Saturday, July 28th, 2012
9:56 pm - Harvest Moon  
1 four-pack cucumber seedlings - $2.75
1 onion - $ 0.66
spices, salt, sugar, vinegar - $2.00
1 dozen Mason jars (pints) - $12.83
1 canner and utensils - $27.76

3 pint jars of bread and butter pickles - priceless $15.33 a frelling jar for pickles?!?

So, the garden has begun to bear fruit, mostly pickling cucumbers of which there have been multitudes. Except that once you take that big bowl of cukes and slice 'em up and pack 'em in jars they don't amount to all that much. Today, two days after I did the B&Bs, I had another bowl of cukes ready to go. These I cut into spears and made dills. Yield was 4 pts of those. Apparently spears don't pack as well as slices.

I've never canned anything before. The ex did occasionally when we were together, and I always likes the results. I figured I wasn't going to have all that many jars to do, so I tried to use my stock pot, but it just wasn't deep enough, even for pints. Also, it would only fit three jars, and at the time I thought I'd have more than that, so I just went and got the canner. It works great, but man that's a lot of water to boil to can three lousy jars. Now I have enough pickles for quite awhile considering I'm the only one here. Meanwhile I now have to figure out where to store the humongous unitasker.

Finding decent recipes has been a challenge. None of my modern books have much apart from the occasional refrigerator pickle recipe. Tried that last year, but I'm not a fan. My go to Cook's Illustrated cook book doesn't even mention pickles. Even my ancient 20 volume Better Homes and Gardens Encyclopedia of Cooking failed me. I finally got the B&B recipe out of a James Beard cookbook snagged from my mother, and the dills from my old Betty Crocker.

I've harvested two tomatoes. The first was nibbled by field mice, but I cut off the nibbled parts and it was still pretty tasty. The other was tiny but good. I'd hoped I'd seen the last of the field mice, but I guess not.

The spaghetti squash are abundant and doing splendidly.