Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Happy List ~ Our Garden's Products Plus A Recipe

This year we have tried a lot of new things in our gardens and the weather has been so different for Summer weather here in Iowa.  It has been a much cooler Summer, this and all the rain earlier in the Spring has hurt our tomato plants.  We did not get as many tomatoes as last year not even close to the normal amount in years past, so our canning was less.  The bright spot we were able to do the tomato canning in one day.

 29 Pints of Pasta, 12 Pints of Medium Salsa, and
12 Pints of Hot Salsa.

Of course we did have fresh tomatoes for dishes and enjoyed them as well as some fried green tomatoes.
This is our first year for spaghetti squash.  The plant was thriving.  This was the last picture I took of the plant while it was healthy.  The plant ended up taking the entire space and began to intrude into the beans on the left.  Problem with squash plants is Squash Bore bugs like them too and they typically find them and kill them off.   However we were lucky to have at least 13 nice spaghetti squash before the plant became infected and died.  Look at all those babies we have in storage.  I tried a new recipe with one for a meal a couple of weekends ago.  I adapted it from a recipe I found on Pinterest and basically made up my one.  It was delicious and the recipe will be posted at the end of this post.
We had yellow summer squash coming out of the wood work.  Todd was bringing home about a half a dozen to a dozen every time he went to the garden, which was about two or three times a week for nearly a month.  It is slowing down.  We have enjoyed adding them to stir fry, crock pot meals, salads, and side dishes.  I am going to try making noodles with them and our zucchini.  Our zucchini plant did not take at first so we had start over, the second planting was wonderful.
Our first year for turnips.  I never did find a great recipe for them.  Todd just ate them like radishes and we had a bumper crop of radishes as usual.
Our peppers did not fair as well.  I think it was too cool for them.  We only had two bell peppers, the rest were stolen as well.  We tried Yellow Roma Tomatoes this year as well.  We are not very impressed with them, they were very tiny.
Our eggplant did a great job.  This is a picture of our first one.  One of our favorite Summer garden recipe is Eggplant Parmesan. 

Our first planting of carrots have been harvested and we ended up having six cups of carrots to freeze for dishes at a later date.  We also used some in meals and snacks.  We have a second planting still growing.  Our carrots turned out great this year.
Green beans and yellow waxed beans thrived.  They started to produce early this year.  I am not sure if it is the cooler weather or what but we started to get beans early July which is not typical.  We have enjoyed eating them with many meals but we also have frozen some to use later.

This is not even the beginning of our freezing for the beans.
We are eating a lot of beans too. 

Sugar snap peas, we did not freeze any of these.  We originally planned on having two crops, a Spring crop and a Fall crop and planned on freezing our Fall crop, however the weather has been cool and our Spring crop is just now starting to die and it is too late to plant a new crop in it's place.  We have had a lot of sugar snap peas and have enjoyed them in many dishes.  My favorite is one of our side dishes where I cook the peas with bacon and balsamic vinegar.  You can find the recipe in my recipe tab near the top.
This was partial one harvest.  They are not prepped for freezing,
just ready to store in the refrigerator.
Green beans, cherry tomatoes, cabbage, kohlrabi, carrots, sugar snap peas, 
broccoli, and a small secondary shoot of cauliflower. 

We had cauliflower for the first time.  I think we definitely will do this again.  The cabbage was a success again.  Our new greens were successful as well except for the kale.  Todd wanted to start a Fall crop of these but he was not successful with finding seeds.
Our onions was very successful!  I am hoping we will be able to store them through out the Winter.  I still have to freeze some of them.  I think we have close to three dozen onions of a variety size yellow onions and white onions.  The white onions will be the onions we freeze because they will not keep like the yellow onions.

Over all, our gardens have done well this year and we are happy about it. Now for the recipe.  The person I adapted the recipe from adapted her's from someone else and the original person did not have a name for the sauce so she called her OMG sauce.  Her recipe would have been too spicy for my stomach, so I adapted it.  I enjoy spicy but my stomach does not.  My adaptation was amazing.  I tried this new dish and Ethan's new girlfriend had dinner with us for the first time.  I know a pretty gutsy move but it was a hit.  I asked everyone an idea on what to name the sauce since there is no name.  The decision was Wowzer.

Spaghetti Squash and Wowzer Sauce
  • 1 large spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon Southwestern Mustard
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • salt, to taste
  • 3-4 cups spinach
  • 2 cups broccoli, cut into florets
       Wowzer Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Southwestern Mustard
  • ½ tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt, to taste
  1. Take a knife and poke holes into the spaghetti squash and place in the microwave on a microwave safe dish for 10 minutes.  If the squash is not soft to touch cook an additional 2 minutes until it is soft to the touch.
  2.  Remove the seeds and use a fork to remove the threads and place in a large bowl.
  3. In a large pan add ground turkey along with 1 tablespoons of the Southwestern Mustard and 1 tablespoon soy sauce and cook over medium-high heat. Break up turkey into small pieces and cook until completely cooked through. Place ground turkey in the bowl with the spaghetti squash.
  4. In the same pan with some of the fat rendered from the ground turkey, add broccoli with a bit of salt.
  5. Cook broccoli until slightly browned, then cover with a lid to help steam. Once broccoli has steamed, add spinach and a bit more salt on top of broccoli and cover to help steam until spinach is cooked through and soft.
  6. Add turkey and spaghetti squash to pan, mix it all together and keep on low to keep warm.
  7. Whisk all ingredients for the sauce together.
  8. Pour sauce onto spaghetti squash mixture and mix together until completely coated.



  1. What treasures you have here! I want to try the recipe!

  2. Wow! Your garden produced so much! You must have a large area for gardening. Here in Texas, it gets so hot it's hard to grow much, plus, how do you have time?


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