that lovely time of year again

June 12, 2016

It's that time of year again.  We're harvesting everyday now, sometimes just a little, but sometimes, like yesterday, a lot.  I picked an entire basket of green beans, the lovely French Filets, made green bean pickles and still had enough beans left over for dinner.  I've shared this recipe many times before, but it's worth sharing again: Dan Koshansky's Refrigerator Pickles are by far, the best tasting pickles you'll ever eat let alone make. Plus, it's the easiest pickle in the world to make.  Say goodbye forever to soft, soggy pickles.  This recipe makes crispy pickles with a good kick of dill, garlic and red pepper. They make such a nice mid-day snack and are great on the buffet table. In a few weeks when the cucumbers come in, I'll use the same recipe to make a standard pickle.  I'm also thinking of experimenting making a beet pickle.  Hmmmm. Whether you grown your own veggies or buy them at the roadside stand or supermarket, try these!

The green beans were harvested from two 9' rows we have planted with Botanical Interest's bush French Filets, my favorite bush green bean.  They are easy to pick, (pick them pencil-thin), and the bean flowers don't stick to them (if you grow green beans you know what I mean by that.)  They have a mild flavor, grow straight and are prolific.  To prolong our green bean harvest, a month later we sowed Blue Lake pole beans.  They also grow straight, are quite big and meaty and have a very pronounced old-fashioned beany flavor which is lovely and summery. Planted at the base of teepees made from the straightest thinnings of our fruitless mulberry, in a month, they will be up to the top.

At the same time, my dear friend called me and said, "Come over today!  My peach tree is bursting with fruit!"  To be honest, I couldn't get over there fast enough.  An hour later I was home with 2 very large bags of the loveliest, most fragrant, ripe peaches I've ever had.  We saved some for eating on the spot, and with the rest I made a double recipe of Honey Sweetened Peach Chutney using some local honey from another girlfriend's back yard.  My friends are sure nice to me.  I made 14 jars but already gave quite a few away.  We love it with pork and chicken, also over goat cheese served with crackers for an easy appetizer.  (Make sure to use her method for removing the peach skins--it saves hours!  My peaches were not freestone, so I did not slice them first, but instead poured the boiling water over the entire peach harvest and the skins easily slipped off.)

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xo Kristen

This post was mostly written yesterday, and posted today and I was learning about the attack in Orlando.  My prayers go out to all the citizens of Orlando.  I'm speechless and overwhelmed that the world has to endure yet another terrorist attack on innocent people.  


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  1. Hi Kristen,
    I've followed your lovely posts for years, looking forward to each. A question:when did you plant your bush beans? Mine are still in the first leaf stage, but it looks like they could stand an early spring showing.

  2. Hi!

    We are in Northern California and our frosts are very mild. We start sowing green beans in March or early April. They do sit for awhile and really don't grow much until it starts to warm up a bit. I make a second sowing a month later, and just yesterday made a third--successive sowings seems to help prolong the harvest without bombarding me with too much at once! Hope that helps!

  3. The peach chutney is by far the most delicious chutney I have ever tasted. Thank you!


  4. Your garden is beautiful Kristen!
    I grieve along with you and the rest of our nation over the events in Orlando.
    I will never, ever understand why anyone thinks violence and hatred are the answer to anything. Not when the Bible so plainly says.... "Love one another"... It's just that simple and plain. What a different world it could be.
    And now this sweet child in Orlando too.
    Much prayer is needed for sure.
    You be blessed Dear One.
    And enjoy all of your beautiful sunshine in your garden and your lovely knitting.
    I look forward to seeing it all :-)


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