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{homemade relish with my homegrown cucumbers!}

11 Jul

so, as i mentioned in my last blog – i have harvested well over 200 cucumbers this year from my garden! i wish i would’ve been weighing my harvests, to get more of an idea of yields. however, looking back through the fotos i snapped every time i harvest – it’s safe to say that number is pretty accurate. crazy, right?

anyway, on top of sharing my harvests with neighbors, and consuming a cucumber a day, i also enjoy making pickles and relish with my cucumbers! that’s why i specifically grow the pickling cucumbers. that, and i just think they taste better.

i will share my pickle recipe soon, but for now i want to share this super yummy relish recipe that a good friend of mine passed along to me last year. i love it because it’s very simple and does not have added sugar. the only sweetener is honey and i think it is so well-balanced in flavour. i love add my relish to egg salad or tuna salad. it’s also just good right out of the jar!

homemade pickle relish recipe : 

  • 1.5 pounds {pickling} cucumbers, finely diced {mine was homegrown}
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1.5 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill {mine was homegrown! 🙂}
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp kosher salt {i used himalayan pink salt}
  • 1 tsp celery ceeds
  • 1.5 cornstarch

directions : 

  • in large saucepan, combine all ingredients except cornstarch. simmer over medium-high head until vegetables are tender – about 8-10 minutes.
  • in small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 2-3 tbsp of the cooking liquid until smooth. add to pan and let cook another 3-5 minutes. cool.
  • use canning method to preserve, or store in airtight container, chilled, up to 1 month. also freezes well.

i made a lot more than what is pictured – this jar i gave to my neighbours. 🙂

i also tasted mine before adding the cornstarch. if i needed to increase any of the ingredients, i did. i think i added a little extra honey and vinegar to mine because i had a little more than 1.5 pounds of cucumbers. the key is to start with small amounts… you can always add more. i love the colour it turns out – that’s largely due to the turmeric.

i hope you enjoy this recipe and please do let me know if you ever try it out!

thanks for reading! 🙂

 

{saturdays in the garden : volume seven}

8 Jul

just a little update on the garden… my posts are not in “real time,” as it were… i’m several weeks behind in keeping up with what’s going on, currently.

for example, most of what you see in the following fotos, has been pulled from my plot. we are straight up in the heat of summer here in NC, and my tomatoes are just about all that remain. i pulled up all my broccoli, because i didn’t get it in the ground soon enough and it never formed a head. i harvested one beautiful cabbage that i’m currently making sauerkraut with. my cilantro is done… as is my dill and basil, but i planted more of both. i pulled my kale and planted arugula in its place. and my cucumbers are on their last limb, but i must’ve harvested around 200 of them this season. i have pickles for days! 😉

july will be focused on tomatoes. then in mid august, i will plant more cabbage and cucumbers and perhaps try again for more peas later in the month or toward september. i really enjoy making {and eating} sauerkraut, so i intend to plant a lot more cabbage for fall.

meanwhile, here are some pics of what late may/june were like in my plot :

so pretty and ALIVE!

still fascinated by pea tendrils… and i made lots of pesto with my basil!

oh kale, yeah!

harvest!

my beautiful cabbage! Continue reading

{foodie friday : the teeniest strawberry}

9 Jun

actually, the teeniest strawberries probably grow wild in our back yard…

but i don’t think these are edible… 😉

{portrait of an egg}

17 May

farm fresh eggs are just so beautiful! and they are so much more nutrient-dense than store-bought eggs!


 

i hope to have backyard chickens one day in the near future!

i just love all the colours!

and the flavour can’t be matched! farm fresh is the best!

i just love the variety… eat the rainbow!

 

#eggportraits

 

{first asparagus of the season}

9 Mar

asparagus

fresh from the farmer’s market! 🙂

looking at the different shapes of this asparagus, had me thinking similar to when i looked at all those cool seashells

i love asparagus so much and i only eat it when it’s in season.

did you know that asparagus is loaded with fiber and actually aids in cleansing our gut and also offers awesome detoxifying benefits? i think that’s so cool, considering it is in season in spring and that is a perfect time to prep our bodies for cleansing and switching gears to lighter foods. furthermore, asparagus is a natural diuretic… which may be TMI, but hey, it’s just a fact.


on a different note – i’m so ready for the time change and gaining more evening light! i am so super excited to start a garden this year!!

 

{dehydrated baby bananas}

2 Mar

bananas-web

whenever i notice any kind of produce is starting to lose its freshness, such as these adorable baby bananas, i know it’s time to bust out the dehydrator.

bananafaces

banana faces 🙂

bananas-web-4bananas-web-3

banana chips make for some great snacks!!

i also love to throw them in smoothies, as an alternative to frozen or fresh ones.


do you use a dehydrator? what are some of your favourite things to dehydrate? 

 

 

{what real strawberries look like}

6 Dec

something i need to write about is how i spent my summer vacation… even though it’s long passed now.


one of the things that took up the majority of my free time this summer was participating in a community garden. it was basically one of the best things i’ve ever done for myself. growing your own food is truly one of the most rewarding things one can do! i would constantly remark, “all i did was put a seed in the ground – and this happened!” because i was constantly blown away at how cool nature is! my cucumber plants literally took over and my neighbours were calling it “the cucumber farm” 😉

the reason i bring this up is because i inherited a small strawberry plant in my summer garden plot. many of my neighbours had strawberry plants and i was fortunate to have one reseed itself in my plot. i didn’t get a lot of strawberries from it, but the few i did harvest looked like these strawberries. they were more cone-shaped than heart-shaped. and i’m telling you – the flavour in these things is just out of this world! SO sweet and SO juicy and SO delicious! better than any store-bought strawberry i’ve ever had!

do you ever compare conventional produce to farmer’s market produce?! the differences kind of blow my mind! the last time i was at the grocery store looking at apples, they were bigger than a softball! that’s just not normal. or fruit so waxy i could use it as a candle?! yikes.

for me, i like things to be as close to their natural state as possible. food, soil, water, me, and everything in between.

and that got me thinking about these strawberries i picked up at the farmer’s market last week. i was looking at them and decided to snap a couple fotos because i was thinking to myself, “i bet there are lots of people out there who don’t even know what REAL strawberries look like.” 

farmersstrawberriesfarmersstrawberries-2

these strawberries were SO full of flavour, too! something else that lacks in conventional produce. maybe it’s got something to do with mass producing them and lack of nutrient-rich soil.

anyway, i love that i can still find strawberries this time of year – as north carolina has a year-round farmer’s market and excellent long growing season. i hope to find some more when i go back this week!

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