Though I love to watch a good magic show, I’ve never really tried my hand at any magic tricks myself. But last week I felt like both my wife and I were truly magicians when the main crop of tomatoes began rolling in, and we started making them disappear as fast as we could! The kitchen was a busy place as we made two batches of Homemade Tomato Ketchup, and I made an experimental batch of tomato paste that turned out so well I hope to post the recipe later this week. That got rid of about about thirty pounds of tomatoes. Plus I made a big batch of Vitamix Tomato Sauce, which made another 10+ pounds disappear.
The tomatoes coming in include paste types like Viva Italia, Health Kick, Rio Grande, Ludmilla’s Red Plum, and Super Marzano, plus my favorite all-purpose tomato Juliet. We also got some lovely heirloom Vinson Watt tomatoes. One of those went on a BLT. They are hanging out with a Striata d’Italia zucchini in the below photo. This squash continues to be one of our better performers again this year.
With sandwiches on the menu, that called for some good homemade bread. I was anxious to try the King Arthur’s Classic 100% Whole Wheat Bread recipe that showed up in one of their recent catalogs. Though it’s an old recipe, it was new to me, and it made an excellent base for our BLT’s. Made with white whole wheat flour, it’s hard to believe this one is 100% whole grain. I’ll be baking this one again for sure.
I harvested the last of the summer lettuces last week. I made a salad from the lettuce, grated zucchini and carrots, plus some Black Cherry and Green Tiger tomatoes. It all made for a colorful and tasty lunch salad one day, and everything in the bowl came from our garden, at least until we put dressing on it.
Black Cherry and Green Tiger are two open-pollinated tomatoes that are fairly recent introductions. This is my first year growing Green Tiger, which is green with yellow stripes and a red blush when ripe. Black Cherry has been around for about 10 years now, and is my favorite o/p cherry tomato. Together the two make a striking combination I think, and I have enjoyed eating them for sure.
Summer squashes are still coming in, but a little more slowly than tomatoes. I used some of both to make a Zucchini Tomato Bake last week. And I cooked up some of the yellow squash for a side dish. That’s Enterprise in the below photo, which is still cranking out a regular supply of the straightneck squash.
Making its first appearance of the year is the Kumi Kumi squash. I like to try and harvest them while still young, when they can be used like a summer squash. My favorite way to prepare them is grilled, seasoned only with a little salt. That really lets the flavor come through, and that’s exactly what I did with the one in the below photo, which weighed in at almost two pounds.
Peppers are finally starting to ripen. I rounded up enough of the hot ones to make a batch of No-Rooster Chili Garlic Sauce. I used a mix of Cayennetta, Maule’s Red Hot, Ej Jefe jalapeno, and one Aji Angelo, which you can see in the below photo.
I love this fresh tasting chili sauce on so many things, like egg dishes, burritos and tacos. It also makes a great topper for baked potatoes, like the Yukon Gold in the below photo.
The Aji Angelo pepper was harvested from a container grown plant. Aji Angelo is a Capsicum baccatum pepper that has medium heat and sweet, fruity taste when ripe. I have two more of this variety planted in the ground and I hope to be able to make a hot sauce with some of these when enough of them ripen. Last year I dried a lot of them and then ground them up for a lovely chile powder.
In other news, the fall carrot planting is coming up nicely, which mean I need to do some thinning soon. The seed for Bolero was pelleted, and is coming up a little more slowly than the other varieties. But then I was able to space it out a bit better, so it should require less thinning. I do like the pelleted seed, but I am not really willing to pay more for it. With the Bolero, it was the only option this year.
And to close, my wife made me a new apron yesterday. And I love it! When we visited Hawaii earlier this year we picked out some fabric for an apron, and other things like napkins, place mats, etc. She has been sewing up a storm lately, so who knows what else will show up around here.
I hope you have enjoyed this recap of what’s happening here in early August. To see what magical things other gardeners are doing, visit Daphne’s Dandelions where Daphne hosts Harvest Mondays.