Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Excitement Squared

The excitement around Chez Monk is endless. Seriously, the sauerkraut we started about 6 weeks ago is now in jars. The 25 pounds of cabbage fermented down into 8 quarts of kraut and it is pretty good if I do say so myself. Another batch of dill pickles is in the jar and believe it or not another couple of bushels of tomatoes are ready for canning. Definitely need to rethink the number of tomatoes I put the in the garden next year. There were more than a few days when we picked a bushel of tomatoes in our morning trip to the garden. Madam took a big basket of produce, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, squash etc. to the library archives yesterday and it was all taken. We just can't eat or can fast enough to keep up. Once I get this batch of tomatoes done we should be close to a lapse in harvest and can use the daily output before it goes bad but even with the tomatoes slowing down I have beets calling for pickling and butterbeans within a week of needing harvest and we just finishing freezing the second batch of Dixie Butter Peas. We only had a few butter peas last year as the chipmunks decided they liked them and helped themselves. For some reason they didn't want them this year so we managed to freeze about two dozen 225g bags and there are probably that many left to mature. Not a big fan of butter beans but the Dixie Butter Peas I really like. Interestingly enough I never had them growing up here in the South and it wasn't until I had lunch in the Whistle Stop Cafe in Juliette, Georgia (made famous in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes) that I discovered them and yes the fried green tomatoes were nice too. I loved the line in that movie by Cicely Tyson chiding the white man at the counter about not wanting to eat with blacks while sitting there eating eggs that just shot out of chicken's ass.

We are also starting to get a few tomatillos which is a first in the garden this year. They are a funny plant to grow as they get quite large and it looks like you are just growing little green balloons until all of a sudden they fill out and inside the balloon is a nice little fruit. Evidently they are a relative of the gooseberry. Other than salsa I don't really know much about cooking them so a little research is needed. If anyone has a good recipe let me know.

Anyhow, the tomatoes are calling and this will be diced tomatoes so it means scalding and peeling and seeding for a couple of hours. Never fear though, there is cold beer in the fridge and it helps pass the time and besides Madam will be home from her stint at the Hysterical Society in a while and she will pitch in and we'll have more jars of tomatoes, which we don't have room for in the basement, in a few hours.

Now isn't that exciting.

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