Right now the garden is producing like mad. Saturday I picked 4 pails of peas in the pod, which took over 2 hours to shell. We have 88 feet of pea vines this year. After boiling them just briefly I drain them, cool them in a sink of cold water, drain them again, and dry them between two dish towels. Then I spread them on cookie sheets covered with waxed paper. This morning I took the peas off the cookie sheets and turned them into large ziplock bags. We now have about 5 pounds of peas in the freezer and hope to get lots more.
This morning I picked three pails (one gallon ice cream pails) of Royal Burgundy beans. They are dark purple beans that grow long and straight, and don't get big, fat seeds in them. We prefer them to other varieties, so they are the only kind I grow. We have about 66 feet of bean plants. Beans are lots quicker to process than peas. It took me just 40 minutes to snip and cut all the beans.
I freeze the beans also on cookie trays. That way they are loose in the freezer bag, and I can just shake out how many I want to use. These beans do turn green when boiled.
I made a batch of bagels this afternoon, cinnamon raisin this time. They turned out just great. So tomorrow's breakfast is ready: cinnamon raisin bagels with cream cheese and homemade apple butter. Yummy! I got the bagel recipe from Epicurious.com, and made the variation to cinnamon raisin just for the fun of it. One of the advantages of making your own bagels, aside from leaving out all the additives, is that you can make them a reasonable size, instead of the 300 calorie monsters from the grocery store.
Sunday Jim was preaching in Rocky Mountain House. We have become pretty good friends with a couple our age there, and usually have dinner with them. On occasion we've stayed overnight with them rather than drive home in the dark, a two hour drive through deer infested areas. We had a very nice visit with them yesterday.
When Jim preaches there, they ask me to play the organ. I really enjoy that, as those are the only times I get to play organ now. My friend Jan loaned me a new book of hers that had a very fine arrangement of "If You Will Only Let God Guide You", one of my very favorite hymns because of the great words and music. So that was the morning offertory, and was well received.
Jim hired a carpenter to make some new covers for our garden beds, particularly for the strawberries. We were using some netting from Lee Valley Tools, but birds keep getting stuck in it. Sometimes we can't get the loose, and they die trapped there. We weren't too happy with that! The new covers are wood frames, 8' x 4' x 6" with chicken wire on top. That will keep the deer off the lettuce also, and we can use them with plastic covering in the spring to warm the beds for early planting.
In the background you can see the curtain material I've draped over the sugar snap peas to preserve them from the deer. Maybe we should just put up a 10' deer fence around the whole garden!