last summer of the flower gardens, but never thought of making one of the vegetable gardens.

Nice! I remember watching that one last year. Looking forward to the veggie video this season. I never get tired of looking at OPGs (Other People's Gardens). I love you
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Post  OhioGardener on 2/2/2020, 3:59 pm

Let the gardening season begin! Today I planted onion seeds so that the transplants will be ready to go into the garden in mid-April.

January & February 2020 - Northern and Central Midwest Onion_13
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