Tag Archives: garden

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Growing up I was considered a “picky eater.” I pretty much survived on grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and pizza. It wasn’t until my 20’s that I started trying new foods and boy I was really missing out. I tried watermelon, corn, strawberries, raspberries, asparagus, cucumbers, tomatoes, mashed potatoes, broccoli, pretty much every vegetable possible and I loved them all! But my one true love that I have encountered in my taste testing has been pickles. My relatives at family gatherings would devour pickles and I never understood what all the fuss was about. Once I tasted the crunchy sweet and sour taste of the dill pickle, I understood all at once. What was I thinking, it makes me so sad that I missed out on this glorious creation for the first 20 years of my life. 

The definition of venturesome is willing to take risks or embark on difficult or unusual courses of action. This has definitely been true for me as I have learned to try new foods, it has been a risky endevour. In embarking on this unusual journey of food I have learned so much and been able to experience so much more about the tastes of the world. Being venturesome doesn’t just play into tasting food, it can apply to any new conquest you embark on when trying something new. If it’s trying a banana (I still don’t like these) or trying a new sport or craft, putting your whole heart into something new can be exciting and exhilarating. Jumping into new activities can invoke a change that can shift the boring, same old mentality that lingers for many. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. 

So take a risk, try that food, bake that really difficult recipe, try that exercise class, or get into whatever inspires you. I always ask my students, “what’s the worst that can happen?” We can try it, if it doesn’t work, we will change things up. You will never know until you try and if you never try you will never know. 

Like I mentioned before, these pickles are the BOMB.  They are so crunchy and best made with small garden cucumbers. If your cucumbers are jumbo, you can cut them into spears and slices to get the same crunch effect. We can these pickles so we can enjoy them all year long. FDR said it best, “Above all, try something.” Try these pickles, you won’t regret it!

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Dill Pickles

INGREDIENTS
3 quarts cold water
1 quart vinegar
3/4 c. canning salt
1 head dill per jar
1/4 t. alum per jar
1 clove garlic per jar
1 T. pickling spice

GUIDANCE
Pack cucumbers in quart size jars with dill, alum, garlic, and picking spice. Boil cold water, vinegar, and canning salt. Ladle hot liquid over cucumbers, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust two piece lids. Process quarts for 15 minutes in a boiling water canner. 

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Mother nature can create so much beauty in the world and with an instant she can destroy some of that beauty. This past weekend mother nature took a toll on the small town where we live. A strong hail storm rolled through our town, matched with high winds that devastated my sweet little garden that I have worked so hard on this past summer. Thankfully, no one was hurt during the storm. Many houses lost siding and windows, cars were totaled and debris was cast every which way. Here are a few photos of what the aftermath looked like. 

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These are a few snaps of my garden pre-hail. Wasn’t it beautiful? After the hail my dreams of fresh salsa, stuffed peppers, jalapeƱo poppers, tomato soup, potato dumplings, crisp salads and fresh herbs were all gone in an instant. 

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But, the best part of this whole experience was watching our town come together to rebuild and seeing the regrowth start to bloom. One of my favorite quotes is, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” When times are difficult, this quote helps me to remember that even though life throws us curve balls every once and a while, we have to adapt and move forward.

I had so many people offer their garden produce, so I hope to still bring you some delicious, fresh garden recipes soon. So in the spirit of regrowth, I went to my mom’s garden to make my favorite bruschetta recipe! This recipe is reminiscent of my favorite bruschetta from a deli in New York and it is best with fresh ingredients.

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Best Bruschetta Ever

INGREDIENTS

6 roma tomatoes
1/2 c. red onion
3 cloves of garlic
7 basil leaves
1 t. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil
1 baguette
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
parmesan reggiano cheese

GUIDANCE

Slice your baguette into 1/4 inch slices and brush with olive oil. Broil until browned. Once you remove the bread slices, rub each slice with a clove of garlic. Next chop your bruschetta ingredients. Cut up the onion, garlic, and basil into small pieces. Slice the tomatoes in half and scoop the seeds out. Cut the tomatoes into larger chunks. Mix the tomatoes, onions, garlic, basic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and scoop onto baguette slices. Garnish with parmesan and serve. 

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