Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Food

Now is the time of good eating. I'm making jelly, preserves, and jam. We've harvested and have a wonderful excess of taste enhancers like garlic, onions, basil, dill, and peppers. And the summer melons are getting to that heat produced sweetness that only Mississippi can supply.

This week, I produced blackberry preserves and syrup, and plum jelly. The plums weren't mine, but I should have enough of mine (from the rent house's small orchard) to make another batch or two later this week. I was worried that there would be nothing for jelly, since most of our fruit got frozen. Our larder is bare, except for fig preserves, so I put out word in town that I needed some plums.

Luckily, we found some. Plum is Mr. W's and E's favorite.

I thought y'all would want to see my garlic braided. Obviously, it isn't a wreath. That didn't work out, but this year's creation is much better than last year's. The true test, though, comes once garlic is cut from the braid. A good braid will remain. A lousy one will fall apart. I'm hoping for the best.

Mr. W took some meat out of the freezer this morning before he left for work. I guess that means he is tired of zucchini. I may have overdone it a bit. Just this week, we've had sauteed zucchini with Parmesan, sauteed zucchini in tomato sauce served over pasta, zucchini and onions, zucchini tart. I suggested omelets with, you guessed it, zucchini for supper last night, but was overruled. We had pasta and pesto, instead, but no meat was in sight.

Tonight, we'll have meat and no zucchini.

Yesterday, when I was delivering the pay checks in town, I saw a truck load of melons.

Mississippi Melons.

I knew the man. I asked a few questions about the origination of the fruit, while smelling the cantaloupe and thumping a few watermelons. Even though there have been melons in the local grocery store for weeks, they weren't the real thing. They weren't from here. They were picked a little early.

I waited patiently.

Waited until the pick-up trucks driven by locals were pulling into town, loaded with melons.

I was rewarded - rewarded with the sweetest Smith County watermelon and perfectly ripe cantaloupe.

The chickens approve!


ZILLA said...

Those are some lucky chickens (and pretty, too).

I once tried to grow melon. Not this spring, when Moose and I started watermelon seeds indoors because we were depressed and needed to see something green in a big fat hurry. I'm talking about ten years ago, when I had a fabulous raised-bed city garden, I really tried to grow melon. If I had known sweetness comes from heat, I would have skipped the melon and planted more pumpkin. I hand-pollenated the pumpkin with a watercolor brush. Did the same for the melon, but it never even fruited.

Needless to say, I don't read your blog in order to feel like a successful gardener :-)

Love the pretty jars...

Let me guess: you're not sure exactly what cut of meat Mr. W pulled out of the freezer, but you know exactly what to do with it!

Wisteria said...

I did look at the meat, and it looks like flat iron steak, but isn't labeled as such. He pulled it out, so he will cook it on the grill. I assume we are having fajitas because he just loves Mexican. I'll have to make some tortillas. I'm looking forward to the break.

Did you have both male and female flowers, plenty of rich soil and water?

m~ said...

I'm going to have to pick me up some Mississippi melons next month when I run down for a quick visit. Fig preserves sure do sound good too!
My family has sort of had it with zucchini too. I'm making fried squash (the southern way) right now.
Are you making enough to sell? *hint hint*

Anonymous said...

Found your site while looking for pink eye purple hull peas. My folks moved to Pascagoula in early
1940s and had roots in the area
until Katrina moved me to Texas near my oldest daughter. We have settled in and to old to move back but we sorely miss Mississippi.

I had a hankering for pink eye purple peas but just couldn't find
any so I guess I'll just have to
grow my own. Problem is I'm not a
farmer so I need to know when to plant, how to plant, is it a bush bean or pole, how long to maturity.
My youngest daughter still in Miss.
will send me seeds and I have a
place to grow...just don't know exactly how. Won't be planting
until Spring 09 but any help given now will be surely appreciated.

Sarah said...

Zucchini bread, zucchini relish, and 'mock apple pie' - made with zucchini - are great uses for all that extra zucchini!