Category Archives: From the Garden

Instant Pot: Greens from the Garden

One of my all-time favorite things is greens from the garden.  This year I planted spinach and swiss chard.  Both work great for this recipe.  I’ve made this with canned greens and it’s good that way too but the game is completely upped with fresh greens.

Kramer’s mom made something like this and I loved it.  I went on to make it and introduce it to our kids.  As per usual, I don’t have a “real” recipe but this is what it looks like…and trust me, it’s GREAT!!

I cut half-frozen bacon into little bits as shown.  I chopped a medium onion and added that too.  I fried it on the saute setting on my Instant Pot.

Then I put 3/4 of a cup of chicken broth into the pot.  I added some salt and pepper and a tablespoon of ham-flavored boullion.

While that was cooking I cleaned …
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My Raspberries

Not long ago I posted a picture on Instagram of the raspberries I had just picked from my garden.
After the picture was posted I had several people ask me questions about my raspberries.

I thought I’d answer them and then give you a recipe for a cake I made.

Kramer and I planted four raspberry plants along the back of our garage about four years ago.  We planted some asparagus on one end and horseradish on the other.

It’s all the “ugly” things that we like but make the garden look not so great.  This is the west side of the building.

Raspberries are just not pretty plants.  They are hard to weed and spread.  I don’t love them for that…but I do love the berries.  So putting them on the backside of the garage was a perfect place for them.  They are hidden from the front of the house and only visible from the alley behind the house.

The raspberries have been prolific this year.  I thought they wouldn’t be as Karl cut them way back last fall when Buck, Karl, and Craig shingled my garage.  Then this spring they got trampled again when the garage got sided…but nope.  This year they have produced more than ever.

I picked what you saw in the first picture along with three more of those containers.  I picked the half-gallon you see in the picture above and I have another half-gallon or more that needs to be picked.

I’m thinking there will be another batch to pick next week too.  Previously I had only picked about a half-gallon altogether.  This was their year!!

I’ve never really worried about how to use raspberries before but this year I’ve had to.  I shared a recipe for Chocolate Chip Raspberry Cupcakes on Saturday.  Find the recipe HERE if you missed it.

On this day I tried my Blueberry Zucchini Cake only put raspberries in instead.  You can find the recipe HERE.

The kids were so happy to have cake for a snack.  Typically I’m a little better at serving them something more healthy, but I figured they helped pick the raspberries so this was a great way for rewarding them.

Here is Carver anticipating his first bite.

I really liked the cake.  It’s a moist dense cake almost like a banana bread texture only moister.  It is tart so you might want to serve ice cream with it.

Feel free to pass some more raspberry recipes my way.  I think I might need them.

Time in the Garden

I told you that I had a couple of days off last week.  I didn’t want a big vacation or even time away.  All I wanted was to finish up some projects at home…mainly the garden and landscaping.

For a long time, I had a flower garden in front of my regular vegetable garden.  The garden always looked unkept.  I was just never happy with it.  I’d weed the veggies and then get pooped out and not weed the flowers.

I had a goal to do something different.

I ended up making the flower garden much smaller.  It’s about 1/3 of what it was.  Part me was sad but I gave away so many of the plants and I saw how happy people were with the gift that it made it all totally worth it.  I can’t wait for it all to fill out and be glorious.

See the little plants along the front? Continue reading

Starting Plants

I plan on having a garden this year. Karl said that he’d be interested in helping.  I’ve had a garden here ever since we moved here and I had a garden for several years when we lived on the farm.

I enjoy gardening.  I had really hoped to have raised beds built this year but alas.  I don’t think that is going to happen.  I was talking to Buck about it and he said that lumber price is crazy high so it might be better to wait a year with the hope that prices might come down.

So, I started making plans for this year’s garden.  I was talking with Karl and I said that getting plants at the nursery got so expensive and then last year everything was so picked over.  Karl said that he thought we should start our own plants.  Well I didn’t want to go through the whole grow light process as then I wondered at the price of electricity and the price of starter packs, do you really save anything?

So I decided to just start some seeds on my own.  I wanted to do it as inexpensively as possible.  I ended up relooking at food containers.  Karl gets these when he buys chicken tenders from the convenience store.  I started saving them.
I cut the two pieces apart.

I am putting dirt in the top clear part and then setting that inside the bottom part.  You can see the holes, they will let the excess water drain away.  There are no holes in the bottom black part so that will hold the excess water.

I bought the 20 cent pack of cabbage seeds from Walmart and started them in a similar container.  Look at them.  I’m going to have to replant these in different containers soon.  Oh my, I never dreamed that 20 cent pack of seeds would germinate so well.  That is WAY more cabbage than I can ever eat…or have space for.

I started Morning Glories from the 20 cent pack too.

In the past, I have bought morning glory seedlings.  They were $1.50 for a pack that had three plants in it.  Last year I made a trip to the nursery and they were out.  Darn.  I ended up telling Karl if he was out and about to pick up two plants.  OH MY WORD.  Karl had do idea they were annuals.  He had no idea how much they should cost.  It was $9.95 a plant.  Granted they were huge but I would not have purchased them.

I took that container and split it into four containers.  They are in my kitchen window now.  I’ll have to give them something to climb before long.  If it was last year’s morning glory price that would mean I have $39 worth of morning glory plants in my window.

I typically buy seedlings of Zucchini and Summer Squash.  This year, I’m not.  I started seedlings the same way.  I have a divided container this time.  I put yellow summer square in one, zucchini in another, and butternut squash in the large section.

This was all going so well that I started peas too.

I don’t have more window space so I set the two containers outdoors.  They will act as a greenhouse…or at least that is my thoughts.  I planted lettuce into the long container.  I will thin what comes up and plant it in the garden.  We need to till it first.

I’ll start some other in the next couple of days.

I have a neighbor just a few houses down that has the most amazing garden.  It always is perfectly manicured.  The garden always seems like it is three weeks earlier than mine.  I could never figure out what I was doing wrong.  Then two years ago the neighbor stopped by and had a bucket of seed started.  All of the plants in the bucket were about an inch high.  I asked what it was and he said, “Radishes.”  Well, I never knew anyone planted them early in a bucket, then transplanted them.  He said they do that all the time.

Well, that’s what got me wanting to start seeds that aren’t traditional early start seeds.  So this week I’ll start radishes, beets and swiss chard with the hope they will be up and ready to plant once the garden is tilled.

I’m super excited…maybe I’ll have a cheaper bill at the nursery this year and maybe, just maybe, my garden will look a little bit better….and if this all goes well, maybe I’ll get brave and start tomato plants and pepper plants next year.

I’ll let you know it all goes…