Pickles

Our cucumber crop is in full swing.  We have one hill that is a typical vine variety that produces ordinary cucumbers, and another one of a bush variety that produces cukes that are perfect for making into dill pickle spears.  So far, I’ve used the regular cukes to make bread & butter pickles, and the “picklebush” ones for dill pickles.

Our next door neighbor is growing cucumbers, too, and keeps palming off a few rather large ones on us.  The last time he brought us a bag of his produce, a couple of days ago, he literally left the bag on one of the seats in my other half’s truck, rather than putting it on one of our doorsteps.  Shades of Minnesota in August.  If you don’t want free produce, don’t leave your vehicle unlocked.  I don’t think our next door neighbor is growing canteloups or butternut squash, so maybe we can give him some of those when they’re ready.

Some of our excess can be given away in the office.  If the company owner doesn’t want some of it, his office manager will take it.

For tonight’s dinner, I’m going to work our way though some of this.  Cold cucumber soup, Caprese salad, corn on the cob, and maybe some grilled or pan fried chicken breasts.  Cucumber soup freezes really well, as does zucchini soup (and zucchini bread, for that matter).  Gazpacho would work, too, and use tomatoes in addition to the cukes.

Considering that both we, and our next door neighbor, grow our veggies without using pesticides, we’ve had remarkably few fruits with blemishes, or have to be thrown away.  Some do get partially eaten by whatever critter gets in the garden, and have to be tossed, but it’s a lot less this year than in previous years.

We missed most of the rain and t-storms we were supposed to get over the past two days, which is good, because if we had gotten it, the tomatoes would have cracked near the stem end, making them useful for canning, but not worthy of giving away.  Nobody wants to give away tomatoes that look any worse than something you’d buy at a farm market or grocery store.  I don’t, anyway.

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