Friday, September 16, 2011

the plant(s) that just won't die

Not something most people complain about, right?  This season I've harvested 88 pounds of cucumbers from my garden, from about a dozen plants.  It's ridiculous, but don't be jealous because my tomatoes did not fair nearly as well.  I was talking with a neighbor the other day, and she was also having a bumper crop of cucumbers this year.  It seems now matter how well we plan, fertilize, protect and water our plants what mother nature provides sets things on a very specific course.  Cucumbers should have long been done by now, and tomatoes at full peak with a typical hot August, followed by a September indian summer.  That just doesn't look like it's happening this year.

So what does one do with 88 pounds of cucumbers (oh, and there are still more on the vine)?  I've made pickles so many times that we could survive on them for the whole winter. Beyond that though, the options for preservation are limited.  There is no way to preserve them fresh for use later, and you can't cook with them either.  In desperation to deal with so many cukes before they went soft I turned to my favorite canning book Put 'em up by Sherri Brooks Vinton.  Within I found a recipe for Agua Fresca which uses lots of cukes, and then can be used to make cucumber martinis.  Let's just say I didn't need a lot of convincing to give this a try!

Admittedly the color is little freaky - but throw some vodka in, and I don't think anyone will care.  Full report on taste to follow after the weekend!

Monday, September 5, 2011

I know it might seem a little bit late to be doing a hurricane wrap up post, and it wasn't my laziness that got in the way (this time).  Six days of no power and no running water took it's toll.  Don't get me wrong, we are better off than many people, as there was no substantial damage to our home or property.  Using water from the pool to water my vegetable garden and manually flush toilets (who knew you could do such a thing) were not things I ever thought I'd do.

Once the power finally came back on I had the best shower of my life. The kids got completely engrossed with the television and I finally went outside to take stock of what was really going on in my gardens.  In short, they're a mess.  Not just from the hurricane, but from neglect of a really busy summer in which what little gardening time I had, was focused on the vegetable garden and not much else. I've got my work cut out for me.  The kids go back to school tomorrow, and I get back to doing what I do best.  Finally.