Summer is so full of abundance. So many events and celebrations. So many local foods to savor. So many places to explore, bike rides to take, projects to do...I try not to get overwhelmed with the sheer volume of potential there is all around me and appreciate each thing as it comes.
I tried a new jam recipe this year. It is the rhubarb fig recipe from Gourmet Preserves. I used dried figs and some of the tons of rhubarb growing in my patch. I feel like the texture of this jam has great potential.
Amid the preserving, I have also been attempting to eat what is growing right now. A recent meal consisting largely of green beans, leeks, mushroom and dill over a mixture of rice was particularly satisfying.
On a recent Sunday, I preserved a batch of sofrito sauce, a few jars of roasted tomatoes, a large batch of cucumber aqua fresca and baked some zucchini bread. Paul also chipped in that day doing the harvesting, starting a batch of fermented tomatillo salsa and blanching and freezing green beans. I hadn't planned to spend the day preserving but the garden spoke up and said, "Now!"
I have also been enjoying some hikes/walks with friends/family as a way to see new sites and have good quality time to catch up. On 2 recent hikes, my sister Jessy and I hiked the loop at Pike Island at Fort Snelling and saw a ton of deer as the sun was setting and my friend Jill and I explored Crosby Farm Park in St. Paul where we walked on the boardwalk above a swampy bog area. There are so many great parks to explore in this area!
In other garden news, the sunflower seed harvest vs wildlife feeding ratio is currently about 30% me and 70% them, but I feel ok about that.
I'll close with a shot of a recent "pick-up" meal that Paul and I shared. I grew up eating meals like this from time to time when a fully composed meal was too time consuming or labor intensive to create. They are still satisfying as an adult, especially when a good portion of it grew right in your back yard!