The vegetable garden has been pleasantly productive this year! It was a somewhat late spring, but here it is mid-July and I am still getting sugar snap peas from the garden! It’s time to plant one more batch for a fall harvest!
All these years I have been gardening and learning so much more about producing our own food. It has been a pleasant, satisfying, sometimes frustrating experience. And this is the first year I have ever blanched and frozen my own vegetables. It always sounded a little daunting to me, and somehow not very interesting of a task, but I have so many sugar snaps that I’ve given it a whirl! It’s easy! LOL! A couple inches of water in the bottom of my stockpot, three minutes in the steamer basket, a plunge into a bowl of ice water, then drain out on a towel. After soaking up the excess water, I put them into a labeled freezer bag, spread them out flat so they won’t clump together once frozen, and pressed the air out of the bag. Lastly, I laid them on a cookie sheet and popped it into our chest freezer so they freeze flat. Nothing to it, really.
Some of the sugar snaps were nice and thin and small, but I’ve been down to Ohio taking care of my Mom’s place and visiting her in the hospital (she’s home and recovering well now!). So while I was gone they built up out there. So many of them were plump and starting to get that shriveled look, more like regular string peas.
Tonight finds me, once again, in the garden. At dusk in the quiet, the tortoiseshell barn cat Maple and I, listening to the hermit thrush sing its enchanting song while I weed the encroaching grass from the peas and strawberries. After such a hot, hot day, the cool of the evening is a welcome respite, and the soft feel of moist dirt on my hands is comforting. Those of us who know take our strength from the soil in many ways.
… Also this week, my husband and daughter are in Honduras on a mission trip. So the two youngest and I have been hard at work outside, prettying up the flower garden and finally(!) turning that mess on the north side of the house into some lovely shade gardens between the house and the path where we walk. Such a gratifying lot of work in a terribly hot, muggy mid-July week!
On a final note, I’ve been gradually increasing my running distance since I began training for the Mark Mellon triathlon/5k we completed a couple weekends ago. I was able to run that 5k well, and am working toward a 10k now (6.2 miles). Last Saturday, JJ and I ran 3.68 miles – my longest distance yet. It was a comfortable run, though my legs were unusually sore the next two days. It took until today for me to feel comfortable enough to do my interval training. Overall, I’m pleased with my accomplishments this week! How about you? Are you stretching yourself? Are you pushing a little outside your comfort zone? You’ll never know until you try!