Cucumbers, Okra, and Beans Oh My!

Cucumbers, Okra, and Beans Oh My!

Why do vegetables ripen when it’s 105 degrees?
Why don’t I just get up at 5 a.m. and pick them?
Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?♫♪
Beans.  What’s not to love about pinto beans.  They are an easy-going, fuss free veggie that likes to hang out with cornbread.    You plant them, water occasionally, and let them dry on the vine.  Once the plant looks dead, pull the plant up and begin shelling.  It really doesn’t get any easier than that.  But wait!  It does get easier.   If you act in the next 10 minutes,  you might be able to pull a person out of the house to help you shell them.  There’s just something about sitting on the porch late in the evening, listening to the hummingbirds and purple martins, and shelling beans.  In my opinion, it doesn’t get much better than that.
For several years, I have grown a bean called Lina Sisco’s Bird Egg Bean.

Lina Sisco’s Bird Egg bean
As you can see it looks like a chickadee egg.

According to Seed Savers Exchange, these beans were brought to Missouri by covered wagon in the 1880s by Lina’s grandmother.  How cool is that?  The great thing about dried beans is that they keep well until I have time to can them.  (More on that here)  But don’t eat them all!  You will want to save some of these beauties for next year’s garden.
The okra I grow is called  Red Burgundy.
Red Burgundy Okra
I love the deep red stalk and red okra as well.  It usually grows about 4-5 ft. tall.  This year, probably due to our extreme heat and drought, it is only about 12-15 inches tall.  Be sure and let some stalks over grow and go to seed.  Not only will you have seed for next year but the pods make beautiful fall accents.
I don’t have a picture of my cukes because I forgot to plant them!   I even painted some old tomato cages to support them.  Watermelon Sorbet, Pink Fluff, Purple Smurple.  My cucumbers were going to look magazine worthy on those cages.  Sigh….
Not to worry.  I’ve noticed that people who do have cucumbers usually have enough to feed a small city and are always glad to get rid of the extras.  I’m lucky to have such a friend and she saved the day.
Why would I worry about cucumbers?
Why am I so forgetful?
Why do stars fall down from the sky, every time you walk by? ♪♫

If I didn’t have cucumbers, I could not make pickles.  And not just any pickles.  Refrigerator pickles.  Say what?
My grandmother made these every summer and kept them in the fridge in a huge glass container.  They keep for weeks AND  keep their crunch.  They are cold, sweet,  and sour and are the perfect summer food for me.   I can eat them at every meal or as a meal for that matter.
Just like me, they long to be………close to you♫♪♪♫
Sorry, I’ve had that Carpenter’s song in my head for days.
Now, for those  folks with lots of  cucumbers, here is the recipe.
Grandma’s Sliced Refrigerated Pickles

6 cups sliced, unpeeled cucumbers

1 c. sliced onions

*Place in a large glass container with a lid.  Then mix:

1-1/2 cups to 2 cups sugar (I have substituted equal parts of Splenda before and it was ok)

  1 Tbs. table salt

1 c. white vinegar

 Mix together and pour over cucumbers and onions.  Let stand for a few hours or overnight for best flavor.

Sliced Refrigerator Pickles