What happens when you go away for two days

pumpkin patch

It was as I expected.  When I braved the heat yesterday afternoon, I discovered that the plants in the pumpkin patch have put on a huge amount of growth and there were 6 gherkins big enough for pickling.  The two days I’d been away had been hot, dry and sunny.  Weeds are rampant and most of the plums have ripened and dropped (or been eaten or frozen).

It’s actually too hot to stay out in the sun for too long in the middle of the day.  I spent about 15 minutes trying to weed around parts of the vegetable garden, but it felt like the heat was pushing down on me as a physical force.

I tried a new gherkin recipe yesterday afternoon.   You can sample them after a minimum of 3-5 days, although of course, ideally they should be left for at least a month for the full flavour to develop.

If this recipe tastes good, I’ll use it for any  more that are produced.  It has no added sugar, which will suit my taste buds much better than the sweet gherkin recipe I tried a couple of years ago.

Pickled Gherkins
Pickled Gherkins

In the barn, the four blackbird chicks have left the nest.   We could see three last night – two perched on the washing line and one huddled down on a ledge.

Earlier today I could only see one chick.  It was standing on the woodpile, staring solemnly at me, and not moving.  When I left the barn, the blackbird hen flew to it with a beak full of worms.

blackbird chick
blackbird chick yesterday
Blackbird chick today
Blackbird chick today

Currently we have the following herbs and vegetables in the garden ready for eating: asparagus, basil, beetroot, coriander, dill, lettuces, silver beet and zucchini.

The climbing beans are on the point of being ready, as are the strawberries, and our tomatoes are tiny and green.    But now that the fruit has formed, eating them is not far away.

Pickled Gherkins Recipe

500 grams gherkins
125 grams sea salt
3 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
1 bay leaf
1 bunch fresh dill
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 cups water

Wash gherkins thoroughly and dry.
Cover them with salt in a sealed plastic bag and set aside for 3-5 hours.
Mix the vinegar and water in a pan, and heat.
Add garlic (thinly sliced), bay leaf, dill and coriander seeds.
Simmer for five minutes.
Remove the gherkins from the salt.
Wash them thoroughly and dry them once again.
Place the gherkins in sterilised jars;
carefully fill with the vinegar/water solution (gherkins should be covered) and seal.
Set aside at room temperature for three to five days before eating.

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