Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Catching Up

Wow. Where to start? I have been getting out in the garden, but I've been forgetting to take photos and not writing in my blog. I'm sure I'll forget half of it. But I'll start with my fruit trees. I have five espaliered trees in my rock wall garden. So I spent some time tying them up and clipping off the unwanted foliage that had grown up in my absence. The figs were especially bad. They really are trying to take over. I have one at the top of its support, so snipped off the end. Hopefully those figs it carries will ripen but who knows. In the middle of tying the two figs up I went to get more string. When I came back I noticed the yellow jackets were all going into one spot in the ground. A spot I had been a few minutes ago. I had my hands tying up the vines within a foot of their nest.

I talked to my townhouse mates about it. Normally I would just leave a nest alone and in the spring they wouldn't be there anymore. I've never researched it but I always assumed they made a new nest every year because of that. My townhouse mates looked at it and said they didn't seem all that aggressive. They park their car right in front of the nest, so I'm a little concerned. I do know that they can become more aggressive closer to fall. It might be an issue when I wrap up the figs for winter. But for now the nest stays.

And speaking of interlopers. I had the first break in. Something broke into the garden last night. I have hardware cloth going down a foot all around my garden. But this one got in along the edge of my garden gate.

And whatever it was dug a hole in the garden. I strongly suspect the neighborhood skunk. It could be a small groundhog, but I know the skunk was out and active last night. When I woke up last night I could smell him. Someone had gotten sprayed. Luck for me at least, nothing in the garden was sprayed.

As many of you might know, I have a strange sensitivity to the nightshade family crops. I can't even touch them. Well onions have now become a problem. I can eat them just fine, but I can't breath their fumes. I was drying these in my dining room. I've done it before. Well this year my asthma started to act up. So I figured my allergies were the problem. I shut all the windows and turned on the air conditioning and my air filter. The problem only got worse. I guessed it was the onions, so did a test. I went over to a friend's house one day. After a couple of hours I quit coughing. Well at least I knew what my problem was. When I got home I threw open every window on the first floor and put a fan on so it would take the onion fumes out.

They had only had a week to cure and were definitely not finished drying. But I had to get them out of my dining room. My whole first floor is open so anything messing up the air there will get me all day long. I braided all the Copras. They were the driest of the onions. I put them in my basement to hang. The basement is at 76F right now and has a dehumidifier running, so it isn't cool and damp. I hope they dry well down there. I took the Ailsa Craigs and put them in the fridge. I'm wondering if this will keep them longer than their typical two months, or shorter. So it is an experiment. The other half of the Ailsa Craigs are still out in the garden. I'll use them as I need them. The Redwing onions were mistakenly put on the marble part of my dining room and didn't dry at all. They stayed too cool there. Some foliage was mildewing a bit. I cut that off and rearranged them so they were directly in front of a window. I put a fan there. I don't have any other good spot to put them. Right now the weather is good to keep the windows open. If things change they will have to move. Next year I'll have to find another way to dry my onions. I'm envisioning putting something over my compost pile. I don't have a lot of empty yard space. I could make something with a tarp over it. But that is something I'll worry about next year.

I've done a lot of weeding over the last week. I have it almost done except one corner by the compost. I'm sure when I finish that, I'll have to start again. I've also been trimming, clipping, and deadheading things to get them under control. I feel almost ahead of it. Almost.

The first beans were picked and shelled. Whoot! I had to pick those beans a bit wet. It had rained all last week on and off. So the poor dried beans weren't drying that much. I shelled them to get them out of their wet shells. They looked amazingly good considering the conditions that they were drying in. The rest of the pea seed was history though. I pulled up the plants this morning and found a mass of rotting pods and slugs. Yuck! And speaking of rotting, my basil ended up with downy mildew. Double yuck. I know it has been going around for the last few years, but my basil hadn't gotten it. The poor plants hadn't even been looked at in three weeks and when they were, it was pretty sad. I pulled them all.

After I'd pulled the peas (and some lettuce going to seed) I had the end of one bed cleared out. I sowed some Kentucky Wonder beans for the fall. Last year they produced quite well. I hope I'm not too late this year for it. I might be. I should have done it right when I got home. I didn't feel like building the trellis I usually use for beans. So I just pounded in some T-posts with some smaller ones for side bracing. I haven't strung it yet, but I have plenty of time before they are up and start to run.

I seem to have a lot of bad news. Well my winter squash have lots of blossoms, but so far no female blossoms have opened. I do see one (yes just one) that might open in a while. I really need that squash to get to it so I will be able to eat squash this winter. I wish I knew when my squash started to set last year, but I just don't remember.

I'll leave you on a positive note. Dinner was delicious. I grilled some freshly picked Ailsa Craig onion and my first medium sized zucchini with some pineapple. The grilled bread was brushed with an herbed butter with herbs from the garden (garlic, rosemary, and oregano).

Monday, July 29, 2013

Harvest Monday July 29th 2013

Did you ever have one of those weeks? I did try to time my beans so they would start fruiting when I came back. And I think my timing was good for the above Kentucky Wonder bean. However I also think this plant was under water stress so most of the initial flowers fell off. The sprinkler didn't quite reach. The beans on the other side of the bed are doing fine, though they seem to be a later bean so haven't started yet. The last week however has been wet, so I'm assuming they will all start to produce soon. I see flowers even if they are way over my head. And some are starting to set.

I did harvest some chard on Monday. Chard is always there. It always needs harvesting. What would I do without it?

Though technically I didn't harvest it this week. It was finished curing and that is when it gets into the tally. So I took off the tops and bottoms. Though every other website in their right mind will tell you not to, I always take off the one outermost layer of the garlic skin. Technically this would leave it more open to rot. But with German Extra Hardy, I haven't found rot a problem and I hate the dirt in the kitchen when I use the garlic. I want my pretty white garlic. Though the heads weren't particularly large. None of the cloves had the rot that I'd had in the past, so none got tossed. Maybe my garlic is getting used to my soil. Or maybe it was just a good year. I'm happy though.

I harvested pea seeds. I will not weigh or add these to my tally as they are just seed for next year. I won't have to buy it so it will end up not being a negative.

And last but surely not least were the first two peaches. Now I had to pick them as something had started to get into them and they would have just been eaten by all the ants if I had left them on the tree. I let the big one sit one day on the counter, but as it was more eaten up, that was all I could give it without risk of losing the whole peach. And oh my, it was heaven. It was indeed ripe. I've read that some trees will still have some green on their undersides when ripe. My tree, a New Redhaven, must be like that. That is going to make it hard to figure out when to pick it.

Since this is the first harvest every of my peaches (it is their third year, though Reliance still hasn't set any), I don't have a price for them. I'll be at the farmers market on Wednesday, so I can check it out there. The weight I used was what you see in the photo. There was enough to cut off on the big peach that I didn't want to weigh the whole thing. My peaches will hardly be those pretty ones you see in the stores. They taste really good, but they will all have some damage on them. You might not see it in the small peach, but trust me it is there.

I'm hoping this week is a better week for harvests. I do see my first zucchini starting to grow. A couple of cucumbers are sizing up. And maybe those beans will actually start. If it drys out a bit I can also get to my dried beans. I think some of the Tigers Eye are ready to pick. But it has been too wet in the garden all last week to deal with the beans. The tally below is for this week and the tiny harvest I had last week.

  • Alliums 9.34 lbs
  • Beans 0.24 lbs
  • Greens 0.79 lbs
  • Squash 0.12 lbs
  • Weekly Tally 10.49 lbs
  • Yearly Tally 143.14 lbs, $155.04
  • Fruit
  • Peaches 0.46 lbs

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Under the Weather

I woke up last morning to some stomach bug. I don't get sick all that often, but I had just gotten over a cold that I caught on the trip. Getting sick twice during the summer is so unusual. But I was (and am) tired and didn't feel like working in the garden. So I got in front of my computer to read my favorite blogs. It would be a good thing to catch up on while I was sick.

I used to use Google Reader and had switched to Old Reader in the middle of June. It was slower than Google but it had close to the same format. So I started it up and got a photo of a cat. I'm not a cat person. I don't hate cats, but dogs are my thing not cats. I swear Old Reader is going to make me hate cats though. When their server is down they put up cute cat photos. So now I associate cats with not being able to read my blogs. Old Reader is going through some pretty serious growing pains. Oh well. I had to find something else to amuse me while I was sick. I turned on the TV, but needed something to do with my hands.

First I decided to clean up the garlic. It had been in the bike shed for the last two weeks and with the hot weather it had either been well cured or baked. One of the two. Hopefully the heat didn't damage it. I removed the foliage and cut off the roots. I tried to get all the dirt out of the little root stubs. I hate the dirt in my kitchen when I'm cooking. Garlic is one of those things you don't want to clean with water as it might cause rot.

I had planted 80 cloves last fall. One I pulled as green garlic. Last year I got a lot that had opened up partially, but this year I only got one (above). At my last house they never did this, but here I get bulbs that don't stay closed. I think of bulbs like this as being something you get if you wait too long to harvest. But these were harvested with only one dead leaf at the bottom. Usually I wait until about three die, but maybe I should always do it this early here. I wonder what makes the bulbs open faster here than at my last house. There I could wait until almost all of them died before pulling and the bulbs would still be fine.

It had rained all morning and then I got a break in the rain in the afternoon. I remembered that I had drying pea seeds on the vine. I should have picked them on Monday as I knew it was going to rain. If you let them get too wet they can sprout in the pod. I've had that happen to me. I've also just had them rot on me. So I went out very quickly to get the easiest to pick pods. Then spent a while shelling all the pods. There are more pods out there. Some haven't dried yet. When I'm feeling better I'll do a better job of picking, but I wanted to make sure I had enough seed for next year.

I knew I wasn't going to get outside to dig and plant anytime soon. So I made a tray and a half of soil blocks and planted my fall crops inside. This way I can have all the time I want to clean up their spots in the garden. I'll probably plant them in two weeks. I'd rather they be outside, but under the lights is good for young seedlings as they don't have to worry about temperatures that are too hot or about the slugs, sowbugs, and earwigs that might eat them.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Planting Carrots

I cleaned out a lot of things before I left, but I didn't get to the fava beans. I needed to rip them out to put in my fall carrots. And the spot needed some serious weeding.

As I was ripping out the favas I noticed something very peculiar. The favas were sending out tillers and blooms. I find that very strange as the last two weeks have been so hot in New England. Favas are supposed to hate hot weather just like peas. And my peas that also need pulling are all dried up.

Once they were pulled I planted my carrots. I would have liked to have gotten them in a bit earlier so they would have more time to size up. They aren't in the best bed for fall sun. So they had better grow quickly. I'm hoping they germinate well as I really don't have time to reseed.

The end of the bed will be some fall peas. I don't give them much space as fall peas are always iffy. But getting a few peas in the fall is a treat.

And I finally took a photo of the cukes and zukes that were under the covers. When I untangled them I didn't know how many I would lose, but it looks like I lost only one cucumber branch. The rest are growing well. I can't wait for cukes.

The onions were brought in yesterday to cure in the dining room. I've stuck them at the end of the room near the fireplace so they won't get in the way too much. They will be annoying for a couple of weeks, but then I can braid them and put them in the basement.

And the best news is that our heat has broken and it is raining. We have only had a quarter inch of rain so far, but it is something and it will keep me from watering. Sadly it will also keep me from working in the garden today too. But I do have the cured garlic to trim up and weigh. So that will keep me busy for a short time.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Harvest Monday July 22, 2013

It isn't much, but I did get one harvest on Saturday when I got back. A few beans, two unfertilized zucchini. I don't think I'll even bother to do a tally this week. I'm hoping the garden will get back into production this week.

I did technically harvest my onions last week, but they are curing right now and don't get added to the tally until they are done.

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


There are a lot of things that need taking care of in the garden, but the most pressing was my onions. Most of them had flopped over sometime while I was gone. Plus the weeds as you can see were taking over and the crab grass was starting to go to seed. So I took off their row cover and started pulling onions.

As the onions were pulled they got put along the path to dry. The weather said it wouldn't rain. So of course it is raining outside right now. Oh well. It will be short. I hope they dry before nightfall. I should have covered them, but I saw blue sky to the west so thought it wouldn't happen.

I still have a few onions left way back at the end of the bed. Some of the Ailsa Craig onions didn't fall. Since they are a sweet onion and don't keep well, I figured they would keep in the garden better anyway. I was hot and sweaty after I was done and really tired. I think I might last longer tomorrow.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


I'm so happy to be home. My husband and I just got back from a two week trip to Alaska. The first half of the trip was spent on a small ship, the National Geographic Sea Lion. I love going on these kind of trips since they are really into education. One of the things they try to educate you on is the seafood that you eat. They won't serve shrimp because of the by catch problems. They only will serve fish that is sustainable and local to the area. The sad part is they don't have a lot of vegetables with their meals (except in salads and soups and I couldn't eat most of the soups). I was really craving them by the time I left the ship.

The second half was at a lodge in Denali National Park. The North Face Lodge is a unique entity. It is owned by a family that has been operating it before the area was in the park. The last time it was before Congress they voted to let them keep it but only those that were born before sometime in the early 70s. So I wonder if it will extended to the next generation or not in the future. But the education programs there are good. They take you on guided walks in the park showing the various ecosystems. Then every evening after dinner they have lectures.

But the best part is they believed in vegetables. So much that they had their own green house to grow some of their own. They grew the flowers for the tables too. They had three small outside gardens. The one above was for their salad greens and consisted of a handful of beds. It is surrounded by a transparent wall about three feet tall to keep out the cold winds that come off of the tundra and has hoops so they can cover it if it gets too cold. The other two have no protection and one is just filled with rhubarb. They actually come up to start the gardens about a month before the guests arrive. The lodge is way into the park and they only make the trip down and back twice a week to pick up and drop off guests. Needless to say their salads were delicious.

The trip was great, but coming home was hard. I'm a little hazy due to lack of sleep but I think we went about 27 hours straight through to get home. First the bus ride out of the park, then the train to Anchorage, then the red eye to Chicago, then onto Boston. I told myself I was so tired that I wouldn't do anything but look at the garden when I got home. Yeah right. I saw my bean plants were under water stress so I dug down into the soil and it was dry dry dry. So I watered that bed. The main part had obviously been watered earlier in the day. I'm hoping the rock wall garden was too, but I haven't checked yet.

Then I saw the cukes and zukes that were stuffed under the row cover were all mixed up together and trying to break out. So off came the cover. I put up the last part of the trellis for the cukes and strung it with jute. Then I tried to carefully untangle the long cucumber vines from the zukes. I pushed the zukes back to their own side of the bed. I'm sure I did a little injury to all the plants, but I'm also sure they will survive. There are the first little cukes starting to form. So the timing on those were perfect. The zukes on the other hand have been trying to fruit for a while now. So I'll have to go out and pick some small ones. At least now they can all get fertilized.

I did try to plant things so they wouldn't fruit while I was gone and would just start when I got back. The beans have some beans forming. They ought to be covered in blooms but are not so I think they have not been watered enough (the main garden seemed fine - but I don't think the sprinkler went far enough to get some of the beans). And it was hot hot hot last week. We almost hit 100F. Lots of high 90s. This is not usual weather for Boston. Usually our 90s are in the low 90s and we don't get much of that.

The corn is starting to form ears. It won't be too much longer. I could have planted that first set earlier. The melons are starting. Since I'm growing them along the ground this year it is hard to find them. But I will and I'll put them on bricks or stones. I probably won't have a lot of variety to eat for a bit since I delayed the planting of so many things. But that is fine. I've always got chard. And I need to eat those cabbages and carrots I picked earlier. Oh and canned sweet potatoes.

I've got a lot of work to do in the next couple of weeks. I need to rip out the old dying plants (like peas and favas that I didn't get to). The weeds are taking over. And I need to get the fall crops started and into the garden. Leaving for two weeks in the heart of the gardening season is hard. Worth it, but hard.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Harvest Monday, July 15th, 2013

I'm not around this Monday, but you all can have fun without me. I'll be back before next Harvest Monday.

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Harvest Monday, July 8th, 2013

I didn't harvest many but had enough to put on my cereal a couple of days.

There was lots of rhubarb this week.

I've never had a fava harvest like this before. Not quite sure why it was so good this year. It could be the nice spring weather.

Basil and peas. This is probably the last of the peas for the year.

Carrots, carrots, and more carrots. I'll be eating these all summer. Luckily carrots keep very well in the fridge.

With four heads of broccoli I got 3 pounds and 10 ounces. So these were nice big heads. Not the prettiest, but they taste good.

And last but not least, I harvested the garlic. It won't get into the tally for a while as it has to dry down first.
  • Alliums 0.06 lbs
  • Beans 11.19 lbs
  • Broccoli 3.68 lbs
  • Carrots 5.09 lbs
  • Herbs 0.54 lbs
  • Peas 0.29 lbs
  • Weekly Tally 20.85 lbs
  • Yearly Tally 132.70 lbs, $90.94
  • Fruit
  • Blueberries 0.15 lbs
  • rhubarb 3.85 lbs
Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

More Preserving

Yesterday I did some harvesting in the morning. I took out the whole carrot bed. I was going to leave some in to get bigger as the Sugarsnax really weren't big at all yet. They had their length, but some were only just over a pencil width wide. Some were better and the size of my thumb. But Sugarsnax can get large. An inch is pretty normal and I've pulled out even larger. But the carrot flies had started to attack. Some roots were already getting damaged. I don't cover the spring crop as I usually can get one without the cover. But it is always a race to see which come first. And the carrots were good enough. Sadly though the Sugarsnax had that bitter aftertaste of a summer carrot. The Mokums this year did not (though last year they did). I'll save the Mokums for fresh eating and the Sugarsnax will get cooked. Even with small carrots it is quite a bit, so I packed all the carrots into some plastic boxes in the fridge. They will keep all summer as I use them up. I love that carrots last forever.

I picked some peas and basil. I preserve basil three way. I mix it with olive oil and puree and freeze. I dry it. And I just toss to leaves fresh into bags and freeze. Basil that is frozen this way will stay green until it is thawed then it turns black. But the taste of basil is still there. So it isn't good of you need it to look nice, but it is super easy and many times when you cook with it, the color doesn't really matter.

Last year I got three pounds of fava beans. The year before I got four. This year for some reason I've gotten over 15 pounds. I'm not sure what the difference is, except the black aphids didn't attack this year too much. I have had some aphids, but not many. Yesterday over 11 pounds were picked. They all needed to be shelled. Then the inner bean needed peeling. I know that in some cultures the bean coat is eaten, but I find them so much better peeled. But the work is huge. And you can't wait long to do this. So I turned on the TV and started shelling.

As I shell I separate the ones that I feel are a bit over ripe. To me the texture is a bit gritty compared to the younger ones. To be honest I never know when to pick. I can feel. I can see how big the pod is. But none of that really tells me. I won't know until the pod is opened. Beans that hold on to their attachment to the pod are still young enough for me. The others I put into a different jar. I'll still eat them, but in a different way.

Eleven pounds of pods turned into four and a half quarts of beans. The other quart you don't see was in the fridge.

Once I have the bean out I blanch them for two minutes in alkaline water. I make the water alkaline with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda. Many recommendations say one teaspoon, but our water is pretty acidic to start with and I find 1 1/2 works better. When I take them out of the boiling water, I rinse very well before putting them in ice water to cool. I want all that soda off. At this point I'm guessing some of you want to know why I use alkaline water. It breaks down the cell walls. So for the most part you don't have to peel the bean. You press at the part where it was attached to the pod and it pops right out. Many of the bean coats will have split open during the blanching. Occasionally I'll have to use my fingernail to start a hole, but rarely. And the blanching is good because I've frozen most of these beans.

And this is how much I have left after getting rid of the outer shell. Two quarts. It is a lot of work for two quarts of beans.

The younger beans will be smooth and buttery. The older ones I find a little gritty. So I make dip out of them. I don't use a recipe, but it is basically hummus without the tahini and cumin. So it has beans, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper all blended together. And oh is it good.

This morning the chore was to clear out the garlic bed. It could have used another week. I had one dried leaf at the bottom and another one starting to dry out, but that is it. But better early than late. If you wait too long the bulbs will start to split open and they won't store. Today I'm drying them outside. But either this evening or tomorrow morning I'll bundle them up and put them in our bike shed to dry for two to three weeks. Then they will get trimmed up.

The other big harvest was my broccoli. I could have picked it earlier, but I really like a slightly more mature head. I saved enough for dinner tonight and the rest got blanched and frozen. I'm working on vacuum sealing them. I've found my vacuum sealer needs to rest after doing four bags, or it won't vacuum.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Last weekend my townhouse mates asked for some greens for their spaghetti sauce. The spring greens are gone and the only real summer green in the garden is my chard. So I went out to harvest chard. I brought the basket over and she said she didn't want a lot. Often she takes tons. So I tossed the rest in the fridge. And it had been sitting there. I needed to get it frozen and finally did.

Then it was time to wrangle with the rhubarb again. Their placement in the garden is fine if I keep them well picked. If not they block the air conditioning unit as they grow too high. So I picked and I chopped. I had 12 cups of chopped rhubarb to use up. I decided to make rhubarb jam. I followed the recipe except for adding a tablespoon of cinnamon (I used Saigon cinnamon). In my opinion rhubarb isn't the same without cinnamon.

The recipe calls for a lot of rhubarb. Usually rhubarb is paired with another fruit because it barely has any pectin. This one was using orange which has a lot. But it doesn't put nearly enough in if you really want it to set up as jam. It also doesn't have the sugar to become a jam. Typically you have about the same amount of sugar by weight as you have fruit in no pectin jams, give or take a little. This called for one pound of sugar and 2 1/2 pounds of rhubarb, plus however much the orange weighed. Jam seems a lot like an art in the kitchen, but the reality is that it is a science. It is true that the less pectin you have, the less sugar you need. But you do need enough of both to make those bonds (plus acid, but rhubarb is quite acidic so no issues there).

So the recipe isn't really rhubarb jam. It is rhubarb butter. You can also tell that it won't be jam by how long they say to boil it down. Jams don't usually take 45 minutes, even jams without added pectin which usually require longer boiling times. So I got out my huge stock pot as it has a good thick base to make for even heating and put it on my quick boil burner and boiled it down fast. 2 1/2 pounds of rhubarb became four half pints of rhubarb butter. And it was to die for. It is very sour with just enough sweetness to be tasty. Like a lot of very sour things, it will do well on a buttered piece of toast as eaten plain it is way too intense. It would also be good as a topping for ice cream or cheesecake.

I had more rhubarb and made a couple of jars of stewed rhubarb. Interestingly enough it has about the same proportions of fruit to sugar. So it was also a bit intense. I can't eat that plain. I expect to eat it with something like like pudding.

Both got preserved in a boiling water bath. I always find the recommended USDA times for processing very strange. Rhubarb jam is 5 minutes. Stewed rhubarb is 15 minutes. Stewed rhubarb is not a very thick product and I would think it would need a shorter processing time than something thick like rhubarb jam. Is it because of the higher sugar content n the jam? Sugar is a preservative if you get the concentration high enough, which it is for jam. But I would think the processing times are based on how hot the interior of the jar gets - you know, to sterilize the jar. I did both for 15 minutes to be safe.

I keep thinking I need a red rhubarb to make my preserves look pretty. It looks a little like, well, vomit. I swear it tastes good though. I often give gifts to my neighbors during the holiday season. Do you think these look too bad? They really are a great treat and you can't buy them in a store.

Usually I make pickled peas earlier at the start of the pea season, but this year I've been freezing them instead. After eating a burger and missing them terribly, I decided to make a small batch. I don't process pickled peas as they turn to mush, but I do love them as refrigerator pickles. To make them use any pickle brine you like and just toss in the raw peas. Don't heat the peas up. I often keep a jar of brine in the fridge so I can toss in extra peas or cukes when I harvest them. Refrigerator pickles are so much better than ones that need to be shelf stable for storage. The heat really hurts the texture and a refrigerator pickle never needs to be heated.

Though this is not technically preserving (though I might freeze one of these). I made little pies.

Plating from those little dishes isn't easy. Mine didn't come out perfect. But you can't eat them in the ramekin because you need space for the ice cream. I've decided that gooseberries can't be eaten without some kind of cream. They just really go together. I hate whipped cream, but ice cream works. And I must say this was way too much to eat at once. Each of the little ramekins holds about a sixth of a pie. I think tonight I'll eat just half of one. I only had enough gooseberries left for half a pie, so didn't use a real pie pan.

Gooseberry Pie

  • 4 cups gooseberries topped and tailed
  • 2 cups sugar (makes it sweet, use less if you like it more sour)
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • T lemon juice
  • pie crust (enough for the bottom and top)

Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the lemon juice to the fruit. Then mix it all together and pour into the pie crust. Add crust to the top in whatever arrangement you like.