If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Garden is Coming In!

Well, actually, the garden isn't coming in.

Well, maybe it is actually coming in.  We seem to track pieces and parts of it in almost every day.  I cannot keep up with the sweeping or the mopping the floor needs, it seems!  I haven't given up as yet, though.

Actually, what I really mean is that the vegetables are maturing and we are enjoying the bounty of Mike's garden.  It seems that every day I have a kitchen counter with vegetables setting there waiting to become dinner.  Love it!  We started out with a planting of twenty-plus tomato plants, a couple of hills of cucumbers, and a handful of hills of squash.  There were a few tomato plants which were just not sturdy enough for transplanting from pots to the ground at that time.  So, after a bit of a panic, we wound up setting a handful more tomatoes.  Then, a week or so ago, we set out the last few plants that needed a bit of time to mature.  They may not mature enough to make juice or salsa but we hope to at least get a batch or two of fried green tomatoes.

We have For dinner we had fresh squash, boiled with some onions, and fried okra and a sliced tomato alongside some home-made meatloaf and it was delicious!  Mike also ate a few of one of his favorites, Cucumber and Onion Salad.

The other day I cooked us some squash for dinner and in a pot right beside it, I boiled more squash for a few minutes, plunged it into ice water, and bagged it up for the freezer.

We had a few ears of corn shared with us and we ate some and froze some.  Mike cut it off the cob and I did the blanching and freezing duties.  He also cut up some more squash and I blanched and froze it as well.

Those first few pieces from the garden always taste the best!  Now, I'm sure that as the work days grow longer and the energy grows shorter, I might not have as much enthusiasm for storing up the veggies for later use.  But I know that as the temperatures dip and the daylight hours grow shorter, I will appreciate the ready food supply tucked away in jars and the freezer.

Mike had a new addition to his gardening repertoire this year in an unintentional way.  He thought he was getting Cayenne pepper plants but when they began to bear, he realized that these peppers were way too big for that.  We have since identified them as Cowhorn peppers.  They are excellent for adding spice when cooking.  I am trying my hand at drying them for later use.

I used a similar technique to what I had done with the Cayenne's a couple of years ago.  I just strung them onto some strong, unflavored dental floss and hung them from the end of the cabinet.  For these, I strung them similarly and just looped the floss over the hinge of my newly cleaned cabinets.  I thought I should watch them pretty closely since I'm not certain they will dry as well.  So far, so good!

Today I'm battering and freezing a bit of okra and stirring up some granola.  We are going to have a few yummy days ahead anyway!