Saturday, July 24, 2010

Garden update

Everything has gotten HUGE! At the beginning of the summer, I was afraid we wouldn't end up with any veggies. Now I'm wondering what we'll do with them all!

The tomatoes are knocking over their cages. We keep propping them back up, but it seems like a losing battle. We're going to be buried in tomatoes when these all turn ripe. And it's getting closer--as of this week, some of my cherry tomatoes are turning yellow/orange.

The first squash I've ever grown (!!!) with one more yellow squash and two zucchinis on their way.


Our second beet harvest (I missed getting pictures of the first one)

Busy week--been working on the house (who knew getting baseboards would be so exciting?), traveling to Huron twice for 4-H events, clothing swap on Thursday, and John went to an auction on Wednesday and got us an awesome loveseat (now more than 2 people can sit in our living room!)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Garden update!

Everything keeps getting bigger and taller! We've just been watering, and John dusted the brussel sprouts and beets with Sevin to keep the bugs away.

John also harvested our first beets and onion for dinner last Sunday! The beets were good, and the onion was little (but we were all out and he needed it for the pasta).

Turns out we just weren't looking hard enough for the Brandywine tomatoes. There are a bunch of them--just hidden down behind all the leaves.

We also overlooked these huge cucumbers until two days ago (were too excited over the pickle-sized one on the front of the plant to look any farther).

Our beans are doing great--and the squash is still doing okay. I'm concerned we may lose them all (again--UGH powdery mildew!).


Yesterday, we went to Downtown Sioux Falls, particularly the Market on Phillips, to check out their Crazy Days sale. John had fun getting wine, cheese from Italy, and a huge bottle of capers.

This was our after-shopping snack, enjoyed on their patio (John loooooved it, but next time, I want the cheese plate ;) )

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ice cream success!!

Honey Buttermilk Ice Cream with Homemade Strawberry Topping

Make it. Right now. Recipe at Eat Make Read.

Also--rode the whole bike path today. Great day for a ride and exactly what I needed after a harrowing morning at work.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Corn Palace

We were going to Mitchell to go to Cabela's, so I dragged John to the Corn Palace. It was kind of neat to see a building decorated with corn (though I think John is allergic to the whole deal), but the atmosphere was the best. There were cars in the parking lot from all over (New York, Missouri, Ohio) and big-time vacation feeling in the air. And they were playing "There's a Tear in my Beer" from one of the casinos on Main Street.

I offered to take pictures for a couple guys, and then they took one of us...somehow, acting like tourists made it feel like we were on vacation (instead of just an hour from our house)

After Cabela's, I was starving. John had heard good things about Chef Louie's Steakhouse, so we went there. I was expecting steak fries and maybe a pulled-pork sandwich...then I saw all the white tablecloths, the chandelier, the wine lists...waaaay nicer than we were expecting (thank goodness nice restaurants here aren't all that expensive). John decided it was an impromptu date and we had the best meal we've had so far (barring the meals John cooks). Definitely going back!

On the way home, John saw an SUV with Ohio plates and a buckeye sticker in the back window (Ohio State). He had me grab a piece of paper and wrote "O - H" on it (it's an Ohio State thing). I held it up in the window as we passed the Ohio car. I was too embarrassed to look, but John said the people in the car just looked a little confused.

We were talking about something else when a car pulled up next to us--the Ohio car with "I - O" written on a piece of paper held up to the window! We laughed and clapped and John gave them a thumbs up.

It was so cool to make that connection with another car driving down the road--makes the world seem small instead of so big.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

More garden

The rain has slowed down a bit (thank goodness!), but the garden is still going strong. John's cayenne plant is falling over under its own weight. The banana peppers are back. And everything just keeps getting taller and taller.

John is a little concerned that the beets and onions aren't as big as they should be (too wet? soil too hard? sounds like we may need to mix in some sand with it next year).

Our tomatoes have turned into a forest. We may be pruning back the lower branches to help them produce better. I looked for baby Brandywine tomatoes, but I haven't seen one yet.

Looks like we'll have baby beans soon!

In non-gardening news, we celebrated Mom's birthday on Wednesday--grilled steaks, roasted sweet potatoes, watermelon, fresh raspberries out of their garden and Boston Cream Pie. Delicious food and fun times!

4th of July

We spent the 4th at my parents' house--they grilled out (burgers and brats), and John made strawberry and cherry pie (the cherry was his BEST pie ever--incredible).

I documented the crazy pie action...

The dogs were also paying very close attention

For the party, I made David Lebovitz's Chocolate Banana Ice Cream (I also crossed it off my summer list - yay!). Easy to put together but didn't freeze as quickly as I hoped (recipes says "at least 4 hours" and I had 4 hours and 15 minutes--not enough time). We ended up putting it in our ice cream maker to speed the process along, and by dinner it was fine. It tasted a LOT like the generic Bailey's irish cream (not necessarily a bad thing), but I'm not sure I'd make it again. I've marked it off my list, but I'd like to try a couple more recipes before the summer is up (mint chocolate...candied bacon...avocado coconut...etc)

After dinner, John and I (and Callie and Cooper) went out to the lake to watch the fireworks. Despite the smelly lake and swarming mosquitoes (thank goodness for bug spray!!), I'm glad we went out.

When the firework pictures weren't working out, I gave up and took pictures of the tree we were sitting by instead.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Garden update

We have baby tomatoes (either cherry or yellow pear, Brandywines aren't quite there yet)

a not-so-baby cayenne pepper

our cucumbers are going strong

and it looks like our banana peppers are coming back from the brink. Looking at these pictures, we could stand to do some weeding. It also amazes me that the beets and onions have gotten SO big.

And I'm a little bit afraid of how hot all our food will be when all the peppers come out

Take me out to the ball game!

Last night, we went to the Sioux Falls Pheasants game. We had seats in section S (upper level behind home plate). It was a great night for a ballgame--not too hot, not raining (and just a little windy). The Pheasants beat the Sioux City Explorers by one run--and we had a great time sitting outside, eating peanuts and a hot dog, and taking pictures.

While we were there, John bought raffle tickets to win one of the player's jerseys from the Disabled American Veterans, and he WON! After the game, he went out on the field and got a jersey from #9 - Brian Flores. So cool! There were also fireworks after the game.

Me on the ride home--after an awesome evening. Now I can scratch Pheasants game and fireworks off my summer list (but we're still going to watch the fireworks at Lake Herman on Sunday).

Plans for the rest of the weekend--making ice cream (!!!), grilling out at my parents' house, fireworks, and sparklers (a must). John's going to make a cherry pie (I'll just be supervising--my last pie adventure was a disaster)

Friday, July 02, 2010

Chalkboard Chevrolet

Tonight was the White Night celebration put on by the Madison Area Arts Council. I took one of my pictures to display and brought my camera to get a few more.

I had a great time--I saw a lot of people I knew (always makes me feel good) and met some new folks. I enjoyed the music, watching the kids play (even got in on two games of X's and O's in chalk on the middle of the road) and loved, loved, LOVED the chalkboard Chevrolet.

I spent some time talking to the owner, Cheryl. She loves Cavaliers (says they run forever) and she got this one for $500. It only had 78,000 miles on it, but the paint was all rusty. So she sanded it down, planning to spray paint it, but thought of chalkboard paint instead. She just painted it on Tuesday, so this was the first night it had ever been chalked on.

How cool is that?!?!

They also had bands playing-so I can take outdoor concert off my summer list!