Monthly Archives: August 2010

An Unexpected Bounty

I took our neighbor a couple of tomatoes the other day. I didn’t know she gardened, but I saw a few tomato plants when I went over. They were still very green, so maybe mine ripened faster. She said she gardened in the back as well, and that must be the truth! Her great-grandson brought us this on Saturday…if only we liked green beans! We’ll have to try a new recipe.

It’s a big day

Not only because I harvested these on Tuesday:

and these today:

but because it’s our 5th anniversary! That’s right – 5 years ago today, we began our most incredible journey together. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long, but then again it’s hard to believe it’s only been that long. Either way, it’s wonderful. I thank God every day that I found such an amazing best friend and husband. I can’t wait for the next 5!

Food update

This one shall contain a non-gardening update.

Here are last night’s tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes, although out of focus, are doing great obviously. However, if I could figure out what to do about the crazy splits in my big tomatoes, I would be so happy! We had the same problem last year. I’ve read it’s due to uneven watering, but we have a soaker hose on a timer, so I don’t know how you could possibly water more evenly. Our neighbor said hers are doing the same thing.

Our neighbor dropped off a big green cucumber last week, so I sliced it and one of our big white ones and made refrigerator pickles. It is SO easy! All you do is put the slices in a jar, heat up your solution (mine was sugar, AC vinegar, salt, and celery seed), and pour it in the jar. 24 hours later, you have pickles! (the left jar was with AC vinegar, the right with white)

I believe the first Christmas we were married, my brother gave us a kitchen torch. He and his friends had been using one in the dorm to make smores! We did that a few times, but we haven’t used it too much. I had been wanting to try creme brulee and put the torch to the test, so I finally got around to it. It was a success. A very rich success.

It’s here! It’s here!

My first regular tomato is here! This is the Azoychka variety.

In other food news, last week I went to the u-pick strawberry farm on a whim on my day off. I picked 4 quarts of strawberries and a few raspberries. A couple of friends and I went on the last day of the early crop, and this time the pickings were MUCH better!

And then…I canned jam! I made strawberry jam and strawberry lemon marmalade. It went well, and I am happy to say I know how to can.

Finally, here are a few carrots I dug last week. They looked great when I took the picture, and then I put them in the fridge. They got rubbery again! Super rubbery… I must figure out what is wrong, because Joel isn’t getting to eat any of his beloved carrots. I also dug the rest of the onions, and they ranged from large marble sized to golf ball sized. Hmm.


When I got home yesterday, it looked stormy. That’s nothing new, because it looks stormy often, but it never rains. I didn’t think much about it until it started pouring…and then the hail came! Joel and I had been quite nervous about hailstorms after we first started our garden, knowing that any amount of hail could decimate the tender transplants. I worried while I watched, but I hoped that our hardy friends would stand up to it. Here was my one rash effort at protection to a tomato plant:

As far as I can tell, there was no harm to anything, since the hail was pretty small. I was sitting outside afterward and thought I’d take a few more garden pics. Here’s the main bed and a smaller one.

Notice the massive potato plant spilling onto the sidewalk above. We kind of made it do that, as it was eating two parsleys, a marigold, and a pepper! Here’s one of my earth box with thyme and sage that are flourishing…and oregano that is not.

I am not ashamed. This was once a cilantro plant:

And finally, here’s one of Joel as he was getting home from work after the storm. I was sitting on the front porch and snapped an awkward pic for ya.

We have a club

It’s maybe a touch embarrassing since we weren’t out of town, but somehow we missed this baby in our garden:

Zucchini is terrible when it’s so huge, but I guess we’ll always miss a couple. On another note, I keep picking the cucumbers smaller and smaller. They have continued to be very seedy, and occasionally bites of them are bitter. I don’t know…I just saw a picture of them on the blog of the person I got the seedling from, and hers were enormous. I think I’ll email and ask!