However, a day at home is never wasted. It's hot here, again - hovering around 100 - so I do a chore outside, then do a chore inside, etc. As always, there's plenty of interesting stuff to look at, work on, and explore. So come on a tour of the garden with me, and then we'll talk some culinary stuff!
|We're getting three eggs a day at the moment.|
I'm not sure, but I think they are all coming from
two chickens. Today I noticed a barred rock
nesting, and then afterward I found this big 'un!
Looks like full sized eggs are soon to be in our future!
|I planted two varieties of pole beans this year, green and purple.|
These are the green. I love watching them figure out how to wind
upwards on the trellis.
|The delicata squash has gone crazy, growing up|
between the trellis (not winding, like I'd hoped), with
these big leaves. No blossoms yet. The butternut
is not far behind in size.
|We have plenty of both sweet and hot peppers|
fruiting; these are definitely preferring the
North Garden over the South Garden (last year's
spot) - more heat and sun
|a fresh crop of cilantro is ready for harvest|
|the first patch of basil (with cosmos interplanted) |
is nearly ready for pesto-making
|We're letting our second (and final, for this year) |
artichoke flower; I think it looks really cool
and I can't wait to see the blossom
|One ripe raspberry so far! I ate it immediately|
after taking this photo. Boy, was it good.
|Another dog vomit fungus. I get these all over|
the wood chips that surround the raised beds.
This one looks a little like popcorn.
|collards, which I like sautéed with bacon and eggs,|
is a great summer alternative to kale and spinach,
which prefer cool weather. The leaves will get
enormous, but I like them younger and smaller.
|The potato plants are huge, with holes everywhere from|
those dang cucumber beetles
|harvesting carrots daily, glad I planted in succession|
over six weeks; we'll have carrots for a while
|The shallots are ready for harvest. The bulbs are|
gigantic. We'll cure these above the chicken coop,
just like we did garlic. I'll have to read up on
|Ah, sweet blueberry, one of maybe 10 we've had|
this year. I think I need to learn how to prune blueberry bushes
for more consistent fruiting
|We're harvesting huckleberries every day;|
they are delicious and numerous, but fiddly to harvest,
as they are tiny. How does anyone ever get enough to make a pie???
|We're getting a last burst of clarkia 'mountain|
garland' before the truly hot weather sets in.
I'll harvest the seed for next year.
|I must've planted Queen Anne's Lace seeds at|
one time, and totally forgot. It's beautiful in the
pollinator garden, light and airy over the more
steadfast poppies and sage
|I have beautiful 'aloha' nasturtiums all over the|
garden, both in the flower beds and the veg beds.
I used to hate nasturtiums; then I discovered
different varieties other than that garish orange
and I've fallen in love with them
|Black-Eyed Susan, reminding me of my home state of MD|
So that's the news from the garden. There's a long list of jobs to do there, hopefully I'll get to them tonight in the cool evening, or tomorrow morning before it gets hot.
Meanwhile, I spent a little time in the kitchen with some 'herb-y' projects. Alice Medrich is one of my favorite recipe-writers, she mainly handles desserts, and they are always interesting and different. I read a recent post she wrote for Food52 about mint chip ice cream using fresh mint from the garden. Well, if there's something I always have a lot of, it's mint. So I followed her instructions for infusing heavy cream with chopped mint, and it's steeping in the fridge for later, when I'll make a custard (using home-grown egg yolks!) and we'll make a delicious treat, perfect on a hot day. (I just hope Kate can eat it!)
|I washed and chopped the mint, then wrapped it in cheesecloth...|
|tied it up...|
|then added it to the cream. It already smells so good, minty but delicately so!|
Then our weekly meat delivery from Tara Firma Farms arrived. This week it's high-end grilling meats, so I kept the rib-eye steaks out to defrost and put the other items in the freezer. I decided that a freshly grilled steak wouldn't need any seasoning other than salt and pepper, but I'd make some compound butter, too. This is super-easy to do. Just soften a stick of butter. Go out into your garden and choose any combination of herbs you like. Chop 'em up along with some garlic and mash them into the butter, then roll into a cylinder and put back in the fridge. It'll keep for three days (long enough to enjoy with the filet mignon early next week!).
|I chopped up thyme, sage, rosemary, marjoram, and oregano|
|squished some home-grown garlic|
|added a stick of softened, grass-fed butter|
|mashed it up with a fork|
|rolled it into a tiny log, and wrapped in plastic wrap|
Adam's home from school (7th grade done and dusted!), Kate's asleep on the couch as I type this, and I think I might brave an outside chore, next. Gotta get those shallots out of the ground and up on the coop for curing!