Friday, August 2, 2013

Abundance in the Gardens, Abundance in Storytelling

 The gardens are booming right now. The new hens are already laying and apples, peaches and grapes are hanging heavy. ready to ripen in a few weeks. It feels like the garden of Eden here right now, with fresh fruit and vegetables there for the picking, flowers in bloom and beautiful, clear, dry weather for a change.

This is a fresh load of tomatoes picked by Larry this morning. Lots of pink ones in with the reds and yellows. I think we only planted 4 pink tomato plants, but they are sure doing well.

Today is salsa-making day. I have a few hours to spare from working on stories to do the salsa and make some dill pickles--the cucumbers are coming in with a vengeance now. The old vines revived when the weather cooled and the second planting is beginning to bear. Always, of course, the gardens peak when I will not be here to process the bounty. Such is life.

We eat tomatoes three meals a day at this time of year, and in between meals too. Sliced for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, sliced for dinner and eaten whole in between. Such richness!

This morning I prepared a country breakfast, complete with fried potatoes, bacon, eggs, tomatoes and fried apples. The apples were amazing. These were some golden delicious that had been around so long the skins were wrinkled--but they were still sound. I cored and sliced them, leaving the skins on. Then I heated oil in my cast iron skillet, added the apples and stirred them quickly to prevent them from sticking to the pan (that's important--hot oil and stirring to coat the apples with the oil). I let them cook a while, then added cinnamon, honey and vanilla. My oh my. I've never added vanilla before but you can bet I will always do so now. They are delicious.

The chickens are laying those little pullet eggs; they're small and dense with deep yellow yolks. I missed our good eggs and was impatient for these new hens to start laying. They obliged me by starting a full month before I was expecting them to. Good girls!

Back to the kitchen with me. Tomatoes are sitting in hot water so I can peel the skins and make salsa. Then I'll take a while to work on stories for the Inland Waterways Festival in Marietta, Ohio tomorrow, and then I'll start a batch of pickles. While those are sitting in salty ice water, I'll be packing for next week's trip to Elkins, WV to teach Appalachian storytelling for the Augusta Heritage Series. This will be a full, fun day--especially if my cousin Les in England calls and we can talk about my trip to England in September.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


warren said...

They look great!

warren said...

Ever eat so many that the acid makes your mouth hurt? I know you have...great isn't it?

Sue said...

I hereby admit to being jealous of those tomatoes.

And the VERY fresh breakfast!


Jenny said...

Your tomatoes look so good! Do you have trouble with squirrels? They have destroyed my garden here. They've eaten almost all of my tomatoes - usually just before they're ripe enough to pick but many green ones as well. :o(

Michelle said...

I have quite a few tomatoes, but they are all still green. I am waiting for them to ripen so I can make some salsa too. Yours look great!

annie said...

I would love to have all those tomatoes, I have some bougtten (silly grin over that old word), ones that are excellent, but not a pile as big as yours. I would love to have some of those apples now, never tried the vanilla either, mmmuuumm!!

Granny Sue said...

Warren, yes I have...and would do it all over again. I love tomatoes!

Sue, if you're ever over this way, we'll cook one up for you!

No trouble with squirrels...yet, Jenny. The dogs and the cats seem to do a good job of keeping them far.

Some years we get lucky and have bumper crops, other years we go begging for tomatoes, annie. This year we're blessed. Watch next year be a bust.

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