Archives for September 2014

How To Shuck Corn In Your Microwave

how to shuck corn
I spent the day making tomato sauce and preparing fresh corn for the freezer.  I decided to use the microwave to shuck corn, remove the silk and husk, while I prepared the sauce for the water bath canner.  This method is heaven sent and I wanted to share it with you.  It’s great way to prepare it for dinner when you’re short on time too or when you’re trying to juggle canning activities at the same time.
microwave corn husking
I husked 4 dozen ears today for the freezer.  Using fresh corn in chowder, mixing it with my fresh green beans, or in soup in the winter is big in my home.  So, I pack it in quart size bags, which is just right for my dishes.
Step 1 – Place 5 – 6 ears of corn in your microwave, depending on size you may be able to only fit 4 – 5.  I had 6 ears here, but I had to remove 1.  The ears were pretty large.
Step 2 – Heat the ears on high for 4 – 5 minutes.  If you’re going to eat it immediately, the rule is 4 minutes for each ear, so it would be 16 – 20 minutes.  Again, depending on how many ears you place in the microwave.  When I’m preserving, I use 4 minutes for the entire batch so I don’t over cook.
gardening, preserving garden food, shucking corn

Step 3 – Remove the ears from the microwave carefully.  They will be hot.  Cut the stalk end about 2 inches from the end of the corn with a chef’s knife or whatever large, sharp knife you have on hand.  You’ll lose a few rolls of corn, but it’s a time saver.


Step 4 – Squeeze the corn through the husk from the top, silk end.  The corn should slide out of the husk virtually silk free.

I packaged 4 quarts today and will probably put up another 4 quarts this week.  This is a combination of white and yellow grown by a local farmer and it is so good.  I had to stop myself from eating it so I could have enough for the freezer. Did I mention that it’s great fried with a little butter and red peppers.  Yummy!  My grandchildren love fresh corn.

If you’re a preserver or need to better utilize your time preparing dinner, this is the way to go. You may also like How To Freeze Corn.  What’s your favorite dish using corn?


How To Dry Kitchen Garden Herbs

garden herbs, vegetable gardens, preserving garden herbs

I pulled the remaining herbs from the garden today so I can dry them. I’m writing this post, so you can grow and dry your fresh garden herbs too. They’re really easy to grow and adds wonderful flavor to sauces and chili.  The top picture is Greek Basil. I actually dry and freeze my fresh basil.  

 I remove the leaves from my plants and wash them thoroughly.  I than place them on a paper towel to allow them to air dry.  I do the same with my parsley as shown in the picture below.



 After the herbs have dried, I mark lunch bags with the names of the herbs as shown above. I place the herbs inside the bags and seal them with tape.  Any tape will do, as long as it will hold the bag closed.  I used scotch tape for these. Set the bags in a cool, dry place until they have dried and can be crumbled.  It will take several weeks for them to thoroughly dry, but you should check them to ensure they are drying as expected.  

This is dry dill (below) that has been removed from the bag. Be sure to remove all stems from the herbs before storing.  I use jelly jars from my canning stash to house my herbs.  You can use plastic containers, zip lock bags or any other container that is airtight. You want to keep them dry so they will remain fresh.  

how to dry dill. dill,


This is parsley that I have dried.  It’s great on potatoes. It is now airtight and stored in one of my jelly jars.  These are nice to give as gifts too. I add a label and place into a gift basket along with salsa, chips, jam, pickled peppers and cookies for Christmas gifts.


preserving gifts, garden gifts

I also freeze my basil. I leave the basil leaves whole so I can crush them into my dishes while cooking. I just grab the bag from the freezer, take out a handful of the leaves and crush them directly into my sauces and chili. Fresh basil smells wonderful and taste even better in dishes.   
Grow a few herbs next season.  You don’t need a large space, small pots in your kitchen window will suffice.  Grow what you use.  Basil, parsley and dill get plenty of use in my house. Happy Gardening!  


Inspirational Quotes – Clean Hands

Lets Play Ball – Women Beaters

Do we put too much emphasis on sports in this country?  I like sports, but I do have a problem with the attention that it gets. It’s placed before school and grades, the players make more money than doctors who save lives, and now pro athletes can beat women and that crime becomes second to the game.   

I watched the video of Ray Rice throwing a left hook and knocking his now wife unconscious. I’m sure you’ve seen it too, it’s been on every TV station in the country.  I know that domestic violence happens everyday, but the sight of him dragging her out of the elevator with her skirt up over her behind and than dropping her on her face was just horrifying.  He never bothered to pull her skirt down even with another man standing there looking at her. He just steps over her like a piece of trash.  Did I mention, she’s the mother of his daughter? You can watch the hotel video courtesy of TMZ here and you be the judge.  

His punishment was anger management and a 2 game suspension from the NFL.  That is until this video surfaced.  The Baltimore Ravens than decided to fire him.  Not because they believed it was the right thing to do, but they had to calm America.  There are men and women who are enraged over this video and there are others who are wearing a Ray Rice jersey and wanting him back on the team. Those wearing the jersey include women, who believe the situation should remain a personal matter.  Has anyone informed these people that domestic violence is a crime in this country? 

Unfortunately, they have 14 additional players that are or have been involved in domestic abuse issues and they are still playing ball in the NFL. I’m sure there are just as many in the NBA, NHL, and other sports. I think this sends a pretty sick message to our youth who look up to these million dollar players.  You can beat your pregnant wife, girlfriend or your wife that is not pregnant and still make a million bucks in our league.  Sports is number one in this country.  Women will come and go, but football, basketball, baseball and every other sport is here to stay.  It’s so disgusting.  

Janay Palmer, the now wife of Ray Rice married him within 30 days of the knockout punch and apologized for her role in getting beat up.  When Ray Rice was fired from the Ravens, she blamed the media and enraged Americans for embarrassing them, making them feel alone and ruining their life.  Apparently, it’s not unusual for victims to marry their abusers.  Personally, if a man knocked my ass out and I mean that figuratively as well as literally, I would be running in the opposite direction.  There would be nothing inside of me that would believe that he wouldn’t do it again.  He knocked her out in a public elevator.  This wasn’t behind closed doors in their home.

I’m not being judgmental against women who stay in abusive relationships, we all have the right to live our life the way we choose, but there isn’t enough love or money that would keep me in that situation, I have a zero tolerance policy.  You put your hands on me once and I’m done.  I worked with a lady years ago who ended up killing her husband.  I worked with her 5 days a week for years and I had no idea she was being abused until she shoot him.  She didn’t receive jail time, but she has to live with killing her children’s father for the rest of her life.  

Domestic violence is a huge problem in this country. We wonder why men and women stay in abusive relationships and we wonder why the abuser hurts someone they claim to love.  Fear seems to be the biggest reason for victims who stay and control is the biggest reason for the abuse.  For victims who wish to get out of abusive relationships, it is advised that you have a plan. Check out The National Domestic Violence Hotline’s advice on how to establish a plan.       

You may also be interested in Your Penis Is Mine.  


Inspirational Quote – Be Awesome

Salmon Cake Recipe

I’m on my second challenge for the September Sapphire Even Day Blog Challenge hosted by Kimberly at Being A Wordsmith.  The goal is to post on the challenge for the even day listed throughout the month of September.  I’m accepted the challenge from Kimberly, us Sapphire girls must stick together.  Saturday’s challenge was to Share some of your favorite recipes, DIY projects or lifestyle tips.  I know I’m a little late, but my birthday was yesterday and I decided not to blog.  

I love Salmon Cakes, especially when I have fresh parsley in the garden, so I decided to share my recipe. They are delicious!  I served Salmon Cakes at a dinner party a while ago and they got rave reviews.  I made them again today.  Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 can of Pink Salmon  (It’s the only Salmon I use)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 chopped medium white onion
  • 2/3 cup of cracker crumbs  (I use Ritz Vegetable)
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
  • cooking oil 
  • Old Bay Seasoning

Drain the salmon.  Flake the meat in a medium size bowl.  Melt the butter in a large skillet over low heat so it doesn’t scorch.  Add the onions and cook until tender.  

In a medium size bowl, add the onions, cracker crumbs, eggs, parsley and flaked salmon.  Mix well (I use my hands) and shape into patties.    

Over medium heat, heat oil.  Sprinkle patties with a little Old Bay on both sides.  Cook patties in oil until brown. Turn the patties over and brown the other side.  Yummy!  If you’re a salmon lover, you won’t be disappointed.  

Inspirational Quote – Falling In Love

5 Reasons You Should Keep Your Word

                                      Bend Over Backwards To Keep Your Word

  • Your children will follow your exampleChildren do as they see and repeat what they hear.  If you don’t live up to what you say why should they?
  • You will demonstrate that you’re untrustworthy –  People don’t trust others who don’t mean what they say and why should they.  
  • You could possibly damage the self-esteem of others – If a person depends on you and you constantly let me them down it will eventually affect their self-esteem. They may feel unworthy, not cared for and eventually give up on you or worst themselves.  
  • You will demonstrated that you’re unreliable – You will never become a part of a team or a relationship.  You will demonstrate that you can’t carry your weight and you’re not a team player.  You will never be able to make a commitment.  
  • You will demonstrate that you lack characterWhere I come from, your word is your bond.  It’s what makes you stick to another person or task.  It’s equivalent to a hand shake. Character is reflection of who you are, you values, and your morals.  

Know that what you do or don’t do affects other people in your life.  People want to feel that they can depend on you and that you will be there for them when needed.  They want to know that you’re believable. These traits are essential when you have children involved and also come into play with friendships and intimate relationships.  Not keeping your word is hurtful.    
At some point we must all grow up and bend over backwards to keep our word.  Life is not all fun and games, and letting another down can be devastating.  Being responsible is what separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls.  Learn to follow through when you say that you will do something and demonstrate that you can be depended on.  

Most importantly, not keeping your word is a serious character flaw that must be improved if you want to be a good parent and maintain other important relationships.  Are you teaching your child to keep their word and are you demonstrating how?  Are you in a friendship or relationship where you are constantly being let down?  If so, you may want to reassess it. People dish out what you’e willing to accept.  

Photo courtesy of

Inspirational Quote – Joan Rivers

inspirational quote

Home Grown Cantaloupes



My second favorite item in the garden is home grown cantaloupes. My garden is winding down and I’m feeling a little sad.  So, I sooth myself when I’m closing the garden for the year by planning my garden for the next season.  I spend months deciding what I want to plant and that usually cheers me up. Yesterday, I pulled my last squash and cantaloupes. I have tons of tomatoes and green beans left.  As a result, I will can and freeze those next week-end.  I see tomato sauce and salsa on the horizon too.  Great way to use some of my garlic, basil and oregano too.  Check out my other backyard vegetable gardening tips before you leave.

Back to my harvest, this was my first year planting cantaloupes, and I’m so glad that I did.  These are Hale’s Best, which is an Heirloom seed, and they are delicious.  I’ll be having fresh cantaloupes for the next few days.  I started the cantaloupe plants under grow lights in mid-March and moved them into the garden in June.  However, you can direct the seeds when the soil warms up.  I mulched around the plants and left about 6 feet of space for them to spread. I harvested eight cantaloupe from 2 plants. Not bad for a pack of $1.00 seeds. I’ll be saving seed from these melons to plant next year.


I’m a frugal gardener, I put my garden in for pennies by purchasing Heirloom seeds and than saving the seed from year to year. Purchasing plants from garden centers can get expensive.  I choose what I want to splurge on, and groceries is not one of those things. If you plan to save seed from your garden, make sure you don’t purchase or use Hybrid seeds or plants.  You want the same characteristics of the parent plant versus inbreeding/cross breeding. Heirlooms are the way to go.

I planted Belle peppers, which performed nicely.  After picking them off the plants, I chop and freeze my peppers. I like to get them into freezer bags as soon as I pick them off the vines. The sooner you lock in the freshness the better. Did you know that orange, red, and yellow peppers are green before they turn into these beautiful colors.

Yep, they start out green.  Patience is a must if you want then to reach the red, yellow or orange stage.  Additionally, there are also male and female peppers.  Check out how to determine and use male and female peppers here.