Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

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The End of Summer

The weather is cooling and the vegetable garden is really starting to produce as the plants figure out that the days are growing shorter.

The tomatoes, in particular, are coming in by the giant mixing bowlful. I've roasted once, and started fire-roasting tomatoes out on the grill so that I can just peel them and freeze them in one pound bags. Just right for a batch of chili or spaghetti sauce in the winter. We've been eating them by the handful as well. It's a combination of heirloom and hybrids, and the Purple Cherokee beat the Black Krim out hands down. I know what we're getting next year. There was a Big Red tomato that I bought at the Farmer's Market that is producing dozens of tomatoes and they're all huge beefsteaks that are luscious and amazing. I might have to save some of those seeds, too, but I plan on getting the plants from them next year, too.

The Sun Gold cherry tomatoes beat the pants off every other cherry we got. The sugar sweeties just didn't do that well, and the red pear tomatoes just didn't taste as good. (Makes SURE to mark this as 'gardening' to refer to this for next year). The beets are fun. And the initial burst of spinach worked really, really well this year.

The raspberry canes are starting to finally slow down. There were two weeks when the boys would come in every other night with a good four cups of ripe berries, it was plenty for Jet's fruit allotment and then some. Locally, the raspberries have been selling for $2.50 per 6 ounce box, so that's been a real money saver. Not that we'd shell out that much for raspberries that often if we didn't have the plants, but Jet and John really love them.

The carrots are getting big and fat, and the onions are mostly lying on top of the ground now. It's pretty hard ground and I planted them a little too shallow, I think, but I now have dozens of Walla Walla sweets just lying on the ground, waiting to be picked up.

The sweet corn went in just a week's burst of eating. Jet's Indian Corn is HUGE and the cobs of corn are chewy and sweet, not quite what I'd expected, but they're very tasty when roasted and the ears of corn are in multiple colors, purple, white, and yellow. Jet thinks they're very cool, and I have to agree.

The chilies have been very tasty. John made chili rellenos, and we have a dozen or so little bell peppers, much smaller than when I bought plants from Burpee, but still sweet and firm and tasty. I should check on the garlic, but I'm not at all sure how well it's doing.

So it's been a very productive summer, as far as the garden grows... which has been good.

My days have evened out to writing and word wars in the morning (averaging about 1500 words a day, not bad!), getting some kind of exercise in the afternoon, and then getting Jet from the bus and playing with him until dinner, and then after dinner he does a little homework and I get a little more time, and then it's to bed.

I've been experimenting a bit more with food lately, too. Made from-scratch cinnamon rolls this morning, and did scallion pancakes for dinner with a beef, potato, and tomato Chinese dish my mom used to make for us when I was a kid. Jet said it was too tomato-ee for him, but he really loved the scallion pancakes. So that was to the good. Doing muffins and popovers (after the ones we had on the East Coast I remembered how good they could be), curry again and chili. It's cool enough weather again.

John accidentally broke my vacuum coffee maker, so I bought a new one today along with one of those interesting new Aeropresses and a bit more green coffee to roast. The stuff I have is old enough I don't know when I bought it, so I feel that I should probably get something a bit fresher. *laughs* So I'm back into my coffee habits again, but I'm drinking just a bit more decaf than before, which probably is good for me.

Jet's liking school, and the bus stop walks to and fro are always good.

Yesterday we went to the Rec. Center, and I actually was able to swim without stopping for half an hour straight. I was pretty proud of that. With the neighborhood pool closed, we've actually started going to the Longmont Rec. Center again, using the entrance fees we bought years and years ago. The pool is a bit more chlorinated, and we accidentally went on a night when they were having swim lessons; but I really do love swimming for the upper body workout while the exercise bike at home is good for my lower body work outs.

I've been knitting a bit more with the cooler weather again. Kid socks, the Shipwreck Shawl (I'm on my third needle size of four... it's great TV watching work!), and some more fingerless gloves. There's an art show in October that wants to hang more of my stuff, so I have to get cracking for that.
Tags: cooking, gardening, summer, swimming

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