Thursday, August 12, 2010

Making Summer Last

Summer is my favorite time of year. I need sunshine... I need warmth... I absolutely need fresh veggies growing right outside my door! Alas, this wonderful, beautiful season can't last. Even if I can't keep the sunshine and the warmth, I CAN keep the veggies -- at least in some form!

I took a few days off of the garden this week. We were traveling (surprise! When are we not?) to go send my sister off to college, in addition to all our normal busyness. Well, even though I was on break, the garden clearly was not. I went out this morning to find a frightening amount of food that needed picked now. Until today, we've had a handful here, a basket there... just enough to throw into that particular day's meals. Not so anymore.

The dehydrator is running with 3 yellow squash and a couple (ridiculously massive) zuccini. Whenever I tell people I dry zuccini, they say, "I didn't know you could do that." I'm not sure if you're supposed to... but I did it last year and am doing it again. Zuccini chips are yummy on their own with a bit of ranch dip, and they're super easy to throw into a soup at the last minute. In fact, the plan for these ones is to make dried soup mixes for my sister -- she's moving out of the dorms and into her first apartment this week!

Green beans are getting blanched then frozen. I thought about canning them since my freezer space is at such a premium, but there are 2 very good reasons not to do that:
  1. I don't have a pressure canner, so it wouldn't be safe (according to various sources that may be overly cautious)
  2. I HATE canned green beans. Too mushy.

So freezing is the only option! I had a good 1/2 gallon freezer bag full and there will be many, many more in the coming days. I was afraid a few days ago because my neighbor had already put up pounds and pounds of beans. He's already ripped his plants out and replanted that area while I'd only brought in a few small, sad handfuls. Mine were just a couple days behind, it seems! I worried too soon.

I'm still waiting on tomatoes. They're being pokey. Maybe next week :)

PS: Yes, that is my teapot there, matching the green beans. I don't think I could survive without tea.

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