Long time, no blog

Sorry for the lack of updates lately. I’ve been flat-out busy and need my off time for resting, not writing.

Overall, my technique of “stacking” events so I have one busy weekend then three weekends off (as opposed to having something almost every weekend) is working really well. I need to remember that weeknight events are tough if I’m going to also try to work a full day, though.

This week sees 3 events in 5 days. Wednesday’s pickle workshop for stroke survivors was a hoot. Felt like I was in the midst of a vegetable shark frenzy at points.  Today, I’m doing an intro to food preservation (including cheesemaking), and tomorrow is the big salsa canning work day (9 people and a projected 65 pints or so of salsa).

Though much of the garden looks “fallow” to me right now, there are potatoes ready to be harvested, the tomatoes are coming in, and it looks to be a much better year for squash than last year. Cukes are probably done for the year, and the fall crop of beans and peas are starting to bloom. The greenhouse is looking a bit fried, and again I wonder if it’s worth it to plant in the summer.

And why didn’t anyone tell me black-eyed peas are POLE beans? It’s a gorgeous mess of legumes out there…where I stuck a few poles in, the vines are probably 10 feet long. The rest are around knee-deep, and winding vines around each other like they’re holding hands. The three sisters garden is also doing pretty well; the beans are a bit sickly, but the squash looks productive and the squash vines are deep enough they might stand a chance of deterring the critters from the corn. Though I’ll believe *that* when I see it.

One of these days I’ll post pictures, and my recipe for calabacitas and my argument why zucchini is a useless, high-maintenance vegetable…and what to plant instead.

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6 Comments

  1. El said,

    August 22, 2010 at 6:30 am

    I don’t know, Emily, I think your plan for stacking is entirely sensible. Really. Keeping at least some time free and flexible is important.

    But I will also say I agree with you about zucchini. My happiest day is when I pull the still-producing plants because I technically have “enough.”

  2. Momster said,

    August 22, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Agree zukes are a not worth the effort….Plant edible flowers….seeing them (and eating them) makes me happy.

  3. EdgeWiseInAnnArbor said,

    August 24, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Hey, here’s a tomato trick. You can remove the skins by rubbing the flat of a knife over the surface (I use a butter knife in case I slip) until it is 100% bruised, and then just de-stemming. The skin slips off just like if you put them in boiling water. You don’t burn your fingers, use as much energy, and don’t have to wait for water to boil. I really prefer it for small canning batches and making dinner. For more than one big pot of tomatoes, the boil water method is a little faster.

    I’ve got a Vittorio 250 Tomato strainer on the way for big batches so I’m hoping to ditch the boil water de-skin method completely. Always my least favorite part.

    • michelle said,

      August 26, 2010 at 9:55 am

      HI Emily,
      I just discovered your blog & looking forward to reading more…esp hoping to pick up some new vegetarian menu ideas.
      We thrive on zucchini & summer squash here…especially like it sliced thick, marinated in italian type dressing & grilled.

    • EdgeWiseInAnnArbor said,

      September 2, 2010 at 3:00 pm

      Hey Emily,
      I ended up opening my Victorio 250, and I canned 18 quarts of tomatoes in 6 hours with two kids underfoot, so I was pretty pleased by how it went. My four year old worked the masher, while my two year old occasionally helped dump If yours has one of the optional screens (berry, pumpkin, or salsa) or the grape augur I’d still be interested in your 200 model one as well.

      I don’t know if you ever used yours, but my results really surprised me. It was different both from what I’d expected and from what I’m used to, (when I just removed skins and rendered them down whole). It was somewhere between paste and tomato juice, but perfectly uniform. It took double the cooking time to remove all the excess water. It was definitely the most acidic tomato sauce I’ve ever canned, but I don’t know if that was from rendering them down so much, or from a very acidic bunch of tomatoes (fresh picked, vine ripened, dry farmed).

      I think I might use a secondary mechanical method of removing some of the water (cheesecloth or something) to save energy, time, (and excess acidity?) next go around. Anyone had any experience with that?

      -Steve

  4. pris said,

    August 27, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Thank you so much shared the information in this blog. I’m also cooking lover love to share with people greats recipes in healthy way. Here is the website:
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