Wow it's been awhile since I've posted so to update

We've eaten two tomatoes out of our garden, they were very tasty and we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of more ripe tomatoes hopefully in the next week or so. First up on the list of canned tomato goods is salsa, it's been years since I've canned any because well it's been years since I've had any "real" tomatoes to speak of!!! We'll also make up and can our own spagetti sauce, pizza sauce, and if there are enough tomatoes ketchup and bbq sauce. I have plans, at the end of the season , to can green tomato slices for my fried green tomato cravings over the winter months.

I've been picking green beans, planted Top Crop, and cucumbers like crazy. So far we've put up 31 pints of green beans and have eaten several pickings of beans - they are best fresh what can I say!

The cucumbers, I planted a pickler varitety, are coming on strong, this year I plan to make lots of lime pickles as these were a hit here this past winter and I'm hoping to try my hand at my first ever batch of dill pickle relish!

I found out why my potatoes were size of peas, not enough water, turns out they need a half inch a week or so, soooooooo I've upped my watering routine. Turns out this is why ALL of my root crops are doing poorly, lack of water. I have some really pretty green tops though ;-)

John replanted Rhutabegas and Beets tonight there's still plenty of growing time in our season for the year yet. While he was weeding the garden he found two volunteer tomato plants, one looks to be a Rutgers the other some sort of cherry tomato. Barring any rain I'll plant Kale tomorrow and maybe some more chard and lettuce., in fact I think it's early enough to replant cucumbers and maybe even a zucchini plant or two.

Christmas Pickles

The recipe made 9 pints total, just enough to get me through the witner. I'm hoping we will a larger cucumber harvest next year.

Beautiful red color! Sweet and sour and somewhat hot cinnamon flavor will be most welcomed this winter.

I forgot to take pictures of the process! Here are the cucumbers cored and soaking in lime water. Christmas pickles are very similar to Lime Pickles except you leave out the spices, except the cinnamon, and add a bag of red hots to the syrup they are soak in overnight. I will try to get a picture of the finished pickles later today.

New Can Goods Cubbard

One of the down sides to living in a very old victorian home is the lack of storage. John built a cubbard for our canned goods, I should say the food we've been canning ourselves! There are some blank spaces but they should be filled by the end of the week.

I have peach chutney to make tomorrow, more butter that needs to be canned and more pickles than one could ever imagine having - the christmas pickles are the ones I'm most excited about very similar to lime pickles but you add red hots and cinnamon to the pickles just before you process them!

Got Pickles???

Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath and your done! Consult the Ball Blue Book for more specific directions.

The color of the pickles changes from bright green to that cooked pickle look with which we are all familiar.
The boiling spice solution is then mixed in with the newly drained and rinsed cukes and onions and brought to a boil.
Spices are mixed together with sugar and vinegar and brought to a boil.
You start with some pickling cukes, and a whole lotta onions, they are soaked in some pickling salt for awhile to draw the water out of the fruit.

Dh helped me put together three batches of Bread and Butter Pickles tonight. I do the pickle making around here, as everyone loves the way they taste ;-) Here's some pic's of how it all went together.