The garden, and this busy season of food preservation, has given me a lot to do lately. There are bundles of herbs hanging from the rafters of my shed, and three enormous bags of corn immured in my chest freezer and tomatoes lined up on windowsills like a battalion awaiting a barrage.
These beets were pickled shortly after picking-- the first time I've ever grown enough beets to pickle some. This year, I've been diligent about one thing: multiple plantings of carrots and beets. Not diligent about pulling crab grass, or about finding something new to try to keep out the deer (they finally summoned the temerity to leap my improved fence a few weeks ago... sigh), but yes, diligent about root vegetables. I made an April 10th planting and a June 1st planting and a July 1st planting. The April 10th beets became pickles, and now the June planting is ready and I have no idea what to do with them. It isn't roasted roots season yet. The April carrots are mostly used up-- we ate plenty of carrot sticks and dip this summer-- and most of the June planting, which is ready now, will go to canned escabeche, and frozen carrot-tomato soup.
(Does anyone else make escabeche? It's a Mexican-style pickled vegetable mix, endlessly customizable. I make mine with cauliflower, carrots, celery, lots of garlic, and jalapenos. Maybe I'll post about it, when I get around to making it...)
This is the subterranean scene, in our cellar. You know those shelves were a huge selling point, don't you? Oh baby, I still remember the day I saw those shelves and promptly fell in love with this house. I've been canning LOTS of tomatoes-- ketchup, puree, stewed, sauce, paste-- because it's what I have, and what we love. I'm feeling pretty good about all that, and ready to move into the more autumn-ward pursuits of canned vegetable broth, applesauce, and roasted red peppers.
In between, I'm working on the greenhouse. Update Friday. Slow going. In between, I'm relying on Patrick to think up fun and totally non-garden-house-work-kitchen-related things to do. It's that time of year, the most overwhelming time for homesteaders, I think. The before-winter projects converge with the food preservation projects, and in the meantime there's still a garden and a yard to maintain.
Thankfully, Pete's been on an unprecedented roll of photogenicity:
Super kitty, away!