It has become a daily chore as to figure out how to eat or preserve each day's worth of produce coming out of the garden. Best problem to have in the whole wide world! It is a huge blessing to have an abundance of food, which is what we hoped for when we created the second garden.
First, let's talk yellow squash. We're up to 16 squash to date. Many were frozen back with slices with my mandolin. Several were grilled by slicing long and seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper and Old Bay seasoning. Yum. And then, the other night, the kids asked for fried squash. I haven't fried anything for them in a while. So, here was that result.
As you know from earlier posts, we picked over a dozen cucumbers one day to turn them into Bread -n- Butter pickles. We're up at 54 cucumbers to date. I've also jarred hot, garlic, and dill pickles. I must say, those Bread -n- Butter pickles are the BEST. Store versions cannot touch the depth of flavor with all the mustard & celery seeds in these. And the onions packed in are just as sweet as the pickles. Delicious.
And now that I have been able to keep the dogs off the cherry tomatoes, I'm getting quite the harvest of them. I did a little research and decided to split my batches up to experiment. Supposedly, you can freeze these like berries and then add them to soups later. Ok. I also cut up a batch to put into my homemade spaghetti sauce. Very yummy and nice addition. And then this batch, I cut in halves, drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper and put into the oven at 350 for nearly 2 hrs (I had to turn it off and run an errand, so it sat longer with residual heat stuck in the oven). They look dried, much like a cranberry or raisin. The same thing can be accomplished with a dehydrator, but I do not have that.
They're waiting in the frig for me to eat them. I also suffered a mild gallbladder attack over last weekend, so those had to be put aside. Let's skip that little memory....
My eldest is cooking for class credit and so he was able to make the guys a Buffalo Chicken Dip which is a recipe that came from a neighbor. It is quite easy that even a teen can do it. One pack of cream cheese (or more) goes on the bottom of a casserole dish. Then, use some leftover chicken, broken up in bite-size pieces, for the next layer. Then, cover with Buffalo Sauce or Hot sauce. Top with a good helping of shredded cheddar cheese.
Makes for a hearty snack for those who aren't watching their cholesterol. LOL
Here are a couple more garden pics. These were taken right before Jack treated the plants with Ortho bug killer spray. Even though it said it was safe to use on plants, it has nearly destroyed several of my crops. I'm so sad about this. We were trying to kill the fleas amidst the rows and now, I'm seeing what else it killed. It didn't even touch the fleas, by the way. AWFUL product. Worst of all the products we used on the market.
Here is a little trick for your kale crops.... Don't pick the entire plant when harvesting. Only pick the largest of leaves and allow the plant to keep producing for several more week. I thought kale was a cold weather crop but it is thriving just fine in the Florida heat. I'm shocked, really. The worst part is the consistent care to keep the aphids under control.
Here is my new addition to the garden. Zucchini plants, which are now blooming.
Have a blessed weekend,