Saturday, July 14, 2007

Garden Journal: July 8 - 14, 2007

The garden is going gang busters this week. We're starting to get into the busy time of year when we have more produce coming in than we can keep up with by eating. When that happens we freeze, can, or dry everything and put it away for another day.

We've had to pick peas every other day to keep up with them. Today we took this weeks harvest of peas and froze them in 1.5 cup measures. We ended up with 6 bags of peas. From the looks of the vines when I picked this morning we'll be getting at least that many more next week.

The cherry tomatoes have almost peaked out but we still have a large bowl full sitting in the fridge. I plan to dry them in our American Harvest dehydrator. Once they are dried I will pack them in olive oil and store them in the fridge to be added to any tomato based sauces we eat over the next couple of months.

We finally picked the red currants from our lone bush. They are quite juicy but very tart. We ended up with two cups so this morning I made a batch of bread with half the currants and some dried strawberries. The bread is rising nicely on the counter and will make a nice treat, toasted and buttered, for breakfast during the week.

We also got our first taste of fresh beets this year. We planted four rows of them and they have been growing nicely. When it came time to thin them out we found that most were 1/2 inch to 1 inch in diameter. We had them for dinner along with the more tender beet greens. They tasted deliscious and I really can't wait until it is time to thin the rows again.

Beet greens can be cooked just like spinach and have a similar flavour. We sauted them in butter along with onions and the baby beets themselves.

Sauted Baby Beets and Beet Greens
1/2 a small onion
1 Tbsp of butter
1/2 teaspoon of salt
baby beets
greens from baby beets

Boil the baby beets just long enough to make them easy to peel. A fork should just be able to pierce the skin. Pop them under cold running water and use your fingers to wipe the skins away.
Dice up the onions and saute them in the butter until brown. Add the beets and the greens. Stir until the greens are wilted much like spinach and the butter has coated the beets and greens nicely. Salt the salad and serve warm.

This recipe can also be used with large beets cut into quarters. If the beets don't have greens attached then you can use fresh spinach instead. It is a great side to any meal and is packed with all kinds of vitamins and minerals.


PeterC said...

It was definately yummy!!

I think we need to plant more beets next year as they seem to do well.


Janet said...

I thought that my little garden was growing nicely this year but a couple of tomatoes and a cup of beans does not compare with your garden.


Dee said...

Don't be to jealous. We spend a great deal of time working on the garden and more time freezing or canning the results. In my mind, every little effort is a great achievement.