One would think that not being able to do any socializing (or very little of it) and staying at home close to 24/7, the days would be long and quiet, I'd be napping in the hammock regularly and the livin' would be easy.
Not so when full-time summer arrives. The garden is starting to produce the hoped for goodies which means they have to be harvested and processed.
We got our first two six-inch long zucchini squashes this past week. Sliced, sauteed with onions, mushrooms and halved cherry tomatoes? Mmmm, good. As Papa Pea said, "Now that's the way to make a zucchini taste good!"
Our strawberries are proving to be big and plentiful. We're been eating them fresh, of course, and my picking a couple of days ago yielded ten and a half pounds. That was enough, plus ample extra, to make a double batch of jam. If I can get enough this morning to make two more cups of mashed berries to add to what I harvested yesterday, I'll be making more jam. Have you experienced the aroma of strawberry jam cooking? It makes the whole house smell delicious.
Today we'll also uncover the haskap berry bushes to see if they might be ripe for the picking. Grape jam used to be my favorite until I made haskap jam. Papa Pea is happy if he has his strawberry jam while my jars of haskap jam more than tickle my fancy. I also want to make haskap syrup again this year as I did two years ago. It was wonderful on pancakes and waffles during the winter months.
I have nearly a whole bed of spinach I'll harvest today and get in the freezer. I planted Samish and Space varieties. The Samish is bolting, but the Space is not. Wouldn't ya know it. Space is a hybrid and I'd rather stay with the old heirloom varieties if I can. But I seem to regularly have trouble with spinach bolting so I may stick with Space for a while now. The leaves are flat and slightly savoyed and we've never tasted a spinach with such good, crunchy, yet tender, flavor.
More asparagus was blanched and frozen yesterday. Although it seems as though this year's crop has been lighter than in previous years, by checking my records from last year, I currently have only three servings less in the freezer than my total for last year. And the patch is still producing. I guess that's where our minds can't hold all the information so actual record keeping pays off.
Oh, how I wish I had the time to be in the kitchen experimenting with all those yummy sounding recipes I've clipped and saved to use with the fresh produce coming in. If I have time to toss together a big salad and defrost some soup from the freezer, that's about all I can currently manage.
Where's my clone when I need her? Or a full-time, hired cook who would create wonderful new dishes with the fresh produce I bring in to her from the garden?
Summer time, when the livin' is easy. Pant-pant, keep moving, take advantage of this wonderful time of year and the true rewards of the hard work that goes into gardening. I will. I do. And I'm grateful for all of it.
4 hours ago