Out in the garden by 5:30 this morning. I picked what raspberries there were. Last year at this time I was getting about 3 quarts each day. Today I got only a pint again. So I will juice these and add it to the bit I got Wednesday. There are still some to ripen so will wait for those before turning the juice into jelly but even if all the rest ripen and the birds don’t get them I will not get enough to make the girls Christmas gifts so they will have to settle for grape jelly this year for their friends or maybe even apple jelly as there are some crab apples coming and I always make jelly with those and the skins from the bushel we get for freezing as pies. Then I picked the few blue berries that were ripe for breakfast. They are still looking good but am not so sure of the grapes. Some look fine but others I am not so sure of, only time will tell on those. It is a strange year, everything is slow to ripen and we are still getting a lot of rain. Some things love it and others are confused by the change.
After breakfast we went to the big garden and picked the last two cabbages. They weighted over 5 pounds each. After taking off the outer most leaves and core they weighed about 11 pounds so we then grated them up saving out one quarter of one cabbage for cooking tomorrow. Norman got LaMachine out and working and as he ground up the cabbage I took it and put it into the crock and added sea salt in layers until the crock was about 3/4 full. Then we saved the last of the cabbage for cold slaw. As Norman cleaned up the downstairs kitchen, that is where we do all the baking, canning and big cooking jobs, I massaged the cabbage and salt , as directed, to make the cabbage release it’s water to make the brine the cabbage will ferment in. Then we covered it and weighted the cabbage down with a plate ,covered the whole thing with a wet towel and set it in the root cellar. Hopefully in a week or more we will have sauerkraut. The recipe we are using says to check it every 3 to 4 days to get the taste we want then jar it up and put it in the refrigerator. This will slow down the fermentation and keep the taste just as we want it for several months. In colder areas such as New Hampshire we would put it in a cold cellar and keep it under 60 degrees and it would ferment at a slower rate and take several months to reach the taste you want but here there is no place that cool unless you put it in an air conditioned room and turned the AC way down which we never do even for ourselves. So we are trying the southern way of making sauerkraut. Hope it comes out go everyone says it is easy so we will see! I have never had sauerkraut but Patty loves it so if I don’t eat it all she will finish it for me.
For dinner today we are having steamed Swiss Chard and I picked enough of that to put some of the green part in with the Chicken and slowly fry those together, then add sour cream and a title mustard the last five minutes- OH that is so good!! Then I picked the first leeks I have tried this year. I hilled these better than last year and it paid off. They are getting so nice and big and nice big white bulbs on them. I will have that fried with some sliced Swiss Chard stems (the part of the Swiss Chard I like best) and mushrooms. Then I picked the last two rutabaga which were very small and got only two piece that were good looking, which I will cook and add to the piece left over from yesterday’s stew. I also had three small potatoes left from the stew and some broth so will add one more cooked potato and a few green beans I had left from yesterday’s canning and dinner will be complete. I never throw anything out, I just repurpose it- yesterday’s stew is today’s vegetables. I grew up during the great depression and know how to save – that is why we are not effected by the rise in the cost of living for our costs don’t rise as much as most. When we were both working full time we did not have the time or energy to save so much but now it is a way of life and a fun game to play.
Tomorrow the zucchini should be ready to pick again and with the ones I got yesterday I will have a load ready to can. I like them as a vegetable with stewed tomatoes or in stews or soups but Becca likes them plain as a vegetable so I try to get quite a few canned each year. Guess that is all the news from the garden and no news from the sewing as I am waiting for my fogger to arrive – I have given in to the crickets until then and then the crickets and bugs had better look out!! Have a great day.