It started a few weeks ago with the zucchini and cucumbers. I always can a few jars of Mark's favorite pickles. They're dill with a clove of garlic and a little red pepper in the jar. This year, he has ended up with a few more jars than I normally make thanks to a bumper crop.
Mom makes wonderful sweet pickles. I don't even know how many jars she cans. I've got to get the recipe. I haven't made them myself, because it's so darn easy to take them to her when she tells me to bring my cucs over and she'll take care of it.
The same is true for the tomatoes. I canned a few jars when we didn't live next door, but she's a canning maniac. She told me a friend had come to visit recently and asked for some of the tomatoes that Mom had piled on the patio table. Mom said she gave her friend some, but she had been trying to save enough to can. I could not believe my ears. I took a huge bag over there. I've since taken tomatoes to work, given some to my friend, Sue, and I still have a huge pile on my table. (The llama poop is the ticket, people.) Tonight, I'm making a tomato tart for dinner. It's a wonderful recipe Sue gave me a couple of years ago. I'd forgotten about until she reminded me of it this week.
We also grow these beautiful little yellow pear tomatoes. I love them. I've been tossing them on salads for weeks now. And, I just spotted a vine in my rosemary that I think a bird lovingly planted for me. (There's a benefit of a different kind of poop!)
Last year, we had one apple on our apple tree, and a deer ate it. This year, there were several more, and we've managed to get a few before the deer got them all. I think they're a little preoccupied with all the neighbors' soybeans.
Now, I'm watching the peach tree. I don't know what kind it is - except later than most. The peaches are there, but they're not ripe yet. They make the best peach preserves, and I didn't get any of them last year either.
The main problem I have with all this garden goodness is what happens to my refrigerator. There's an overlap period when the shelves get full of leftovers and the crisper gets REALLY full.
It happens when there are still a few cucumbers and zucchini in the crisper, but the corn and tomatoes have also started coming in too. Soon, I have a new crop of stuff growing in there... in the bottom of the crisper and in the leftover containers. It's stuff that I can't exactly recognize. It's gray and squishy and hairy.
I know I shouldn't complain. Any food that magically materializes from the dirt is a blessing. The squishy stuff in the crisper is just...like thorns on roses, right?
Happy gardening, canning, freezing and eating. Enjoy those goodies while you can. Soon we'll all be wishing we could get our hands on a real ripe tomato. Oh, and go clean your nasty refrigerator! I know that mysterious crop doesn't just grow in our fridge ;)