Whew, I am EXHAUSTED! Today was busy, but productive. It started at 7 am when the kids got me up. I like to get up early with the kids the day before going back to work so I can sleep that night. Today however, I got up and was greated by my mostly risen no-kneed bread dough. For more on that story, please scroll down and see my special post (and drool your heart out Susan!, hehe).
It actually took much longer than I thought to take it though final proofing to eating, but after lunch, we went to the zoo with the kids. Boy was that fun. They've been regularly since we're members, but this was the first time in a year that I went. I've got tons of great pics on my phone, but I'll only bore you with one to keep the non-gardening comments to a minimal.
Yep, he was just on the othe side of the glass snoozing. WOW, and I'm a cat person. How cute! Makes me want to rub his belly. hehe maybe not. Anyway, I did manage a few garden-related thoughts and pics out of the trip. The first was right outside the new butterfly exhibit. I couldn't help but notice that these simple plants with no pretty flowers on it was COVERED with bumble bees and even honey bees. I was shocked! I haven't seen honey bees outside a commercial setting at all this year, and there were dozens at this point of the year when I haven't seen any bee for months. I have GOT to get me some of these plants!
Another pic I had to take was walking through the rose garden. Leave it to progressively green Seattle's zoo to take this route!
But it did make me think, maybe I'll find out what they use and start treating my garden with compost tea. I've got compost now. MUAHAHAHA! hehe. Heck two birds with one stone as they say!
Lastly, the trip ended with us finding the perfect addition to our little rose garden out back. My eldest's favorite color is yellow, and this Sunsprite yellow rose is not only vibrant yellow, but very sweet smelling. If I could find it it would go into our rose garden next year!
So we got home at 7:30 and I was loosing light. But after everyone convinced me that I needed to freeze my beans, I decided to just do it. So with the light fading, I went out and harvested 4 lbs. of green beans!
That's me stradling my bed #1 standing on the rails. Thank goodness I didn't make a 5 foot wide bed, hehe. While I was out there, with my flashlight, I decided to pick the cukes I passed over last week when I started pickling. And while I was digging around in the dark, I found two that I totally missed. One I can't phathom how, because it was as big as the biggest cukes I pickled. Here is the harvest that I chopped up and added to the brine.
After washing them, and cutting them down, I burried the pieces in with the rest of the marinading cukes. My garage smells nice, inside this pot is a bunch of dill pickle goodness going on.
And here is the green bean harvest from this evening, mostly from my pole beans, but I also finally harvested my bush beans...
Despite my total and utter inexperience, I came up with a fairly creative process for preping, blanching and freezing my beans.
Don't mind the left over bread mixing bowl. Today was busy and I hadn't had a chance to do the hand dishes, so it made a good clipping/composting bowl. But the collander was what the prepped beans went into. Don't they already look like storebought. Don't laugh, I've just grown up on canned green beans, which is why I wanted to can them in the first place. To each their own I guess.
And here is my blanching station.
Yes, that make-shift ice-bath in the middle is also my make-shift la cloche from my baking episode today. Hehe, it was one of the few big vessels and it was sitting close. Anyway, it worked great. I blanched the beans for 3 minutes. The books call for 1 minute, I thought 5, my mother convinced me to compromise at 3. After they were dry, I spread them out on a baking sheet and putting them in my freezer, where they're currently flash freezing before I put them in zip lock bags for winter eating.
The second batch was much bigger, but I think I harvested about 5 meals. It's a start. All those Freedomgardeners have made me feel sustainable... hehe. It's a start.
*Don't forget to read the special post on some yummy bread, and sorry they don't have smell-o-vision for the internet, hehe*
Enjoy your garden!