Friday, July 20, 2018

Blueberry Jam and Zucchini Salsa

We didn't manage to get to a strawberry u-pick this week but I did find a deal on organic blueberries so we bought a couple of flats. Some we froze to baking, some we ate and I made about two litres of blueberry jam.

I don't think I've ever made blueberry jam before. When we used to pick wild blueberries, it would take so long to get even a few cups that jamming was a terrible waste of fruit! This was pretty good but not as good as raspberry.

The alternating heat and rain has made the front yard very lush. The add-on of a bunch of compost last fall may also have helped. The potatoes on the left and the tomatoes on the right are going crazy.

We also purchased a few pretty flowed to interplant. I have no idea what this pinkeye is but it is very nice looking.

The yellow summer squash are also coming in so it was time to make salsa. I recruited some help with the chopping.

After some overnight salting, I put the rest of the ingredients together and started cooking it.

Zucchini salsa is good enough that it is worthwhile bringing out the pressure canner for and we made 7 litres with the first crop. Since we eat salsa fairly regularly, I'm planning at least one more canning session when more zucchini ripen (maybe two).

The tomatoes are also starting to fill out Nothing red yet, but lots of green tomatoes. Hopefully the harvest is a good as its promise seems to be.

We've been picking raspberries every night and freezing them (those that we don't eat) so I soon hope to have enough for a couple of batches of jam. Just need a few cool days to steam up the kitchen. I've also been drying herbs and need to get back at the basil and maybe also some garlic scape pesto.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Rain, raspberries and peas

The first part of July has been a mix of hot (+28C) and wet (lots of rain). The result has been a lot of growth in the yard. We've managed to mostly irrigate the back from two rain barrels of the garage. The front has required a fair bit of tapster (tomatoes and peppers and whatnot).

The most exciting part of the mid-season is watching the potatoes fill out, flower, and then start to make new potatoes. I have not been feeling around beneath the plants but all indications are a big crop this year. This is good news as we always run out of potatoes around Christmas.

Although the Saskatoons were disappointing this year, the raspberries are early and are looking good. I expect we'll have a big crop this year--we're already getting two cups a day of the early berries. We also froze some gooseberries for later use.

We've been drying herbs (lots of dill weed this year). The peas are also ready and we picked the biggest pods this week and then spent a half hour on the front desk shucking them.

We got about three-quarters of a litre of peas (they wee big peas!), which I blanched and froze for Indian food and Christmas dinner. I expect we'll get another one of two crops off of the peas before they pack it in and the beans we planted behind take over.

I'd like to get out to a u-pick this weekend and get some strawberries for jam and pie filling. We'll see how that goes. We also have a lot of zucchini this year (three varieties) and I am keen to replenish our stock of zucchini salsa. Just need the tomatoes to start ripening! In the meantime, Jess is making zucchini loaf.