Bountiful Harvest

When I went to the farmer's market with Erik and Mae last Saturday, they practically begged me to take some of the plums from their plum tree. And far be it from me to say no to my kids in their hour of need. I mean, what kind of mother would I be?

So with that in mind, I recalled a recipe recently posted on Dessert for Two for a Rustic Plum Tart for two. I recall when I saw the recipe, I figured I could play my cards just right and show up at Erik and Mae's house just when they were in dire straights about their plums. (Whoops. There I go blowing my altruistic cover.) Anyway...yesterday the plum tart came to fruition (Ha!).

One thing I love about these little desserts is that the little crusts are very simple to make and to work with. If you're a pie crust phobe (which is absolutely understandable) wanting to give pie crusts a try, these desserts for two are a good place to start. We had this last night with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The plums were just a little tart, but they contrasted nicely with the sweetness of the ice cream. As usual, it's really a dessert for four, so we'll get another swipe at it tonight before it's all gone.

After I baked the tart, I went to work making and pinning the sleeves for two of the four quilts I'm entering in this year's Oregon State Fair. (The other two quilts are already finished.) Then I had time yesterday afternoon to get the sleeve sewn onto the Shoot for the Moon quilt.

And about that time I needed to go pick up my CSA share, and the day was coming to a close.

This morning, I was able to sew on the sleeve for Psycatdelic, and so my quilts are all ready for the fair now.

There were some fun vegetables in yesterday's CSA share. There were quite a few things that were different from previous weeks, like tomatoes, tomatillos, and two kinds of beautiful lettuce. Then there were the old standbys, like cucumbers and zucchini. I was falling behind on those. The cucumbers were small, but they outnumbered me 6 to 1. The zucchini were even worse, and so I started thinking seriously about how to use all that stuff.

The cucumbers were easy. I made Mike's favorite refrigerator pickles. The cucumbers in the CSA have a very thin and light-colored skin, so I didn't even bother peeling them this time around. I sliced them in my food processor, and they were finished in less than an hour.

It also gave me a chance to use some of those sweet onions too, another vegetable that far outnumbers my ways of using it.

Then I zeroed in on the zucchini. There are both green and yellow zucchini to choose from when I pick up my share. I've been choosing the yellow since it matches the also abundant yellow summer squash. I decided to try a recipe from my favorite pickling book, The Joy of Pickling, by Linda Ziedrich. This has been my go-to book for pickling for years. My copy is so old it even has a different cover.

I like this book for the simplicity of the recipes, and because they can be done in small batches.

So today, I tried the Bread & Butter Zucchini Pickles. These had to brine in pickling salt for two hours. While I waited for those to brine, I was able to make my cucumber pickles. It made for a productive morning. These have to sit for two weeks before we open them. Being a person who requires instant gratification, I don't know if I'll be able to wait that long. My fingernails are already bitten to the quick at the thought of it.

So...no flies on me this morning. And now...sewing. I'm going to get to work on my chatelaine.

Actually, I started on this yesterday, and I was immediately frustrated with it. I bought this as a kit while in Moab two years ago. It has succeeded in reminding my why I usually avoid kits. The kit contained two fat quarters. The instructions started out by telling me to iron and square up the fat quarters. Then it said something like, "fold the main fabric in half" and I wondered...which way? Long way? Short way? And it continued "cut two strips five inches wide" and continued thus. And I wondered, which way do I cut? The long way or the short way? The instructions were silent on this.

So I scratched and figured and diagrammed, and I'm telling you there was no way to cut the necessary pieces from the two fat quarters provided. Well, fudge. (Only, I used a different word.) So now I'm trying to decide whether to start with fabrics from my stash, or just choose a third contrasting fabric. I'm thinking I'll most likely go with the latter solution. We'll see. Just cover your ears, because no doubt, swearing will be involved.

And with that...I am off. But you already knew that, didn't you?

7 comments from clever and witty friends:

Kelsey said...

Zucchini pickles are my go to when the zucchini start to take over. I especially like them slightly spicy. Can't even really tell they aren't cucumbers when using green zucchini unless it's pointed out.

Dana Gaffney said...

I've never had a kit, but that's why I don't like patterns, I can never understand what they're saying I need pictures, preferably in the colors I've changed everything to, LOL.

Sher S. said...

you are very creative with your share, pickles are always good to go. For the zucchini I might have made bread or muffins with it...that is my go to. I completely understand about kits, there usually is something in it that will lead me astray and cause lots of words to be said. I guess I'd try the pattern with fabric that I don't care much about or muslin and see how it works before cutting into the fat quarters. Hope you figure it out and it's an easy fix.

Lou said...

Have you noticed that there are more and more kits available? The catalogs are almost all kits now:( I am also a nonkit type of person... yes I like the pattern but not in those colors:)
I also wish people would actually sew out their own directions.... some do leave a lot of ?'s!
Ok off my soapbox!
Good luck!!!!!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Zucchini has so many uses but they can overwhelm. I am not a kit person either and I am finding more patterns are horribly written.

quiltzyx said...

I love the look of fruit & veggies in glass jars. I might not necessarily like to EAT them, but I do like to look at them.
I'm not much of kit person either. I have one somewhere at home that I bought a zillion years ago, but have never even opened it to look at it! I'm sure you'll figure it out eventually.

Junebug613 said...

I'm with you. Nothing is more irritating than a pattern or kit that has vague instructions. Very frustrating. The whole point of purchasing a pattern or kit, is to be guided through the fabrication process of whatever it is you are trying to make. Otherwise, you wouldn't have spent the money and would've made something up on your own....... Yours looks very nice. I like the polka dots, by the way!