Wednesday, September 29, 2010

♪ Don't Cry About It ♪

Ever find yourself weeping while cutting up onions?

Here is a quick post to share a few simple, yet effective onion chopping tips. As I started another batch of salsa this week it occurred to me that maybe I should do some research to better prevent my garden onions from making my eyes water so much. What I found was very helpful, so I thought I'd share:

- As I cleaned the outer skins and greens from the onions I did the work in the sink with cold water running on them.

- It was recommended that the onions be cold, so I popped them in the refrigerator before I chopped them.

- For the actual chopping, I lit up my favorite scented candle right behind the cutting board. Since the onion creates a gas when cut, I read that a candle would burn the gas before it gets the chance to irritate eyes.

- I used a sharp knife, which helps reduce the creation of onion gas.

Using these techniques made a dramatic difference ! I recommend these tips !! If you have other methods, please share them in the comments.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

♪ Best Friend ♪

This garden season, I made a new best friend !

I can't tell you how many times I've referenced this great book as I learned about putting garden produce by. I canned salsa recently, and before that made pickles and plum jam.

The plum jam was fun to do. After visiting a garage sale we found out they had a plum tree full of ripe fruit for the taking. As is usual, the picking, cleaning and cutting was the hardest part of this process. But in the end, we froze even more fruit than we were able to turn into jam. Maybe in the depths of winter we'll make a few more jars of jam.

Here are a few more pictures of the plum jam project. I just used the plums and some sugar . Here are the exact numbers: 5 cups of chopped plums, 3 cups of sugar, and 3/4 cups of water. I cooked this mixture for about 1.5 hrs until it seemed 'gelled'. Then I poured it into the jars, and processed them in a boiling water bath for 25 minutes (I live at high altitude). Pretty easy !

Hope everyone's summer is going well too !

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

༺ Garden in September ༻

Today's harvest looks like a little salad !

garden okra tomatoThe cute little yellow fruits are actually tomatoes ! They are shaped like little light bulbs. The pods are black-eyed peas. Here is a cute sight - a cucumber with a little flower on the end:

My latest challenge is to to figure out what to do with the eggplants I'll soon have. I counted today and I have 10 healthy plants, just starting to make eggplants. If you have some ideas, please leave me comments !

This picture shows pole beans, iris, tomatoes, cauliflower, eggplant and onions. It has been a good year in the garden. The grasshoppers would probably agree !!