It’s summertime. It’s hot. And I’m hungry. Actually, it’s beyond hungry… I’m hangry. Hangry is when hunger takes over and your stomach becomes very angry at you and you find yourself tearing through the kitchen cabinets and ripping the doors off the hinges. There’s a house full of boys that have been working hard all day so I start to go through my mental recipe rolodex. What do boys want to eat? What do they like? Meat. Cheese. Beer. Grilled things. And that’s pretty much it. And how do you satisfy insatiable man hunger? With man food. Enter the beer cheese burger.
Earlier this summer, we started solarizing our new garden expansion. Basically, we plowed and tilled up the next section of hay field that’s going to be next year’s garden and laid a bunch of tarps over it. The tarps prevent weeds and hay from re-growing there all summer long. The basic idea is that all that summer sinshine heats up the ground under the tarps and fries all the grass and hay underneath. It also prevents a buttload of cursing next summer when we’re trying to weed. So the tarps were all spread out and so we waited. And waited. And waited. But now it’s time to pull off the tarps and see if this whole solarization thing actually worked, then we’re fixin’ to get our fall garden started!
I’m not gonna lie to you, friends. Sometimes I get in a canning rut. I look at a pile of peppers and think… this is boring. But I need to can. But I know I’m not going to want two gallons of pickled jalapenos. I mean, I love nachos and all but do I love them enough to make two gallons worth of jalapeno pepper toppings? Maybe for football Sunday. But we’re not sports people, per say. We don’t follow the sports balls. Maybe we could invite all of our friends over and have a nacho party. But 1) I don’t think we have enough friends to warrant a nacho party and 2) can adults even have a nacho party? Maybe if there’s an e-vite. That would be legit. But I digress. Basically, I don’t want a boring old pickled peppers canning recipe. If I’m going to slave over a hot stove for a few hours, it better be worth it. And lemme tell you friends, this here pickled peppers with shallots and thyme is worth it. And it sounds fancy.
Sorry that we haven’t been posting lately, friends! But if you’ve been following us on facebook or instagram, you know that we’ve been super busy in the garden (Dave calls it “the field” so it sounds cooler but I just think it makes him sound like a Baba O’Reily lyric. 10 points for The Who reference). Right now we’re knee deep in peppers, cucumbers, zucchini and bush beans. Here’s a look around the garden, a.k.a. the field, show you what we have going on and what we’re doing with our harvest.
I’ve already confessed to you my love of strawberries and canning season with my strawberry shrub recipe. With strawberries still in season, I’m trying to preserve as much as I can. I started out with your classic strawberry jam but as soon as word got out that I made homemade strawberry jam, it was gone. Seriously… how can a gallon of strawberry jam disappear in a week? I asked the boys where it went to and they convinced me that we must have some sort of strawberry jam starved honey badger in our neck of the woods that unlocks our kitchen door and goes through our pantry at night. I’m sure that’s what it was. Anyway, I decided to kick it up a notch with my next batch of jam. A twist on the classic, if you will. A sweet jam that will bite you back. Introducing, the strawberry chipotle jam! Or as I call it, “Sweet, Spicy and Everything Nice-y Strawberry Jam!”