Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Harvest on July 13

I love summer mornings. The day is just getting brighter, the air is still cool, and the dew on the grass tickles my feet.
My mints were growing tall and ready to flower. I cut them close to the base and they smelled, well, very minty. One bunch of spear mint and another bunch of pepper mint. If they dry well, I might have enough mints to fill up many tea bags and give them out as Christmas gifts to my friends.
The crazy squash jumble is making more squashes. I try to collect them when the fruits are still young, but they have rare talents of hiding behind big squash leaves. I also have green tigress zucchini and yellow crooked squash (my dear friend Amanda gave me seeds last year) starting to make more summer squashes.
More cucumbers and more tomatillos. I also started to harvest three different kinds of green beans. French variety, Haricots Verts, has slender and tender pods and great for fresh eating. The other two kinds freeze well and I plan to either freeze and/or pickle them.

What to do with them
After collecting the bounty, Dan and I went out the same day and bought a dozen of glass jars. I haven't really done canning before and I am very excited about the idea. I know I will be tired of jarring/caning by the end of summer, but at the moment I am excited.
We also picked up a mandoline slicer. Let me tell you, it is so much fun to slice the giant squash using mandoline and see them coming out as perfect slices. I tried sun-drying them but then realized that flies liked our sliced squashes too. I used an oven at the lowest temperature and dried the squash slices.
Mint bunches are just sitting in the kitchen, slowly drying. We grilled younger squashes and froze them for the winter time. We will be able to use them in soups, stir-fries and even vegetable lasagna.
I am looking for a recipe to make yummy cucumber pickles that keep well. Please let me know if you know one!


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