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:
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.