Wednesday, June 30, 2010

and the garden keeps growing and growing...

L and I did a large picking of lettuce which we added to some we had in the fridge from previous days and we finally had enough for wilted lettuce salad! Yum! Wilted lettuce is a taste of summer from home for me. We always made it with the abundant lettuce from grandpa's garden.
It's never just the same as mom made it but the recipe is as follows: Cook your bacon, reserve 1/8 cup of grease. Combine 4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar and 4 Tbsp. sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved. Add reserved bacon grease and a diced small onion. Now, here's the part I'm wondering about, my mom always took the dressing and microwaved it until hot but there were many occasions that it cooked too long and exploded in the microwave. I'm wondering now if it wouldn't be easier to just heat it back up on the stove again, not as fast, but it might take the exploded risk out! Anyway, crumble the cooked bacon over a big bowl of lettuce (or spinach) and pour the hot dressing on. Toss and eat immediately!

Also in the photo are 3 tiny yellow squash. I've been having trouble with end rot on my yellow squash, lost about 8-10 but these 3 hadn't started rotting so I picked them quick! They made a one serving lunch for me. Chopped them up, steamed them and put butter and parmesan cheese on it.

Happy Summer Eating!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mmmmmm.... I LOVE Jam!!

Yes, I made more strawberry jam!! Cowboy and L bought me 4 more quarts of strawberries at a local farm market. I prepared them and put them in the freezer until I had time to make the jam. I followed the recipe in the Ball pectin package again and got 9 jars! (one went right to the fridge when cool to eat!)

When I went to buy the case of jars I also picked up the book from Ball, their Blue Book Guide to Preserving which I checked out from the library many times last summer and for a very
reasonable price it was a good investment for me!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Garden Progress: 6/21/2010

HAPPY SUMMER!! Today is officially the first day of summer so we got out the kiddie pool and L splashed and played for a couple hours!

Not a full update on the garden, but a partial update of 2 of the boxes in the backyard. We've been enjoying lots of spinach, lettuce and radishes. The radishes and spinach have almost reached their end but there are plenty more vegetables come in!

I have 6 big tomato plants all blooming! The onions are coming along nicely. We've been picking some here and there to use in cooking already. And the carrots are hopefully coming along since all I can see are the big tops!

My one big mistake this year, the yellow squash plants on the left were not suppose to be a bush variety, then were planned to climb the trellis, so I planted a couple more lemon cucumber plants to grow up the trellis with the ones I had started earlier. The lemon cucumber are sending out their first "climbers" and wrapping around the trellis. What is the name of the little things they send out to wrap around things anyway??

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Garden Harvest 6.1&2.2010

The first couple harvests out of the garden weren't photo worthy, just a few spinach and lettuce leaves here and there and a few radishes. Yesterday I was able to harvest enough spinach and lettuce to have a salad along with a bunch of radishes. Today brought another bundle of radishes!

This was today's bundle, one odd white one in there!
I know that I can let them get a lot bigger, but my husband prefers them when they are smaller.

And yesterday's harvest:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Canning and Preserving: First batch of 2010

For the first time last year I attempted canning and it went great! Since last fall when I did my first canning, my mom passed my grandma's canning pot onto me so I couldn't wait to do more!!

The first canning of the 2010 season: Strawberry Jam
It would be even better if I had grown the strawberries, but I bought them. I just used the recipe in the Ball's pectin box. I think I might try a lower sugar recipe because this is super sweet, but it's REALLY good!

One thing I learned is that the 8oz. jars set up better... so we're just going to eat the bigger jars first! I cracked one open this morning to put on toast and it was delicious!