Marti’s Corner – 116

June 28, 2023

Hi Everyone!!!

Almost one month into the summer and I have YET to cook in my dutch oven.  I’m just getting up the courage. LOL

Solar Patio Lights

Do you have solar patio lights?

This 12-pack is $28 on Amazon.  Here’s the thing:  the solar panels on top collect energy during the day and store it in small batteries.  Then, at night, the batteries create the light.  BUT, did you know, you should replace the batteries every year?  Craig is really good about doing this in the Spring, so the lights will work all summer.  

The reason you WANT to have some of these, is that if we lose power for any length of time, you can simply bring them indoors and have light!!!  

Have you filled up your propane tanks for your BBQ?  Did you know you can get a simple connection that will allow you to connect your BIG propane tank to your small camp stove?  They have them at Walmart.


I got my first bean harvest of the year.  This is how I keep my beans fresh in the refrigerator while I’m waiting to harvest enough for a meal.  how to keep green beans fresh in fridge. I did three containers of succession planting on the beans, so they won’t ALL produce at the same time for a few more weeks.

Green Pumpkin

Last year was my first year to try pumpkins.  This year, I actually have a few green pumpkins.

Orangey Pumpkin

Just as I was getting excited, one of them started turning orange, and not in a good way.  

Any pumpkin growers out there with advice?

This is ALSO my first year growing Roma and San Marzano tomatoes.  They are just starting to turn red.  But here’s the thing:  They are TINY!!!  Most are about 3 fingers big:

Roma and San Marzano Tomatoes

and some are only two fingers long:

Ugh.  This seems like a lot of work for such small tomatoes.  Had I known, I would have grown a different variety. 

and some are only two fingers long: Ugh. This seems like a lot of work for such small tomatoes. Had I known, I would have grown a different variety.

Now, my indeterminate tomatoes are MUCH larger and have not started to turn yet.

I WANTED to be able to can some of these tomatoes, but not sure if I’ll have enough at this rate.  

I looked at the forecast.  Looks like we’ll be in the 90’s soon enough.  As SOON as it hits 90, my shade cloth goes on! 

Green Tomatoes


Recommended 50 pounds per person (which is only 1 pound per week, so not much!)

Berries are in season.  I’ve been using my berries to make fruit leather.  AND…..I actually made some jam!  Fruit can include cans of peaches, pears, or any other type of fruit, fruit roll-ups, banana chips, dried fruit, freeze-dried fruit, jam, and jelly.  

Have you ever found cans of fruit in your pantry that seem REALLY old?  No worries.  Use it to make a fruit smoothie.

I have very fond memories of my grandfather having a bowl of ice cream for dessert topped with peaches, strawberries, or other seasonal fruit.  

Unless you are an apartment dweller, you should be able to grow at least one fruit tree.  Here in So. Cal, we have mostly citrus trees and berry bushes.  Some friends not far from me live at a slightly higher altitude and have apple trees.  There ARE certain varieties of peach trees that grow here, but most peaches, pears, and apples require a certain number of cold hours.  They grow better in climates with winters that dip below freezing more than ours does.  

Farmer’s Markets are a good place to check out the fresh produce.  Unfortunately, I’ve found that the produce there is not much cheaper (if at all) than the local supermarket.  Gone are the days for me when I could buy lugs of fruit offered for sale in someone’s front yard.  

MISC. PURCHASE: toilet paper

Time to stock up on another month of toilet paper.  Try to work up to at least 6 months’ supply! And that’s for the whole family!!!!


Breakfast In a Glass

From “There’s a Cow in the Kitchen” by Virginia D. Nelson

  • 1 c. cold water
  • 1/4 c. non-instant milk powder (1/2 c. instant)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. fresh fruit or 3 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate

Combine in a blender, with a whisk, or an electric beater.  For best flavor, chill before serving, or use ice in place of part of the water.

English Muffins

This is one of our favorite snacks.  It’s the perfect thing for mid-afternoon.  Today, as I was eating my English muffin with some of my homemade blackberry jam, I was thinking that I should practice making them.  Why not???  I went to this website: Recipes – Preppy Kitchen  and found a good one for English Muffins along with a host of other yummy recipes!

Best Ever English Muffins – YouTube

The recipe is a long one, so just watch the video!  I’m going to try them this week.

Potato Pancakes from Left-Over Mashed Potatoes

I made these this week, mostly because I had left over potatoes and didn’t want to throw them away.

  • 1 c. leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TB flour

Optional:  garlic salt, onion, cheese, chives, salt, pepper

Mix all together.   Fry in a hot skillet with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and/or butter.

Fry on both sides.  

You can serve them with sour cream, which I thought sounded good, but Mr. Shelley is not a fan.  Frankly, they were good just as is.  We had them in place of hash browns.  AND…..I used up the potatoes.  Yay!


Marti Shelley

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Jacquie Powers
Jacquie Powers
2 months ago

Thank you Marti for all you do. It is much appreciated.

2 months ago

Thank you for the potato pancake recipe! Love those. Also the insight on the roma tomatoes.

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