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Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 28, July 13, 2012
Friday, July 13, 2012 | JustaDumbBlonde

Posted on 07/13/2012 8:35:18 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde

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Photobucket Good morning and happy Friday (the 13th) to all of my FRiends and fellow gardeners! My special thanks go to Ellendra for posting the thread while I took a week to go to the mountains. I was hoping to find relief from the heat, only to find that it was in the 90's in SE Montana, not much cooler than here in Louisiana.

I began the long process of becoming a fly fisherman, and I am hooked, so to speak. Just what I needed ... another hobby to compete for my limited time!

Today is the first time I've seen the sun since Monday ... the rain followed me all the way from Kansas City, and it has stayed around. Thank goodness! It is my sincere hope that y'all are receiving some beneficial rainfall.

Before leaving on the trip, I spent 4 days making fig preserves ... the Italian White Fig tree was covered in a bumper crop, unlike anything I've ever seen. I also got all of my wild plum juice turned into beautiful jelly, and harvested another 5-gallon bucket of honey from the beeyard.

So ... what's going on with you???

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The Weekly Gardening Thread is a weekly gathering of folks that love soil, seeds and plants of all kinds. From complete newbies that are looking to start that first potted plant, to gardeners with some acreage, to Master Gardener level and beyond, we would love to hear from you.

This thread is non-political, although you will find that most here are conservative folks. No matter what, you won’t be flamed and the only dumb question is the one that isn’t asked.

It is impossible to hijack the Weekly Gardening Thread ... there is no telling where it will go and that is part of the fun and interest. Jump in and join us!


TOPICS: Agriculture; Food; Gardening; Hobbies
KEYWORDS: cattlepanels; dehydrating; excalibur; filledcookies; flyfishing; garden; gardening; livestockpanels; velcroplantties
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To: Black Agnes
Love love LOVE my excalibur.

Second that...spend the money, folks...it's worth it.

51 posted on 07/14/2012 6:02:27 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: Oshkalaboomboom
There are already over 150 peppers on it, enough to keep your food spicy for years if you dry them out and store them in jars.

First time I have EVER seen someone refer to Bhut Jolokia peppers as 'spicy'.

52 posted on 07/14/2012 6:06:49 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: who knows what evil?
Love love LOVE my excalibur.

Second that...spend the money, folks...it's worth it.

Absolutely. Save up if you need to, but get the big one with the timer and plan on using it a LOT. Great machine, dries very evenly and is a real workhorse.

53 posted on 07/14/2012 6:55:32 AM PDT by SCalGal (Friends don't let friends donate to H$U$ or PETA.)
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To: Oshkalaboomboom

Things are looking good! What are the trees in the background and appox where do you garden?


54 posted on 07/14/2012 7:11:02 AM PDT by tubebender
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Thank you very much for this info. I think my disaster revolved around my $20 dehydrator and the fact that I didn’t know what I was doing. I’m asking for an Excalibur dehydrator for my birthday and another item discussed recently on FR for Christmas! Life is good!


55 posted on 07/14/2012 7:35:58 AM PDT by Silentgypsy (If you love your freedom, thank a vet.)
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To: MissMagnolia

Looks like my double hernia...


56 posted on 07/14/2012 7:52:25 AM PDT by tubebender
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To: bgill
I have an 80's version of the red cookbook in the kitchen and I can't find that recipe. Somewhere in a box I have my late MIL's cookbooks, and I'm sure that there is an older copy in there.

We love spiced tomato jam on cornbread. Never thought about filling a cookie with it, but I am going to try it very soon. If I can't find the recipe, a good shortbread dough is sounding pretty good in my little head. :)

57 posted on 07/14/2012 10:21:22 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: painter
"Have started tying your own flies yet? If not you will before long."

No, not yet, but I definitely see it coming. I remember spending almost an hour with 2 guys that were tying flies at an outdoor/boat show that was in Monroe several years ago. I found it absolutely fascinating even though I didn't know a thing about fly fishing at that time. It would certainly help that I have plenty of elk hair available to make some caddis flies.

They offer fly fishing school at the Orvis store in Baton Rouge. I will be there before fall, without a doubt! I've rarely had as much fun fishing as I did over the July 4th holiday. Some friends of ours have a ranch that the Shields River runs through, and they also had 2 ponds with various trout.

I have a couple of great ponds here at home on which to practice. My husband tells me that the bream will absolutely tear up little popping bugs. The bass should be fun as well.

58 posted on 07/14/2012 10:31:01 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: rightly_dividing; tubebender
Thanks for the welcome home ... as much as I adore Montana, I miss my home and my critters terribly after a week or two. It will be perfect when we finally take the plunge and move up there and just visit Louisiana occasionally.

On the tomatoes -- if you start snipping your larger suckers off now and rooting them in a glass or jar of water, you will have a good crop of fall tomatoes. Pruning the existing plants back will work also, just be sure to hit them with some good tomato fert (higher in phosphorus) to get them going again.

I wish you would post photos of the flower beds! Mrs. Bender and the gorgeous Bender Estate have really inspired me to put some work into flower beds this year. The ones I put in around the oak trees earlier this year are really getting pretty, but I lost almost every azalea. I will try to post update photos soon.

Your okra should really take off soon. We have some of that mutant stuff coming up on the turn row of one of our fields again. They re-seeded themselves rather well.

I really need to get my plants for the fall garden planted. (Wish I had a dollar for every time I say the phrase "I need to ..." every day!) My volunteer tomatoes are producing really well, and they are really delicious. I didn't water them through all of the heat, and the flavor gets really concentrated in the fruit that way. It is a trick to give them just enough water to survive, but well worth the effort.

59 posted on 07/14/2012 10:43:53 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Ellendra
"Would you mind taking a trip through Wisconsin?"

We are hoping to take the camper and see some of Wisconsin and Michigan sometime in the future. Until then, I hope you have received some of the blessed rain that you need.

Thanks again for a great job on posting while I was resting and relaxing!

60 posted on 07/14/2012 10:46:08 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Darth Reardon
" For me, it’s not about keeping them from getting sick, just trying to manage it."

Have you tried a spray containing neem oil on your tomatoes? It is an organic spray that acts as an insecticide, fungicide and miticide. It works wonders for me. You can also mix some liquid calcium in every 2-3 weeks to assist in holding blooms and prevent blossom end rot.

61 posted on 07/14/2012 10:51:09 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: greeneyes
Hello! I will join in prayer for rain in your area. We are finally getting rain after weeks without. It was an accomplishment I worked on for a long time, and I finally got a water spigot installed near my fruit tree and bush section of the homestead. Everything is growing in leaps and bounds with regular watering.

I still have to haul water to the far end of my donkey pasture, and I bought one of these H2O to go bags, which has helped immensely. I have a small 40 gallon water trough out there and it takes 2 trips to fill it, but I don't have to do it often since that is really a backup source for their water. I have an old cast iron tub with a float switch closer to the house and run about 300 feet of hose out to that.

62 posted on 07/14/2012 11:04:18 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: greeneyes
"Pictures of that hoop arbor for grapes would be a beauty to behold. Hint Hint. Pleeeeeeease? LOL"

I'll dig around for a photo I may have taken previously. It would be really embarrassing to post a current photo, as some kind of bugs ferociously attacked the grapevines while I was in Montana. But, one way or another, I will get one posted soon. :)

63 posted on 07/14/2012 11:07:50 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: tubebender

If I drive out there, can we go fishing???? Pretty please!


64 posted on 07/14/2012 11:09:04 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Augie

WOW! Your garden sounds fabulous! There isn’t any melon better than Ambrosia ... my husband’s favorite. Hopefully the heat won’t be too much for the corn to pollinate. I’ve got to get an acre or so of late corn planted. Didn’t get much of the previous plantings canned or frozen as I was in the middle of other things.


65 posted on 07/14/2012 11:13:20 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: tubebender

Those daily updates on the charter boat site are very cool. Wish I could go!


66 posted on 07/14/2012 11:15:26 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: ApplegateRanch
Hello my FRiend! I guess you wouldn't enjoy being a passenger through The Badlands National Park? Probably not Spearfish Canyon either. At least most of the roads in SD seem to be pretty darn straight.

How's the corn?

67 posted on 07/14/2012 11:19:23 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: who knows what evil?

I do love those roads; we live on the edge of the Hills, and drive through them all the time. As long as I’m holding the steering wheel, it isn’t a problem.


68 posted on 07/14/2012 11:21:25 AM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: Oshkalaboomboom
You get the bonus points for great photos! Thank you so much for posting them ... all of your plants are beautiful!

I would love to try the peppers and I'll send you a stamped envelope or exchange some other seeds ... I have 2 rubbermaid containers of various seeds and maybe something you've been wanting to try.

Don't know if you like melons, but I have successfully grown both cantaloupe and sugar baby watermelons on trellis.

69 posted on 07/14/2012 11:24:34 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Ladysmith

You are most welcome!


70 posted on 07/14/2012 11:25:30 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Black Agnes
"I put up 40lbs of vidalia onions like that. Dried them about 50% longer than the recommend time and they’re just like funyons.

Holy cow ... that sounds so good! I have to travel to Sam's pretty soon and will pick up a couple of big bags of onions to try that. Maybe sprinkle them with a little Tony's seasoning before I start the Excalibur.

Dried pineapple is one of my favs. That and jerky. We can't keep jerky around in a SHTF stash ... we always end up eating it. It is tough to get my granddaughters to eat their meat, yet they will devour 1/2 lb. of deer jerky in an afternoon!

71 posted on 07/14/2012 11:31:04 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: All; tubebender
GARLIC ALERT!!

I got an email today from Burpee that said it is time to order garlic for fall planting. Depending on your zone, they will ship it when it needs to be planted. They also report that it sells out very quickly, so if anyone is interested, now is the time to order.

72 posted on 07/14/2012 11:37:45 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

I’ve been a passenger on those roads, and carry lots of Dramamine; otherwise, I do the driving.

Corn is doing great, but takes a lot of water; we’ve had less than 3” of rain since the first of June, and not much in May. Normally this would be our time for thunderstorms, but they are tracking around us. Don’t miss the hail, but need the water.

it’s 99 already today; 103 yesterday; 95-105 on tap for the next several days. Peas are pretty much shot, but the squash & beans love it.


73 posted on 07/14/2012 11:37:58 AM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

The non vidalia onions aren’t sweet enough for our taste to just eat plain after they’re dried. YMMV. I’m going to have to separate mine and label them.

HOWEVER, they make an excellent ‘natural’ substitute for the french’s onion thingies that go on green bean casserole. Just dehydrate them until they’re really really crispy. cheap. with one ingredient everyone can pronounce!

We’re planning on using them to make french onion soup this winter. and put in the crock pot with soups and stews. and add to hamburger patties. and put on salads. and and and.


74 posted on 07/14/2012 11:42:17 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: ApplegateRanch
As long as I’m holding the steering wheel, it isn’t a problem.

Ditto. I want COMPLETE control of the car on those roads...'pig-tail' bridges..? Geez...(there was one in Tennessee, believe it or not.)

75 posted on 07/14/2012 12:45:23 PM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: Black Agnes

Our Sam’s Club has either Vidalia or 1015’s as the sweet onion choice. I particularly love the 1015’s. Thanks again for mentioning this. I had dried some green onions before, but never thought of what you’ve done.


76 posted on 07/14/2012 12:55:47 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Compared to what you accomplish in a day’s time, I’ve done very litte. My, you have a lot of energy.


77 posted on 07/14/2012 12:58:51 PM PDT by tillacum
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

I saw a hoop house, it looked like they used pvc for the hoops, then used clear, corregated resein panels instead of plastic. I’m thinkig of a hoop house for the community garden, rather than a “green house”, for the first few years. I’m thinking of a hoop house where some of our 6’5” farmers can walk in comfortably. Hubby is the new Rotary president, and guess who will be helping with the garden’s beginning??? I received a book of the White House vegetable garden. It is a 12 month garden. Both children and adults are involved in it. It is interesting because many gardens from around the country are mentioned in it. It has a lot of interesting ideas. I’m passing it around to our City Manager, school and the Boys and Girls club. I have my eye on another piece of land, vacant, that would make another great spot for a community garden. But that is for the future. We now have another piece of land next to our community garden, cleared and ready to be plowed etc.


78 posted on 07/14/2012 1:16:57 PM PDT by tillacum
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Does anyone know how best to preserve eggplant?
I’ve looked at cooking it in a sauce.
Steaming in the microwave & then freezing.
Breaded and frozen for frying.

Last year I canned it in one of those Italian tomatoes things.

That Excaliber looks wonderful.


79 posted on 07/14/2012 1:19:44 PM PDT by WestwardHo
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To: Oshkalaboomboom

If the flowers appear the first year, of the ghost pepper, you pinch them off, so the stems become stronger?


80 posted on 07/14/2012 1:35:10 PM PDT by tillacum
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Great idea, thank you. I’ll do that. My gardens are done. Getting them ready for fall planting.


81 posted on 07/14/2012 1:40:44 PM PDT by tillacum
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Here’s the recipe. 1950 Betty Crocker Cookbook, page 196. I’ve been making these so long the book opens right up to it.

Filled Cookies (double the recipe)

1/2 C soft shortening
1 C sugar
2 eggs
2 T cream (or milk or water)
1 t vanilla
2 1/2 C sifted flour
1/4 t soda (I use baking powder instead)
1/2 t salt

Chill dough. Roll out to 1/8th inch and cut into 3” to 4” circles. Place on lightly sprayed cookie sheet. Put a spoon (eye ball it to your size dough) of preserves in the center of a circle of dough. Place another circle of dough on top and press edges together with finger. You don’t want the edges too thin or they’ll burn before the cookie is done but you want them pressed together enough so the preserves don’t leak out (some will). Poke a fork in the top for a steam vent.

Bake - 400 degrees for 10+ minutes or until golden.

This is a great way to use up old jams and preserves that were lost and forgotten in the back of the pantry. You can use jelly but it tends to leak out more. It’s a lot like a pop tart except really tasty and will hold up in a lunch box or a grab and go breakfast.


82 posted on 07/14/2012 1:41:42 PM PDT by bgill
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Dear Mrs Blonde,

It is with great sadness that I must report that when I upgraded my Mac OS a few months ago it deleted a Java plugin and have been unable to upload photos to either Fotki or Flikr. I finally threw myself at the feet of the local Guru and he showed how, when and why Apple turned it off but now my browsers, Camino and Firefox won’t play nice with me or I have forgotten everything I never new about uploading photos. If you are desperate for a fix I can post some of last years stunning garden vistas.

Yours in Great Sorrow,

Sir Tube Bender


83 posted on 07/14/2012 2:34:49 PM PDT by tubebender
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To: Silentgypsy

I have an inexpensive Nesco. I dried my first peaches last week. They taste great.

I got about six slices per peach. I dipped the peach slices in a solution of fresh squeezed lemon in about a pint of water, and then spread them on the rack skin side down. I turned them a couple of times and rotated the racks a couple of times. If I has a better dehydrator (Excalibur), I probably would not need to do that.

Next time I might skin them to speed up the drying.

Give it a shot.


84 posted on 07/14/2012 2:35:33 PM PDT by dervish (ABO)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde
The local hydroponic gardener recommended neem oil to combat the white flies which spread viruses, which I have started to use for a lot of things, but I have not tried on tomatoes yet.

I think I'm going to have to try something else on the little 3/4" caterpillar things that are just defoliating my zucchini and cantaloupe. They get on the back side of the leaf, fold it over to make a little pocket, and close it up with a silk looking material. I'm thinking maybe a MAAP torch.


85 posted on 07/14/2012 3:07:28 PM PDT by Darth Reardon (No offense to drunken sailors)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

i’m not clever enough to have done that by intent. I had a whole dehydrator load going and forgot them overnight and into the next afternoon. When I remembered them they were already sort of the caramelized color. i tasted one to see if they tasted burned or something and they were like snacks. yummy.


86 posted on 07/14/2012 4:12:52 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: tubebender

We watched a segment on food dehydration by Alton Brown, and he used a box fan and a few disposable A/C filters. The climate in TN is so humid that it would take an eternity to dry something without electrical intervention.


87 posted on 07/14/2012 4:39:28 PM PDT by Silentgypsy (If you love your freedom, thank a vet.)
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To: Arrowhead1952

I’d love to dehydrate things naturally, but TN is *wet*!


88 posted on 07/14/2012 4:41:26 PM PDT by Silentgypsy (If you love your freedom, thank a vet.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde
I got an email today from Burpee that said it is time to order garlic for fall planting.

Me too.

I was going to pass. Last Fall's planting thrived and survived the Winter but most of it disappearted at mid-Spring. No idea why. Harvested a whopping six cloves.

But, I'll try one more time. Ordered:

Early Italian: "This hefty garlic infuses entreés, soups and salads with sweet, mild flavor. These easy-growing, widely adapted garlics will keep 10 months. Produces larger cloves than most softnecks, making it easier to handle. Better adapted to summer heat, too. Garlic may begin growth late in fall or early in spring. Sun. Product Details Sun: Full Sun Spread: 4 inches Height: 18-24 inches Days to Maturity: 90-150 days Sowing Method: Direct Sow"

Sonoran "is very early harvesting so you have garlic before anyone else and it grows well in the great American Southwest from Austin/San Antonio all the way to San Diego. Harvests VERY early - late spring to early Summer - stores until around November-December. Product Details Sun: Full Sun Spread: 4 inches Height: 18-24 inches Thinning: 4 inches Days to Maturity: 90-210 days Sowing Method: Direct Sow "

89 posted on 07/14/2012 4:46:10 PM PDT by Racehorse
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To: Silentgypsy

Was that the segment where he bought all his equipment at the Auto Wrecking Yard?


90 posted on 07/14/2012 6:32:14 PM PDT by tubebender
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To: who knows what evil?; tillacum; JustaDumbBlonde
Ya'll peaked my curiosity as far as cattle panels uses. I searched and found Uses for Livestock Panels.
91 posted on 07/14/2012 7:56:17 PM PDT by lysie
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To: dervish

The skins are where all of the vitamins and minerals are ... I leave them on. It is really a matter of personal preference though.


92 posted on 07/14/2012 7:56:18 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: WestwardHo; Red_Devil 232
"Does anyone know how best to preserve eggplant?"

Red and I have both tried various methods for preserving eggplant. Breaded and frozen didn't turn out well ... the texture was awful. Blanching and freezing produced a mushy mess when thawed. I've pinged Red to see if he ever did anything that worked. The only thing I haven't tried is pressure canning in jars. If I raw pack it, it might produce something that could be dried off, breaded and fried. I'll update if I come up with anything worth a darn.

93 posted on 07/14/2012 8:43:05 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: lysie
That was a great link to describe the use of livestock panels. I use them for many things ... the only thing I haven't done is use them for livestock fencing. ha!

My local hardware store puts the cattle panels on sale for $19 once or twice a year and I always buy a few. I must have 30 of them stored in the equipment shed. Another 10 are in the garden. Except the one in the garden that my husband backed over with his truck, I've never had to replace a panel. They are VERY sturdy. Like the article indicated, I cut them with a large bolt cutter thingee.

94 posted on 07/14/2012 8:50:18 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: tubebender
LOL! I really liked a previous photo that was a blacktail buck near your house ... it was a kinda dreamy photo that would make an excellent stationery card. Do you remember that one?

I was having java issues until I installed Chrome. No problems since then. Don't know if that is Apple friendly.

95 posted on 07/14/2012 8:54:12 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: bgill
Thank you for taking the time to type that recipe. That was so kind of you. I see baking in my immediate future, and using my new cookie sheets. Been using old, cheap things for a hundred years that would warp and cook unevenly. Tuesday Morning had some 12" x 17" Calphalon HEAVY sheets in a lovely toffee color for $8, and I treated myself to four. :)

BTW, page 196 in my book is shortbread cookies, which I found humorous since I mentioned that very thing earlier.

96 posted on 07/14/2012 9:03:46 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Good morning. They cost about $22.00 here. Up until now I have never been interested. I never checked for sales. Believe me! I will now. :-)


97 posted on 07/15/2012 2:54:31 AM PDT by lysie
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To: tubebender

I don’t think so but I could be wrong. :p


98 posted on 07/15/2012 5:24:36 AM PDT by Silentgypsy (If you love your freedom, thank a vet.)
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To: tillacum
If the flowers appear the first year, of the ghost pepper, you pinch them off, so the stems become stronger?

No, I do that with the Datils. Ghost Peppers actually do it to themselves. They get loads of flowers that do nothing but wither up and fall off, even if you try pollinating them by hand. Then one day, bam!

99 posted on 07/15/2012 5:28:20 AM PDT by Oshkalaboomboom
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To: who knows what evil?
First time I have EVER seen someone refer to Bhut Jolokia peppers as 'spicy'.

It's all a matter of control. If you take a raw Bhut, pop it in your mouth and start chewing you're going to feel some vicious heat. Take a quarter teaspoon of dried Bhut flakes and add it to a pot of beans and you have a nice dish with just the right balance of heat and flavor. Almost all of our Bhuts get dried, ground up with a mortar and pestle then put up in jars. When I send people seeds I always include a bit of the flakes so they can see what it's like.

100 posted on 07/15/2012 5:41:33 AM PDT by Oshkalaboomboom
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