Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Garden

Last year I was a little discouraged with my garden.  Well... not just my garden.  I was SO EXCITED about the garden and then my work day increased.  I was leaving the house 30 minutes earlier than normal and getting home an hour later than normal (my husband and I started carpooling together) and that really cut into my day.  I was just exhausted trying to keep the bare minimums done at home and the garden suffered.  Plus, we got completely taken over by squash bugs.  Our favorite garden vege of all times is yellow squash and we didn't get a single one.  Squash vine borers!  Need I say more? 

I have lots of stuff crammed into my garden.  I planted two rows of greenbeans (bush) from 3 packets of seeds and only 1 packet of seeds grew so I've replanted.  I use a cattle panel to make an arbor and I have cucumbers growing on there.  They are so much easier to pick that way.  I love growing pinto beans and I have them growing on all available fences around the garden.  I have tomatoes, onions, peppers, squash, delicata (first time to get them to grow and keeping my fingers crossed), sunflowers, marigolds, a few beets, radishes, a pumpkin vine, and I actually have some cantelope growing on a trellis that is doing pretty good.  Here are some pictures.  Kind of dark, but I love looking at other people's gardens and so I'm posting mine.   Happy gardening! 

This is the whole garden.  Not very big and cramming it full!


Green beans - only two half rows came up (my luck!).

Cucumbers growing on the cattle panel.  Easier to pick that way.




Lots of pinto beans!





Smoked Pork and Homemade Honey-Mustard BBQ Sauce

We like to smoke meat when we are having very many people over.  This way the meat cooks itself and you aren't slaving to the hot grill while trying to visit with your company.  Leftovers freeze beautifully and you can cook up a bunch of meat, wrap each hunk in foil, put in freezer bags and have some for later.  We use our smoker even on the coldest winter days (in Missouri Brrr!).  Most always, I whip up this easy rub and it seems to really season the meat nicely.  I use this rub on turkey, chicken, pork, and even briskit.  People will think you are a pro when they taste smoked pork loin with this wonderful rub.  Often, I make this homemade honey-mustard bbq sauce.  I found these two recipes in SOUTHERN LIVING magazine.  Enough said, huh?  I always find great recipes in that magazine.  I have modified the original recipe to suit my tastes.  The original recipe had cinnamon (of all things) in the rub, and I'm just not ready to go there...

Enjoy!

BBQ Rub

  • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground red pepper (I don't always use this.)
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard (ground)
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper.
Mix all ingredients.  I use a whisk to fully incorporate and store in a covered container or zip loc bag.

Rub meat with a good amount of this rub and let it sit for an hour or so before putting your meat on the smoker.  We just put our loins on a big cookie sheet, rub with the rub, cover and let sit while we are getting the fire ready in the smoker.

(If I'm doing a lot of meat, I double or triple this recipe.)


Honey - Mustard BBQ Sauce

  • 1 bacon slice, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup prepared mustard (plain yellow mustard)
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper.
Cook bacon in a medium saucepan until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in the saucepan.  Saute onion in the drippings about 3 minutes or until tender.  Stir in the bacon, vinegar, and remaining ingrediens.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and immer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.  I store it in a quart canning jar with a lid.

This Honey-Mustard BBQ Sauce is also EXCELLENT served with chicken!

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