Thursday, August 20, 2009

Biting Off More Than I Can Chew, but Chewing Nonetheless

Got really into it today. There were so many things that needed to be done and I think we managed to get to a lot of them, though there were several "I can't do this" moments, and rightly so. We have been trying to clear our garden and have a wave of veggies that won't sit forever. The potatoes and the beets will be fine, but everything else has a short shelf life and won't last the duration of our trip.

So we managed to freeze down all the fruit and veggies that we haven't eaten, which included peaches, pineapple, cauliflower, sugar peas, and string beans. The fruit is destined for smoothies or cobblers, and the veggies for stir fry or soups. We can't freeze the cucumbers (at least I don't think we can), which we have a ridiculous number of, so we went the canning route and made refrigerator pickles, sour and sweet. I'm kicking myself because I was at GK&T's house the other day and he has fresh dill growing out of his ears and I forgot to get some. Darn! Either way, the cold pickling is much simpler than the canning, though not by much. I spent hours on the web looking for good recipes that don't use alum, but can't know for sure how good they are until we eat them.

R picked loads of basil, which in the past has always gone to waste or gone to seed before we ate it. This time she got it all out and we made it into pesto, which we ate last night and froze the rest. Good stuff, and a crowd pleaser, not to mention a quick and easy emergency meal when needed. We also had about five pounds of beet greens which we wanted to eat, so I found a recipe for them that not only turned out great, but the kids loved it. File that one away for future usage. I'm assuming you can sub Swiss Chard for the greens. Finally, we topped it off with crispy cumin potatoes with spuds from out garden. We had a home garden meal, and it was tasty and satisfying.

Have to confess, eating food from the garden is fun and enjoyable, and though I still don't think you're saving money in the long run, it's a labor of love. It's all about the journey. Besides, we're still new at this, and as we get the drill down, we'll streamline the process and make it more of a reality. That's the wave of the future, right?

Okay, we're not done, yet. I also had a plan to make sauerkraut with the cabbage that is in our fridge, but didn't get around to it. I'd still like to because it will go to waste, otherwise, and I love sauerkraut. I may be alone on this one. The kids went out and picked blackberries, which were fabulous, and we still have loads of cucumbers waiting to be used, and the corn and the squash have not even begun to show their heads.

Our timing is way off here. I think we could start sooner or plan a vacation later, because our trip is throwing off the harvest. We'll have lots of veggies that we won't be around to pick and who knows what will become of them. Then again, it's probably good to travel while we still can, so we'll get our kicks before the whole sh_thouse goes up in flames, to quote Jim Morrison.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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