Monday, June 6, 2016

The Garden, and Other Fun Stuff

I am constantly amazed at how fast our garden is growing, and how bushy everything looks.  This photo was made 5/31/16 from the landing on the back steps:

Believe it or not, there's even more green out there now, only 6 days later!

We picked our first veggies Saturday - 4 squash and 1 jumbo jalapeno:

Clydie found a squash casserole recipe, and those squash got cooked yesterday.  Click here for the recipe.  We didn't use "soft" breadcrumbs, we used the kind you buy in the store that are almost like crushed crackers.  I also didn't use fresh parsley, I just put in about a tablespoon of dried parsley when I mixed everything together.  For future fixing of this recipe, I personally would add more cheese to the squash mixture, a little less breadcrumbs in the topping, and more cheese in the topping.  But it was still yummy!

The jumbo jalapeno was a little disappointing - it was not hot at all.  Well, to me and Brian it wasn't.  Clydie said the bite she got had a little heat to it, but honestly, the bites I took were as mild as a bell pepper.  Nice flavor to it, too.

Here's a small zucchini, next to my index finger:

And here are some cucumbers on the vine:

We picked the fat one, as I figured it would be too seedy.  I offered it to Gabriel to sniff, and he tried to take it from me!  Then I offered it to Dominion, and he tried to lick it.  (see last year, the cucumbers grew on the fence that separated the garden from the yard, and both dogs got caught picking and eating small cucumbers!)  As I was walking through the yard to go check out the bell peppers and tomatoes, Gabriel followed me, and jumped up on me to try to get the cucumber (I had to hold it way up over my head to keep him from snatching it out of my hand!).

I washed the cucumber, and started slicing it up to eat,
and of course I shared it with the pups.  I almost lost fingers when Gabriel took his first slice!  (he's normally very gentle but he really, REALLY wanted this cucumber).  Dominion loved getting some slices, and Kita acted all excited but I found chewed up pieces of cucumber on the living room rug, and she mashed up her second slice.  And I was right - it was pretty seedy when I got to the thicker part of it.  But what I ate of it (with vinegar and salt of course) was delish!  And what a fresh, strong cucumber smell!  After seeing what was out in the garden, I predict we'll have at least a half dozen cucumbers ready to pick by Thursday this week!

I really enjoy the garden, knowing that we're growing food to put on our table and in our freezer.  I'm glad we increased the size this year, to grow more than we did last year.  We have double the # of cucumber plants, and our squash and zucchini are in great shape (we ended up with 2 zucchini plants last year that produced a small amount, and our yellow squash plants just never panned out).  Oh and the peppers and peas and beans and tomatoes!  So much more than last year - we are gonna be canning fools in another month or so!

I'm sorry if I bore you all with my garden photos and stories, but it's something I take great pleasure in these days!  I hope you all have a great week!

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