A basket of goodness

August 14, 2018

Jams and preserves…

…and pickles and such.

Phone rings t’other day. It’s someone asking me if I’ll donate a door prize again this year to the state economic development conference.

Well, yeah, I guess. What’d I donate last year?

A basket of preserves and jams and jellies.

Well, all righty, then. I can do that again.

I got the idea from a friend who makes homemade wine, and donates a couple of bottles as door prizes, If he can do it, I think, I can do it.

I don’t remember what all I put in last year’s. This year, I think it’s going to be pickles, chutneys, jams and preserves. I have pear preserves, apple butter, fig jam and blackberry jam already made. I have kosher dills, sweet hot chips, sweets, and bread and butter pickles. That ought to make up a nice basket, don’t’cha think?

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Puttin’ up…or not

July 11, 2018

Pickles. Got to have pickles.

Here it is the middle of July and I haven’t been putting up much.

By this time last year, I’d frozen peas and corn and peaches, canned pickles, kraut, blackberry jam, blueberry sauce, and was starting to put up tomatoes.

This year, I’ve done no corn, only two or three packages of peas, and no kraut, jams or jellies. I’ve made pickles, and I’m drying tomatoes, and so far, that’s about it.

Truth be told, I overdid it last year. I still have tomatoes (I will can some, but not nearly as many as I did last year). I have plenty of jams and jellies, and I’ll be adding to that stash this fall when scuppernongs ripen and when pears come in. I still have corn, and I still have peas; again, I may put up a little, but not as much as last year. And I’ll freeze some peaches. I’d like to make a big batch of blue-Q blueberry barbecue sauce and can that.  And we’ll call it done.

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Dinner the way dinner should be — fresh.

Good Lord. Has it been almost a month?

It has. I haven’t been cooking a great deal — it’s been too damn hot, I’ve been gone, work has been nuts, all the usual mea culpas.  And I’m about to be gone for another week — the fam, or at least most of it, is headed south to the beach for a week, where I will eat many shrimps and drink much beer. Reports on that when I get back, because I am NOT taking the laptop.

There has been some cooking. It’s prime veggie time, so there has been corn, okra, peas, green beans, tomatoes, and all the other bounty of summer. There’s been pickle-making, and as the tomatoes are starting to come in, there have been tomatoes dehydrated and stowed in bags in the freezer. I’m going to try my hand at canning some dried tomatoes in oil, if the Romas will ever come in in enough quantity. There have been capreses and BLTs.

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Six pints of pickle relish ought to be plenty, at least until I taste it.

Assault of the cucumbers continues unabated, so I made an attempt to work my way through some of them today.

I thought I’d given this latest harvest, some 10 pounds of cucumbers, away, but in the haste and hustle to get us and all the needed accoutrements out to AGC 2’s birthday party last night (A fine time was had by all; icing was smeared liberally, much juice was consumed, and gift bags were ripped asunder with glee), I failed to put them outside for my friend to pick up. So I’ve still got these:

The garden that keeps on giving.

As well as about twice that many that I picked today. I’ve decided I’m going to try to make the classic half-sours, a fermented pickle, with the rest, and maybe a quick batch of cucumber salad. And then I’ll start trying to give them away again, because, y’know what? The zucchini are about to start up.

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Happy Independence Day, y’all!

Whew. Long holiday weekend began about a cocktail and a half ago. And none too soon. I am not suffering fools gladly today.

This is an odds and ends posts, designed to catch up on a few things and ease us into the holiday weekend, which I am welcoming with Moscow Mules and salsa with chips and grated cheese. Don’t judge. It was that or Asian takeout, and I didn’t want to get up and get out to go get the Asian.

Holiday weekend will begin tomorrow, when I bestir myself from bed and set out for the Farmers Market and other assorted errand-running, and come home to do some serious cooking and housecleaning.  On my “get it” list at the market: sweet corn, peaches, more canteloupe, whatever else looks good. Cabbage, if the market still has any, and I’ll make some kraut, being I never got around to the last kraut I was going to make, and chunked the elderly cabbages yesterday. Thank God I at least have a compost bin.

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A peck of pickling

June 27, 2017

Here. Here’s a post I wrote four days ago, but didn’t have the photos edited to go with it. Here it is, with photos. Also, Good Night.

Pretty bread-and-butter pickles in Weck jars!

How it was, was, like this.

I had been out of town for a week. Before I left, I checked the garden. Picked a handful of tomatoes, a couple of banana peppers. Took them with me for a hostess gift.

It got hot while I was gone. Gardens, and things growing in them, like hot.

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Thinking about Christmas….

November 4, 2016

holiday-basket…baskets, that is.

Long-time readers will recall that I make annual Christmas baskets, collections of goodies, for gifts for some family and friends. It’s about the time of year I start thinking about what’s going to go in those baskets.

Yes, I know it’s hard to think about Christmas when it’s 80 degrees outside and you still have tomatoes on your vines. I can’t help global warming. Work with me, here.

I’m thinking this year’s baskets are going to lean toward the savory, a turn of mind inspired when I canned jalapeno peppers someone gave me last week. Such pretty, Christmasy-looking things they were.

Well, why not? Maybe not pickled jalapenos, but something leaning in that direction?

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