Our trip to bountiful is walking outside. The garden is going crazy!

It is so much fun walking outside and picking dinner. The challenge will be properly utilizing everything.

We had a hard time last year keeping up with one eggplant – so this year we planted two. We’re brilliant. What can I say?!? I have a few ideas for roasting and canning above and beyond Little Gram’s Eggplant – my favorite caponata.

Peppers, galore. Like the tomatoes, they’ve been taking their time, but when they hit, they’re gonna hit. And speaking of hit, the whole garden took a hit last night. We had a thunderstorm come through that beat the hell out of everything. The tomato plants are huge and really overladen with green tomatoes – we’re going to see 50 pounds of tomatoes ripen at once – and we spent quite a bit of time this morning re-caging, staking, and tying them back up. We have four or five different varieties out there – and a cherry tomato that came up from last year. We had decided no cherries this year because we just can’t use them fast enough, but Mother Nature had a different idea, so I’m going to see about roasting and canning them.

We brought some in that had broken off and thought we’d just paper bag them and see how they come out. Waste not, want not…

I pulled a few beets – there are golden and tiger stripes – and learned a lesson in seed planting along the way. I did not thin them and have a few little clusters of beets that probably won’t mature into nice-sized bulbs. But… as long as they taste okay… I’ll deal this year. Next year I’ll pay more attention and be more diligent.

Our biggest boatload of produce ready right this minute is green beans. We have two bush bean plants and two purple bean plants – and the green beans are really going crazy. We picked about 2 pounds of beans – with a ton more coming in. The purple’s are not quite as proliferant, yet, but I have a few for dinner, tonight.

I remember years ago we saw purple beans at a farmer’s market in Oakland, CA and paid a fortune for them because they were so unique. We took them home, dropped them into boiling water to blanch, and watched them turn green right before our eyes. I was bummed. All that money and they looked and tasted like green beans. Live and learn.

I did a quick blanch, trim, and then vacuum-packed them for later use.

We have four 8oz bags of fresh beans in the freezer – with more to follow.

Our Food Saver has paid for itself many times over. I really do like being able buy in bulk and freeze things.

With more stuff coming in, tonight’s going to be a bit of a clean-out-the-refrigerator ragout of sorts.

With shrimp.

And a loaf of fresh bread.

I know there are bazillions of people out there with bigger and better gardens – and who actually know what they’re doing – but we’re having fun in our dotage. And that’s all that really matters.