Friday, August 28, 2009

BLTs are A-OK!

We've all had that craving. You know.... the one that occurs in about mid-March when the only thing you want is a BLT with crunchy lettuce and juicy red tomatoes? Sometimes, in a fit of desperation we may have even gone to the store to get the ingredients to make one, only to find a pile of wilted greens and a bin of pinkish-orange monstrosities labeled "fresh tomatoes". I decided to hold off on this summer treat until it that season actually arrived.

Last night we indulged. With our own home-grown lettuce and the very first full size tomato from the garden as the star ingredients, this sandwich was worth the wait!

Despite the fact that my plants look like crap they have still managed to produce a decent amount of smaller tomatoes.

Monday, August 24, 2009

August is the Healthiest Month....

I love this time of year. Aside from the fact that it aligns with school, there are just so many things that excite me about late August. For starters we are now in the height of Adirondack gardening season (which pretty much means we are finally getting everything that all other zones were havesting a month ago). This week's accomplishments have included:

-making pickles (both zucchini and bread and butter)
-freezing lots of beans
-discovering a superb patch of raspberries and freezing a few quarts
-planting fall crops of spinach, turnips, and radishes
-Making 3 batches of pesto and freezing it in ice cube trays

Other than that I'm simply cooking most of our meals from the garden, which is just such a great feeling.

My other major accomplishment of the week has been getting back onto my running schedule. I was doing really great until right before the wedding. I think it was because Doug was training for the half marathon and I just kind of tagged along. But after the wedding we both kind of took a break. Now I'm right back on track doing about 3 short runs a week (2.5 or 3 mi.) and one long (4+). This week's long run was the Trudeau Rd. loop which for those of you not from the area is a 5 mile course consisting of roughly a 1.5 mile gradual incline right in the middle of the run. I was definitely feeling the burn by the end of the run.

This week will be dedicated to getting my library ready for the start of school and enjoying every last minute of the nice weather. I'm sure we'll be back to the cold before we know it.

Recipes used:

Basil Pesto

2 c. basil
1/4 c. pine nuts (walnuts are good too)
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. parmesan cheese

Food process into a thick, smooth paste

Bread and Butter Pickles

1 1/2 lb. pickling cucumbers
1 lb. onions (sliced 1/4 in. thick)
3/4 lb. red or yellow peppers (sliced 1/4 in. thick)
3 tbsp. salt
4 c. cider vinegar
2 c. light brown sugar (or white)
2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tbsp. mustard seed
2 tsp. dill seed

Put cucumbers in bowl and pour boiling water over them. Drain and refresh under cold water. Slice 1/2 in. thick. Place all veggies into a glass bowl. Sprinkle with salt. Mix well, cover and let stand overnight.

Drain off veggies and rinse with cold water.

Put vinegar, sugar, turmeric, mustard seed, and dill in a non corrosive saucepan. Boil rapidly for 10 min. Add vegetables and bring back to boil. Remove from heat.

Pack into sterilized jars and seal. Process for 5-10 min.

Monday, August 17, 2009

New computer!

So my first official business as proud owner of a new computer is posting a blog entry, of course. I am very excited about this new purchase as the last computer I bought was a Dell (ugh!) back in 2003. Said computer currently runs for about 15 minutes at tortoise speed, while burning your lap, before promptly overheating. Oh and not to mention, the 30 GB of memory (which I was assured by the sales person was more than most people would never need) is full.

So an upgrade has come at last. I am now sporting a Sony VAIO (in my signature color- brown) which with any luck will last me another 6 years.

Hey a person can dream can't they?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Beans, blueberries and the sad state of our tomatoes...

We're officially up to our ears in blueberries and green beans (two of my personal favorites). Today I spent the morning making a blueberry tart and canning dilly beans. I've never had them before, but here is the recipe I used.

4 lbs green beans
7 garlic cloves
7 heads of dill
5 c. of vinegar
5 c. water
2 tsp. of crushed red pepper

Put garlic, dill and beans in pint jars. Bring other ingredients to a boil. Pour in pints, leaving 1/4 in. head space. Process 10 min.
Yields: 7 pints

My blueberry creation in the works.

Freshly picked summer squash
I wish I could say my tomatoes were doing as well as everything else seems to be. Many of you living in the Northeast are well aware of the massive case of late blight that has been killing potato and tomato crops. My tomatoes are still alive, but not looking so great. Not sure if they in fact have late blight, but I'm open to suggestions as to what is causing the leaves to turn yellow with brown spots. Any solutions?

Friday, August 7, 2009

We Own a Wenonah!

Last week Doug and I picked up our new super fast, ultra light, totally fun kevlar canoe. For those of you who know canoes it's an Escape (a 17 1/2 ft canoe). We registered for this canoe for our wedding and are just so grateful to all those people who helped contribute to this fabulous boat. We've already taken it for a couple of spins on Lower Saranac, but tonight we get to use it for a camping trip we've been wanting to do for years. We're heading out to Lake Lila in a few hours!

Here's our sleek new ride!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Route 3 Session

One of the perks of traveling to Michigan for family visits is that Watertown, NY - more specifically the Black River is on the way. Last Thursday, Kat and I hit up the Route 3 wave for an early morning session before making the rest of the nine hour drive to Jason's house in Clarkston.

My college buddys always know I'm in town when there's a Subaru in the driveway with smelly paddling gear draped all over it.

I ended up bringing my longer playboat because I thought the wave would be a little flat. Thankfully it wasn't. The longer boat doesn't have as much bounce as my new playboat, but she can still throw down.

Here's a quick vid from the session. Kat is always so cool about hanging out with the camera while I surf my brains out.

Dougie rocking the old school Dagger Id

Garden Update

So another reason for starting this blog is to inform others and keep personal records of my #1 passion... gardening and food preservation. I started my first vegetable garden about 2 years ago and have kept increasing the size of it each summer. I now grow over 30 different kinds of vegetables and berries. I've been wanting to blog on this all summer but have just not had the time (that wedding planning thing is a real time consumer). So here's a quick recap of our major harvests thus far.

4 varieties of leaf lettuce (red mascara and black seeded simpson shown)

Red Rhubarb Swiss Chard

Just one small handful of the unbelievable harvest of sugar snap peas.

This is a photo of our garlic while it was growing... visitors to our house commonly mistook it for corn and bamboo it was so huge.

And hanging to cure in the garage.
Additional harvests also included a great crop of spinach and radishes. Since we live in such a cold climate we've been pretty limited in our early harvests. Stay tuned for an update though as the arrival of August also brings the arrival of green beans, summer squash, cucumbers, and TOMATOES!!!

Berry picking this year was definitely hit or miss. Doug and I picked strawberries the last weekend in June and felt like we struck gold when we brought home 20 quarts. But as excited as we were about strawberries we suffered an equal amount of dissappointment in the lone quart of raspberries that followed. However, blueberry season? The best I've ever seen! Still picking those....

The lineup of jams in our basement (current varieties include strawberry, raspberry rhubarb, apricot, and blueberry).

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wedding Recap

Well it's official. We're married.

Our wedding week started with the arrival of Doug's family from Michigan (and Maryland). Throughout the week we went hiking, took a spin on the Saranac Lake Chain on a massive pontoon boat, hosted a BBQ, and had many laughs.

Kalib taking Isaac for a ride in my garden wagon

Mom Haney and Addison

Who says 2 year olds can't drive? (Fear not, the boat was parked)

The actual wedding day was amazing. Even the unexpected torrential downpour during our ceremony seemed to only add to the perfection of the day. Both the ceremony and reception were held at South Meadow Farm in Lake Placid, NY. The plan was to get married in the field which overlooks Pitchoff Mountain (where Doug and I had our first date and also got engaged). About 30 minutes before the ceremony the sky opened up and it just poured. While my immediate reaction was one of pure dissapointment, I soon realized that the weather made no difference. We were going to get married and it was going to be perfect, rain or shine. Here are a couple of shots from the day. (Photos taken by Jon Zander)