Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer's Bounty

Garden harvest is in full swing now. Today I was able to pick a peck of green beans, a peck of cucumbers, several summer squash, some miniature corn and several tomatoes. I also pulled a few other things to use in a stir fry. The sweet corn is not ready yet. Sadly, this is a bad tomato year. We have some sort of blight caused by a wet spring. We will have enough to eat, but I doubt there will be very many for canning. I've had about 2 bushels of green beans and now the pole beans are starting. I love pole beans. Well, I love all the vegetables! The potatoes are ready, but I think I'll leave them in the ground and use them as we need them, since I don't have adequate storage for potatoes. This is the time of year when all of the hard work pays off.

I spent the last few days with one of our married daughters and her family. She has the greenest thumb in the world, I believe. If she walks into a room where there are houseplants, they all cheer up and start growing. If she plants a vegetable garden, it will exceed all expectations. Her garden is pretty small, and things are closely planted in raised beds, and it is a paradise. So many beautiful and interesting vegetables are hiding there in that mass of green!

I got home last night and so was out in the garden nearly the first thing this morning.

Oh! There was something else I wanted to tell you. While I was visiting, I helped her make pickle relish. We did it in a way I've never done it before. She had quite a few large cucumbers. Always before, I would just grind them up, seeds and all, but this time, we cut them lengthwise into quarters and used a spoon to remove most of the seeds and watery parts. The relish looks wonderful! I think I will do that from now on. Here is the recipe we used:

Cucumber Relish

5 quarts of finely chopped cucumbers (remove the little ends first)
2 cups finely chopped onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup salt

Put all of that in a stainless or glass container and stir it together. Place 2 trays of ice on top, cover with a towel or lid and let it sit for 3 hours. Drain thoroughly.

Into a large stainless pot, put:

3 cups white vinegar
5 cups sugar
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 Tablespoon mustard see

Bring the vinegar mixture to a boil, add the chopped, drained vegetables and bring it (stirring) just up to a boil. Remove from heat. Fill pint jars to within 1/2 inch of top. Clean rims, adjust caps and process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes after it returns to a full boil. Remove and cool in a draft-free location. Wait 1 month before using.


  1. Oh, wonderful! I've been meaning to look up a relish recipe in order to avoid the HFCS in the store varieties. Thanks for posting this!

  2. Every thing looks wonderful!

  3. What exactly is miniature corn? How do you prepare it?

  4. Miniature corn is like sweet corn, only it is a variety particularly suited to this: You pick it as soon as the silks appear, take off the husks and you can either steam it and eat it, or you can cut it into little rounds and use it in stir fries and soups, etc. Nice stuff!

  5. Your harvest looks wonderful. Last year our tomatoes were hit with the blight from the wet spring/summer. We lost all of our tomato plants.
    This year it is turning out to be hot and humid. The tomatoes are loving it! I love to see what people grow and harvest from their gardens.


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