More Garden Harvest


 The garden is still producing well and we seem to come home with all our baskets and buckets filled each time. We made a trip down to the garden with the intention of picking the rest of the dried beans that were ready to pick and we did accomplish that. We still have a few rows left that are green and a couple more rows that while the plants have died, still had loads of green pods on them. We picked the dried up ones and left the green ones for another week.

While doing that, the kids picked a basket of apples. Always before, the apples have been full of insect damage which I just cut out during the preservation stage but this year, they have been almost immaculate. The only thing I can guess is that my periodic mowing of the grass under the tree, has eliminated a habitat for the bugs that were doing the damage. These apples went towards immediate consumption in an apple tarte tatin and just plain eating. I think the next time, I will have the kids pick a bunch and try out a new canned apple pie filling recipe a friend gave to me. I have always frozen the pie filling before but our freezer is always over flowing. Hopefully this will free up some space by turning the pie filling into shelf stable product.

As usual, the bitter gourds are producing tons of produce. The basket with the strawberry shoots on top is full of okra underneath. I'm not sure what my spouse did with the strawberry shoots. They may have ended up in the greenhouse. The last basket is half full of peppers. Underneath, it is half full of volunteer cherry tomatoes. I blended those up, reduced them for a couple days in a crockpot and turned them into canned tomato paste. I have usually mixed in the cherry tomatoes with whatever else I was canning with larger tomatoes but since we don't have any of those planted this year, I had to come up with another plan. My thoughts are since the cherry tomatoes have an intense tomato flavor, that perhaps they may make an excellent paste. 

Once home, I have spent much of the week shelling the dried beans in the evenings. Most were either more of the Appaloosa or Calypso beans. The latter ones did the best of all the beans so far of not having many shriveled up or reject beans. The Tiger Eyes were the worst at that aspect and the Appaloosa are somewhere in the middle of the pack. As of writing this, I have one basket left and they are of a new variety of beans so I'll see how they do.

Comments

  1. You are a man of the land . . . and the wood too.

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  2. What will you do with all those jalape├▒os? Pickle them? Freeze them?

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    1. Nobody but me in my house likes spicy foods and I like it in moderate doses. So I diced them all up and put them in some leftover dill pickle brine. I'm hoping to use it as sort of a relish to spice up some of my food without spicing up everyones. I guess we'll see how it goes.

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  3. I wish I lived closer to take some of that produce off your hands! I've never heard of a tartatan and will look it up. Not a Tarte Tatin, is it? Beans are so versatile and great for many winter dishes.

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    1. That will teach me to phonetically spell a French word! I corrected my post. Beans are very versatile especially when I pressure can them ahead of time so they are shelf stable and at that point basically heat and serve.

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  4. This weekend, I think we'll be done with canning tomatoes (as salsa or soup). There will still be a few tomatoes, but they'll be for salads or maybe some green ones for chow-chow. Looks like you've had a good harvest.

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    1. It is always nice to finish the preservation of a crop and to move onto other things.

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  5. Interesting about your cherry tomatoes. I just made ketchup with mine, but found that (I think) cooking it down first made the seeds softer and harder to blend. I'm going to experiment with dried tomatoes and fresh, to compare results.

    I hope you'll let us know what you think about the different kinds of dried beans and whether you all prefer one over the other.

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    1. I certainly will. I'm anxious to do some sort of taste test.

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  6. I saw the pretty apples! Sometimes the bugs leave them alone...you are lucky!

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    1. Definitely. I'm planning to pick a large bucket of them later today to preserve while they are easier to do.

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  7. You impress and amaze me all the time with your gardening, cooking and preserving skills. Wow!

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