Yesterday my mom called and said she really needed help weeding her garden. It was overcast right at that moment (I'm not a fan of weeding in blaring sunlight on a hot day), so I stopped what I was doing and scooted on over to her house for a few hours. As a reward I came home with a giant cabbage that I plan to combine with the two smaller cabbages my great aunt Em gave me to make sauerkraut for Ben.
In the evening I went into my own garden and snipped off the largest cukes. When I get enough for a batch of relish, I'll be chopping them all up. I've already made a dozen jars of various pickles...including dill, bread and butter, new garlic pickles and sweet gherkins. The gherkins take 4 days to make...but by the end they got a little shrively, so I'm not sure how they'll taste or what kind of texture they'll have...I've yet to try them and now I'm a little scared!
I also peeked into the dirt around the potatoes and accidentally snapped off a few small red potatoes...yum!
And I also picked all the ready green beans. I have two more generations of beans planted so I'll always have a little at any given time. I've been doing more freezing than eating though.
Another reward from my mom's garden...the brussel sprouts we planted were exploding! My brussel sprouts in my garden, which were planted from the same stock at the same time are just barely starting to form sprouts, but my mom's plants had sprouts so mature they were almost starting to form sprouts of their own! These sprouts aren't nice and tight like they should be...even the smaller ones. After a little research I've determined that we planted them too early. Brussel sprouts like cold weather and should be timed so the sprouts are forming in the fall. You can even leave them out in the winter and dig them up through the snow when you're in the mood for them...amazing! Ben cooked some of these guys up last night...not bad, but tasted more like bok choy than brussel sprouts. Regardless, I froze all the remaining ones for later enjoyment.
And lastly, my kale is never ceasing. I've been enjoying and freezing it for more than a month now. But just this morning I did my biggest freezing batch to date. I took my giant galvanized tub into the garden and filled it up. Afterward my row of kale still looks as if it hasn't been touched. But that's a good thing. I washed it all. And then when Ben and I were watching a movie, I brought it into the living room and spent about 45 minutes ripping all the stems off (I don't like the stems). This morning I blanched it all and put it in the freezer.
And after squeezing out even more water, I formed baseball sized balls and they all fit into one gallon sized freezer bag with room to spare. Wow!
Another funny thing about kale... The other night Ben made spinach stuffed shells (an Italian dish). It was super delicious and the spinach had great texture. After dinner when I was cleaning up...I saw an empty freezer bag on the counter that I had labeled "kale". Yup...Ben unknowingly used kale in the spinach stuffed shells...not spinach. Needless to say it was awesome and in a lot of ways even better than spinach. And even Ben, who really doesn't love kale...didn't noticed the difference. lol We'll probably be making kale stuffed shells from now on. I love happy accidents!