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In the Garden and In the Kitchen

The hot weather has calmed down and we've had a few days of upper seventies!  Last night, though there was no rain, there was a cool breeze blowing.  It was mercy, in its purest form.  Mowing half the yard was almost pleasurable and the mosquitoes were away for a little while.  I was also able to get the kitchen tidied up from all the food preservation that has been going on lately.  It is so easy, really, to squander all this good and nearly free food.  I know that I have done my share in the past, but this year--I'm on a roll.  I hope.

Carrots and Tomatoes

I had the children pull most of the carrots yesterday.  They are not winners for size, as Dick Proenneke would say, but they made Roan so proud.  His carrots, his cherry tomatoes.  We've picked that many (half a gallon) twice before.  I made a roasted tomato sauce with them and ran it through the food mill to take out the peels.  They I heated it up later and put in some parmesan cheese, just the most basic kind.  It was so good!  I seldom use gourmet ingredients here--it's store brand basics for us.  I did splurge on one block of fresh mozzarella, as it is obvious we have a fair amount of tomatoes to eat.  As is common with a two year old, there are green ones in the mix (and some I cut off by mistake!).


I think I've only got two empty jelly jars left now.  I've been busy filling them with anything I can think of.  On the left is currant-pomegranate jelly.  Pomegranate because my jelly bag fell and splattered everywhere.  Now my freshly-painted wall have faint drip stains on them. :-(  But, the jelly is good and I am becoming more adventurous and experimental.  I think there is more room with that with the No Sugar SureJell, as opposed to the regular version.  I know there's Pomona's, but I go with what is readily available nearby.  I've also given up the name brand lids in favor of plain ones that are about half the cost.  You can see my kitchen is a thrify one, but we are not suffering.  I get rather perturbed when people says that eating healthy or well is expensive.

Let's see.  The other jars have pesto in them, of course, for the freezer.  I've been doing this for awhile and everyone loves it when I pull out a jar.  My favorite way is to put it on a pizza after it comes out of the oven.  I love pesto with tomatoes.  I don't use pine nuts, to save on cost and because they can taste funny.  I know someone who would put in English walnuts.  There's a jar of banana pepper pickles, too, from a batch I made with peppers from The Annex.  No one was picking them, so we did.  Mike loves banana peppers and he was so pleased to see them.  In the pint is dried mint.  The Roland Estates is overrun with mint, so we've been picking a basketfull and bringing it home to dehydrate.  We all love mint tea (I never thought I would say that), so this is a big savings and the house smells lovely.

The onions, pumpkins, butternut squash, October beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, swiss chard (whatever will I do with that?) and a few other things remain.  I'm hoping to get in a batch of bread and butter pickles for Mike.  He really loves them.  I really don't, but I want to make him happy and I know that will do the trick.  When I told the children that harvest time began with Lammas, it was no joke!  I feel like my kitchen has been in constant upheaval and various stages of production all week.  I carried the canner downstairs yesterday, only to carry it right back up.

Today, we're going to look for peaches and pick the blackberries.  And wash the sheets and mow the yard.  And, is it Fall yet?  Can I get a frost?


( 4 trees — Plant a Forest )
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 12th, 2016 09:58 am (UTC)
I've been seeing them, too, while I'm busy slapping away mosquitoes. I think the No Sugar kind makes better tasting jam, yes. It's the only kind I use now.
Aug. 14th, 2016 05:48 am (UTC)
This is a bountiful harvest. You are doing such a great job preserving so many things - I really admire that. Our poor garden didn't do much for us this year, but I'm sure next year will be a different story. - Stacey
Aug. 14th, 2016 04:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It has been a full and blessed year, for sure. Some years are better than others. Seems the whole land is bursting with life around here.
( 4 trees — Plant a Forest )

A Blessed Wilderness

It was just like being in heaven, being in there. In those days there was no road. The park was all a blessed wilderness. I have often thought what a wonderful people we would have been if we had wanted to keep it that way.

~Adolph Murie, biologist, on Denali


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