Sunday, July 11, 2010

Time to start cooking, baking and canning

Last summer was my first adventure in growing vegetables. All in all, it went well, aside from the fact that I overplanted. Throughout the month of August, and into September, we ate fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and zucchini and I canned salsa and relish and baked with zucchini...a lot.

This year, when I planted, I hoped that the end results of my garden would be as 'fruitful' and that we'd once again get to eat yummy fresh vegetables and I'd get to spend hours in the kitchen.

And thanks to the hot, hot sunny days we've had these last few weeks -- and a fair bit of rain as well -- the garden is exploding with vegetables and I going to be cooking and baking way ahead of schedule.

You see, I just assumed that all would be similar to last year, and that I'd be cooking in late August and early September. But I forgot to take one small thing into consideration...last year, was cold all through July. Meaning everything likely grew and ripened much slower. This year, not so much.

Right now, sitting on my kitchen counter are three good-sized cucumbers and two very large zuchinnis. There are another two zucchinis out back waiting to be picked and the first batch of grape tomatoes are almost ready. The tomatoes are still quite green, but I'm sure they won't be long. And I won't even begin to tell you how many raspberries we have. There are so many that we can't eat them fast enough and I've now started freezing the leftover picked ones at the end of every day.

So, this afternoon the kids and I are going to bake some chocolate zucchini bread. And then maybe some muffins if we still have an abundance of zucchini. If those cucumbers don't get eaten fast enough -- I think there's relish in my future this week. Which is a good thing actually, because I'm down to my last jar from last summer!

And the raspberries? There's definitely going to be jam in my future.

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