LaBamba is staring at me again from the window. Sometimes Tiger, her dad/boyfriend, jumps up there, too, where she proceeds to flirt and garner affection. Methinks she wants to be fed and since she is nursing, I will grant her that wish. We may be a dispose-a-cat farm, but like any farmer/rancher, we treat our animals well (much to PETA’s surprise). Do we love meat? You betcha. But the animals on our farm, as well as those in the state, are well taken care of in every aspect. PETA needs to recognize this and get off their high horse…or would that be animal cruelty? OK, enough political commentary for the morning-it’s way too early. I belong to the other PETA-people enjoying tasty animals. ‘Nuff said.
Yesterday I did chicken chores, visited the kittens, and went out the the garden; it was a beautiful day full of sunshine, a light breeze, and still cool enough not to sweat. I keep forgetting this is technically a gardening blog and so guess I should talk about it for a bit. My zucchinis are weird this year; I planted five and three of them had babies, so I have eight host plants. You would think zucchini is coming out our ears, but surprisingly, I only harvest one or two per day. It takes me a week to have enough for a quadruple batch of zucchini relish…I’m not complaining because it’s nice to not have to think of ‘101 uses for zucchini’ short of using them for a doorstop. I did find a really tasty recipe for a savory zucchini bread and it tastes like stuffing. Besides toasting and slicing it, I crumble it and use it as a crouton on a zucchini bake. The green beans are still producing nicely; I tipped and cut them yesterday and will pressure can them before church. Just a note; hot water bath is great for a lot of your canning such as jams and salsa. However, when it comes to veggies and fruit, one needs to use the pressure canner. I know there are some grandmas who were terrified of the earlier models of canners and their tendency to blow up, but they are safer now and in my thirty years of experience canning, have never had one do this. The hot water bath method takes longer and can’t do the same job as a pressure canner. We ate a cantaloupe the other day and oh, was it good! I am hoping to harvest one this week as well as our first watermelon. It’s ready, but I want my little one to be here to help pick it. He’s been watching it all summer and it’s gotten big. I made salsa yesterday (yum!), got the zucchini relish ‘cooking’ in the fridge, and dried some basil. I also made a fresh salsa I got from a colleague using whatever is in the fridge; there is no wrong way to make this and you will love it. We eat it by itself, on chips, or with meat. It’s soooo good. Here it is:
Fresh Salsa (not to be canned, just enjoyed)
4 c chopped veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, corn, garlic)
spring of cilantro (optional, but I love that stuff!)
2 T each red wine vinegar, Balsamic vinegar and sugar (if I don’t have the first two on hand, I’ve used apple cider, white, or even actual wine!)
1 tsp salt
fresh basil (optional)
Mix it all together and eat up!
Now on to today’s title! When we go out to the garden, we always bring the Radio Flyer to haul stuff there and back. That wagon has been with us for a long time; I have pictures of my older one pulling my younger one around in Georgia. It’s sturdy, beat up, and is a gardener’s best friend. It’s fun to bring it to the garden full of empty containers and return full of produce. It also hauls my trusty radio to the garden; my mom always had a radio in the garden when we were growing up and as my sister and I took over that responsibility, we, too, listened to KQIC out of Willmar as we pulled weeds, picked veggies, etc. I have had this radio since the early 90s; it was the first one I bought when I got my first teaching job. The tape player doesn’t work, the antennae is broken, and the volume has issues, but it still works and does the job. Hmm, sounds like me. My body parts are wearing down left and right. Here’s our picture of the day-our little red wagon with cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, yellow and green zucchini, and jalapeno peppers. Enjoy your day!