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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers: Lots and Lots of Garden Produce This August Week


Forgive me for showing off. This is the soufflé I made on Monday. I used very young and tender grape leaves, finely chopped, in place of spinach. It was very delicious. And now I have another use for our grape leaves.

Friday

Friday
garden zucchini and Parmesan frittata 
brown rice with TVP/chicken gravy
garden green beans
mixed garden berries

Saturday

Saturday
Italian bean soup (with garden garlic, herbs, kale)
garden salad
scratch drop biscuits
fresh blackberries

Sunday

Sunday
refried beans, cheese and salsa
rice with salsa
garden kale
fresh blackberries

Monday

Monday
garden grape leaf and cheese soufflé
fresh apples
garden green beans
toast
blackberry pie

Tuesday

Tuesday
Salisbury steak with tomato and thyme gravy
brown rice
garden green beans
steamed garden  kale
leftover blackberry pie

Wednesday

Wednesday
tuna salad on garden lettuce (tuna salad for 3 -- 1 can tuna, TVP, 1 boiled egg, cooked macaroni, garden celery, garden chive blossoms, mayonnaise)
garden cucumber slices
crackers
steamed garden green beans
fresh blackberries

Thursday

Thursday
hummus
crackers
tossed garden salad (garden greens, garden cucumber, 1 boiled egg, scratch dressing)
steamed garden kale
fresh blackberries
chocolate pudding pie


Tonight we'll get back to homemade pizza for our Friday movie night. We've missed a couple of weeks of pizza and a movie Fridays this summer. Some weeks our schedules don't mesh. I am out of pepperoni, though. So I'll do an Italian sausage, mushroom, and basil pizza as I made a couple of weeks ago. 

I love looking at our meals and thinking about how much is coming from our garden, orchard, or foraging. I know that some of you must do the same. On Monday, without all of what we grow or forage, we would have had a plain cheese soufflé, toast, and pie crust (with sugar inside but no berries). Yes, I'm easily entertained.


Many of you have mentioned the peaches you've been enjoying. I don't live in peach country, so fresh peaches are a special treat for us. Fred Meyer has peaches at $1.99/lb this week. However, my daughter was gifted a peach this week by the lady she was cat sitting for. This lady left town and remembered she'd left a peach sitting out, so she texted my daughter and asked her to eat it. Well, my daughter brought it home for the four of us. So I cut it up and added it to other fruit for a really wonderful fruit salad to go with our lunches on day this week. Unless I find a great price on peaches, that will be it for fresh peaches for me this year. I hope you all enjoy the ones you can get.

Those were our evening meals for the week. What was on your menu?

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!


Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Apples, apples, and more apples!


I think I've mentioned that our early apples are ripening right now. It's just one dwarf tree. I think this is the most apples this tree has ever produced for us. I estimate our harvest from this one tree at about 30 lbs. 

I've been picking and using apples from this tree over the last 2 weeks. The squirrels and raccoons have also been "picking" apples for me. In the mornings, one of the first things I do each day is go out to the apple tree and pick up any apples that have been knocked off. After giving them a good wash, I cut away bruises, remove cores, and chop these apples, skin on, for the freezer (to use in crisps and cobblers later). I'm not about to let the fallen apples go to waste. I have 2 gallon ziploc bags of chopped apples so far. I've used fallen apples to bake 2 apple crisps so far this season. And it looks like we'll have a few more using the frozen apples.

I've also been picking a bucket or so of apples every day as I see them looking ready, adding them to the large drawer in our fridge. I did a major picking on Wednesday, as the heat was ripening them quickly. The above photo is of the large drawer in our fridge that spans the width of our top fridge/bottom freezer appliance. It's now full of near-perfect apples for fresh eating.

We weren't so fortunate with the plums or pears this year, no pears at all and just a handful of plums. And the late apples didn't do well, either. With less variety to choose from, I expect the early apples will last us about 1 month. Still, a month of free fruit is a real blessing. And we also have 1 & 1/2 bed pillow size bags of blackberries in the freezer so far, and there are more to come!

As I was putting the apples away in the fridge, I thought of another aspect of our apple bounty for which to be grateful. These particular early apples very rarely have disease or insect/worm issues. Whereas our later apples are susceptible to apple scab and worms. So, if I'm going to have an abundance of one type of apple, I'd rather have the "better" apples, even if they don't keep as well as the later ones.

Apple picking time always makes me feel like summer is coming to its end for the year. I know we still have a month of good weather to look forward to. Despite that knowledge, I find my mind wandering to autumnal topics, like pumpkins and chili and the return of rainy days. My efforts to live in the moment are seriously becoming derailed this week.

Just rambling . . .

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