Friday The 13th-some Scary Stuff!

I cannot believe it’s been two weeks since I last blogged. Time is zipping by!

Well, the kuchen contest was a success; we all received first and second in our age divisions…only because no one else entered! So, to see how it stacks up against competition, I entered it in the Stutsman County Fair in Jamestown. I am happy to report that out of six in the category, my blueberry kuchen earned first place. Overall, my son and I did very well at both Foster and Stutsman County Fairs, earning some money to pay for canning supplies, an apron (which I collect), 3 lbs of honey, lots of yeast, and additional cash prizes. We are starting to bake on Sunday for the North Dakota State Fair-entry day is Thursday and boy, are we excited! Here is the kuchen at the contest, courtesy of Judy Keller from Carrington news:

Don’t think I was lounging around like a slacker these past two weeks. Besides baking for the two fairs, we also picked juneberries and Nanking cherries.  Four of us picked for 4 1/2 hours and gathered nine gallons of juneberries and four gallons of Nanking cherries. We were hot and tired when we finished! However, we immediately washed and froze them flat, then vacuum sealed them for later use. Juneberry pies can’t be beat, and I will be making cherry syrup and butter…yum. Here’s a pic of our hard work:

Here is a pic of juneberry pie

After that hard work, I treated my son and his cousins to a few days of fun in Minnesota; we went to Cascade Water Park in Eagen, MN, and Valleyfair in Shakopee. It was fun to hang out with my sisters and relax in the water since it’s been so darn hot this summer! I can’t complain; my garden has never looked better and is being very good to me.

Today we harvested all the beets and made beet pickles. Usually I leave the tops on the ground to act as mulch, but this year I decided to use the tops as mulch around the string bean plants. They droop and fall over, often breaking at the base. I shored them up with the beet tops and now they have support as well as mulch cover! I always use straw around the beans so they are never dirty when you pick them. I hate picking beans which have dirt on them, and if it rains, it splashes up on them and makes a big mess.  Speaking of beans, my garden cat, Sherbert, (the one I’ve spoken about in earlier posts) was naughty today. I pulled a beet out of the ground and left two smaller ones to grow some more. Sherbert saw that nice hole and decided that was a great place to pee. Yuck! I still have beets to pull there! After I swatted him away and covered the hole, he went to lay on my beans. Of course. He is like a bull in a china shop. I shooed him off of the beans, and lo and behold, discovered I had some beans to pick! Had he not been laying on them, I would never have noticed them until they were big and stringy. Back to the beets; I have never done this, but tomorrow I am actually going to plant another crop of beets. I planted these in early June and harvested them in mid-July, so if I start these tomorrow, I should have another crop by early September. I make a lot of beet pickles and thought I had planted enough, but realized I need more. Wish me luck!

The raspberries are bearing! Yeah! So far I’m only getting a pound a day, but I think they will pick up here and should be getting three-four pounds shortly. My freezers are getting full and it’s a good problem.

My dog stinks. Literally. My husband hid a dead skunk in the manure pile so Daisy wouldn’t find it, but guess what-she did. Not only did she find it, she obviously pulled it out and rolled in it many, many times. She smells so badly I can’t get near her. The stench of death and manure are NOT a good combination. Tomorrow my son is going to tie her up and wash her. She loves water unless it’s directed at her along with soap. Too bad. Dan is going to dump that thing far, far away or up in a tree-whichever comes first.

Break time is over; time to get back to work. I’m washing the spinach and am going to dry half of it and freeze the other half. I’m too cheap to buy the store dried spinach to make dips when I have a garden full of it. Enjoy the weekend!