08 September 2008

putting up pickles

After reading about just how easy it was to make homemade dill pickles (somehow I expected more steps than canning peaches) at Eating Locally in the Pacific Northwest, Eric, Finn and I went off to the Ballard Farmer's Market on Sunday for an armload of pickling cucumbers, to supplement the four we grew in the garden. That was the easy part. Finding alum was a bit harder. No luck at two grocery stores and one local hardware store with an extensive kitchen/canning section. Our last hope was the massive grocery/department/always-too-busy-to-be-sane store where I bought the canner last summer. We crossed our fingers, the angels sang, and we found the alum. Once home, we followed all the directions very carefully, and now we have seven quarts of these beauts to look forward to.... in about two months.


To celebrate, we had a dinner of brats, grilled peppers, grilled portabellas with pesto, garlic and feta, and grilled peaches, our new favorite food. If you have not tried this, and you're within driving distance to fresh peaches and a charcoal grill (I have a sneaking suspicion that they just wouldn't be the same over propane), try these. Simply cut the peach(es) in half, remove the stone, sprinkle the flesh with a pinch of sugar and grill, somewhere between the hottest and coolest parts of the grill, flesh-side down, for about two minutes, turn once, two minutes more, and serve warm. Oh. so. good.

06 September 2008

WIP saturday

a quilty card and progress on the red quilt for Lisa....



worth a thousand words

Here are some pictures to wrap up the last few weeks....

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We took a little hike around Mt Rainier at end of July...


the mountain was being coy for the camera...



waterfalls...


a little snow on the trail still

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The garden is winding down....


we got loads of sugar snap peas -- an instant favorite


the garlic is still curing -- a good haul

we've got enough hops for a batch or two of beer...
carrots are still coming in strong
And just last weekend, Eric and I built our cold frames for winter gardening
The tomatoes are still a work in progress, as we had a bout of cool and cloudy weather, stalling the ripening process. there are dozens of tomatoes on nine plants, but they're all still green. We've got our fingers crossed that the upcoming few days of warm weather will ripen them up. If not, do you have any good recipes for green tomatoes?
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Our trip to California in August was great -- we went to the Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University....



detail from the front of Stanford's campus chapel

and Elizabeth & Marla's wedding was lovely and we were honored to be among their guests...

Congratulations, you two! We're so very happy for you and we wish you the very, very best!