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Way Too Much Rain …

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… and other Friday ramblings.

We were supposed to have a tree removed this morning. Before the disease that is killing the pine spreads to adjoining pines. Our pine screen is important to us for many reasons and we have lost two trees in nine years to various pests. This will be the third.

What does this have to do with rain? Well, at o-dark-thirty (0630 am) our friend in the landscaping business called to cancel due to the huge amount of rain he was getting where he lives (north and east of us). It was only dreary here, not raining, but today like lots of other days would turn out to be pretty dismal.

My tomato plants have those ugly yellow stems from too much rain. And, I have NOT watered them since early June. Mother Nature is doing a number on them.

So, what did we do with a free day, and crappy weather? Of course, what else sounds appealing. Like a trip down to Linden Vineyards to taste the new releases and have some wine and cheese while watching their dreary weather. At least they aren’t getting the deluge that other parts of the two states have been seeing.

linden in the rain 002

There is something about sitting on that enclosed porch with the doors swung open to watch the fog over the Shenandoah mountains north of the winery. Too bad it decided to rain because they have the most amazingly beautiful deck for enjoying the scenery and watching the weather change.

linden in the rain 005

Today we tasted the newly released chardonnay, and riesling vidal, then sat down and had some Avenius Sauvignon Blanc with chevre, summer sausage and a warm baguette.

About the only thing this rain has been good for, is

csa week 7 13 and flowers and dinner 025

making my flowers explode in blooming. There are literally dozens of stalks on the gladiolus plants in the corner of the yard. I cut two or three every morning to keep them on the counter or the dining room table. Crossing my fingers they will still be blooming the week of the county fair. I got a second place ribbon for them last year.

And, cucumbers. This wet spring and summer means lots and lots of pickling cukes. I added a few to the crock yesterday morning. We keep the dill pickle crock going for as long as we can in the summer. Looks like this may be a banner year.

csa week 7 13 and flowers and dinner 082

The pickles from a little over a week ago are ready to eat. My husband has already been going in the crock and grabbing one to have with lunch. The dark green new ones, scrubbed and dropped into the dill vinegar mix, will soak up that mouth puckering mixture that a perfect dill can achieve. To give them the crunch, I take a few out and put them in the fridge for a few hours before eating them.

To keep them submerged, I bought a saucer that just fits inside the crock. This crock, for pickles, and a larger one for sauerkraut, are always on our counter, hidden in a corner when not in use. In a few weeks, the kraut process will start, so that all fall I can have kraut for sausages, for a side dish and my favorite time to pull it out, Thanksgiving.

Now, if it just would get sunny enough for my first tomatoes. Tonight, when we got home, I went out to pull in a few more cucumbers. I found that the cherry tomatoes and the sun sugar tomatoes are finally starting to get red. Plus, crossing my fingers, none of the heirlooms have split from the excessive moisture. I may actually have either Box Car Willie or Mortgage Lifter or Paul Robeson tomatoes for the fair in three weeks.

Rain, rain, PLEASE, go away. I can even handle those two extremely hot days they are predicting for the middle of next week. Just give us some sunshine.


About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

3 responses »

  1. Your tree guy was not kidding. I was up in Forest Hill, Md this morning. I lost count of how many “skies opened up” heavy, lengthy downpours we got while I was there. Steve said we didn’t get anything like that here in Howard County.

  2. Do you have a post on how to make pickles in a crock on your counter? I’m so curious and I really want to try it!

    • I use Mrs Wages kosher dill pickle mix. I buy it at local farm stores. I boil the mixture and put it inannieriexylck. Put in the cucumbers and add a little extra dill weed, as I like a sharper pickle. I use a plate to push the pickles down in the liquid. Keep it on the counter out of heat and sun.

      The pickles are ready to eat after a week. I put jars in the fridge when I need room to add more cucumbers. Small pickling cucumbers are best.


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