Well, that may be stretching it. It’s more like the late middle as the tomatoes are just reaching peak and the new crop of lettuce is just up but things are definitely in the processing rather than rapid growth phase. The days are still hot but the nights much cooler. Fall is fast approaching and I feel that nesting instinct. I love to see my shelves fill with jars in assorted colors. I love the smell of wood smoke and cider. Fall is always busy but the work is easier as the temperature drops.

 The kids are heading off to school this week. I’m anxious about my little school. We have only 9 kids in kindergarten and we are always battling TPTB who would love a reason to close us down and ship our children 20 miles away to the regional school. That happens when they get to the middle school anyway and I don’t like it then but I won’t send Phoebe if it happens any sooner. That means either home schooling or shelling out the money for the little private school in the next town. It’s parent run and inexpensive by today’s standards but $2000.00 is $2000.00 and I would rather Phoebe get to spend her elementary years in our little school. It’s a quick 5 minute walk away and the classes are so small, it’s like private school now.  I e enjoyed homeschooling but Phoebe has special needs along with the attention span of a flea.I’m not sure I could keep up with her. I would be needing to work on her math lesson and she would want to be playing dress  up.

Like Scarlett O’Hara. I will think about that tomorrow. Right now, I will think about pickles. A new reader asked about my pickle recipe.

First, walk around your garden. Notice the hidden colors; that bit of red pepper and the gold of carrot’s shoulder. Snow white cauliflower and bright green broccoli contrast with a yellow bean. Don’t overlook some baby Pattypans or zucchini. Pick a bit of this and a bunch of that. An onion is nice and a clove of garlic too. Now bring everything in and pour a glass of cider. This is for sipping, not the Jardiniere. For that you’ll need:

5 cloves of garlic

1.5 teaspoons peppercorns

20 allspice berries

some tarragon sprigs

2 3/4 cups white wine vinegar

2 cups water

1 tablespoon pickling salt

Wash all of the veges and cut any large things up into small pieces. Get 5 pint jars and wash well. I usually fill then with boiling water and let them sit for a few minutes, then pour the hot water into the canning pot. Now put a sprig of tarragon, some peppercorns and allspice berries and a clove of garlic into each jar. Bring the water, vinegar and salt to a boil in a non-reactive sauce pan. Pour the hot liquid over the veges, cap with hot lids and process in a boiling water bath for twenty minutes. Then store for at least 3 weeks before eating.

I usually do a much bigger batch than this as we eat this stuff by the quart rather than the pint. Then you need to process for 25 minutes. If you have some leftover, just put it, unprocessed in the refrigerator.

Someone asked about olive trees. We will never grow olives here. I put olives in the same category as coffee, tea and citrus. I try for a local diet but what I can’t grow, I can buy as a treat. Get the good stuff, responsibly grown and harvested and don’t overindulge. We will ship maple syrup down south and they can send us oranges for the occasional indulgence.  It is a vastly different thing than eating iceberg lettuce in January.