Monday, July 30, 2012

Abundance from the Garden!

 Oh how I love this time of year when our garden starts to produce like crazy. It can be overwhelming at times but I always feel abundantly blessed by my Father in heaven who loves us very much!

We were off camping last week and when we got home we discovered a garden that was full of good things. Here are some of the things that we have been discovering in our garden....
 Green Beans! The bush beans are in full production now (the climbing ones aren't quite ready yet). We had picked enough to take a meals worth on our camping trip but when we got home it was time to can! We did 2 canner-fulls of beans and I need to check them again shortly as we might need to do that again. What a blessing to have green beans set aside for the winter!

What I am especially tickled about is that we just ran out of the beans from last year. I was thinking that I would go ahead and buy a few cans but before I had a chance to do that this years beans were ready! So I didn't buy any green beans for the year. I find that pretty cool.

 When checking the bees lately I noticed some honey comb that looked like it would be easy just to slice off and take in for a snack. We sure are enjoying chewing on honey comb again! What a fun sweet treat.
Cold Cucumber Soup

Cucumbers!!! The night we got back from our camping trip was church night. We made it home just in time to go (and naturally didn't check out our garden before we went). After church Mom and Dad were sharing cucumbers from their garden and after everybody else had taken what they wanted Mom said I should take the rest (a couple of grocery bags partly filled). I hesitated knowing that my garden probably had some ready as well but she said they had a bunch more so go ahead and take them. We did and then we came home to find that yes our garden too was bursting with cucumbers. Thankfully we do really enjoy them! We have been eating them at meals, for snacks, and sharing them with those we are around. On baseball night I took a whole bowlful along for snack time and they went pretty well. (We also took a bagful along to give away). We haven't made pickles yet but that is in the planning. How we have been eating them is...
  • Just sliced up plain.
  • With cream cheese and sunflower seeds on the slices.
  • In cucumber sandwiches
  • In Salad
  • In Cold Cucumber Soup.
Here is how I made cucumber soup.... (It was to spicy for most of the family but my Mother-in-law and I enjoyed it very much!)

  • 4 medium cucumbers, washed and chopped up.
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped up.
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 hot pepper, chopped (I don't remember the variety- it was close to jalapeno size but yellow)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (more would be yummy but I was using what I had)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chives, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 -1 cup milk
I pureed all of it together in my food processor and then let it chill in the fridge for several hours. Yogurt would be a yummy addition too but I didn't have any plain yogurt on hand.

 We have been making raspberry jam thanks to a lot of berries that we have been able to pick at my parents place. We are experimenting with using green apples in addition to some old pectin that doesn't work all that well - in order to get it to set.

 We have some raspberries at our place as well that we enjoy for snacking.
 We always enjoy the beautiful morning glories!
We have quite a few grapes this year! I think I will turn them into juice (sweetened with honey) when they ripen.

We are also enjoying broccoli, onions, radishes, peas, zucchini and herbs from our garden. We are very blessed!

Are you eating out of your garden? What are your favorite uses for cucumbers?

I am joining the barn hop with...
and Amy @ Homestead Revival



Pei-Lin said...

Oh, Abbi, you're making miss summer in Minnesota even more!

Not long ago, I spotted some honeycomb in a container on sale at the local supermarket. Maybe I should buy and try that. By the way, I am kind of fascinated with chestnut and buckwheat honey lately. I heard they are very flavorful, taste like cooked-down molasses. Here, the best I can get my hands on is New Zealand's Manuka honey, and it's pricey. Well, we all pay for quality.

Nola said...

I just use cucumbers to eat sliced or in salads mainly. Sometimes I make relish. I can't often get cucumbers to grow well where I live. I don't know why, I've tried all sorts of things. This year our beans are not doing well either, but neither are anyone's around here. So I don't know why but usually I get lots and lots. However our peas, swiss chard, lettuce are doing really well, and the other things are doing well overall. Right now we are really enjoying the peas a lot. I also have bumper crops of basil and parsley. Each year is a new adventure. I cut back this year because of the new baby.

angie said...

Thank you for the cucumber with cream cheese and sunflower seed snack idea. We have all of these things on hand right now. The kids will love this when I make it tomorrow!


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