[gardeners] Saturday in the garden

George Shirley (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Sat, 14 Jul 2001 11:25:42 -0500

Well, really, mostly in the kitchen. Miz Anne and I got up about 5:30 this
morning and after a small breakfast started pickling and canning. Finished at
11:06 for today. Put up 8 quarts of limed sweet pickles, followed by 10 pints of
creme de menthe pears and another 11 pints of cinnamon redhots pears. Was going
to be 12 pints but one of my 40 year old pint jar blew the bottom out. Lost a
quart jar that way a couple of weeks ago putting up 10 quarts of dill spears.

Got another 8 lbs of sliced cukes in the lime bath now, they come off at 7:00
tomorrow morning and will become hamburger dills. My friend with the pear trees
called and wanted to know if we wanted more pears. Told him I would pick them up
Monday to make pear sauce and pear butter, both of which he likes. This time
I'll put them up in pints to keep him from eating the whole quart jar of sauce
and getting sick. Which means I've got to go back to Big Lots and get a couple
of more cases of wide mouth pints while they're on sale. I'm down to about 8
pint jars and 6 quart jars and the harvesting and canning season isn't even
started good yet. Of course there's 5 or 6 cases of assorted canned foods in the
pantry, waiting for the kids to come get their share. No way can Miz Anne and I
eat 24 pints of sweet pickle relish in a year. We will eat the 24 pints of
carrots though, we like them and eat them a couple of times a week. Tomorrow I
will make moussaka and put it in disposable casseroles, freeze and vac seal
them, and we'll have quick meals later in the year. All I will have to add is
the eggs and the bechamel sauce to the thawed moussaka and put it in the oven. I
think we might have some for dinner tomorrow night too.

Good thing we like to grow veggies, put them up and then eat them, this years
crop is great. All except tomatoes, got too hot, too quick this year. The maters
are already starting to falter in the temps up to 96F. I'll start some more in
mid-August for the fall garden and, with luck, we'll produce tomatoes up until

The zucchini have outdone themselves for us this year. We had one plant attacked
by borers but I dosed it with Bt and saved it. I guess the beneficial nematodes
have done a good job of killing the borers when they go into the soil. We've
been harvesting two or three zukes a week off of the one plant and the other is
just now starting to produce. If you don't watch them carefully they'll be as
big as the calf of my leg in a couple of days. Amazingly they still don't have
developed seeds at that stage so we're eating them regularly. Stuffed one last
night with pork sausage, bread crumbs, sweet chiles, onions, and garlic. Nuked
that sucker in the microwave and it was really good. Each of us ate a half a
zuke about a foot long with all the stuffing. Of course we hadn't had lunch and
it had been a long time since breakfast. The trombocino (sp?) squash are
climbing the greenhouse and blooming very large orange blossoms. We had one of
them fruiting but the raccoon that visited us the other night ate half of it and
a couple of eggplant. We convinced him/her to move on down the block with the
help of Miss Sleepy Dawg's barks and me whacking the coon with a 10 foot cane
pole. These urban varmits take a lot of scaring.

Miz Anne is out mowing, we have an overcast day and she is wearing lots of SFP
30, her old straw hat, long white pants and one of my old corporate white
shirts. I put a cup rack on the mower handle and she can carry her 32 ounce mug
of water with her now.

Since she is leaving to visit her Mom next Saturday she is afraid I will leave
the lawn until she gets back. I'm not gonna tell her I've already hired the
neighbors grandson to cut it while she's gone.

Back to the kitchen, I'm sure there's something else there needs doing.