Are you a pickle person? Mike and I aren't. To me, most of the pickles I've eaten were either way too salty or extremely sweet. The only ones I ever liked at all were called Bread & Butter pickles, but even they are too sweet for me. But I had ten cucumbers I needed to do something with lest they go bad, so decided to make some pickles since I never had.
(I might add here that the word "pickle" is really a very silly sounding word and I keep hearing in my head Arlo Guthrie singing a ridiculous song... "I don't want a pickle, I just want to ride on my motorsickle"...).
I didn't have enough to bother with canning the pickles, so I opted for the "refrigerator" version. I now have three quart jars of Bread & Butter pickles. For what they are, they taste pretty dang good! But I will never eat that many pickles.
Conclusion: I love cucumbers, not pickles. I'll just grow enough to eat raw and fresh and give away what extra we have - like last year.
I did make some very nice marinara sauce though that I'm enjoying... even though my tomato picking experience has been rather frustrating this year. They are growing like gangbusters, but I've lost quite a few to worms and someone eating them outright. So I've had to pick them before they are fully ripe and vulnerable, like these I brought in from the garden last night.
I have tomatoes ripening on four windowsills in the kitchen and one benefit to ripening inside is visual - I love seeing them scattered about the room. Here are the ones I used in the sauce that ripened up fine in the windowsills.
Included are Mortgage Lifter, Pink Brandywine, Amish Paste, Roma and Better Boy. The mix turned out very well because the marinara sauce tasted superb! It was only enough for the meal I wanted to cook, which was good since it was a test run, but here is my first tomato sauce made from my own tomatoes - that I will definitely make again.
All those tomatoes = a one quart jar of sauce. That's because you toss the skin, seeds and any chunky greenish parts of any tomato. And a few of the tomatoes just weren't "beefy" enough... were mostly seeds and schlop (that I ate). I definitely need a good food mill though - to separate the skins and seeds from the tomato pulp. Although I know how to peel a tomato easily after dunking it in boiling water for a short time, etc., getting out the seeds was a pain in the behind and time consuming. I've done some research, but if anyone has a good suggestion for a good food mill, I'm all ears.
I ended up making a kindof eggplant parmesan (without the parmesan) with the sauce and these cute little eggplants from the garden:
And I'm getting ready to freeze a bunch of my peppers so I can have some in the winter! It's hard finding organic peppers around here and when you do they are so expensive. They are listed in the Dirty Dozen List of veggies to buy only if organic since they are otherwise laden with pesticides. So freezing is the way to go with my bounty of peppers.
My garden is hanging in there and producing - even after the onslaught. And guess what? The weather the past couple of days has been downright... dare I say... perfect. It's noon now and 77 degrees with a nice breeze outside. Simply perfect. This morning when I was in the garden, I could have used a sweater! In August!