July 20, 2009: It's Better Than it Looks

Usually, through the growing season, we have "garden dinners", using home grown and/or local produce, when most everything turns out pretty good. I don't always show the photos, as taking pictures is a bit time consuming and the food can get cold while I'm trying to get a good shot of it. For instance, to get good color, I have to take the food outside to the patio, where I have natural light. It just doesn't photograph as well with the flash, under artificial light.

Case in point....

Last night's dinner was really good! The photo was really bad. Mr. H was hungry, and wasn't about to wait for me to have an outdoor photo shoot with his meal, and I wasn't having enough to eat to make my plate a good subject. Last night's dinner was much better than it looks.

Sunday's Garden Dinner

Sirloin Steak Kabobs (my green peppers, local onions)
Brown Rice
Diced Cucumber-Red Tomato-Orange Tomato-Sweet Onion Salad
with Ranch Dressing
(my cucumbers, red and orange tomatoes, local onions)
Iced Tea
Strawberry Shortcake (my strawberries)


Here is today's harvest and three pints of bread and butter pickles that I canned last night. Two of the yellow crookneck squash got too large, so they will go into the compost and not be added to the harvest weight. There is only half a Rutgers tomato, 'cause I just had to try it out....it wasn't all that great, I have yet to get a really good tomato. I did, however, eat the other half on my BLT for lunch. The potatoes, over three pounds of them, were "stolen" out from under the plants. That makes about 18 pounds of potatoes that I've harvested from the 3' x 4' bed so far. I expect to get over thirty pounds from it by the time they are all dug. The green beans are slowing down....finally. We are getting rather tired of them.

I'm doing some heavy pruning on one of the SWC tomatoes. I water it each day, but by afternoon it is completely wilted down. I figure it will take less water with less leaf area, but I'm only removing a few each day so as not to stress out the plant even more. It's a Rutgers variety, the one that didn't have a very tasty first tomato.

Our weather is supposed to be in the 98-103F range for the remainder of July. It must be quite humid, as I'm dripping and it's only 78F in the house! Of course, I've been out in the mid-day heat, repairing and replacing sprinklers. Mr. H annihilated one with the riding mower, another was clogged and had to be removed to clean out the screen, and the new soaker hoses were both toast...they lasted about a month before the holes expanded and began ripping. I removed them and put up a temporary impulse sprinkler that I tied into the irrigation system with a hose, so it will water at the same time as the rest of the sprinklers. My next husband is going to know how to install and repair sprinklers!

No "garden dinner" tonight, as I'm cleaning up odds and ends from the freezer.

Stay cool!


  1. It does look good -- but I think the harvest picture is the real winner!

  2. I hope the Rutgers finally starts producing good tomatoes for you. I bought Rutgers seeds on clearance last fall and when I looked them up to see what I had purchased, they seemed to get good reviews.

    After breaking the same sprinkler head twice last year with the riding mower, we just decided to use the old push mower. The front lawn isn't really very big anyway. Sprinklers can be such a pain sometimes - both the regular ones AND the the systems.

  3. I hope so too, Amy. I've found the first tomatoes are usually a disappointment. Maybe because they take too long to ripen? Later tomatoes, that ripen quickly, always seem juicier and more flavorful. My first few tomatoes are just too bland, not much flavor.

    I have always done my own sprinkler repairs. In fact, I've done a couple of installations of underground sprinkling systems by myself! One on an acre of lawn, and I dug the trenches with a shovel. I was a few years younger, though ;-) It took me most of one summer, but worked great when I finished.

  4. I think my husband would go crazy if he had to wait for photos. But he is safe. He doesn't eat vegetables so he wouldn't have to. I never remember to take photos of the food I eat. So often it is the same anyway at least for lunch. I tend to eat a lot of salads in lettuce season. Soon it will be zucchini and tomato season and I'll mix things up. Gee you want a husband that fixes sprinklers. I want one that eats vegetables. It would be so much easier to eat everything from my garden if he would actually eat it. I'm sure he will be happy once the potatoes come in.

  5. Daphne, you remind me of my sister. When the tomatoes are ripe, she eats tomatoes...breakfast, lunch and dinner. If she has nothing but lettuce, that's what she eats. I'd probably be more like that if I lived alone...at least to the point of cooking something and eating it until it's gone rather than fixing something different every day. I pretty much cater to Mr. H's tastes when it comes to cooking dinner, but he's on his own for breakfast and lunch!

  6. Dinner looks good and so does the harvest and pickling effort. I never take pictures of our dinners because I serve it family style where everyone helps themselves to however much they want of what ever they want - so a preplated meal rarely occurs around here. I wish I had taken a picture of tonights meal though becaused it was particularly colorful (sweet and sour chicken with yellow zucchinis, green sugar snap peas, sliced and quarted onions, diced roasted red peppers rehydrated in olive oil and then diced up in small bits, pineapple chunks and strips of boneless skinlesss chicken breast... all in a homemade pineapple sweet and sour sauce. Pretty AND yummy!

    My first tomato was pretty bland tasting too. I definitely think it is because they take way too long to mature to start out with.

  7. KitsapFG, you and I agree on the bland tomatoes. I usually only grow Celebrity, which also starts off bland, but the flavor really kicks in on subsequent tomatoes. I'm just getting ready to blog for a second time today, as I had a surprise in the garden!