Saturday Single No. 455

Summer just got a whole lot busier here.

The two gardens have already offered us zucchini, yellow squash and lettuce, some banana peppers and one or two slicing cucumbers, and last evening, the Texas Gal spent about an hour in the near garden, pulling the first rounds of green and wax beans. The wax beans didn’t quite fill a bowl that I estimate at about five quarts, while the green beans topped their bowl by about a quart.

Then, as we ate dinner with the beans bagged and waiting in the refrigerator, we got a call: The half-bushel of small pickling cucumbers that the Texas Gal had ordered were available. So this morning as she headed off to the farmers’ market downtown, I pulled canning and pickling equipment and supplies from the fruit cellar and washed and cleaned those things that needed washing and cleaning.

As I write, the Texas Gal is washing and cutting green beans with the wax beans soon to follow. Some will be canned and some will be frozen and some few, I imagine, will end up on tonight’s dinner table, accompanying three ribeye steaks that are currently thawing and have a date with our new broiler pan this evening.

And tomorrow, the kitchen here will turn into the Thirteenth Avenue Pickling Plant, as the half-bushel of small cukes is processed into jars of kosher dills, polish dills and perhaps a few hot mustard dill pickles.

Beyond this weekend, we will see more green and wax beans, more zucchini, yellow squash and cucumbers, many more peppers and many tomatoes, some cabbages and eggplants and a good supply of herbs. By the end of August, as the picking, canning and pickling season begins to draw to an ending, we’ll be well tired of all of it, the Texas Gal more than I, certainly. After all, she is the gardener and canner, and I am only the helper (and more comfortable helping in the kitchen than in the dirt).

But those are our roles, and for what must be the seventh year now, we shall see how our gardens grow.

And here’s a tune I’m certain I’ve shared here before, and probably in this context, but it’s been a few years, and it still works. That’s why Genya Ravan’s cover of Derek & The Dominos “Keep On Growing,” from her 1973 album, They Love Me, They Love Me Not, is today’s Saturday Single.

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