"Every house where love abides and friendship is a guest, is surely home, and home sweet home for there the heart can rest." -Henry Van Dyke

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Preserving food and persevering through a difficult season

We have an abundance of tomatoes from the garden and I'm happy. Many tomatoes are still green but I'm now ripening them indoor. I also picked Anaheim, cayenne, serrano and jalapeƱo peppers. We're thankful for the vegetables that come from such small space. 

Life is filled with unexpected things, some are joyful and other times can be sad. Just like the garden with its surprises, there are seasons of success and disappointment. Today I'm pouring my heart out and sharing with you our sad news. My husband recently lost his job. It's a stressful and challenging time, my health hasn't been well for months but I'm getting better. I'm grateful for every blessing, strength that comes from God and for the love of my family.

"Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness." 1 Timothy 6:11

The other day I wanted to bake a couple loaves of white bread. I used the same glass loaf pans like I did before and I was excited about my bread turning out beautiful. When I put both bread in the oven, I began to wash the dishes and suddenly I heard this loud noise coming from the hot oven. Crazy. I opened the door and the glass has exploded into a million little pieces. One bread came out nice but the other was completely ruined.  

One of the loaf pans was new but perhaps defective. I looked at the shards of glass, what an awful big mess! For some reason that moment made me thought of how broken I felt like shattered glass… but I knew my hope was in Christ my Savior, who never fails to take care of us. We continue in prayer, there's no giving up.

"We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed." 2 Corinthians 4:8

One of my goals as a stay-at-home mom is to pursue a frugal lifestyle while feeding my husband and daughter healthy meals. I'm learning how to store veggies grown from my organic garden and something about that brings satisfaction. I'm canning, drying and freezing food. Nothing is getting wasted. It's wonderful not having to buy from the market when I can simply go out to the garden or open our fridge and pantry.

Last week I dried tomatoes in my electric dehydrator for sun-dried tomatoes. Fantastic especially with pasta. I put a little olive oil, sea salt and black pepper with San Marzano tomatoes to dry. For the yellow pear and moonglow tomatoes, I added the same ingredients but seasoned them with garlic powder and oregano. 

Here are more of our harvests…

Cabbage, I planted them from seeds but not enough. I had no idea how tasty homegrown cabbage were, so tender when cooked.   

Chow mein is better with garden veggies like cabbage, carrots, onions and snow peas we had in the freezer since June. Surprisingly, the snow peas were still crispy and tasted great.    

I didn't harvest that much onions compared to the shallots. I planted many onions in the wrong spot and there weren't enough in the right location. I wanted yellow but got mostly red and white onions. Next season will hopefully be better.  

Russet Burbank and heirloom la ratte potatoes. We have a good amount from the 2 grow bags I planted them in. 

I finally grew cantaloupe successfully but they were tiny. The diameter was as big as my fist. I'm not sure if I planted the seeds too close together or I didn't fertilize enough. Super sweet cantaloupe but we want more! :-)

Sadly my first time growing corn failed because I picked them too late, the corn ended up being chewy. Other than that we harvested dry beans, I have a lot of them to shell and sort. If you remember, our squash and zucchini were severely infested by squash bugs. So disappointing. However, we won't be ungrateful because my garden did very well this year.

"The only thing different about having a green thumb is that you don't get discouraged by failure. When something doesn't work, you try again." -Beth Weidner


  1. Homegrown cantaloupe is my dream...You are a GREAT gardener!

  2. My dear Priscilla,

    I'm so sorry about your husband and I hope he will get a better job very soon. And I hope that you're fully recovered.

    Oh my.. seems like you have a plenty of vegetables in your garden! How lucky you're! I hope that I have enough space to grow more greens :)

    Please take care of your health and wish you have a wonderful day ahead.

    1. Thank you for your thoughts. I'm thankful that I'm getting better. Have a great day!

  3. I'm sorry to hear about your husband, I hope the situation resolves itself soon. It is so satisfying growing & harvesting your own veg, even a little makes all the difference. Take care.

    1. Thank you for your nice comment and visiting here :-)

  4. Thanks for growing such wonderful food babe! I'm blessed.

  5. I'm so sorry about your husband. I hope he will get new job soon.
    BTW you have a great harvest, so various. Thank for sharing the idea about preserving our harvest. The chow mein looks so delicious

  6. Hi Priscilla,
    Sorry to hear that Bryan lost his job. I'm sure he'll find another one soon.
    poor you, after all the hard work in making a batch of bread, and it ended up with a broken baking pan. I have always have this fear of using glassware related for baking, even though I sometimes use one to roast a chicken, and would constantly check on it, that it doesn't crack or anything like this! I am always thinking that this could happen to me too! I can imagine how awful it is to do the clean-up, broken glass is a pain to clear!
    Your garden produce is simply stunning! Look at your bountiful tomatoes, they are just so beautiful and gorgeous! And the onions and potatoes! I'm impressed! You have done a great job with the garden with fabulous harvest! On top of that, your home canning are looking good!
    Hope everything will go well with your hubby in getting a new job soon. Meanwhile, be patient, take care and everything will work out fine. Hope you have a blessed and wonderful weekend with your hubby and little one!

    1. Hi Joyce, I appreciate your kind words. I never had a problem with glass pans so this is the first time it ever happened. Hubby helped clean the broken glass. Thank you for your comment about my garden. It's surprising that it did great considering I got so busy and I didn't water or pull weeds that much. Have a wonderful weekend with your family!

  7. Hi Priscilla
    Your blog is amazing with beautiful and colorful veggies. I love it.


I'm glad you stopped by. I love reading your comments and thank you for taking the time. Have a wonderful day! :-)

♥ Priscilla