I can’t believe it’s been a week since the North Dakota State Fair opened. I think we are still catching up on housework, gardening, etc. I keep waiting for a rainy day so I can take the time to blog, but those days are…never. We haven’t had rain since July 5th and we are burning up here. Yesterday was cool and cloudy and rain threatened several times, but as usual, nothing came out of it.
We did very well at the fair! We took our open class entries on Thursday to Minot and between the two of us scored thirty blue ribbons which equals thirty 4 lb bags of sugar. I also won first in a category which included a 50 lb bag of flour and second in another, garnering a 25 lb bag there. Overall, we are very happy with our results in open class. We entered the Fleischmann’s ‘Make Your Best Sandwich’ competition and baked on Thursday when we returned home from entering open class as well as getting up early on Friday to get it all assembled and/or bake again. My son created a ‘Dog-gone good pizza sandwich’ and I invented a ‘Cluckin’ Good time Time’ chicken sandwich. I won first prize which includes a cash prize of $150 plus an apron and now my recipe goes to the national contest for a chance at $1000. My son won honorable mention, $25, and an apron, too-something he’s ‘thrilled’ at. : ) I collect aprons so I am very thrilled! Here’s a pic of us that day as well as our presentations:
Besides baking, we have been really busy canning everything that doesn’t run away from us: zucchini relish, rhubarb based jams (strawberry, raspberry and cherry), potatoes, and green beans. We froze peas and broccoli together to enjoy in stir-fry this winter, and I’m still freezing one bag a day of raspberries. It’s not much, but I have to keep picking them for as long as I can. The garden is doing ok, but I’m not watering as much as I’d like; since our ‘cow-tastorphe’ (see last blog) we are cutting down on water usage to try to alleviate the pain of that bill coming up. I only water once a week now and so my veggies aren’t doing as well as they could/should. We planted more beets and they are a few inches tall already. Yesterday we harvested two rows of red potatoes; they aren’t necessarily ready, but we are going to can the heck out of them now before school starts. We put up (that’s farm talk for processed/canned) only fourteen quarts; I want to get another twenty-one in by next week. The potatoes are small and difficult to peel we discovered. Last night we had baby potatoes, roasted chicken, and cabbage slaw-everything came from our farm. What a tasty meal! Tonight we’re grilling the rest of the babies (the really tiny ones we didn’t want to peel) and we can’t wait. Yummm!
You may think 30 bags of sugar is a lot, but I went through eight from Monday-Wednesday and wish I had another four, so I am certain these 30 bags won’t last long around here. Next week is serious canning week; I am making Nanking cherry syrup, more rhubarb concoctions, potatoes, and whatever else comes our way. It’s the last week in July (sob) and school is looming in the horizon. On Wednesday we did our first farmers’ market in Bowdon and did well. I think I’ll only get a few more of those in before school starts.
Our female cat, LaBamba, had kittens; their dad is also their grandpa. Nice. She found a good, safe, hiding spot in the hayloft and so far they are still alive. With our females, it’s a crapshoot. Looks like there are two grey ones and two black based ones. We don’t know if they have three legs, five eyes, or whatever genetic defect results when your dad is your boyfriend yet; we’ll check that out next week so stay tuned.