Monday Recap: More Digging, Roasting and Drying

Last week I managed to get most all of the sweet potatoes dug before the rains came. I am so glad I made the effort, because the garden is a soggy mess right about now. It looks like we’ll have plenty of sweet potatoes to eat for the coming year, with 56 pounds of them now safely inside curing. The best producer this year was Norma’s Purple. You can see a few of the biggest ones in the below photo, with a dollar bill to give it some scale. I really look forward to trying them once they have cured.

Norma's Purple sweet potatoes

Norma’s Purple sweet potatoes

The peppers are still ripening even as the weather cools down to more seasonal temperatures. It has been a great year for the peppers here, both the hot and sweet types. That’s a mix of Early Sunsation, Flavorburst, and Red Knight in the below photo. Most of them got dehydrated.

ripe bell peppers

ripe bell peppers

It hasn’t been a great year for eggplant here, so imagine my surprise when I brought in two beauties last week! That’s the hybrid Nadia in the below photo, along with a few of the heirloom red Tolli’s Sweet Italian peppers.

Nadia eggplant and Tolli's Sweet Italian peppers

Nadia eggplant and Tolli’s Sweet Italian peppers

I also harvested some of the Holy Mole and Ancho 211 peppers for dehydrating. I use these to make chile powder and to put in bean dishes and soups. The Anchos are usually somewhat shy producers for me but Holy Mole (a 2007 AAS winner) always does well here.

Holy Mole and Ancho 211 peppers

Holy Mole and Ancho 211 peppers

I got a large number of the ripe Aji Angelo peppers, most of which came from a container grown plant I overwintered inside, then planted outside in the ground once the soil warmed up this spring. These thin walled peppers have a mild fruity flavor and a moderate heat, at least the ones grown here do. There’s about 24 ounces of them in the below photo. I wanted to try oven roasting some of them like Michelle does.

Aji Angelo peppers

Aji Angelo peppers

Wearing gloves, I removed the stems, cut the peppers in half, then scooped out the seeds. Then it was off to a 200°F oven for a pan of them. I roasted them for about three hours to get them crispy dry, stirring them around occasionally.

oven roasting the Aji Angelo peppers

oven roasting the Aji Angelo peppers

The rest went on a dehydrator tray for drying. I wanted to compare the oven roasted ones with the dehydrated ones, and knowing me I will probably like both ways! I saved seeds from some of the nicest looking peppers as I was prepping them, and I plan on sharing seeds of this lovely C. baccatum variety later this year.

Aji Angelo ready for dehydrator

Aji Angelo ready for dehydrator

You can see the results in the bottom photo. The oven roasted ones are on the left, and the dehydrated ones are on the right. The oven roasting definitely adds another layer of flavor to the peppers, and I will store them in a glass jar and crush them up as needed for pepper flakes.

oven roasted(L) and dehydrated(R) Aji Angelo peppers

oven roasted(L) and dehydrated(R) Aji Angelo peppers

The broccoli plants are continuing to head up here. I’ve cut several heads of the Packman variety, and some of them are already developing side shoots, before the others have even produced the main head. The first of the ‘broccolini’ type Apollo was ready last week. It made for a nice side dish, lightly steamed and dressed with a bit of olive oil plus salt. Apollo doesn’t make a real big main head, but has numerous side shoots with long, tender stems.

Apollo broccoli

Apollo broccoli

Summer planted Slobolt lettuce continues to be a star while I wait for the fall planted lettuce to size up.  I also pulled one of the Purple Haze carrots to see how they were sizing up. I think it and the rest of the fall carrots need another couple of weeks before I start harvesting any more of them. I used the carrot, a little arugula and the lettuce to make a lunch salad one day last week.

salad with Slobolt lettuce

salad with Slobolt lettuce

After not baking any bread for a few weeks (other than zucchini bread), I made up for it Saturday. It was a cool, rainy and dreary day and that was a great excuse to put on a pot of soup and bake some crusty sourdough bread to go with it. I baked a loaf  of what I call my 1-2-3 Sourdough Bread. I’m still working out the details on that one before I share the recipe here, but it has become one of my favorite sourdough recipes. This loaf had some issues though, as the dough stuck to the pizza paddle and in my haste to fix that problem I didn’t slash the dough deeply enough and it had a ‘blowout’ in the oven. Oh well, as most bread bakers know, looks don’t usually affect the taste, and this one tasted as good as usual, with a nice sourdough tang to it and a crunchy crust.

loaf of 1-2-3 Sourdough Bread

loaf of 1-2-3 Sourdough Bread

I love roasted garlic, and the bread gave me a good excuse to roast a couple of the bigger bulbs. I cut the tops off, sprinkled on a little olive oil, wrapped them in foil, and then baked in a 400°F oven until they were soft. I squeezed the garlic from the cloves and then spread it on some of the sourdough bread. Paired up with a bowl of vegetable soup, it made for a great meal!

garlic ready for roasting

garlic ready for roasting

To see what other gardeners are harvesting, digging and cooking up, visit Daphne’s Dandelions where Daphne hosts Harvest Mondays every week.

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19 Responses to Monday Recap: More Digging, Roasting and Drying

  1. Norma Chang says:

    So glad to know that your purple sweet potatoes did well in your area, beautiful tubers and no cracks. Looking forward to reading about what you do with them.
    Norma Chang recently posted…Harvest Monday, October 13, 2014 – Bok Choy in Window Boxes + Oven Drying Bok Choy & MustardMy Profile

    • Dave says:

      Norma, they did great here! None of my sweet potatoes had any cracking this year. I think between the rain we got and the supplemental watering I did, they were happy with the moisture levels.

  2. Will - Eight Gate Farm - NH says:

    Boy, Dave, you sure must use a lot of pepper seasoning! I love spicy food but it would take me years to go through what you produce in a week. Congratulations on beautiful harvests.

  3. Margaret says:

    I’m surprised that the packman broccoli I am growing is also all over the place when it comes to maturity, with some of the harvested heads being several inches across, but others are now barely an inch wide. I suppose that may just be how this variety is. The sourdough bread, roasted garlic & veg soup meal sounds just heavenly!

  4. Michelle says:

    It’s great to see that Aji Angelo did so well in your garden. I’ve only got one plant this year and unfortunately a number of the peppers got sunburned in our recent heat wave. But I still have a big stash of dried and oven roasted peppers from last year so I’ll get by until next year. I’m a huge fan of roasted garlic also. Lately though, I’ve really become enamoured with confited garlic. I think I’ll have to write a post about that!
    Michelle recently posted…Harvest Monday – October 13, 2014My Profile

    • Dave says:

      I am always looking for more things to do with garlic, so I would like to hear about that! Aji Angelo has truly been prolific this year. I plan on overwintering a container grown plant and setting it out next spring since that worked so well this year.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Beautiful harvest! I concur about the deliciousness of roasted garlic, though I’ve never tried your method of roasting in it’s paper shell and foil. I will have to try that! Your peppers look amazing!
    Jennifer recently posted…~ harvest monday Oct. 13 and autumn garden update ~My Profile

  6. Dave's SFG says:

    Nice pepper harvest. I’m about to try your recipe for fermented hot sauce with my Trinidad Spice/Perfume peppers and some Hungarian yellow wax I just picked up.
    Dave’s SFG recently posted…Harvest Monday 13 October 2014My Profile

    • Dave says:

      I can’t wait to hear how it turns out! I’ve got a batch going with the Trinidad peppers plus some Aji Dulce. It should be ready to bottle up in a few days.

  7. Daphne says:

    Lovely harvests. Those peppers look really nice. As do the sweet potatoes. I really love Purple. It tastes great and it is so prolific.
    Daphne recently posted…Harvest Monday 13 October 2014My Profile

    • Dave says:

      I am really looking forward to tasting the Purple. And then I need to figure out some additional ways to cook them up in savory dishes.

  8. Susan says:

    So many varieties of peppers and they all look so good! I’m still struggling to find a sweet pepper that will grow well here, but I suspect there is also something wrong with my techniques. I’ll study up over the winter and hope to have some that look as good as yours do!

  9. Mike R says:

    Wish I had gotten the sweet potatoes out earlier. It looks like there will be no letup in the rain for several days and even then the soil will be saturated. Very nice pepper harvest. I grew Holy Mole and Ancho for chili powder. The anchos this year turned a bright red, while last year they looked more like the Mole’s – a chocolate brown.
    Mike R recently posted…Monday October 13My Profile

  10. Lexa says:

    Dave- your pepper harvest continue to amaze me. And how can you not love the name Holy Mole! I too love roasted garlic. I do have a question for you. What method do you use to cut off the top 1/4 of the garlic bulb? I have tried shears and a sharp knife and still have a heck of a time. I have never gotten a clean cut like you show in your picture. Thanks!

  11. Mary Nisley says:

    Dave,
    The stock for your Purple sweet potatoes originally came from Sandhill Preservation Center. I placed a big order in 2011 and shared the slips with Norma. The two of us have been growing the Purple slips ever since, for our gardens and Locust Grove.
    Mary
    Mary Nisley recently posted…Bit-by-Bit: BicyclingMy Profile

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