Last week, while I was out of town, Dave fended for himself and kept the farm running in my absence. This wasn’t too much of a challenge for him since he does so much of the heavy work here anyway. But yesterday he took off for Maryland to attend his cousin’s wedding which puts me in charge of the farm. I’m sure he was a little nervous about handing over all the responsibilities to me, but as luck would have it, a light rain started to fall just as I returned from dropping him at the airport. Although the rain lasted several hours, the volume was fairly insignificant so I’ll be back to watering chores this weekend. The cooler weather we enjoyed for most of last week got even cooler over night and it feels like fall! Isn’t it ironic that our high temperatures this year (today is predicted to be high of 77) are lower than the low temps from last year!?! They are talking about a record low for tonight. Again, some of our plants will enjoy the cool and others will just sit and wait for the heat to return.
After the rain ended yesterday I went out to harvest more cukes. Here is what the patch looked like after the nice rain.
I brought in 5 pounds 6 3/4oz of cucumbers. I added these to a refrigerator full of cukes from the last couple of days and weighed them all in order to devise a plan for pickle making today. There were more than 22 pounds waiting to be processed!
So far this year I’ve made 45 pints of pickles…all in the last two or so weeks and the season has barely started. Here is what my pantry pickle shelves look like after this morning’s processing. Remember, all but the bottom shelf in this photo has jars that are two deep.
This is one of the ways that we prepare a summer dinner. I slice up a green and a yellow squash, an eggplant, some green peppers, onion and whole cherry tomatoes and drizzle this mixture with really nice olive oil, a grind of sea salt and fresh black pepper. I often will add a chicken breast or two to the center of the pile and recently have added one hot pepper, sliced, for some zing.
I pop this into a hot oven for 45 minutes or so, checking on it and giving it a stir a couple of times, add some balsamic vinegar towards the end and and add our fresh basil leaves when it is done. It comes out looking like this.
Nothing could be easier or more healthy than this. Sometimes we serve this on a starch, like rice or pasta but it is also easy to slice the roasted chicken and wrap it all up in a flour tortilla….healthy and tasty!
That said, we are experimenting with a new device this year. We did some research and purchased a special kind of juicer. This juicer is considered a slow, or cold juicer since it does the work of juicing at a slower pace and therefore keeping the heat of a faster motor away from the product. Here is the one we bought when there was a 20% off sale and free shipping.
Look for more posts about our experiences in the world of juicing! In the meantime, I’m off to pick blueberries which are nearly at the end of their production. Next up, I will try to figure out how to best preserve some of the other abundances that are in our prep refrigerators. I think I’m going to attempt to do something with the green peppers this afternoon, but I must harvest first.