Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Thinking About Spring . . . Almost

Winter is still very much with us.  We're promised a "warm up" for next week with temps possibly even above freezing.  But that also means a rain/snow mix is in the forecast.  Ugh.


I snapped this picture this week as I was driving out our driveway through the woods.  Although we haven't had any new snow in a while, there's still plenty that will have to melt before we see bare ground. 

Earlier today I made a check of the various vegetables we still have in the freezer from last year's bounty.  The only one that we're getting low on is asparagus.  Only two servings left of that.  Everything else is still plentiful including beets which I (once again) put up too many of.

Like bush beans, I keep reducing the number of beets I plant each year, but still end up with more than we need.  Granted hot, buttered beets are not our very favorite vegetable, but I need to make sure I serve them more often than I do.  They're loaded with fiber, Vitamins B and C and iron, they may help lower blood pressure and boost endurance.  (Yay, beets!)  And besides that, how often do you get a red vegetable on your plate?


Last week I took my very last container of chives out of the freezer.  I definitely did not harvest and freeze enough of those last year.  I've made a note to myself to be sure to put by more this coming season.  They add so much color and interest to soups, egg dishes and even salads.

Looking out the window, it doesn't seem possible that I should be starting seedlings inside already this month.  But it's a fact and it is time.  I know some of you in the warmer climates have already done so.  Time marches on and spring will arrive up here in the north woods, muddy feet and all!

19 comments:

Michelle said...

Yep, the mud is coming! We are often muddy all winter, but we've had an extended period of frozen ground; kinda nice!

tpals said...

It's so hard to get serious about starting seeds when it seems like it will never warm up. A woman at work today got excited because it was 10 above zero.

Kristina said...

I have not started my seeds but will this weekend. I have not had a car to get to town for supplies sadly. I am thinking of ordering a few more medicinal and herb seeds too.

Katie C. said...

Wow, you still have a lot of snow! We might get more of that “wonderful wintery mix” later this week. It may not seem like spring but my allergies are telling me it is. When I look closely at the trees, I can see a few tiny buds. I think I went through half a box of tissues this morning.

We finally got our seed order and will probably start planting next week. I got a pressure canner so I definitely want to try canning green beans this year in addition to all our usual tomato products. If you haven’t tried it, the Ball’s Zesty salsa is pretty good. When I have an open leftover jar languishing in the fridge, I put it over chicken and bake it. I think there’s something about the vinegar acid that makes the chicken particularly tender.

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - I have to admit one of the reasons I like winter as much as I do is the fact that we don't track in nearly as much grit, grim and dirt! Mud is my nemesis; I just hate it! :o(

tpals - Oh, yes, I can relate to your co-worker who got excited about the 10 above temperature! We had -5 again this morning. It's been a cold winter!

Kristina - How I envy your knowledge when it comes to medicinal and herb seed growing. I keep saying I must educate myself regarding same, but have not done so. Really should get on that. (And 422 other things on my list!) :o)

Katie C. - Thanks for the tip regarding the Zesty Salsa recipe. I think Ball's Blue Book has such good recipes in it! Now go get those seeds ready to plant! :o}

Karren said...

Love your snipped chives. You wrote about that years ago, and I'm still snipping and freezing mine. So good. If I were you, I'd make up a big batch of pickled beets. They're so very yummy and a great lively addition to a meal. I usually make up a quart of them, and once they're eaten, drop some hard boiled eggs in the juice to make more with that great flavor and color.

wisps of words said...

A healthy suggestion... "Eat the rainbow!" :-) Beets surely fit into this. Hot buttered beets. Mmmmm, heavenly!

Ahhh yes, Spring will delicately dance in... But leaving lots of muddy foot prints. ,-)

Mama Pea said...

Karren - Just this past fall, I tossed (into the compost heap so it wasn't a total loss) about a dozen jars of pickled beets I had made 4 years ago. Papa Pea doesn't care for them (even though I do!) and whenever I put them out for others at our table, they don't seem to go over very well either. (Hmmmm, maybe I need to look for another recipe??) So I've given up on pickled beets for a while at least. I've always wondered about the hard boiled eggs in the pickled beet juice. That really appeals to me. So glad you freeze the chives as I do. Aren't they nice?

wisps of words - "Eat the rainbow!" I love that. Hot buttered beets aren't bad, for sure. Must serve them more often! I shouldn't complain of mud in spring being tracked in. Husband is much better about not daring to trod inside with muddy feet. Wasn't so all the time in all the years we had a dog. See? Could be worse!

Vera said...

I never knew you could freeze chives, so thanks for the info.

Hope things warm up for you soon.

Mama Pea said...

Vera - Absolutely! You wouldn't believe the amount I use over a winter's time. And, of course, in the spring/summer they're so prolific in the garden I hate to see them go to waste.

We're due for a warm up, but just when it will come is up for grabs!

Lisa said...

Oooooo I have beet envy!! It is so hard for me to grow beets for some reason, and I LOVE them! Drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt roasted covered in the oven...... Yum!!! Your driveway is so pretty, like a Winter Wonderland postcard. :)

Lynne said...

I think beets are one of the best vegetable health wise for us.When I was little I remember Dad grew plenty of beets. Mom would make them with little onions mixed in them. Actually they were pretty good. It does'nt feel like March to me at all. This Sunday the clocks are turned ahead! I think I missed a couple of months somewhere along the line. Your driveway does look pretty. We still have a bit of snow on the ground. Just to cold to go away.Darn it!!

Susan said...

I always want to start seedlings too early - maybe I think I can force spring! Not likely. We have had days of below zero evening temps and I can tell you that I am tired. of. it. I don't even bother counting March as spring - it's too fickle! I, too, have an abundance of beets in my freezer. I need to suck it up and eat them. Why is it that we leave beets for last, if they are so good for us?

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - I'm not sure (and too lazy to look it up), but I wonder if beets are more of a "cool weather crop?" I have a recipe that yours reminded me of . . . put chunked up beets, carrots, onion, and cloves of garlic in a shall baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, cover and put in oven. The flavors all blend and are delish. I even put in chunks of potatoes some of the time. Good.

Lynne - Onions mixed in with the beets sound good. I will do that next time! You and I were obviously absent when those couple of winter months slipped by. This winter has gone by so fast!

Cockeyed Jo said...

We've had the mud all winter long. If not mud then it's frozen mud.I think this has been the wettest winter here in a very long time judging from the older folks' conversations. We're wondering if we'll have a dry spell to plant in the spring. Cockeyed Jo

Sam I Am...... said...

At least snow is prettier than dead grass! LOL! Your driveway is picture perfect! Oh, I wish I lived next door...I love beets...my daughter and I both. I buy the Amish pickled beets if I can get a hold of them. I need to grow them...lots of them! Asparagus...another one that Amy and I love...we are the only ones in the family...evidently some weird gene from somewhere. I miss my rhubarb patch too...I am homesick for sure even though Spring was not my favorite as my farm boots would be caked with mud so bad they would sometimes slip off from the weight of it! LOL! But still I am a midwest gal at heart and I miss it. The birds are singing down here and the buds are popping. I'm sure as soon as you get Taylor out of the way they will be long gone from here. We do not have them here normally....they just have a layover here in the Spring....I've actually seen them peeking in the window when I watch the weather on t.v....lol!

Goatldi said...

Well look at you! I feel better now as for many a year , about 34 +, as if I were the only person on earth who felt that beets need only be planted every other year. If that!

Tonight finds me reading your blog and others with a kicked up a notch fire in the stove and for the first in awhile hot chocolate in the cup. We are supposed to be on the tail end of a long multi weather conditions winter. But what are they dishing up for the last day or two. More rain, no news there. What is this? Snow? Good grief Grace.

Leigh said...

Good time of year to take inventory! I would love to have too many beets growing. My problem has been deer. They love beet greens! Do you have a specific method of organizing your freezer to keep track of its contents?

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