Sunday, July 18, 2010

Koolickles, broccoli and midsummer pictures...

First, Koolickles.  Its another example of what those crazy southerners will do with pickles.  Its really not that crazy to me, though i never lived in the south i have seen odd foods from all over the place since i grew up watching cooking shows.... 
I think the first time i saw Koolickles was on an Alton Brown show not too long ago so for all my not-freaked-out-ishness, it is somewhat new to me.  The original recipe calls for dill pickles, sugar, and Kool Aid packets... red colors seem to be a must. Grape is reported to not work, lemon lime flavors are said to be nice, but are less preferred. Fruit punch, strawberry and cherry are the top choices.  Some recipes say to drain the juice and replace it with what is basically a double-sugar mix of Kool Aid.  The recipe i followed said i could add the Kool Aid to the pickle brine and add it back in. Some recipes say to slice the pickles lengthwise and some say leave them whole or buy a jar of spears.

I don't eat sugar, so i had to do some looking to see if this can be done with Sugar-free mix. It turns out that it might be possible.  So that is what i am trying.

The Victims.  A one gallon  jar of Mt. Olive kosher dills.  

The accomplice....

I'm taking the lazy way out. This may backfire. But if it backfires i'm out a jar of pickles...ho-hum.   I'm just going to dump 2 of the little cups of mix straight into the jar.   If it turns out to be too much flavoring i bet i could dump the juice out of the jar and refil with water and let it sit for a few days to purge the salt and flavoring a bit.

Ok, straight into the jar:

Looks sinister

Into the fridge for 1-3 weeks....

Ok, back to gardeny things...

I have Broccoli!  I noticed it the other day.  The plants that got shredded the least and that i left to recover have recovered.  The florets are understandably small

Polfast tomatoes are getting bigger.
All the tomatoes have been treated to prevent blights.


FGS- Full garden shot
 Grapes...   the famous Marechal Foch....   this thing is so healthy looking.

Reliance...  i finally tied it up.

I tossed some flax seed into the garden in Spring. They had started to smeel like they might be going rancid.  Many of them sprouted...they don't take over much so its nice to have little blue flowers like this popping up here and there

I'm wondering what is up with my beets and rutabagas.  I need to take a closer look at them.  The beets are supposed to be 45 day and its right about that time now.  The packet said Spring planting was correct, but they seem to be late.  I think that area of soil isn't as yummy for them as it could be...though the beans just behind them are growing like mad.  The two rutabagas that i keep snipping the tops off of kept sending up flower stalks so i pulled them last night. Their roots looked woody and like they had tunnels through them....  they may have wireworms...  this would explain why my beets are slow... but i did pull a beet and the root of that one had no tunnels, but it wasn't any thicker than my thumb.  I managed to break it in half and it smelled sweet and had some juice to it.  It has been a long time since i have grown beets so i don't have much background to go on.  The rutabagas were 100 day type, so its too early to expect them to be getting ready....  but  i don't know if the reason the rutabagas were trying to go to seed was because of the attack on the roots...  they are the only ones that were trying to go to seed, so maybe they were the only ones affected?  This does not seem likely.  I noticed some green larvae on the rutabagas, so i'm going to apply some BT.  I have been picking cabbage butterfly eggs off the leaves of kale, collards et al, but the rutabagas have too many leaves to do this well and i noticed the butterflies are laying eggs on everything in the garden, not just the cole crops.

I had to pull back the birdhouse gourd quite a bit yesterday. It was laying hold of my rosemary and salsify plants in the next row over.  I almost have to say that planting them was a mistake.  My garden is simply too small.  They really need to be allowed to climb something, but i way underestimated what they would have needed to climb anyway. They are spreading in the rows like a large green glacier.... i had to rescue the watermelon vines from them as well.  They really would take over the entire garden if i let them.

The pumpkin plant that appeared in the walking row this Spring, and that hubby wanted me to keep is becoming a pest.  It has blocked my passage through that end of the walkway,  on the other side are my summer squash is a tight fit getting through.
I need to remember to plant squashes in the center of the row and at the end of the garden no matter what the garden planner says.  I planted 2 side-by-side and that is not enough room to keep them from coming out the side.
With my small garden, there wasn't enough root space for the Summer Squashes to grow this large, i had slightly dwarfed plants....  i don't now! lol

I have been able to pick about 2# of green beans every other day for the last week.  I may try and practice some small scale canning of them.  I have never canned solo before...  i borrowed Ball's Complete Canning book from the library the other day, so i'll do a quick read before i start trying.