I’ve been happily enjoying how the garden is progressing this year. We’ve been super busy with the new baby and Ben’s busy summer work schedule so there are plenty of weeds and the plants maybe aren’t as big as they could be, but seriously peeps, we’re harvesting veggies from our own backyard and we have a fat and happy baby(who, I promise, I will write more about soon!). I am SO proud of my husband for all his hard work in getting the garden space put together and the plants grown besides having a full time job and being a great dad. We started the year with high hopes and big plans and I think we’ve(namely Ben, haha) have done really well, all things considered!
We’ve had lots of cukes, a couple squash, peas, carrots and potatoes still growing, cabbage still growing, some herbs, strawberries are in for next year, a steady stream of tomatoes and peppers ready as we need them, a huge number of tomatoes almost ripe for salsa and sauce canning, and a whole garden bed system in place to make next year easier. It is so much fun to go out and find veggies ripe daily! Definitely a big bonus in having our own house.
Pictures now! Pretty impressive changes, I think. Please forgive the weeds, we’ve been busy! :D
This is the recipe I used for the sweet pickle relish. It came from the Ball Blue Book: Guide to Preserving – 100th Anniversary Edition(1909-2009). It assumes you know how to can using a boiling water bath. If you don’t, please look it up. It’s pretty simple and lets you can all sorts of yummy things!
Sweet Pickle Relish – yields about 8 half-pints
1 quart chopped cucumbers
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped sweet green pepper
1 cup chopped sweet red pepper(I used purple, since we had that in the garden)
1/4 cup salt
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 tablespoon mustard seed(I used ground mustard in lesser quantity since the store was out of seed)
2 cups cider vinegar
Combine cucumbers, onions, green and red peppers in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt, cover with water, stir and let stand for 2 hours. Drain, rinse and drain the mixture. Combine sugar, spices and vinegar in a large pot, bring to a boil. Add well-drained veggies. Simmer for 10 minutes. Pack relish into clean, hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Check for and remove air bubbles. Clean the rims and add the two piece tops. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. Do not store in the pantry unless the lids on the cooled jars are fully sucked down with no spring-back when you press on them.