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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer's LATE in the PacNW (again...)

Well all, it's that time again- the time of year that we Seattlites complain about summer not being here already, that the rain is drowning us, that we're still wearing coats and sweaters, and... and.. well, the list goes on, but I'll stop here at the risk of sounding like a complete whiner!

What I can say however, is my garden is doing well thanks to all this rain and the cold weather! I've pulled lots of radishes, and have cut lots of broccoli florets (not heads of broccoli though- hmm... what's wrong with my plants? Are they alien broccoli? If someone has tips for this, lemme know!), my lettuce is BOOMING, but my tomatoes are stalled. I know- it's only JUNE for crying out loud!

Seedlings in the kitchen window...
This year, my garden box is BOOMING, and I've even added a small planter (lower right) for more room... Broccoli is lower left corner... booming, but not heads, just florets.

Radishes and beets- look really tiny in
the photo, no?

No tomatoes until August, right? I'm impatient (anyone who knows me knows that!), and since my garden produced just a bit last year, I have high hopes this year. I picked easier things to grow (rainbow chard, lettuce, beans). And, as a novice veg grower, I even mistook WEEDS for pepper plants that I was just certain were taking off, and would be producing peppers any week now... yyyyyyyyyeah... ok then! Lesson learned! Of course, pulling those up helped open up real estate for other things to grow! WHOO HOO!! With my luck, August will come and I'll have more than I can eat- maybe I'll become a vegetarian in late summer, or I'll be handing off veg to my neighbors! I may actually have to learn how to can...

And speaking of making preserved items, I brewed a batch of beer a month or so ago and it has turned out awesome! I went with a kit, and I realized that I don't need to get too awfully creative with this! It's enough to just brew it and have it come out right!

Now, I'm creating my own Mother of Vinegar with some old white wine that wasn't finished, hoping to create white wine vinegar from scratch. If this works, I will start adding fresh thyme and/or rosemary from the garden, and get all "fancy" and stuff! (Tired of seeing how much vendors charge at farmers' markets for these tasty little things...) And, after all, isn't that all a part of cooking? creating the base items for future use? Canning tomatoes for a truly flavorful red sauce in the middle of winter? Pickling carrots and radishes and cukes for something tasty when football season needs more than just wings. (Some of you may be aghast right now that I said that...)

Well, that's probably enough for one post, right? If I keep them short, people have time to read, and come back for new news later! Speaking of which, I have two new recipes to share with all of you- one for salmon, and one for pork tenderloin that's in the works LITERALLY! I have pork marinating in the fridge right now, and will cook it tonight. If I have success (ya' know, I have a few posts that never got posted because the food was not so good!), this will help kick off summer I think!

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