Sunday, August 30, 2009

What the Gourd?

Our compost pile is the home of most of our most amazing plants. The things growing out of it are gigantic and when we saw the vines we were excited to find out what they were and how much bounty we would get from the surprise. Were they Pumpkins? Cantaloupes? Squash? Watermelons? Alas we were wrong. They are all gourds. Gourds?? What is a gourd good for? You can't even eat the blasted things!! Ugh.
There are at least 20 little gourds growing rampant in our garden. What a waste of space. Well, at least I didn't have to water them and I won't have to spend $5 on new gourds this year for my Autumn display. I don't even remember throwing gourds away in there and how 'come no squash grew? There must be hundreds of seeds down there. We did get some cantaloupe but the vines died early since I think they were too crowded and I heard they're particular about their space. I guess the gourds needed it all.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

More Garden Delicacies

I've been busy canning, traveling, cooking, planning Birthday parties, and I have no time to write about all the yummy things we have been eating. Most have been fresh from the garden. Here are some photos of the foods we have grown this year in our garden. Nothing I grow is of the ordinary variety. Check these out...

This is a box of tomatoes I picked to bring to our family reunion. So beautiful.

This is the chocolate stripes tomato. Are your taste buds going wild with jealousy?

Bea examining the colored carrots we picked from the garden. They are yellow, white, pink and red. So wild!

Blanched peaches
The jam, if you're wondering, is all peach jam but I've made raspberry, blueberry and cherry as well this year. I have a new recipe that it working great so far that is as follows...

Buy a box of Ball no sugar pectin and follow the instructions for your desired fruit
Add ONE cup of sugar and one teaspoon of stevia as the sweeteners.

That's it. I did absolutely no sugar jam last year and the jam started to brown and it just was not appetizing so I decided to use a fraction of the sugar in regular jam (which was up to 7 cups for the sour cherry in some recipes) and just used one cup plus the stevia. It preserves the fruit longer, makes it look better and gives it just that tinge of sweetness so it doesn't taste like you're just eating cooked berries or fruit. I'm quite happy with this recipe and I feel fine eating it and feeding it to my family. We treat it like a dessert so I think it's worthy.