Monday, August 1, 2011

Butterflies, Honeybees, Bumblebees, and Wasps

This morning there is constant motion all along the Zinnia, and Basil rows in the Kitchen Garden! It is a lovely sight as the pollinators enjoy the nector of all the flowers in bloom!

Don was out to check the 3 hives of honeybees in the garden. I was happy to hear they are doing well. The smell of pine smoke drifted out into the garden from the smokers. Lovely.

I am grateful that the morning is cooler. What a hot wave we have had here in NC. I was so relieved to see the rain yesterday. As if everything needed a good wash. All the dust has settled, and the morning seemed so much brighter.

Pretty Java Pullets and Cockerels

The young Javas are now 8 weeks old, and really looking nice. They are out of my best Java stock. I am impressed with the body confirmation and nice complete black legs, and feet with yellow soles. I will keep these to continue to build my Java flock. They are already zealous foragers! True to the nature of the Java. I just love this breed.

Preserving the Summer

The beets grew beautifully this year. They seem to thrive in the heat (unlike so many other things). As I was slipping the peels off , I had a sudden memory of helping my grandmother, Emma, at her kitchen sink. I must have been 7 or 8 years old. My job was to remove the skins from the beets. After boiling them until just tender the skins slip off very easily. As I was doing this, I could hear my grandmother Carroll's sweet chuckle, and see the big old sink filled with beets. The memory is such a amazing store of sights, sounds, smells, and textures. Lovely.

Here are photos of the beets: Just after cooking, just peeled, and then after canning the lovely sweet pickled beets. I used 5 spice powder instead of pickling spice this year, and think it is better. More cloves, and allspice...and cardamon I think.

I will serve these at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Summer in a jar.