Sunday, September 4, 2011

Many crab apples, and same old same old garden pictures

 A friend dropped off 2 bags of crab apples and then my sister invited me to pick crab apples at her house, this is how I ended up with 6 bags pf apples. Yes sir yes sir 6 bags full. I turned them all into juice. It is so simple. Cut all your apples in half and put in a big bowl or pot, pour boiling water over them and let them sit for 24-36 hours. Strain (no mashing, just straining) the now beautiful pink water into a large pot (or 2) and add sweetener to your taste. I  like honey, and I don't like my apple juice too tart, I think I had 18 cups of juice to about 1 1/2 cups honey. Boil this for about 10 minutes and pour into hot clean jars, no need to water bath as they will seal. Let stand on kitchen counter for at least a week so you can admire how pretty and pink it is before putting on your cold storage shelf. When you are done straining the juice off the apples you will be left with buckets of perfectly fine looking apples, you will be tempted to do something with them, do not make pie with them. There is no flavor left in those apples, your pie will not taste like apples, you MUST put them in your compost bin. I know, it seems wasteful. I think on a cold winter day this juice would be really good heated up with some cinnamon and cloves, but for now it is good cold on ice with a few mint leaves.

On the left raspberry rhubarb juice, then pretty pink apple juice and some pickles.
Another friend had way too many cucumbers so I made 3 jars of pickles, I normally don't do pickles but I knew I would not be able to eat them all. I am also blanching and freezing beans as I pick them from my small patch.

I figured that since I was doing something new like making pickles I should go all out and really make something new so I made these beautiful Asian Moon Pickles. Got the recipe and picture below from Liesl's site here  I forgot to take a picture of mine but they didn't look near as pretty as Liesl's. I couldn't find black sesame seeds anywhere so I had to settle for the ordinary white ones. I haven't tried them yet. Thank-you Liesl. 

Tomatoes are at all different stages
More tomatoes

My afternoon snack at work, I get my 5-10 servings of vegetables in before supper, I've learned to eat tomatoes like core or seeds to spit out

This is my garlic harvest , minus 1. Need to plant more next year.

From what I am reading this squash is ready to be picked when he is not shiny anymore, I'm getting a little impatient, they are still all bright green and shiny and Jack frost is breathing down our necks here. 

These are organic brandy wine tomatoes and they still growing and not turning red yet, they are in the greenhouse so harm of frost but I'm not sure if I should pick them or let them be.

This little guy will soon be pie

This guy wants to be the "prize pumpkin".

IS there any other flower that is more wholesome and farm-like than sweet peas?
My ivies have decided they are tired and done for the year and are  putting on one last show for me

The weather has started to turn on us, we had one morning at 3C with about 5C being the normal now. Our days are still nice, anywhere from 15C to 25C but with a cool fall breeze. It's at this time that I start thinking more and more of my Mexican home and friends and of taco of course. I really start craving tacos and toni-col, and tostadas, etc. I also start thinking of knitting, I actually started a little knitting project, a little baby sweater, there are no babies in my life but it couldn't hurt to have a gift on hand and it is a very easy quick project just to get my kntting groove on. The pattern can be found here :

I have also been drinking Mexican hot chocolate in the evenings, I don't even drink this stuff when I am in Mexico because it's just not cold enough there for hot chocolate. Those of you that know me know I don't like chocolate but this chocolate is very mild and not too sweet and mixed with cinnamon. It's more like hot frothy milk with just a hint of chocolate. Most of us North Americans coming home from Mexico have a few of these boxes in out suitcases, usually more than we need, I think we are just  infatuated with the hexagon shaped box...I know I am. There are many different brands but the box is always hexagon shaped. 

MY garden makes making lunch so fast and easy. Boil a pot of water with some carrots, onions, garlic, add some noodles, a tomato consume cube and at the last minute some swiss good.

1 comment:

Contessa said...

I just love reading your blog and visiting your garden. Great idea with the apples. I honestly don't have the energy to do any of this, maybe next year. I heard someone say yesterday that they just freeze the tomatoes right off the vine. Just put them in a bag and into the freezer and they are ready for chili or whatever.

By the way I must be one of the few who have never had Mexican hot chocolate.