green and partly dilly.

First up: dilly beans. Now I’ve got at least 10 pints on the shelf, which should be enough to both enjoy at home and share. (I actually ran out of pint jars yesterday, and had to pick up another tray on my way home from the farm!) Dilly beans are always more time intensive than I think — mostly because I never trim my beans to exactly the right length, and I always have to re-trim as I’m packing the jars. These are totally worth the hassle, though, and I’m psyched to taste these after they spend a few weeks mellowing and pickling.

I also made Kaela’s Chile Verde Base — this stuff is delicious, and so simple: tomatillos, garlic, hot peppers, and cilantro. Basically, you partially roast the first two, and throw all the ingredients in a food processor. I’m going to make another batch of this later. Storing this in the freezer to use as a base for soups and sauces prompted me to clean out the freezer. (Stock from 2008? Green chiles from the Southwest that I did too good of a job hoarding? I’m looking at you.) Now there’s room for lots more chile verde base! Oh, and berries. I might have frozen what we picked on Saturday as incentive to do a good job picking yesterday…

I had plenty of dill remaining from the beans, so I tied the longer stems into a bunch and hung them near the window to dry. I absolutely love the idea of home-dried herbs, and I am excited to use these in my cooking this fall and winter.

Just when I finally had the week’s produce under control, farm day came around again. The boy and I spent the afternoon picking blackberries, raspberries, more cherry tomatoes, more paste tomatoes, flowers, hot peppers, tomatillos, and a whole tote bag full of chard. I’m planning to blanch and freeze this later today. And make more salsa or chile verde base with all the tomatillos.

Also, I might have accidentally visited the orchard yesterday. (Hey, it was on the way home from taking friend K. to have her stitches out!) We might both have accidentally walked away with 8 quarts of peaches. (For 8 bucks.) Oh, and a few apples. Despite being the last peaches of the season (and labeled as “culls”), these are gorgeous. I’m going to cut one up and tuck it into my bowl of granola in a moment…and then I’m going to dedicate another fifteen minutes or so to daydreaming about what these should become. Jam? Butter? Peaches in some kind of (boozey) syrup? More on that soon.

For those of you who come hear for the fiber (and not the food), never fear. I’ll have knitterly things back in the rotation soon. I’ve got another week (or so?) of farmy abundance to process, but once the first frost arrives, I’ll be able to happily gaze at my shelves of winter preparation and get back to my knitting and spinning!

the forecast.

The farmers at the CSA I belong to send out an email with the week’s “veggie forecast.” This week’s report suggested that the nights are getting cooler, and that a lot of the crops available for picking will likely last only until the first frost…which might be here sooner than we think. So, yesterday, instead of knitting sleeves as a break from my reading, I decided to spend an extra hour at the farm. I gathered at least 15 quarts of paste tomatoes, a canvas bag full of green beans, and a few handfuls of tomatillos for salsa — all in addition to the week’s share (onions, peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, salad mix, basil, parsley, potatoes, leeks).

Looks like that veggie forecast has turned into a bit of a rooster forecast — I think I know what I’ll be doing this weekend! (Preserving. I just saw a recipe for tomato jam that looks pretty yummy, I’d love to can a few more quarts of tomatoes for the shelf, and I can always use more dilly beans…)

Also, I couldn’t help myself. I picked a huge armful of zinnias — the fields are still practically overflowing with them. Yesterday was the first farm day that felt like fall, and the cooler temperatures made it much easier for me to linger in the rows of herbs, flowers, and veggies.

I had about a quart of handpicked paste tomatoes that had ripened nicely in the fridge yesterday, and the plan was to make a small pot of sauce. I actually finished the book I had set out to read yesterday, so I decided to do something more elaborate — homemade noodles. This was the first time I’ve ever hand-cut noodles to a fettucine-ish width, and boy, do I need some more practice. Despite their irregularities, the noodles were delicious. We ate them immediately, with some homemade sauce. (And I didn’t even think to take a picture. My stomach was too excited about dinner.)

I do, however, have some non-pajama action shots of my textured shawl to share.

This is slightly too scratchy to be worn super close to my neck, but draped a bit more loosely, it adds a nice amount of warmth. It is also perfect to wrap around my shoulders while curled up on the couch. This will certainly be in my rotation of warm things this fall and winter — and I think it might look really nice with my Kerrera! Extra motivation to start those sleeves later today…

greenery.

On Friday afternoon, I got a call from N., who happens to be one of my favorite people. (Boh likes him a whole bunch too.) N. is a friend from my life in the southwest who made a move eastward last year. He didn’t move here (that would be too good to be true) but he grew up in the next town over, so I get to see him whenever he is visiting his parents. Anyway, Friday was a long day. It was the last day before the boy returned, and I had purposefully planned some meetings and things to do in order to make the day seem, well, less long. And I finished those. And it was only mid-afternoon. And then N. called to tell me that we were going on a walk. Just what I needed.

We snacked on zucchini bread, Boh gnawed on a stick, and the sunshine and weekend-announcing breeze were enjoyed by all.

And then I made a huge pot of green beans for dinner. And waited. And he’s home now, though he probably wouldn’t call here “home,” exactly. And I am happy.

More knitting soon.

dilly beans and diamonds.

dillybeans

I’ve been meaning to try my hand at dilly beans every day this week, so this morning, I got right to it. I even filled up the canning pot and put it on the stove alongside the water intended for my french press. The lids have been going “ping” — a good sign — so we’ll see how these turn out once they’ve had a few weeks to pickle themselves. (I learned that head-space can be a little tricky when you’re packing something into a pint jar and then pouring boiling liquid over it…)

lsd bob1

And for the “diamonds” portion of the post, I present bobbin numero uno of the CMF SW Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds merino. I’d abbreviate the song title, but I’m not sure I want to generate that kind of blog traffic…

I absolutely adore how this is spinning up, and I’m interested to see what the yarn will look like when it has been plyed and finished. I’ve read that this particular roving will plump up quite nicely, and I’m aiming for a squishier, slightly thicker sock yarn than last time.

Other goings-on around here:

zucchini bread

The first zucchini bread of the season!

pure and simple ribbing

The ribbing at the bottom of the pure and simple test-knit I’m working on!

That’s all for now! Boh and I have plans to take a long walk and stick our paws/feet in the creek, and I’m looking forward to a quiet, productive August (holy cow!) weekend.