We’ve been using this recipe to pickle the jalapeño abundance that is emerging from our garden. We add more carrots and onions than the recipe calls for and a white vinegar yields a clearer bottle than the apple cider vinegar. We’ve already bottled 26 pints and might get a few more before the winter comes. We processed the pints 15 minutes in a water bath. It’s been unbelievably exciting but annoyingly immediate to bottle and preserve the bounty of our garden before it goes bad. Fortunately for me, the Mr. has completely taken the lead on this. I’m just his sous chef. Which suits me just fine.
We finally have enough ripe tomatoes and jalapenos to make salsa! We made a triple batch on Sunday and we’ve already polished it off. Our favorite is a recipe from Rick Bayless’s Mexico One Plate At A Time cookbook. Salsa De Molcajete. For the recipe, instead of canned tomatoes, we roast a pound of tomatoes under the broiler, turning them until they are blackened in spots and cooked through. Then, peel the skins off and either process in a food processor or crush them in our molcajete. Save all that yummy juice from the roasted tomatoes! We also substantially increase the amount of jalapenos to spice it up. The Mr. served his mission in Mexico and over the years I have slowly been raising my spicy heat tolerance to match his. Now our kids gobble up the spicy stuff too. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to watch the kids devour vegetables from our garden!
I spent the other day weeding and preparing the raspberry bed for winter. I was pretty aggressive about removing old canes and now that it’s done I’m in a panic that I went a little too crazy. It sure looks nice and neat, but what if I did more harm than good? What if I cut the canes too short and in the wrong way? What if the roots are in danger of winter kill because I’ve exposed the soil? What if the weight of the winter snow that gets shoveled off the driveway weighs the canes down too much?
As I was working, I kept thinking about Antiques Roadshow where someone brings in a gorgeous piece of furniture and the appraiser says, “This is a wonderful, authentic piece that is worth $10,000. But if you had only left the original old patina on, instead of stripping off the dirt and grime and refinishing it, it WOULD HAVE been worth $150,000!” What if that’s what I’ve done with our favorite crop?
More often than not, I’m rendered motionless by “analysis paralysis.” Very often I’ve convinced myself something won’t work before I even try. And if I think I’ll look like a fool doing something? Nuh uhh. Won’t willingly go there.
As you can see there is LOTS more to do while the weather holds to get the garden beds ready for winter. While I weed and prune I’ll be thinking about overcoming my “analysis paralysis.” And I’ll be praying the whole winter through that what I’ve done with the raspberries was the right thing to do.