Monday Recap: Tomato Magic & Other Tricks

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.

paste tomatoes waiting to be processed

paste tomatoes waiting to be processed

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.

Vinson Watts tomatoes

Vinson Watts tomatoes

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.

Classic 100% Whole Wheat Bread

Classic 100% Whole Wheat Bread

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.

lettuce salad with homegrown veggies

lettuce salad with homegrown veggies

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.

Green Tiger and Black Cherry tomatoes

Green Tiger and Black Cherry tomatoes

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.

Enterprise squash

Enterprise 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.

young Kumi Kumi squash

young Kumi Kumi squash

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.

assortment of hot peppers

assortment of hot peppers

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.

baked potato topped with chili garlic sauce

baked potato topped with chili garlic sauce

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.

Aji Angelo growing in container

Aji Angelo growing in container

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.

fall carrots sprouting

fall carrots sprouting

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.

me in my new apron

me in my new apron

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.

 

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16 Responses to Monday Recap: Tomato Magic & Other Tricks

  1. Norma Chang says:

    If a young Kumi Kumi squash weighs almost 2 pounds, how much does a mature one weighs? Never thought of adding grated zucchini to a salad, copying this idea, thanks for sharing. Love your new apron.
    Norma Chang recently posted…Harvest Monday, August 11, 2014 – Windowbox GardeningMy Profile

    • Dave says:

      Thanks Norma. I guess I need to do some cooking now that I have the new apron! Last year the mature Kumi Kumi got in the 4 to 6 pound range.

  2. Jenny says:

    Wonderful harvest! I have one of your Aji Angelo growing in a pot and it really kicked in production! Peppers are still small but definitely forming like crazy, so I can’t wait to make my own spice mix. Love your new apron.
    Jenny recently posted…Harvest Aug 10My Profile

  3. Dave's SFG says:

    That’s a lot of tomatoes. I’m hoping I get enough of the pastes to ripen at the same time so I can do a batch of chili sauce.
    Dave’s SFG recently posted…Harvest Monday 11 August 2014My Profile

  4. Margaret says:

    40 lbs of tomatoes? Wow – that’s incredible! Although I would love to have that kind of harvest, I don’t think that I am at the stage yet where I would be able to deal with it as effectively as you have. Just putting up a few jars of jam a turned out to be a full day event for me. Those chilies look wonderful – I’m really looking forward to trying out a bunch of new varieties in the years to come. And ditto on the apron. That’s a wonderful idea for a souvenir – I’m not much for typical souvenirs when we travel but getting some local fabric and then making something with it is right up my alley.
    Margaret recently posted…Harvest Monday – August 11, 2014My Profile

  5. Will - Eight Gate Farm - NH says:

    That really was a disappearing act. Yes please post your tomato paste recipe. And the apron looks great!

  6. Michelle says:

    The best thing about that apron is the memories it will evoke every time you wear it! I wish I could do your tomato magic in reverse and make mine suddenly appear, I really start to lose patience at this time of year when I’m watching tomato harvests rolling in everywhere except in my garden. Soon enough though… I’m glad you like the Aji Angelo, that is one of my all time favorite chile peppers.
    Michelle recently posted…Harvest Monday – August 11, 2014My Profile

  7. mac says:

    Nice apron, now you have to cook more to show your dishes.
    Good thing I don’t have to worry about tomato glut, I don’t seem to be able to grow regular size tomatoes, the small ones are doing fine.

  8. Barbie says:

    This is the third time someone has mentioned the vitamix sauce… must google!
    Barbie recently posted…Harvest Monday 8.11.14My Profile

  9. Daphne says:

    Very nice apron. And I’ll have to try that whole wheat bread someday soon. I’ve just been making rye bread for sandwiches recently. I use dill seed to replace the caraway as I have so much dill seed and it is a good flavor for it. But I’m running out of dill seed. I might have to make ww bread to tide me over until my dill seed is ready to winnow.

  10. Bountiful harvests this week! What a good idea to grate zucchini and add to a salad! Coincidentally, the King Arthur Classic 100% Whole Wheat Bread recipe is a staple in this household and I use their White Whole Wheat Flour too.
    Rachel @ Grow a Good Life recently posted…Celebrating Harvest Monday: August 11, 2014My Profile

  11. Great looking harvest! That’s a lot of tomatoes to processes, it will keep you busy for a while.

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