And Speaking Of…

…the garden, we continue to enjoy the fruits and veggies of that labor. Our potatoes and onions are faring well. We followed instructions for long-term storage, and it seems to be working.

I’m pleasantly surprised at how much I like the blanched and frozen snap, snow, and green peas. Last year, after following blanching instructions, they were slimy and mushy and awful. Bleh bleh bleh. This year, I didn’t follow the instructions and barely blanched them or froze them raw. Much better! And so far, they seem to be keeping just fine. Harvesting the peas while they are young makes a difference, too.

These three things, however, are my favorite discoveries or successes of the gardening year:

1. Pickled beets. The first batch, uh, not so good. The second and third batches are much better, and next year, I think we’ll nail them. Will plant a few more beets next year.

2. Cranberry glue. You might recall it was supposed to be cranberry sauce. We’ve been eating it the way we’d eat apple butter and it’s yummy! Seriously, I love this stuff; it effectively satisfies my craving for apple butter. I will be picking cranberries in earnest next year and will attempt a cranberry butter recipe. If that doesn’t work, I remember how I made the glue, and I’ll just do that again.

Yes, I’ll have another go at cranberry sauce, too.

3. Basil cubes. Oh, oh, OH! These things are the best of the best! They’re just basil leaves chopped with either extra virgin olive oil or butter (we have both), frozen in ice cube trays, popped out, stored in bags in the freezer. We toss them in soup, spaghetti sauce, mac & cheese, etc. My favorite is with shrimp and pasta. Mmmmmmm.
Mike wondered if it was really necessary to have every windowsill lined with basil plants all summer. Why yes, yes it is! At least until I have a greenhouse, that is.

Categories: Alaska

5 replies »

  1. When we were kids pickled beets were our favorite veggie. I haven’t tried those in years. All your stuff sounds great! Enjoy!

  2. We also love Harvard beets…have you tried those? And plain ol’ boiled beets, with just a touch of butter, salt, and pepper are great, too.

  3. Inform Mike that there is no such thing as enough basil, let alone too much! Great idea for preserving. I make big batches of pesto and freeze them in small portions. I’m going to add basil cubes to my repertoire.