Tuesday, July 19, 2011

of cucumbers and cast iron

July is a great month for me because it means camping and eating from the garden.  This year it also means cucumbers because we put in a few pickling cuke plants and now I dread our greenhouse a little bit because I know I will have to deal with the quantity.  If you have a garden, then you know what i mean. So, I've been making dill pickles in a large crock- they just stopped fermenting yesterday and they are soooo good, and canning dills and bread and butters, and the crazy quantity of tongue of fire beans from the field.

It is so hot here in July and it has mostly made me feel like running in the opposite direction of the canning pot for years, but we have worked it out this year.  Check it out.  A big burner with our enormous cast iron cauldron will hold about 12 quarts of pickles.  Is that awesome or what?
All of this food in need of canning was waiting for us when we got back from our annual camping trip on Cape Cod, which was practically perfect- sun, swimming, rope swings, fishing, ocean, clean pond swimming, fried fish and ice cream, and our dearest pals. And, cooking things in cast iron.  We brought some of our bacon ends and they had such a huge layer of white fat around them that they left a nice deep pool of lard in the pan.  Uh, waste not, want not- make pizza dough doughnuts and fill them with raspberry jam, then go to food heaven.  This is nothing like the story my husband tells of being on a two week canoe trip in Canada without enough food.  He would have hour long daydreams about things he would cook up when he got home that would be so good, like frying the stuck remains in the oatmeal pot.  He said it just wasn't as good as he imagined it in the end.  Well, I didn't have the highest hopes for the pizza dough we never ended up wrapping around hot dogs but as I brought it a little fermenty from the warming cooler and droppped strips in the fat, I was encouraged by how much it puffed up.
                                               Can't you just smell that?
                                              Dough goes in.
                         Our friend Ben came up with a whole business plan for selling these- Ben's Biegnet
                                           A perfect food for Harry- anything to deliver jam to his mouth.

I really do think these would be just as yummy in the kitchen and were not elevated to such a high status due to the fresh air and smokey fire- though that was pretty great.

1 comment:

  1. Sigh. That was heaven on earth. Can't wait to eat your pickles!

    p.s. My word verification is "hoptions"! That makes me almost need to brew my own line of multiple IPAs.