The Horrors and the Joys of Summer...and Recipes

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I hate the summer. I hate the unrelenting heat of the 100+ degree days. I hate the bugs. I hate being drained of blood by mosquitoes.  I hate the wind. I hate buying swimsuits. I hate wearing swimsuits.  I hate the laughter of children as the play outside at all hours of the day (usually between the hours of 8pm and 7am, yep, really).  I hate the music from the ice cream truck. I hate when I go to the ice cream truck and they have no chocolate covered bananas. I hate it when they are all sold out of everything but Bomb Pops and snow cones (not that there is anything wrong with either one, I really love both, I just love chocolate covered bananas more).  I hate it when the power goes out and everything in the freezer starts melting within seconds because it's so hot.  I hate it when it's too hot to sleep.  I hate it when my neighbors have parties that last all hours of the night...on a Wednesday...

However, there are some really great things about summer... Warm nights sitting outside looking up at the stars.  Bonfires in the backyard and roasting hot dogs and making s'mores.  I love laying by the pool reading a good book.  I love to hear my children and my nephews laughing and playing together in the pool or having sleepovers. I love having salads for dinner, because there was so many different kinds of yummy produce available at the market.   I love it when the ice cream truck comes by on those nights when it's too hot to cook and we have ice cream for dinner. I love it when the power goes out and we have to eat the entire jumbo size box of ice creams I just bought because they are melting, for dinner.  I love it when I'm sitting outside on the patio in the evening and the weather is so perfect I doze off.  I love having family get together's and playing board games all night.  I love it when the hubby takes a day off of work just to hang out around the pool with us and barbecue, for no reason at all. I love waking up early and watching the sunrise, while I drink an iced coffee.  I love having a glass of wine with the hubby on the patio and watching the sun go down.

And of course, most of all I love all of the the fresh produce that grows and blossoms in the bright sunshine in my own garden.  When I have a good gardening year, I won't have to buy any produce from the market, and I often end up with an abundance of one type of of veggie that just grows non stop.  Lately that's been onions but I'm hoping for a better yield of tomatoes this year.  Actually I'm hoping for an abundance of everything since I have been canning.

One of my favorite things to can is pickles of all kinds. We love pickles in this house (well all of us except for the hubby) and they are gone as soon as I open the jar! While waiting for my garden to grow something other than onions, I have been finding excellent produce deals at the market, so I have been stocking up when I see a good sale.  I recently found 4lbs of carrots for $1 and beets 3lbs for a $1!  So I decided to make some yummy pickled veggies and can them up.
They're even prettier in person!
For the beets I used adapted the recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. The carrots are from a recipe adapted from Well Preserved.

Click the link for a printable copy of the recipes.
Pickled Beets and Onions
Spicy Pickled Carrots