Yes I Can!

8 Aug

It’s official!  The start of canning season.  The “Sumter” cukes have been very, very happy and have showered us with short, squatty, mildly flavored cucumbers.  Yesterday morning I went out to the garden to get green onions for breakfast and found a “moby-cuke” that had been hiding under its thicket of leaves; I knew it was pickle time!  Here’s the stack of 28–after moby joined the others from the week…way too many to just peel and eat:

After picking dill and jalepenos, peeling garlic cloves, making a brine, washing jars and cukes, cutting the ends off the cukes and slicing them into spears and packing jars with the cukes, dill, garlic and brine, placing lids and processing for 20 minutes each batch–whew–I ended up with 10 quarts of kosher dills! 

The garden has been LOVING the last two weeks of “monsoonal moisure” and has been really bringin’ it on!  The tomato plants are now over 6 feet tall.  One of them produced this amazing Belgian Giant heirloom tomato:

It was just so huge, I had to take it into the house and weigh it–13 ounces!

We sliced it onto hamburgers along with a red onion from the garden.  Nom nom nom!!!   Zucchinis have been doing what zucchinis do, resulting in 2 loaves of zucchini bread this weekend too.  It’s like living with a farmer’s market right outside the back door!

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4 Responses to “Yes I Can!”

  1. Pam August 8, 2010 at 11:31 pm #

    Heidi, did you give me any of those cukes?! I will have to go look. The squash are everywhere! Holy cow! And–I need your pesto recipe, please! I don’t have a huge amount of basil, but I think I have enough to make a few batches of pesto! You are amazing, by the way!

  2. secondcupofcoffee August 9, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    Yup, Pam–if you got cukes from me, they’re the same as the ones burying me right now! Here’s pesto:
    2 cups loosely packed fresh basil
    4 cloves garlic-peeled
    1/4 cup evoo
    1 cup freshly grated parm cheese
    1/3 cup pine nuts (or other nuts of your choice)

    Place garlic and basil in food processor–rough chop
    Add nuts and cheese, then with machine running, drizzle in evoo
    Add salt and pepper to taste.

    I put about 1/4 cup/bag into snack-size ziplocs and froze it–lasted all winter! Yummmmm!

    BTW–I’m not so amazing–just retired with a mostly grown-up kid…sure makes things like canning easier! ; )

    • Pam August 9, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

      Yummo! (As Rachael would say . . . your “evoo” ingredient got me in that sate of mind!) When will the tomatillos be ready?! There are a ton of them on the plants, but I am wondering how long they take to be ready. I will want a tomatillo salsa recipe, too!

      • secondcupofcoffee August 10, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

        Tomatillos are ready when they fill the inside of their husk/when the husk splits/when they start falling off the plant. I’m always left with a bunch of tiny ones when it freezes, and turn them into salsa as well, so it’s OK to harvest early! I don’t have a recipe for the salsa, but I do have a list of the ingredients I use–I just add stuff until it tastes “right” to me. : )

        tomatillos, husked and washed
        onions
        garlic, garlic powder
        green bell peppers
        green chili peppers of your choice: anaheims, poblanos, jalepenos…
        salt and pepper
        cilantro
        vinegar
        cumin
        optional: green tomatoes (Always in my end of season tomatillo salsa as a way to use green tomatoes–I think they improve the texture and flavor of the salsa, I just have a hard time taking green tomatoes unless frost makes me take them!)

        Run all vegetables through a food processor in batches
        Combine everything in a large pot
        Cook ’til you like the flavor and thckness
        Put in sterilized jars, with rings and new lids
        Waterbath process–20 min for pints, 30 min for quarts

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