Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summertime Equals Zucchini Time

Even though the weather isn't helping it seem like summertime around these parts (it has been unusually wet and cold), the way the time is zipping by certainly makes it feel like summer.   There's been cherry picking...and pitting and freezing of course.I love  my old thrifted cherry pitter and can't imagine cherry season without it, it makes light work of cherry pitting and when you do it outside you don't need to worry about the cherry juice that splatters all over.
We enjoyed making homemade noodles so much when our friends were here that the boys and I decided to try making homemade ravioli with our garage sale pasta machine.  It works like a charm for rolling out sheets of noodles.  I don't have a ravioli maker yet so we improvised with a jar and a slightly wider drinker glass.  These we filled with spinach from the garden and ricotta cheese and then served them with sage butter and garlic scapes.  Yum!
I snapped a few photos of the garden this week while I was wondering why on earth I don't do a better job of keeping up with pruning tomatoes. Part of me wants to because I like how tidy the plants looked when pruned and because I plant so closely I don't want too much overgrowth but another part of me just has such a hard time pruning plants.  So, I pruned some here and there and then let myself be distracted by picking more beans and the last of the peas.

My late planted potatoes are quickly filling their cages and I need to get busy adding more mulch.
And, happily, there are cherry tomatoes ripening up outside - a very few at my house so far but lots at the garden at work.  Thank goodness for generous gardeners sharing their tomatoes, a few of these added to any dish makes it delicious.
There has also been lots of zucchini eating going on.  Last year I was quite convinced that I would plant less plants (8 is really too many for one family) and yet....somehow....I ended up with 8 again.  If the boys question me on it I'll use the excuse that with two gardens at separate locations it gets a bit confusing and somehow I ended up with 4 at each. ;-) 
Today both boys started looking for recipes themselves rather than leaving all the zucchini prep up to me, they know that they will be eating lots of this over the summer and the get pretty sick slightly tired of my same old, same old methods of preparing it (although in my defense I have loads and loads of ways of making it, it is just that when you're eating it at least once a day for months...).  E found a recipe for thin crust zucchini mushroom pizza that we tried tonight (I'll share it next time) and he declared it a two thumbs up success.
We even took zucchini away with us on the weekend to enjoy with friends during a weekend of hiking and mountain biking.  When it comes to zucchini I guess my motto is....don't leave home without it.


Nicole said...

Hi There! I found you by hopping around on homemaking sites and really like the look of your blog and your journey. i am striving towards some of the same goals, even though I currently live in the city and my garden consists of a few potted tomatoes plants and a few decoratives (thats all Im allowed to plant in my condo complex! :) ) Anyway, look forward to more from you. Blessings!

sheepish said...

While the weather may be not be co-operating out there on the West coast, your pictures and your garden are stunning.
I have not seen potatoes caged like that before- can you let me know more about why that is done?

daisy g said...

Your garden is amazing, Heather! You are blessed to have such majesty surrounding you! That ravioli looks dee-lish!

SG said...

That last photo is amazing, you're very lucky to live there.

Kathy said...

Beautiful photos of your garden, and of your ravioli! We make our ravioli the same way -- no ravioli maker -- and it always seems to turn out just fine. (Delicious, in fact!)

Elizabeth said...

Your garden is so lush and abundant, all that rain is certainly doing it no harm! I'd like a serving of the ravioli.
Lovely photo of the mountain range.

Jennifer said...

I was going to come to your blog today to troll the zucchini recipes since I have an abundance.

But you've done it for me, thanks for all the links to different recipe's!

Heather said...

Hi Sheepish,
I'm growing the potatoes in cages mostly because I don't want to use up a lot of space growing them, this way I can sort of grow them vertically and keep them contained to 5 cages. Also, there was no garden soil prep - they are placed on what was really the pathway at the end of my garden space. I meant to be filling them with straw as they grew (easier than hilling with dirt) but I still have to get the straw (leaves would have worked as well I think but this is at my garden in town and I don't have a stockpile of leaves from last year). You can find lots of info. about this method by googling. Some people used to do this with old tires - just stack them up as the potato plant grew.

Erin said...

your garden is loking no worse for weather wear i'd say. it is fabulously lush and i'm certain the zucchini will be enjoyed and 'relished'...(can you make a relish??)and passed on. It's alway funny how i don't plant any zucchini and you plant what feels like maybe too many! I often think, well i will pick up two plants at the garden center and pop them in later, but i forget. we are slowly getting some warmth, which the tomatoes love, but they are really slow this year. Our most organized year for tomatoes, and now we just need some great weather to send them into fruiting.

cargillwitch said...

gorgeous photos! the mountain meadows are stunning!

Laeli said...

I too am in love with those meadows! My fave way to do zukes are to air dry them and then store them in oil,yum yum

Reginas Cottage said...

hi heather,
your garden looks wonderful.i like tomatoes,zucchini,too. but my tomatoes are still live in a beautiful country.
have a nice week,
greetings from germany,
btw.your blog is wonderful

moment to moment said...

Wow Heather such beauty!!!!
LOVE the top and bottom picture...not like the sweltering heat of these parts..
such beauty.....