"Sweety, chew with your lips closed, PLEASE." (I ask for the 10th time during dinner.)
"Like this?" RAT
"Yes, thank you, just like that... but without the interpretive dance and humming."
|DOT reading last Sundays comics,|
today. Not a laughing matter, apparently.
|A very sweet, nearly toothless, old lady dog, |
wearing a sweater, looking shocked.
This makes me smile whenever I see it.
wearing my Grandmothers apron,
just as I have been daily for weeks.
Loving that she wore it to do the same things I am.
Looking a bit haggard,
but feeling very lucky to have so much homegrown food to preserve,
a wonderful home to keep clean,
a loving husband to spend my life with,
and healthy kiddos to chase after and haul to practice,
all mixed up together,
making me this way.
I'll take a little haggard with all that other wonderful.
|First thing to harvest in the spring as |
always are dandelions
for jelly and, this year, MEAD!
|These garden beds were totally FREE!|
I built them with my own two hands from the scraps of other projects,
and lined the bottoms with hardware cloth left over from my father,
and the soil came from our neighbors compost pile.
Of course the three more I build after this I bought the lumber new.
|My sad little broccoli.|
|The main head was smaller than the |
side shoots I cut a month later.
I was very unimpressed.
|The first strawberries of the year were|
delicious and only lasted about 2 hours with
the boys here.
|Rhubarb cobbler was really big here this year, everyone|
but RAT really enjoys it.
My rhubarb, of which I have 6 plants, went crazy this year.
I gave away two plants to neighbors,
3 gallons to friends and family and still froze over 4 gallons.
|Oh, and I used it here.|
|And here, Rhu-berry Jam, or strawberry rhubarb jam.|
In total, I made and canned 14 pints of this yumminess.
(MAT was a big helper with the stirring, the for-e-ver stirring.)
|Then came the beets.|
Last year my father started growing these for me.
This year, I brought home 30-ish pounds worth,
or a keg tub full.
|I scrubbed and scrubbed and trimmed and trimmed.|
About an hour later I had a big ole bucket of beets to roast and can,
and an old wash tub of tops to blanch and freeze.
I also found a recipe for Beet Wine that
uses the reserved cooking liquid...but more on that later.
|Beets and Rhu-berry Jam|
|Just about 2 gallons of black raspberries picked by MAT and myself one mild June morning.|
This made 8 pints of jam and 8 pints of black raspberry syrup, which is SINFULLY good.
|The syrups were fresh off the stove and absolutely the best breakfast we had all summer...I mean...yes we had cake for breakfast, and we don't regret it. Sometimes, moms and sons need cake for breakfast.|
|It was SO good. |
Yes, I did lick the plate and spoons after I snapped this photo.
|I picked about a half bushel all together. Slowly dehydrated it over several days. Then pulled the berries off and stored them in 3 quart jars. I plan on using them for spice and flavoring various dishes. Wild foraging is a new passion of mine. |
It's totally free food!
|Oh, and I made sumac-ade, or cold sumac tea, or Indiana lemonade. Whatever you call it, it was sour and tasty...and I am totally making mead out of it too. Just soak the berries in cold water overnight...or three days because you forgot about it, strain out the tree bits and you have this lovely pink sour yumminess that is great with a dollop of honey, then ice, on a hot day.|
|One day, about midmonth, my "Naked Neighbors" (my 60+ gardening wiz neighbors down the road, who garden only in bathing suits, and call on me to garden sit or take extra homegrown goodness often. They are a hoot! and very generous. I keep them stocked with honey.) called and told me they had two rows of beans that needed picking, so I went and picked all the beans. It was very appreciated because our beans did diddly squat this season.|
|DOT is a VERY helpful garden helper this year. Really.|
He truly helps with every task. He's growing SO fast.
MAT, at 10 and 1/2, cooks a variety of delicious things including eggs, pancakes, grilled cheese, soup, and spaghetti.
RAT sticks to only breakfast classics.