Jun 13, 2010
This weekend has been a hot one! Heat index at 100, and I think this weather is here to stay. Every year I am blown away by how HOT & HUMID it is here. I definitely think that there is no "getting used to it" for this northern raised gal. It took me a few days to remember what my summer routine is, but now I think I have got it down again. Water & harvest the garden every morning early - like "still in my jammies" early - that way any sweat generated and bean vine allergies can be washed away by my morning shower routine and clean clothes! It took me about a week of "getting ready" first and then going outside at 8 a.m. only to be soaked in sweat 15 minutes later to remember how to do this! We are back to 7 am & jammies & bean picking!
I won't bore you with more bean harvest photos, just figure this exact photo, approx 1 lb of each variety happens every 24-36 hours!
Here's how the weekend shaped up for us -
Friday night -
3 hours of alone time for mommy! Our local YMCA does "Parents Night Out" one night a month and I take advantage of it every month, whether I have plans or not! This has taken on a whole new importance since hubby left for deployment, since that is the only 3 hours I get all month without the kids. No more leaving the kids with daddy while I get my haircut, go grocery shopping, etc... 3 hours is all I get! This Friday night I had no plans whatsoever. Sometimes I like to just go to the bookstore, enjoy a coffee and browse all night, but with limited funds even that can turn into a bad idea, so I opted to go right back home and just enjoy my garden and my house by myself for a change. I had spent the better part of the day cleaning and mopping floors, windows, etc. so it was really nice to be able to walk barefoot around the house that night without the kids bringing in gravel, sand, etc all over the floor - ah, the little things in life!
That got kind of boring after awhile so I went out to see what the garden had in store for me. More beans, of course. I have plenty stowed in the freezer already so I decided to see what else I could do with them. I have tons of dill that is really not slated for anything else since my cukes are a long way off still for pickles, and I have other baby dill plants for them so I harvested some dill heads and foliage, grabbed some of my freshly harvested garlic, some grape leaves, nasturtium flowers, and dug out my dried hot peppers from last year.
Can you see where this is going? How about if you picture a bottle of vinegar in the above photo?
I'm not crazy enough to consider dragging out my canning supplies with only 3 hours to myself, but I did make 4 jars of "refrigerator dilly beans". They will be consumed with no problem with the decent shelf life they have in the fridge. I also had enough leftover dill that I made an herbed vinegar with the dill, garlic, and Nasturtiums just for pretty-ness! Now if my second sowing of lettuce will hurry up so I can try it on a salad! I may even try it on fish, my kids love Malt Vinegar so maybe we will try this out and see what they think.
Remember those first 2 tomatoes I harvested Friday night? One I ate fresh right in the garden, the other I decided to put on top of some nachos! This one is for hubby, he is the Nacho-Maker around here. I did okay having to fend for myself - we still have 7 jars of my pickled jalapenos from last season so I used those, Jack cheese, and my fresh tomato. They weren't as good as when he makes them, of course, but they weren't bad!
A couple of weeks ago, Kelly from "How My Garden Grows" asked if I had ever gotten around to getting that ice cream maker I wanted last year. Why, no, I hadn't! She lit a fire under me to revisit that idea again, and I finally did it! We have used it 3 times in 2 weeks, so I think it is going to prove a useful purchase. Granted, this is another one of those things that maybe isn't the most "cost-effective" of purchases since they aren't that cheap, and the ingredients aren't that cheap either, but - there is something to be said for having fresh ice cream that only contains milk, cream, and whatever you flavor it with such as fresh fruit or chocolate bits, etc. Not a chemical in sight in my kitchen or in our bodies, nice! Thanks for reminding me Kelly, we love it and will be sure to use it often this summer & if you come across a great recipe, please share it!
Saturday Night's Ice Cream Batch - Mint Chocolate Chip!
More beans. A handful of Raspberries!
Dinner was a yummy Stir Fry with all my garden goodies and a few things from last season's freezer supply, I think I have finally cleared out the bell pepper strips! I wanted to take a pic of that for hubby, but we were so hungry it was gone before I remembered! Of note: kids ate beans and carrots in the stir fry! Yay! Still won't eat the onions, broccoli, or pepper strips...
After dinner, dogs were brushed and given a pedi-pedi. (Yes, this is boring stuff, but it serves as hubby's link to what we are up to. He reads this out on the ship and all your comments, I think it helps him feel connected to the outside world!)
Tonight, kids are going to bed early and I am giving myself a mani-pedi! Can you believe my kids are still in school here? Madness, I say! There is something very wrong with a public school system that keeps kids in school until the end of June. We have had snow the past several years, always have hurricane & Nor'easter days so you would think they would start figuring that in and lengthen the days a bit to compensate or something!
(oh sweet! I hear thunder outside, that means no watering tomorrow!)