Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Pickle all the things!

I was in my garden yesterday looking through my radishes to see if they were ready.  My husband had chosen the radishes because they were a larger variety.  I've never seen radish plants like this before.  The stalks are 3 feet high right now and because I didn't thin them (noted for next year, with the carrots too) and because I planted an entire 40 foot row of them, I have many, many radishes.  I picked about 10 yesterday and their sizes ranged from the size of my big toe to the size of a small lemon.  The big toe size were very woody and not ready yet.  My plan with all these radishes is to of course pickle them.  I'm going to try some with red onion and peppercorns and others with garlic and red pepper flakes.  These days I'm also pickling beets, green beans and carrots.  I change it up each time adding something a little different to try out different tastes.  I'm already looking forward to eating them in the winter.  I also have those 16 or so tomato plants that are doing very well despite my overgrown, weedy garden.  I will roast those with garlic and basil, take off the skins and then blend with a bit of olive oil and also preserve them.  The cucumbers again did not do well in my garden.  I will try them in the upper garden next year because I would love to make actual cucumber pickles.  I made a big crock of baked beans this week thinking I could preserve them as well but I need a pressure cooker to do that, so I will freeze those to add to chili.  Oh what a mess my kitchen has been.  I'm trying to pack in as much as I can into these dwindling daylight hours including a 3km walk with the dog everyday.  I am working from home a bit more over the next couple of weeks so all this work is fitting in just fine with my schedule and I'm so thankful for a job that is flexible enough to allow a life outside of work.  My next little project is to figure out how to preserve kale.  Don't laugh!  It seems like such a waste to have so much in the summer but none in the winter.  Any ideas?  I'm all ears. 

Monday, 17 August 2015

Ahhh August

Things have been very very busy around here.  I'm trying to get in a whole lot of down time with the kids, manage two very full gardens and take care of 19 animals on a daily basis.  Oh and work 40 hours a week.  Not only is the garden thriving due to the wonderfully hot and wet weather we've been having but so are the grass and the weeds.  I'm trying hard not to complain and I'm certainly not complaining about the heat and the abundance of produce my garden is giving us.  I was on the beach just yesterday thinking about the winter and how our seasons change so quickly from this wonderful lusciousness to cold and dark so I'm just trying to take it all in and enjoy it while it's here.
My garden is so full right now.  I got a little too excited about the first green beans a week or so ago.  I think canning season has begun.  I'm starting with beets and then it will be carrots, green beans and finally tomato sauce and salsa.  I have no idea how I'm going to do it all so I'm breaking it down - tonight I'll boil beets, tomorrow I'll peel, slice.  Tomorrow night I'll pickle. 
In the garden right now I have green peppers!  The cabbage is almost ready so I'm looking into fermenting it and making sauerkraut.  The carrots need to be pulled and dried soon.  Our second crop of onions didn't come up but the bush beans and beets look good.  And the radishes?  I didn't realise how tall those plants would get!  They are 2.5 feet high right now and so I pulled a couple and they aren't *quite* ready which is just as well because I'm not *quite* sure if I want to pickle or ferment them.  Next year I'll get a little bit more organized and hold a canning weekend with all of this produce.  Tonight I'll make a garlic stir fry with steamed fresh beet greens, kale, rainbow chard and onions.  Maybe my girls will even try it.  Maddy tried almond milk today so baby steps.  :)