Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Morning chores

I needed a basket to gather all my ripe produce this morning. I picked my first green and yellow beans, my first lavender eggplant, and my last asparagus. Also my last black raspberries and gooseberries. I pulled a couple of baby beets. They need a few more weeks, but I wanted an early treat. The cucumbers have been ripening two at a time for a week or so. I picked a dozen yesterday! I'm ready to tackle that sweet gherkin recipe that requires daily maintenance.

I wasn't the only one to discover the cucumbers. The wascaly wabbit has helped himself to four of my crisp beauties. I planted bush cukes in the back garden, because I thought they wouldn't vine. Wrong! I have vines galore! They're already five feet long - and still growing! I may have to set up a make-shift trellis. The cukes on the ground are too accessible to my short, furry friends.

After three weeks of constant cherry picking and pitting, my cherry season is over. I picked all the cherries I could reach on my tree. There were only a few very high branches that I couldn't get to. The birds stripped those branches clean in 24 hours! My friend, Richard, reported that there were still MANY cherries left on his tree. So I picked four more gallons at his house. I have a wealth of cherries in my freezer. I've made a couple of batches of jam, and several cobblers.

I even dried some in my dehydrator. I split them in half and sprinkled them with sugar. They are still very tart. They may be good in a sweet oatmeal cookie.

This little gem will grow into a dragon tongue bean. That's a flat yellow bean with purple stripes. I like them because they are tender and hold on the vine well. Don't you love baby pictures?

I have two patches of bee balm behind my pool. The purple patch blooms first, and then the red patch takes over. My hummingbirds love the bee balm. They visit every day while I'm floating on my raft. They are speedy and fearless.

And here's the day lily of the day. Many varieties are in full bloom now. I have a rainbow of yellow, oranges, reds and maroons.

I didn't post my Monday Menu because it's the same as every other week's menu. I filled the oven with some chicken, some pork, and a peach cobbler. I'm sticking to basics. Even so, I managed to poison myself somehow. I've been puffy and itchy and groggy for eight days now. I'd really gotten used to feeling good every day. I'm anxious for this to pass.

I'll be leaving town (eek!) for a writers conference next week. I'll be taking all my food with me. So I'm trying to plan and prepare carefully. It's my first trip since going gluten free. I'll miss the (relative) security of my own kitchen. I love my house and my big yard, but I don't want to be captive here. I need to figure out how to travel. This is my first baby step.


Cheryl said...

you always have such good photos. I want some of those cherries!
our wabbits aren't so wascally, they haven't really messed with my garden.

Rachel said...

Those Dragon Tongue Beans are really great. I've grown them in past years and am wondering why I didn't do so this year. They have a nice "meaty" beany taste.

Great pix!


Gluti Girl said...

Kay, you will do great traveling! If you are driving it's easy. Read all the suggestions everyone made me when I went to Kentucky. If you can take along a toaster oven and an electric skillet, there are all kinds of things you can make. Your veggies look wonderful!

Sarah said...

Your produce looks great! I am especially envying your asparugus.

Thanks for the nice comments about my cobbler. I'm bringing it to a work pot luck later this week.

Thanks also for the cherry pitting tip. I never would have thought to use a bobby pin!

Try not to worry about traveling. Just prepare ahead of time and you should be just fine. It's nice to get out from time to time.

klick barnstormer said...

what an amazing basket. one of the lillies you gave me last fall is wonderfully perfectly yellow (and you know i am not always a yellow fan). it is perfect! lets hang out before you head out!