Thursday, September 29, 2011

west coast wonders

The ever-bearing strawberries are still producing, slow and steady, enough to slice over ice cream or granola.

And raspberries are just putting on their fall crop.  Summer raspberries are sweeter, but these are precious because of their timing -- raspberries, backyard-fresh, when the squash vines are dying off and the nights are getting cooler.

Cabbages and cauliflower, still young, stand in a raised bed, ready for winter and an early start in the spring.

Salad greens sprout in a cold frame. 

I take pride in coaxing the most out of every ray of sunshine, every hour of daylight and every degree above freezing.  These are the wonders of a west coast garden.
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Monday, September 26, 2011

a september walk in the garden

It's officially fall.  Lettuce is flourishing.  Tomatoes are still rolling in.  The apple tree is heavy and the young pear tree makes its first offering.
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

cucumber snackers

My cucumbers have flourished this year.  The trouble is that I haven't found a way to preserve them for colder days, except by making pickles -- which half the residents of this house don't eat.  So I made one batch of pickles for myself and determined to deal with the rest of the cucumber surplus fresh.  These pretty snackers were a big hit with friends.  Three cucumbers disappeared likitty-split.

Zippy Ham Salad Cucumber Snackers 
1/4 lb deli ham, sliced thick and finely diced
1 celery rib, finely chopped
a couple of spoon fulls of green olives, drained and chopped
2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
1 dill pickle, finely chopped
1/4 small red onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper
a couple of cucumbers 
Combine everything but the cucumbers. 
Peel off half of the cucumber skin (more if it's tough).  Slice the cucumbers into 11/2 inch disks.  Use a melon baller to remove a scoop from the centre of each disk, making a little cup.  Fill the cups with ham salad.  Enjoy. 
Recipe from Rachel Ray's 30-Minute Get Real Meals (Clarkson Potter Pub., 2005).
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Friday, September 23, 2011


Our cool summer pushed all the garden rights of passage back by weeks.  I doubted this day would come -- this day when I have more tomatoes than I can eat -- and more coming.   These beauties aren't all ripe, but I'm harvesting them half green to preempt the greedy slugs that proliferate in cool, moist weather.  Besides, seeing this bright platter on the dining room table makes me happy.

I had planned to can tomatoes, but energy is running low, so I think I'll roast and freeze them.
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