Today I was digging out the recipe to make chili sauce. It is a recipe from Betty, the lady we farmed for, for many, many years. We lost her last year and the recipe written in her beautiful hand has turned my mind towards all things garden like. We have picked some green peppers, tomatoes, and onions which are part of the required items for her chili sauce that I try to make every year or so for Keith. With loads of travel, sometimes a garden can be lots of work, but it all pays off in the fresh and freezer, especially when the cold artic Illinois winds are howling around the house and we are eating some corn, green beans or peas we put up. A little ham or pork chop with some chili sauce is also a neat reminder of the garden, summer and of course, Betty!
Yesterday, we tried a new tradition, we rounded up the grand kids and had them help with our potato harvest. What made this even more fun was using Keith’s old JD and a potato plow to dig the potatoes. With my son Jason driving the tractor, Keith running the plow and the grandkids and I picking up the potatoes, it went off pretty smoothly. I got a kick out of the grandkids comments as they picked up potatoes and placed them in sacks.
After the harvest, they were rather disgusted with how dirty they were, but excited when we washed them and made some baked French fries for lunch.
A little potato picking, a bit of canning, and a lot of love goes into home grown garden produce. With the Illinois State Fair starting this month, one of my favorite things to do is to walk through the produce and look at some of the ribbon winning veggies and compare them
to our produce back home. Ours may not be the biggest, or the prettiest, but we grew it, we put it up, and we will eat it!
A little harvest, a lot of love, and many memories are tied into this summer hobby.