Saturday, August 01, 2015

In the Garden, August 1...

As you can see by the photo journal above, the zucchini are taking over my life!  The ones I missed are as large as baseball bats, and they've only just begun.  I did experiment with a new recipe --  a Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream and boy-o-boy was it spectacular!  It was deemed a "do again" by the Hubby and all the neighborly relatives.  The recipe is here, from I Am Baker.  The only tweak I made to the recipe was to add a little lemon zest and juice to the cake batter.  Oh, and because I'm a lazy homemaker, I made the cake in a 9x13" pan and only made half the frosting. I stowed it in the fridge which gave it a nice chill for a summer dessert.  I received a box of bing cherries from my FIL so I'm thinking of making the same cake recipe with them.  I can't wait!

There is another zucchini recipe that my daughter shared with me that we LOVE to eat.  Baked Parmesan Zucchini Rounds.  Oh, these are scrumpch!  and EASY.  Just spray a cookie sheet with pan spray, lay out a single layer of 1/4" sliced zucchini rounds.  Salt and pepper them, then spoon on a little dab of parmesan cheese on each round.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden.  I could eat a whole cookie sheet by myself!  My grandkids love them too.

Now onto the tomatoes......
They are coming along fine, but the only tomatoes I have eaten out of the garden have been a few handfuls of cherry tomatoes.  For some reason these are orange tomatoes which is just all right by me.  There are plenty of green tomatoes on the vines so I'll just have to wait a little longer for my favorite sliced-tomato-with-mayo-on-toast sandwich.

I planted a few heirloom tomato seeds in my side bank garden and wouldn't you know it, they are going to produce little baby pear tomatoes right at the same time as the other tomatoes that were started in pots.  I'm definitely going to direct-sow tomato seeds again next year.  Think of the variety!

We still have lettuce galore and eat a salad every single day.  I like garden lettuce.

The pumpkin vines are sprawling out at the bottom of the side bank garden.  They are happy, happy and producing plenty o' pumpkins.  The grandies are going to love them for Halloween carving.

I went to the potato patch the other day and decided to harvest a few new potatoes.  Those are the delicate little spuds that aren't yet full grown.  So perfectly round, small, and delicious sliced into a sizzling pan of butter and fried up.  I just pulled back the straw below the potato plant and pinched off those that were laying on the surface.  The others will be left to continue growing.  I feel like I robbed a secret treasure stash.

Lastly I'm going to share a simple recipe of Refrigerator Pickles.  These are so easy and crispy and delicious. When you get an overflow of cucumbers, you can make a gallon or so and keep munching on them all through the summer days.  I save the brine when I finish all the veggies and slice in more fresh cucumbers.

Refrigerator Pickles

1 gallon of sliced cucumbers
(you may add other veggies like green beans, carrots, peppers)
1 onion, sliced
1 or 2 cloves garlic
1 jalepeno pepper (if you like it hot)
6 whole peppercorns
1 1/2 tsp. mustard seed (or powdered mustard)
1 1/2 tsp. tumeric 
1 1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 heads of dill (opt.)

4 cups of white vinegar
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup salt
Warm vinegar and stir in sugar and salt.  Mix until dissolved.  Cool and pour over veggies and spices.  Let sit overnight and start eating.  Store in fridge all summer long.
You may adjust the veggies and spices and heat of your pickles to your liking.

Hey, did you see the full Blue Moon Friday night?  
Our's was pink!
Happy August!  
Stay cool.


  1. A wonderful bounty from your garden and it's nice that you know what to do with it!

  2. the bounty looks delicious and I am a tad envious. no garden this year, no time or hoo.

  3. Everything looks grand! I cannot get zucchini to grow for the life of me. The recipes sound delicious.

  4. Oh yum!! I didn't plant zucchini this year. I understand your pain!! :) Your recipes sound wonderful. I will have to try that cake.
    I also like the idea of your pickles. I fed the boys Chili Rellenos last night for dinner. I should have fixed two dozen. :)
    I do enjoy eating out of the garden. My helpers loved helping me pick. I bet yours did too. :) Just a lovely life. Thanks for sharing.

  5. So proud of you and all my gardening friends. I'd like to get back to that "someday"! The fridge pickle recipe sounds good. (ALL the recipes sound good!) I'll cheat and buy some veggies to make these. :)

  6. I'm going to bookmark that blueberry zucchini cake recipe as I know the family would love this tea time treat. I probably won't add the buttercream, but put lemon drizzle icing on top. Thanks also for the cucumber pickle recipe. Yes, we did see the blue moon. I hope the community meal went well.

  7. Oh, you lucky girl! I have zucchini plants but they're barren so far -- very sad. The cake sounds wonderful -- thank you so much for sharing the link!

  8. Thank you for the great recipes! When we have a big garden ... we long to eat fresh things this way. We hate buying our stuff at WalMart - bleh :( What a happy, healthy post!

  9. I apologize if this comment posted twice, something odd happened. I have a question for you tho' ~ is that a one gallon jar that you are storing the refrigerator pickles in?

    1. I used a half gallon jar in the photo above, but the recipe is for a gallon. You can use a glass jar or an ice cream bucket works too.

  10. Thanks! My 1/2 gal jar is working great. The pickles are delish ~ nice and tangy!


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