Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Harvest Day

So, what did you do yesterday, Mama Pea? I picked things in the garden. All day?!? Yup, that's all I got done yesterday. Amazing how long it takes just to harvest ripe 'n ready crops.

The day was hot, humid and on the miserable side. My face stayed kind of a pulsing shade of beet red all day. The rain never materialized (dang and drat) so I was able to keep at it until about 5:30 p.m. when I was maybe one-third of the way through picking blueberries, the last thing on my list to be harvested. Roy came out to let me know it was getting close to time for dinner (poor boy was hungry, methinks) and suggested that I knock off the garden work for the day and he would come out first thing this morning to help me finish up the blueberries. Didn't take much arm twisting to talk me into that.

Here's a bowl full of the first ample picking of our lemon cucumbers. If you're not familiar with them, the answer is no, they don't have a lemon-y flavor. The name comes from their yellow color and lemon-like shape. They're an old heirloom variety of cucs and take longer to mature than your basic green slicing cucumber. There's no mistaking that they are a cucumber, but the taste is . . . somehow different. Don't know a good way to describe it . . . perhaps a smidge denser, crisper but at the same time more liquid-y? (My vocabulary is astounding today, huh?) No need to peel them. Just rub off the tiny, black prickles as you wash them. I tend to sit with a salt shaker and eat them like an apple.

Topping the bowl of lemon cucs is our first red-ripe Antohi Romanian sweet pepper. We sampled it at dinner last night. Very thick-walled, succulent and sweet! Found out you can eat the pale yellow ones (before they turn orange or red) and we will try that but the vitamin and mineral content is higher after they color up. Always fun to experiment growing something new.

So today shall be a processing day for all the bountiful harvest I gathered yesterday. I want to make a batch of Bread and Butter Pickles, two batches of Dill Pickles, Blueberry Jam, Raspberry Jam, and Zucchini Relish. Will I get all that done? Oh, heck, no. But working at it should keep me from wondering what to do with any extra time on my hands. I'll be in the kitchen if you're looking for me.

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