Yes, I must agree with Sid, our sleeping yellow cat and the other animals at Front Forty. This is exactly what kind of week it has been, the kind where you want to find a cool rock in a shady spot and take a nap. The high temperatures and humidity make for lazy-feeling days, Although I am not complaining (this summer loving mama never complains when summer offers us its best), but I do feel a bit sorry for Little #2 and #3 who started double-session soccer practices this week. They are handling it quite well, though, and are pushing through it like little troopers with very little complaining. Lots of lemon water and watermelon have been consumed; bathing suits are the preferred attire, and the porch hammock is the favorite spot.
In spite of the heat, I have spent much of my week in the kitchen canning and pickling. The cucumbers are producing like crazy at the moment, but much to my dismay, I believe they (and my tomatoes) are infected with verticillium wilt. I am trying to harvest and pickle as many as I can before the plants succumb to the disease. After doing some research, I think I may have discovered that this dreaded verticillim wilt is the culprit responsible for killing my cucumbers and tomatoes the past few years. I'm not happy about this, but I am relieved to finally have an answer. The process of getting rid of the fungi is slow, and Hubby and I are discussing the best method for doing so...more on that later...back to the pickles. Garlic dills, sweet spears, and bread and butter pickles are filling the shelves of the pantry along with jars of mixed vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, onions, beans, and zucchini) and dilly beans. I have used the traditional pickling method, but I would like to eventually try fermentation. I am still trying to recuperate from a fermentation-gone-bad experience, so I haven't quite dared step into that new realm of preservation yet...maybe next summer. I would love any suggestions you may have for books and/or resources on the process of fermentation.
Last night Hubby and I took a few minutes to sit on the porch before the mosquitos bombarded us, and we were commenting on how lush and vibrant everything was...the gardens, the pastures, the woods, the lawn...everything is so full. It's hard to believe that all that green foliage, all that color eventually fades, and we are left with a white and grey landscape. I asked him, "Which is harder to imagine, summer during the frigid, white days of winter, or winter during the lush, warm days of summer?" We are undecided.