The time has come in my veggie garden to start harvesting the bounty. In addition, it’s time for me to start canning and freezing the veggies in batches to get ready for the winter. There’s even a bit of baking thrown in there. Every summer we look forward to my favorite fruit crumb pies. This year I baked two peach crumble pies and two zucchini breads. One for now and one for later. Thank goodness for the invention of freezers! How else could I enjoy a peach pie in the middle of winter?

This year, I had a super bounty of green beans (and pea pods as well as fresh peas!). The pea pods and peas are the first to get eaten immediately. Sometimes I split open a pea pod and eat the peas right there in the garden. Sweet and delicious! There’s no other way to describe them. I followed this recipe (click here) to pickle can my green beans. Loaded with garlic, dill and red pepper flakes in a vinegar brine, the pickle canning was quick and easy. I even included a bunch of string beans into a slow cooker brew I also canned later on. Who knew?

I also made a batch of Sicilian Caponata, which is an Italian appetizer, just perfect when spread out on a loaf of toasted Italian baguette. Caponata consists of oven roasted eggplant, green peppers, celery, tomatoes, capers, black olives and topped with a vinegar/red wine/sugar home brew canning liquid. Delish!

Next came my zucchini. These did not come from my garden as I still just have buds growing. I don’t know if I’ll get any zucchini before the summer ends. But I have hope. Ditto for my cucumbers. They’re still tiny. In any event, if I get any cucumbers, I will pickle and can them. For now, I cut the zucchini in both chucks and grated them for the freezer. The chunks I can use in side dishes, omelettes and frittatas. The grated zucchini can be used in muffin or bread recipes.

Lastly, we all know what happened to my peach tree. She was looking fantastic in the early part of summer with over 50 peaches coming to ripen. Just before I could harvest them, the squirrels got to them and ate every single peach. They didn’t even leave me one! But I was able to buy a few pounds from a local store at only .99 cents a pound. Today, those same local peaches are selling for $3.99 a pound. Gulp! Next year I’ll be more attentive! I baked two peach pies and made both peach preserves and strawberry preserves (I bought the strawberries locally also for $1.46 a pint)

Keeping in the vegetarian journey, hubby and I enjoyed a few vegan lunches of falafel, chock filled with my home grown tomatoes, spring lettuces and a chopped up cucumber, red onion and topped with my own tahini sauce, served in a whole wheat pita. Delish!!

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