This morning, I decided to post a little update of the things that are happening in the kitchen and the garden. Those 2 spaces seem to be consuming the bulk of my time and attention lately so it's only fitting that I share what's happening there.
We opened our first jar of pickled asparagus yesterday. I was a bit concerned that between the blanching, packing them in hot liquid, and the hot water bath, the asparagus would be on the limp side, but they were surprisingly crisp still...and sour. Or in the words of Philip, "these are SO sour but I can't stop eating them! So we cleaned out nearly an entire jar in one evening. I think that's the way the pickles will go this season so I need to make sure I have plenty of pints of various ones to last us through the winter!
Elizabeth is famous in our house for asking for sections of navel oranges, sucking the juice out of them, and leaving a good bit of the pulp, as well as the pith and peels, of course. After seeing this recipe on Pinterest for an orange vinegar cleaner, I decided that would be a good use for her leftovers. I only needed the wedges of 1 large navel orange to fill a pint jar, then I covered it with white vinegar. It's been sitting for almost 2 weeks, and I'll probably strain it later this week to use as a rinse aid in our dishwasher.
Also in jars right now: kombucha I harvested the first of our kombucha a few weeks ago and it was an instant hit around here. Paul and I drink it plain, but the kids like it mixed with about a half cup of juice per quart and left in the fridge for 48 hours. The orange juice blend on the left wasn't as good (it tasted a bit like spoiled orange juice) as the cranberry grape and pomegranate that we've made. The tart juices are a wonderful compliment for the kombucha's flavor.
In the garden, things are really starting to develop toward a harvest. The lettuce is getting huge so I planted more in a small space that was leftover beside it.
Our first Cherokee Purple tomato arrived and is being watched daily. I can't wait to eat that little guy. I can taste it already!
The cherry tomatoes are starting to bear as well. I counted 10 baby tomatoes on one plant this morning.
I haven't seen a cucumber yet, but now that I see the curly little tendrils, I know that cucumber season isn't too far off. The boys are already asking when we can have cucumbers from our garden with oil and vinegar. Soon, I hope!
The zucchini is starting to flower and bear quite a few little zukes. As is typical with the zucchini, it looks like we will have plenty to eat. (And pickle, perhaps? I found a recipe so we shall see!)
The garden peas are running right up the teepee. I'm not sure when we'll start to see some pea pods, but the plants look great so I'm confident they'll show up eventually.