|cutting garden and potato patch|
|pumpkin and sunflower patch|
The squash is coming in so prolifically that my harvest basket has been retired for a bit and replaced, by necessity, with my laundry basket. These laundry basket hauls of squash and cukes come every two days. I made large batch of zucchini relish just in time- we finished our last jar of relish just this week! I think I'll be making a few more batches of it this year. I've been putting some up in the freezer too.
I canned some pickles- volcano and dill. And today I should be doing some bread and butters.
The splurge this week was peaches. They were $25.00 a bushel which has been the cheapest I have found them here. It has been four years since we've had peaches put up so it was a real luxury. That first bite (and second and every bite since) has been so amazingly delicious. So juicy! So sweet! Andrew pulled up a chair and helped me with the peaches the other day without me even asking and we sucked every drop of juice from the pits as we cut off the flesh. Most of the peaches were beautiful but some were bruised (in part due to Judah knocking one box on top of the other box) so I am using the bruised to make peach preserves the old fashioned way...without pectin. It is an experiment but I am hoping it will work well.
We've been eating them fresh too- or dripping with cream at supper. Or cooking in oatmeal with fresh whole milk...peaches and cream to start the day. Oh my.
So far this week, I've made butter (2-3 lbs), mozzerella (5 lbs-ish), queso blanco (garlic jalapeno-yum), ricotta, yogurt, yogurt cheese and vanilla ice cream for Sunday's "Ice Cream Sundae" treat. More to come though.
Wednesday and Friday ladies came/are coming over to learn how to make cheese. I find this funny because I am not exactly an expert at it- but kitchen chores are so much more fun with company- so I'll pretend I know what I am doing and enjoy their company in the meantime. On Wednesday we made a double batch of mozzerella and queso blanco and we will likely do the same tomorrow. Then, I really need to begin trying to branch out a bit. Maybe make some farmhouse cheddar? I now have homemade mesophilic starter cubes in the freezer awaiting my experimentation. I've had a lot of company the last few weeks (people almost every day of the week!) and not a thing scheduled for next week. Maybe then.
I have a ton of collards, swiss chard and kale begging for attention- and broccoli that is getting TOO mature and needs to be used...but these always seem to be taking a back seat to the never-ending squash and cukes.
I haven't harvested any stevia, basil, mint or calendula yet either and they are begging for some attention too. I plan to make stevia extract, pesto for the freezer, dry the mint for tea and use the calendula for soap making and for infusing oil to make salves. Whenever I actually get to it.
The tomatoes are *THIS* close to being ready. Anxious hands (big and little) keep picking not quite red ones and I say "Wait until they are RED!" but inwardly I know just how they feel. I have popped a few orange cherry tomatoes in my mouth in desperation. The plants look terrible but the tomatoes...if ever they finally ripen...will be marvelous this year.
So you see, my brain is constantly going back and forth from what has been done to what is next? and then getting stuck on repeat. My brain is very full. And sometime soon I need to get cracking on school plans. Then, it might explode.
We are eating well these days and I am falling into bed exhausted these nights.
Praise God for the food. Praise God for the exhaustion.
(More In the Kitchens here)
(More In the Kitchens here)