My lettuce in the garden is definitely on it's way out. The red lettuce is shortening to bolt and is trying to do it all at once. I'm harvesting TONS of lettuce to try and keep ahead of the lettuce before it gets too bitter to use and so far so good, although we're living on salad right now and I still have two big bags of lettuce in the fridge waiting for me. I might be making a recipe from the "Wartime Farm" companion book that's called "Summer Soup" which, really, essentially it's a spiced up lettuce soup. Sounds kind of odd, but it'll use up lettuce *laugh*.
I am harvesting rat tailed radishes left and right and the plant just seems to grow radishes while you watch. I can't BELIEVE the volume of radishes that comes off of one plant. It's spectacular! And it takes up so little room compared to the volume of radishes you get off the plant. I mean I think about how many radishes I would have to plant to make up the sheer amount of pickles I have canned and the amount of radishes sitting in my fridge ready to get pickled and/or put into salad...I'd have at least two rows of radishes planted taking up room in the garden and they wouldn't continue to produce once pulled. This sucker just keeps trucking along producing. Pretty awesome :).
So, I canned sweet rat tailed radishes this time around. I made a simple brine of 3 cups white vinegar, 3 cups water and 1 1/2 cups sugar to make the brine (heat brine to boiling, pour over rat tailed radishes in hot jars and process for 10 minutes in a water bath canner). I found some really intriguing recipes for honey sweetened radish pickles on SB Canning's site which I'd like to try, but man I don't know if I want to use up my honey doing that. Now the radish relish recipe she has posted, though, I think might be pretty cool if I can pick up some onions to make it as the rat tailed radishes would chop down pretty easy I think.
While I had my canner out I also pulled two of my four bags of cherries and canned those up as well (two more bags to go. Woohoo!). I can't believe how many cherries I am getting out of my 5.00 lot. I'm beyond thrilled as these will be SO good come in the middle of winter when we are longing for some fruit that actually tastes good and doesn't cost an arm and a leg to buy. I love canned cherries and these will come in really handy for desserts. Since I had some of the cherries cut into pieces in the bags, I also added a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice to the mix to stave off browning and also just because I kind of like the added tang added to sweet cherries when you can them. They get so sweet when you add the sugar that I think they kind of need the lemon juice added to them, but that's me.
So, I still have a couple of bags of cherries to can and what is left of my rhubarb to can as well. So, that's still on my list of "to do's" this month. And my husband put in a request that I use the rest of my strawberries to make strawberry preserves as he loved the last batch I made *laugh*, so that'll be on my list as well.
Anyway, the pickles and the canned cherries, done early Saturday before it got too hot in the house, is seen above.
I also started two Christmas gifts this week. I started thinking about it and family has been really good to me this year. I owe some of them a lot. So I want to show appreciation to not only the kids in the family but also the adults, so I want to make gifts for the couples in the family, in some cases and in others just individual gifts to those who I owe a debt of gratitude to (if that makes sense). So, I'm glad I'm starting early on gifts ;).
Just a warning to family members who read this blog. I'll be marking posts with "Christmas 2016" on it or something similar, but there will definitely be Christmas gift spoilers included, so if you don't want to know what you're getting for Christmas...don't read them *laugh*.
I've really gotten some inspiration on what to make for gifts, so stay tuned. Some of these gifts are, I personally think, pretty darned neat and I'll include different ideas to make the gifts in the event you don't have the same skill sets as me (which I totally get trust me :).
So, yay for getting things accomplished so far!
So, onto this week's goals!
- Continue to can rat tailed radish pickles
- Can cherries if weather and temps permit
- Can rhubarb is weather and temps permit
- Detail clean den and shampoo carpets (my old cat is just getting old, nasty, and senile, which is leading to me cleaning the den a lot more than I would normally want to. We'll leave it at that without all of the gross details).
- Shampoo upstairs carpets, especially living room and son's room.
- Dust ceiling fans
- Start to clean out contents of motor home and wash everything (we managed to get a mouse in there chewing on some snack foods my husband left out there a while back, so now it's time to re-wash everything just in case).
- Continue to work on Christmas gifts.
- Load thrift store donations into car and drop off (these have been sitting around taking up space forever).
- Continue to care for garden and harvest things as needed. Once sections are ripped out, amend soil with compost and prepare it for fall/winter garden preparations.
- Rip everything out of standing freezer. Rearrange so awkward shaped items stop making things fall out onto my feet when I open the door. Take inventory while at it and write a list so I know exactly what I have.
And there you are folks. My goals for this week. How about you?