Monday, August 22, 2011

From the garden

Before we left on holidays, our garden started to produce crop after crop.  The peas were almost done when we came home from PEI, but that crop is usually only for summer consumption.  This year I did get three big bags in the freezer for next winter.  The garden is huge...................I do is Karl's hobby.  He absolutely loves it.

I have no idea the size of it, but it keeps us in food for a long time.  It is grown organically and has been for years and years.  Long before it became the "in" thing.

The beets are harvested.  No, we don't eat the tops.  Never tried them.  Don't grow them for that purpose.  We pickle!!!  I know a few people, who shall not be named here, who would raid our room for these jars.  Not going to happen, ladies

I've used the same recipe for nearly 45 years.  It's so simple and its embedded in my mind.  If I ever changed it, the family wouldn't eat the beets.  It's also tradition.  Equal parts of sugar, water and vinegar. Bring to boil.  Boil for 5 minutes.  Pour over beets in the jar.  That's it!!!
The cucumbers are doing extremely well.  Karl is getting his dill pickles

Yes, he does them.  Scrubs the heck out of them, adds the garlic clove and the dill which also come from the garden and then puts the "cucs" in the jars.  Pours the brine over and in 6 weeks they are ready to eat.

We both make this. We work together in the kitchen on this one.  Its a lot of work chopping and grinding everything you need to put in.  Karl scrubs the cucumbers, I take away some of the skin and pop them through the processor.  I chop the celery, he puts the onions through the processor, he does the tomatoes and I do the peppers.  We throw everything into the big stock pot for overnight "brewing" with the pickling salt and then start again in the morning.

This is it!  Hot dog relish.  In the jars, saved from all of Karl's Schmucker's jam the last two winters.   
20 jars of it this year.  Should keep us going for awhile, if Karl doesn't keep sampling!!!!

  My family love sweet mixed pickles, so I went online and found a recipe.  I hope they are really good, cause someone who is 43 and shall remain nameless scoffs all the onions out of the jars.  A lot more onions, and cauliflower in these jars than the ones you buy.  Next time ~~ if there is a
next time ~~  I will use more cucumbers.  Not quite enough for us.

We do have a few other things coming.  The tomatoes have started
and so have the cauliflower

The zucchini have been coming for a couple of weeks
and we either eat them cooked or I grate them,
portion them for breads and pack away in
bags in the freezer.  Its just been too darn hot to bake.

These are the little onions Karl cleaned up for the sweet mixed pickles.  They aren't pearl onions, but they worked in great!

The peppers only seem to be yielding one to a plant but that's okay.  We can only eat so many of them at a time.  I prefer the red, but the green seem to grow better in our garden.  We have left the green to turn red and when we do my gosh they are good.

Finally we are back to an old crop.  Ever-bearing strawberries.  We haven't had them for a long time, but Karl decided to put in 25 plants.  He picks a few the night before and eats them with his cereal in the morning.  Its his replacement for sugar on his corn flakes.
They are really sweet.  I get to taste the odd one now and then.  Yes, that's green netting over them.  We decided not to share with the birds this year.

I have a pickling tip for you.  Remember years ago they told us to make spice bags out of cheesecloth.  The other morning I just happened to be changing channels for Karl on the tv and there was Rachel Ray.  She used a coffee filter bag!  I tried it, it works and beautifully I might add.  It withstood stirring and no rips, no tears.  I'm definitely doing this from now on.

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