Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fire and Ice

I have been really happy so far with my little frozen cubes of tomato sauce.  They have been handy when I have had a recipe that just calls for a little tomato sauce (like the squid ink sauce recipe my brother sent me from his trip to Venice).  
I still have a few tomatoes left and I have some ghost peppers... so, I'm going to make ghost sauce cubes.  I found out last year that an entire pint of ghost sauce is often a bit much- but sometimes things need a little kick.  So, I'm gonna make fire ice!!!

Wish me luck!  The range hood will be running on high!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Apples!


The first official harvest from the orchard we planted.  The trees have grown well.  We got a single 'Crimson Crisp' and a pail of 'Goldrush'.  They need to have a little algae scrubbed off (darn that cool, wet weather!) but they are totally orgainic and oh, so tasty!!

Next year I hope a couple of the other trees start producing.  Our big tree was pretty much a bust since we had a late frost while it was in full bloom.  But it probably needed a year to rest after all it produced last year.

And I think I need to plant another pear.  The tree we planted is pretty big but nothing set on so I think it probably needs a pollinator.  I had hopes that there would be a pear tree near enough but it doesn't seem like it.  Oh well...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Too Soon!!!

The thermometer on the porch said 36*F when I left for work this morning.  I just got back in from the garden and- yep- we had frost!  On September 13tj!!  That's just wrong!  It wasn't enough to kill anything but my squash vines have been tipped as has the basil.

I tell you- it is definitely global weirding this year with the weather!!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Trying something new

Since my tomatoes are kind of a bust this year, I think I'm probably done with canning. 
I had enough that I had to do something but not enough to fire up the canner.  So I'm trying something new: tomato cubes!

I made a really thick sauce - almost, but not quite paste - and loaded it into old ice cube trays.  Now, when a recipe calls for a tablespoon of tomato paste or I just need a little to liven things up, I don't need to open a whole jar.  We'll see how it works out.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Ouch!

I have noticed a few of those darned, gray and black blister beetles about this year, but evidently I didn't notice the one in the long grass on the way to the garden.  I got a blister beetle smushed between my foot and the band of my flip flop.
OUCH!

However, I am happy to report that the jewelweed balm I made two years ago (or was it last year... I don't really remember) works well to calm the stinging.  Now to wait for the blisters to subside- I have things to do that require shoes....

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Three Sisters Fritters

I tried a little something new for dinner this evening.  A few weeks ago, I made some vegetable fritters and used corn and finely shredded summer squash.  They were okay but everyone decided they needed taken up a notch.  So... tonight:  Three Sisters Fritters.
I mixed together:
1 can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
the corn off 3 ears of leftover corn on the cob
two tiny yellow squash (about the size of a lemon each) finely shredded
1 small red onion, finely diced
half a ripe jalapeno pepper, finely diced
half a hot wax pepper, finely diced
salt and pepper to taste (probably a teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper)
about a cup of shredded cheddar cheese

To this mess I added:
3 eggs
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

It was all stirred together to make a thick batter and dropped by large spoonfuls onto a hot, oiled griddle.

Cook til browned on one side, flip it over and cook till brown on the other side.

I served it with a side of fresh tomato salsa.  Sour cream would have been delightful but I didn't have any.

Delicious!  A great vegetarian option.  We're doing our meatless day (usually Monday) today since we'll be having burgers tomorrow.


We made a day trip to my parents today and returned loaded with produce.  We have much, much garden-y goodness!  My parents gifted us with a huge crookneck winter squash, a buttercup squash, 4 honeydew melons, a huge canteloupe, a bag of apples and a bunch (I haven't looked!) of frozen applesauce (Mom was running out of room in her freezer).
I then came home and picked 4 gallons of tomatoes, half a dozen cucumbers, some summer squash and a watermelon.

Whew!  Good thing tomorrow is a holiday because I think I'll be busy!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Tomatoes!!

Woo hoo!!  The tomatoes are finally starting to come into their own for the season. 
I have 12 pints of diced tomatoes in the canner and the counter is full of tomatoes that will become sauce tomorrow.  
Whew!  I was worried I wouldn't get much this year.  I still know I won't have a 36 quart year but we'll get enough to see us through.  Good thing too, with tuition and expenses to get Justine moved into her apartment, finances are going to be 'interesting' for a few months.