August is here, and so is the glut of vegetables. It seems just the other day I commented that we didn’t seem to be eating out of the garden much. Ha!
Yesterday breakfast was a wee fried egg on wilted chard and a big fat slow-roasted tomato (from last year, but still). A late lunch consisted of leftovers: trout, tiny beets roasted in butter and rosemary and topped with a dollop of horseradish, and paper-thin zucchini quickly sautéed with chives and parsley in olive oil. (Yes, I used the handle-thingie when I sliced the zucchini on the mandolin.) Dinner was broccoli stir-fried with garlic and sesame seeds, the diced remains of a pork chop and a handful of soaked bean threads.
All the vegetables were from the garden.
The trout were a present from a dear friend. He dropped them by on his way home from the lake, and I cooked them up that night. Coated in cornmeal and fried in bacon fat with whole sage leaves, then topped with caramelized onions and a little diced bacon. The rainbows had creamy white flesh and the little goldens had pink flesh almost like a salmon. There is nothing like fish that fresh.
Still no ripe tomatoes, but plenty of green ones on the vine (except in the upper garden – I don’t know what’s going on there). But the purple peppers are already dark with color and heavy green ones await picking. One zucchini plant produces harvestable fruit every day. Cucumbers dangle, kohlrabi and eggplant fatten, leeks reach up to the sky. I counted a dozen hefty butternut squash on the single, sprawling plant, and the four celery starts I put in as a lark have developed into veritable bushes. Worms have laced the leaves of the huge, flower-like purple cabbages, but I pick them off and the developing heads remain untouched.
The beans are covered with blossoms, and I still haven’t made it all the way through the ones I froze last year! This time I’ll pickle more. The purple and Walla Walla onions are growing huge – this harvest will be the best. The garlic, also planted as a lark last fall, fell over and lay on the ground to indicate it was time to pull the newly formed cloves. They are almost done curing, and I’ll likely braid them and put them in the root cellar today. If they store well they should last until spring.
My blog tour is over. The website contest is over. July is over. My book launch and mead tasting at Old Firehouse Books is over. I awoke this morning with the feeling of turning a corner. Anticipation itches under my skin, the story I’m writing now calling me back in from the sweltering heat and mosquitoes for cool afternoons in my basement office. But I know this time is fleeting, and preserving whatever produce we can’t eat looms ahead.
Bring it on.