From Mrs. Cog’s Corner
Anyone who read my piece on the medicinal properties of red clover tea knows I am excited to add it to my list of regular items to consume. Red clover is the number one forage crop for livestock in the Northeast U.S. and sure enough, our neighboring farmers grow it.
It calls to me.
After passing one particular field on many trips to and fro, finally I’d had enough. Under the guise of taking pictures I suited up to go traipsing through the field, armed with scissors and a two gallon bucket. The blooms were glorious. Not a single one came off without a bug. Thank goodness I had the foresight after getting home to spread them on a few cookie sheets and set them in the sun for a day. A few more days in the window and my blooms will be dry enough for tea.
The zucchini continues to explode in production. Cog and I had a lively conversation this morning about eight zucchini plants being too many, too few or just right. He keeps saying ridiculous things like, “You know you can compost some of that?” LOL Right. Not!
Yesterday, I made another 14 pints of bread and butter zucchini pickles, and 5 with cucumbers which are just starting their earnest production. When I served Cog his tomato/basil sandwich on toast with… pickles on the side for lunch he asked if pickles were going to be a regular on the menu for the next 15 years.
Two days ago I made a spectacular blueberry and peach jam. Like my recent strawberries it didn’t turn out quite right. Once again my fruit floats in the jar after being processed and jelly forms at the bottom. So it separates itself while processing. I spent quite a bit of time Googling and digging in canning forums. The consensus seemed to be that either more pectin was needed or it wasn’t boiled long enough after the sugar was added and before it went into the jars. If anyone has any pearls of wisdom, please let me know. If you are not a premium member, drop a note to the webmaster with your two cents please?
Since my jam isn’t perfect that means I can’t give any away, and we’ll have to eat it all ourselves. Sigh.
It’s turning out to be a very pleasant summer. The temps haven’t been hotter than the mid 80s and there is a breeze almost every day. The lilies are beginning to bloom. The tomato plants are continuing to grow at an insane rate and many are up to my chin. As the child unit is traveling for the month to visit family, we are hoping to knock out a number of big messy projects including the bulk of the kitchen renovations.
With the absence of kitchen availability looming in the upcoming weeks, I have set up a massive staging area complete with cooking space and access to water in the basement for garden canning operations. Cog just nods and smiles as I explain this, and offers to wait until post-harvest on the kitchen upgrades. I think he sees this as a way to relieve him of the blame when the tomato deluge goes terribly wrong downstairs and I am in tears for access to a proper kitchen once again. This, of course, will not be how things play out
My exile to the basement is excellent practice for several Plan B’s and contingencies that I never get to test because Cog is so efficient at making sure everything works as it should. I am ready for the challenge and will keep the updates coming. :-)