Beach Thursday

It really feels like the end of summer.  Matthew will be attending a electronic music festival until Sunday and then Tuesday we begin teaching for the Fall semester, so we wanted to get a last “summer day” in there.  The answer: the beach.  This was the first time at the beach all summer for me, and it was a good day of just plain ol relaxing. 
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Taking the subway out about 90 minutes will get you to Rockaway Beach which is our favorite NYC beach.  Upon getting there, we knew we would need some shade to survive, so we were going to rent a beach umbrella to lay under and read for hours (my Kindle is amazing for reading in the sun).  Surprisingly to buy a beach umbrella cost about the same thing we expected to pay to rent one, so we now own a neon pink beach umbrella!
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The funny thing is that we weren’t really equipped to get a umbrella into the sand so when we first put it in, it immediately came out and blew down the beach.  As I ran after the umbrella trying to catch it but always missing it by arm lengths, children shouted to their parents to look at the girl chasing after her umbrella.  It was just one of those experiences… Finally I caught it!
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Then we began the afternoon which always starts with attending sunscreen crazily all over.  This reminds me of how I used to look as a kid when my dad applied sunscreen to me except he never really rubbed it in. I have pictures for proof.  Thanks Dad.
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Then it was lunch time, and I was starving for my first meal of the day.  We picked up deli sandwiches on the way.  I was a little “eh” about  my orange cheese, but it was pretty good to be honest.
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The real winner of the day were these pretzel crisps.  Have you tried them? You need to, immediately.  You should stop reading right now and go buy some!
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I forgot how good it feels to just bury your feet in sand and do nothing but close your eyes. 
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Matthew didn’t go into the ocean, but I sure did.. many times! I forgot how fun it is to just let the waves knock you down, and then try to catch one to swim in.  It brought me back to my childhood vacations spent at the beach, I would play in those waves for hours everyday while covered in sunscreen. 
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Thanks for the good day beach! Next summer, we’ll be sure to spend more lazy days there..
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We’ll bring along our umbrella too!
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First Cucumber Spotted!

This is our area for the cucumbers and pumpkins. The cucumber plant in the bottom left is getting out of control, there’s a ton of flowers that we’ve been pollinating.
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To much happiness, the pollination worked because we spotted our first cucumber today..
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And our second one..
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And there was 2 females open today, looking for a male to mingle with.  We helped them out.  Good luck girls!
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Soybean Harvesting – Pt 2

So you saw part one, the actual cutting down of the soybean plants.  So how many soybeans did we get? How much edamame will I be eating? How stocked is our freezer right now?  Answers:  10.3 pounds in one harvest (not including a few days before of picking), alot, so stocked I have to beg the freezer door to close.
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Just call me edamame girl!
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A bowl full…
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And more bowls full…
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Hello more beans.
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Let me continue to pick you for hours.
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Aren’t they beauties?
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So then they get washed and blanched.. and then they dry.
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Drying…
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We really had no idea we were going to get this many beans! Xanadu is shocked too.
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Into freezer bags they go…
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And then we play Tetris to rearrange the freezer.
Soybeans – one of the surprises of the garden this year! We’ll definitely plant them every year now.  Great job beans!

Essy’s Blog

Did you know our 18 year old girl Essy has a blog?  She’s the queen of the house, the apple of our eyes, the love of our lives.  She’s been blogging since 2006, there’s lots of sunning pictures, food pictures, sleeping pictures and just general stare downs.  Check it out here, or you can always check it out in the sidebar over there  ——————————->
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Sunday Journey

It was Sunday Afternoon and Matthew asked me to go to Manhattan with him to get some paints for his new hobby (although not new as it was a big part of his youth) Warhammer.  So instead of taking the subway, or biking, we decided to walk the 10 miles to Manhattan and back.  You can definitely feel summer leaving and fall arriving.. it’s slow, but the brutal heat appears to be gone.
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First, to leave, I had to get my bookbag out from Xanadu who was unpleased I took her pillow.
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Then off we went across the Williamsburg Bridge.
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Then to the Game Workshop store we went.  He needed lots of colors to paint his army. I tried to talk him into buying everything in the store, that’s how I am.  I don’t tell people not to buy things, I ask them to buy everything  You want that, ok, and that, ok, you want all 6, ok, let’s do it.
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Then I saw this and told him to buy it, but it’s not even for sale.
Rest of the journey, behind the cut.

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Soybean Harvesting – Pt 1

I apologize in advance for the amount of soybeans posts that are about to happen, but they were stars of our garden this summer so it only feels right to give them all the attention they deserve.  Yesterday, the soybeans (edamame) came down.  I did this solo and by the time I was done I couldn’t move my arms.  Also to get a idea of how long this took me, just look at how the light changes from beginning to end. :)
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Our glorious soybeans.  You must come down.. it’s that time.. we must harvest all your beans, but we love you alot.
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You grew beans on every inch of yourselves.  You grew beyond our wildest dreams.
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When I peeked inside, I saw nothing but bushels of beans.
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So the first half came down… I cried a little bit.
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Then I got to work to picking every single bean off. I thought that bowl would be enough, I’m a idiot.
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Then you all came down…
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You grew so strong! You stood your ground against the wind.  You are my hero.
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Back to picking beans..
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Matthew came up to visit me, probably because I told him I would be right back and it was hours later.
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Finally, I finished, the boxes are empty of soybeans.

Soon you’ll see the amounts we got…

Thanksgiving in August

This past weekend we gathered some dear friends and hosted Thanksgiving Dinner. There was turkey, lots of yummy sides, and even yummier desserts.  I brined the turkey in the usual sea salt bath overnight which creates a moist, delicious turkey.  Some of the sides we made were creamy mashed potatoes and baked beans with bacon.  Matthew’s baked beans are always a hit!  For dessert I made pumpkin pies from our garden pumpkins which I think created some happy bellies.
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Lots of pictures behind the cut.

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Cucumber Plants Update

This is the first year we’re growing cucumbers.  I really had no idea what to expect, but I’m pleasantly surprised by how they’ve been growing so far! We have 2 plants, but they started at different times, so one is bigger than the other.   We’re hoping to see some baby cucumbers appear soon enough… *Fingers Crossed*.
Here’s the big one.
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There’s a ton of male flowers on it.
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And there’s some ladies looking to mingle, we’ve been assisting in pollinating them. 
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Here you can see the smaller cucumber plant in the top right. 
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The Best Stewed Tomatoes Ever

This is a recipe that might cause you to faint, I’m warning you now.  I was expecting average stewed tomatoes, but I ended up sitting at the counter with a spoon eating them out of the pot when they were done.  Matthew was in another room, so I knocked on the door.
”Matthew? Are you there?”
”What? What’s wrong”
”Can you come here?”
”Why are you crying?”
”I just made the best stewed tomatoes.”
”Are you crying?”
”Yes”
”Why?”
”Because they are so good.”
This was a actual conversation over stewed tomatoes.  Seriously, they are that good!
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Ingredients:
10 tomatoes
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 cup chopped green pepper

Directions:
Bring a large pot of water to boil, plunge tomatoes in for 30 seconds.  Remove, put immediately in a ice bath.
Peel and deseed the tomatoes.  Disregard the skins and seeds.
Dice the tomatoes up.
In a large pot on medium heat, combine all ingredients.
Simmer for 20 minutes.
Then serve fresh or you can freeze them.

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Full photos behind the cut.

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Edamame Soybeans

This week I’m pretty sure all the soybeans will be ready to harvest completely.  This is great and sad news.  Great because the broccoli can move in, they’ve been bugging us for a bigger space.  Sad because I love my soybeans and will miss seeing them take over the garden.
After some reading I realized the best way to harvest soybeans is to pull the entire plant after the pods are full.  This here is one plant out of the 50+ we grew.

This is another:

It’s full of beans, low, high, in between. 

I love how furry they are.  It makes my heart pitter patter. 
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This is from 1 plant..

And this is from another plant I harvested today.  I will boil them for a few quick minutes and eat edamame.  I already had a few bowls.  <3
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Today’s Harvest

Will the tomatoes ever stop? Well I hope not.  But I fear for my sanity as well.    We estimated that we got about 100 pounds of tomatoes this summer…
These tomatoes are in a 5 quart pot,  and that’s not including the ones I already cleaned and took out.
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It seems like right now it’s time for the roma and beefs to shine.  We picked a ton of romas today. 
Beef tomatoes on the vine are so pretty.

There’s so many more to pick!

This is how tall our tomatoes grew… Matthew is 6 feet tall… isn’t it amazing?
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We also  picked some more red beans, strawberries and soy beans today.  More about the soy beans soon…
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Yard Long Red Beans

When we bought these seeds a few months ago we read the description saying they would grow very long.  We didn’t really think ours would grow that long, but none the less… here’s what we got.
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Can we just talk about how amazing they are?  We have never seen beans this long, this red, this lovely.
To understand how long they actually are….

And the beautiful rich shade of red…

I admire them so much..

So with 3 boxes soon to be full of them, we’re going to have many.  Here’s part of one current box.

I like this picture that Matthew took of me just hanging out by the beans attempting to wrap them around my head because they are so long.  Fact: They easily wrapped around completely.

Good job beans!