Fall Planting and Harvest

Upon our return from Disney, it was to the garden we went for some fall harvesting and some more planting.  We came home to our second round of beans, ready and waiting for us on the vine.  They were a very welcomed surprise after eating a bit too much non-homegrown food on our trip.

There were also about 80 tomatoes begging to be picked, and a whole lot of raspberries ripe and ready for a little princess to pick for her afternoon snack.

We then set to planting our new beds with some cold-hardy greens.  We are hoping to add a hoop house or some type of low tunnel over these beds once the frost sets in. (Even though that seems very far off at the moment, as I listen to my air conditioner humming at this precise moment, when it is a whopping 90 degrees again today.)

Putting Food By: Pesto

“Would you say your pesto is the besto?” ~Friends

Each and every time I watched Friends in college, snuggled up on the couch with my roomies, and heard Phoebe say this line, I roared with laughter.  Well, let’s face it, I pretty much laughed like crazy any time I watched that show.  But looking back, the funniest part is when I was in college, I had no idea what pesto even was!

Now that I have discovered the wonderful world of pesto, I definitely would not say my pesto is the besto, but by golly it is pretty darn tasty.  I love, love, love making pesto in giant batches and freezing it for use in the winter months.  It helps to bring that lovely basil taste that reminds me so much of summer to the table when the heat is on and the snow is falling outside.

The particular batch I made this weekend had toasted walnuts, basil, swiss chard, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil and salt.  But the great thing about pesto is you can use a wide variety of nuts and/or greens and the pesto will turn out great.

When I freeze my pesto, I put it in 8oz, freezer safe, glass jelly jars.  I fill each jar to 1 inch from the top (to allow for expansion in the freezer).  It freezes beautifully this way, defrosts easily and allows for easy preparation when you pop it out of the freezer at a later date.

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Some of our favorite home preservation books are:

Putting Food By by Janet Greene, Ruth Hertzberg and Beatrice Vaughan

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (There are some great canning recipes scattered throughout the piece.)

The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest by Carol W. Costenbader

Putting Food By: Pickled Beets

 

Despite the extreme heat we have had the past several days, our beets seem to be absolutely thriving.  In fact, they seem to be the only thing in our garden these days that are not being absolutely devoured by Japanese beetles.  Ug.

But enough of the negative and on to the positive…these beets.  Yum.  We pulled up our first round of beets this week and we were thrilled to find they had filled out nicely beneath the thick layer of soil.  My favorite way to eat beets is to pickle them, so I used a very easy pickling recipe from Putting Food By (listed below with a link), and before I knew it we had jars full of tart and scrumptious pickled beets.

 

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Some of our favorite home preservation books are:

Putting Food By by Janet Greene, Ruth Hertzberg and Beatrice Vaughan

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (There are some great canning recipes scattered throughout the piece.)

The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest by Carol W. Costenbader