and my Daddy:
That's him holding me in the hospital in the top left corner, and holding Henry in the hospital in the bottom left corner. I'm blown away by how much Henry and his Oompa love each other, (and how much they look alike!).
I'm so unbelievably lucky to have these two in my life! I was going to write up a whole Father's Day post, but I started typing and had a major sense of deja vu, turns out, it's because I'd written an almost identical post last year. It's probably one of my favorite posts ever, and still so true, so I'll just leave it. You can read it here if you want. ;)
We had a pretty low key, but incredibly productive weekend. I don't know how our June got to be so incredibly busy, but it is insane! Fun, but insane! We had something almost every day last week, and it doesn't let up through the end of the month. I'm totally baffled that June is already over halfway over!
This weekend we spent trying to get our house and yard in order so that it won't drive us crazy in the coming weeks. At this point, I think our next break is 4th of July! Insanity.
Last week we worked on doing a little damage control in our garden. I need to do a whole separate post about what all we did, but it involved some natural fertilizers, and this homemade bug repellent that smelled like salsa on steroids:
Well, yesterday afternoon I noticed that the one okra plant that was sprayed didn't have bugs, but the two that weren't sprayed were covered in black aphids! Could be purely coincidental, but I think it's a good sign! We'll probably end up making another batch soon, because it's supposed to rain all week, but for now I'm staying optimistic.
I also think the fertilizing perked the garden up a little, because all of the sudden we have teeny veggies everywhere! Last week our cucumber plants exploded with blossoms, and yesterday I found tons of little baby cucumbers! This was the biggest one:
I'm super excited about all the cucumbers because I can't wait to try my hand at making some pickles! I looked at the ingredients in grocery store pickles for the first time a few weeks ago, and was totally stunned to find high fructose corn syrup and yellow 40 in the brand that we always buy! I don't know why I'd never thought to look at pickle ingredients before, but I just couldn't believe it! Pickles of all things! grrr... So, this summer we're going to attempt to make some homemade pickle relish, (sweet for me and dill for husband), bread and butter chips, dill chips, and dill spears. I also really want to try fermenting some pickles! I have been reading all about how great eating fermented foods are for you, and no I'm totally intrigued! I can't wait to try it out.
Speaking of canning and fermenting foods, because we're canning novices, we've been trying to can a couple things a weekend to really learn the ropes before canning season is really in full swing, (i.e. when the cucumbers and tomatoes are ready in our area!). We figured if we started with some things that we thought sounded good, easy, and were in small manageable batches, it would build our confidence up so that we would feel a lot more comfortable with the whole canning process in time to make big batches of pickles or can tomatoes. Also, by starting with smaller batches of different stuff that we don't eat every day, we wouldn't be totally heartbroken if our canning didn't turn out well and we had to throw out $3 worth of radishes or carrots vs. starting with peaches that are only in season for a couple weeks.
rosemary onion confit, radish relish, (isn't it a beautiful color?!), and some fermenting curtido
At least that's our theory! ha! So with that, I mentioned last week that we'd canned some chow chow and hot carrots, and this weekend we put up 5 half pint jars of rosemary onion confit and 7 half pint jars of radishes. The onion confit recipe is from The Pickled Pantry and the radish relish recipe is from Put 'em Up!
We also tried out a first little batch of fermented food by making a little jar of Curtido with cilantro. It's supposed to be ready in a few days and I can't wait to try it! I'm going to make some pupusas for the first time, (keep your fingers crossed that works!), to eat with it, which I'm way too excited about! Pupusas are a Salvodoran food that are basically corn tortillas stuffed with meat, and or beans, and cheese. There's a great Salvodran chain of restuarants in DFW called Gloria's and I used to love going there for the pupusas and margaritas. I'm really hoping mine turn out well! I've been watching you tube videos of Salvodoran mamas making pupusas to prepare! ;)
So that's a little of what we've been up to lately! How are y'all enjoying the summer?