Monday Recap: Soaked Again

It has been a wet growing season here this year for sure. The rain started in March, and it hasn’t let up since. Last month we got over eight inches of rain, and this month we have already gotten six inches. I am glad I have almost all of the main garden mulched, because otherwise I would be walking around in mud most of the time! The rain has made a lot of things grow lush, but others have suffered, especially the root crops like onions, carrots and potatoes. The garlic hasn’t seemed to mind the wet conditions, though I’ve had to dig it out of the mud when I harvest. It looks to be a good year for garlic, and I’m happy about that. Most of it is harvested now, and when it has all cured I will do a review on it.

white scalloped squash

white scalloped squash

Some of the squash plants aren’t so happy, and I’ve lost two now to stem rot. The moschatas all seem to be doing well, and perhaps their tougher stems hold up better to wet conditions as well as to squash vine borers. We’re getting plenty of squash though, like the white scalloped in the above photo. And the zucchini and yellow squash in the below photo.

summer squash harvest

summer squash harvest

My wife used one of the zucchini to make Turkey Burgers with Zucchini. We topped them with sauteed mushrooms and served them up on a homemade bun. The squash adds moisture to the lean ground turkey breast, and they were some of the best turkey burgers I’ve ever eaten. Frozen grated squash should work well for this recipe when we don’t have fresh. Another use for zucchini is always welcome here!

Turkey Burger with Zucchini

Turkey Burger with Zucchini

We’re getting a steady trickle of the small fruited hybrid tomatoes now, including Sun Gold, Juliet and Supersweet 100. The vines are loaded with green ones, and most of the tomatoes haven’t seemed to mind all the rain so far, though there has been some splitting on the Sun Gold which is prone to that anyway.

Sun Gold and Supersweet 100 tomatoes

Sun Gold and Supersweet 100 tomatoes

The tomatoes are winding up in a lot of salads. They joined some of our cucumbers and onions in a Quinoa Chickpea and Avocado Salad we had last week. The hot weather has me craving all kinds of cool salads, and this one made for a great meal, along with some crispy homemade bread. More about the bread later.

Quinoa Chickpea and Avocado Salad

Quinoa Chickpea and Avocado Salad

We’ve been enjoying the crisphead lettuces lately too. That’s two heads of Unicum in the below photo. It’s my first time growing this variety and I believe it’s a keeper.

Unicum lettuce

Unicum lettuce

I just finished reading 52 Loaves: One Man’s Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and a Perfect Crust by William Alexander. It details his attempts to bake the perfect loaf of peasant bread (aka Pain de Campagne). He winds up baking one loaf a week for 52 weeks, ultimately growing his own wheat and baking a seed-to-table loaf of bread in a homemade outdoor clay oven. I loved his first book, The $64 Tomato, and I laughed my way through this one as well. His 52 week adventure started after he tasted a wonderful bread at a swanky NYC restaurant and then attempted to recreate it at home. Does that sound familiar? I know it did to me, as I am often trying to duplicate something I had while eating out. It’s not a cookbook, but he does includes a few recipes for the breads mentioned in the book.

Baguettes à l'Ancienne

Baguettes à l’Ancienne

I wound up baking a version of one of them, his Baguettes à l’Ancienne. It’s a great tasting bread that uses a mix of natural leavening and commercial yeast, plus an overnight bulk fermentation that coaxes maximum flavor from the ingredients. I swapped out some of the all-purpose flour for a mix of whole wheat and rye, much like he did in his Peasant Bread. My other recent bread baking involved another batch of the 40 Percent Caraway Rye. The ones in the below photo were proofed in brotforms before I baked them on a hot pizza stone. Though the crust is dark it’s actually a light rye bread. I froze a loaf of each of the two recipes, so we should be stocked with bread for a while.

40 Percent Caraway Rye

40 Percent Caraway Rye

I decided to harvest many of the cabbages before they started splitting and rotting from all the rain. They all are running in the one to two pound range, which is a nice size for us.That’s a head of the flathead KY Cross variety in the below photo. That head weighed just less than two pounds.

KY Cross cabbage

KY Cross cabbage

I had more than enough cabbage to make sauerkraut, so I made two quart jars of it last week. That made about four pounds of cabbage disappear! I made one batch with a teaspoon of caraway seed added. We will see how we like that taste of that. I can’t imagine we won’t. If you want more details about how I make the sauerkraut, I blogged about it a couple of years ago here: Homemade Sauerkraut. We love the homemade sauerkraut, and it keeps for a long time in the refrigerator.

cabbage and kohlrabi kraut

cabbage and kohlrabi kraut

We tried some of the newest batch of kohlrabi kraut yesterday, and it was already tasting good after four days of fermenting. Our kitchen stays about 77-78°F this time of year, and fermenting proceeds at a fairly fast pace. I used some of the above rye bread to make a grilled meatless reuben sandwich. It’s a pretty simple treatment, just sauerkraut and cheese on our homemade rye bread. I put the sandwiches on a hot grill just long enough to char the bread a bit and melt the cheese.

grilled meatless reuben sandwich

grilled meatless reuben sandwich

I hope you have enjoyed a look at what’s happening here in July. To see what other gardeners are harvesting and cooking up, visit Daphne’s Dandelions where Daphne hosts Harvest Mondays. And thanks to Daphne for hosting this every week!

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15 Responses to Monday Recap: Soaked Again

  1. Norma Chang says:

    My garden could use some of your rain. Lovely squashes, the white scalloped in the beautiful basket looks just like a still life painting. With this weeks hot weather hoping my green cherry tomatoes will ripen, I am so longing for vine ripened tomatoes.
    Norma Chang recently posted…Harvest Monday, July 13, 2015 – Un-Retiring Window Boxes + Container Sweet PotatoesMy Profile

  2. Dave's SFG says:

    Good things coming from the garden despite the rain. I guess all the rain is going south of us because it has been fairly dry here with a thunderstorm every couple of days, just enough. I pulled all my kohlrabies so I will have to see if I have enough to try the kraut recipe.
    Dave’s SFG recently posted…Harvest Monday 13 July 2015My Profile

    • Dave says:

      The kraut is so easy to make. I made another batch today, and in no time I had another quart jar of it going!

  3. Will - Eight Gate Farm - NH says:

    Great harvests, Dave. Love the pure-white patty pans. Those tomatoes look like they are bursting with flavor. The breads look delicious, too bad you have to heat up your kitchen in summertime, though.

  4. Marcia says:

    All looks very good especially that sandwich.
    Marcia recently posted…Out the Front DoorMy Profile

  5. Margaret says:

    Oh my, that scallop squash is gorgeous! I’m looking at a record breaking summer squash failure this year unfortunately – just sowed some new Romanesco seeds in a bed in an effort to get something this year.

    Every time I read one of your posts, I’m constantly thinking – I can’t wait to have the time to do that. Something to aspire to, I suppose!
    Margaret recently posted…Harvest Monday – July 13, 2015My Profile

  6. Jay says:

    The really wet year we had a while back really did a number on our root crops too but we were up to our eyeballs in green peppers. Hasn’t really been too dry around here this year come to think of it. Nothing like what you’re getting but seems everyday a storm rolls through. The heat’s what is doing a number on us this year.
    Jay recently posted…Harvest Monday; July 13, 2015My Profile

  7. mac says:

    Yum….the breads and white scallop squash look so pretty and delicious.
    mac recently posted…Harvest Monday – July 13, 2015My Profile

  8. I envy you all that squash and a lovely cabbage. I have yet to harvest one of either this season. I’m with Norma, I wish you could share some of that rain. Southern California is in an epic drought. Doppler radar show more heavy rain headed your way this afternoon. Take care.

  9. Daphne says:

    I have to make some sauerkraut too. I just haven’t gotten to it yet, though it is on my todo list. Lovely harvests. I hope the rain stops for a while there so your soil can dry out a bit. We got 6.5 inches of rain in June, but since it didn’t really rain in May the ground just sucked it all up. So far July hasn’t been all that wet. I’ll probably have to water tomorrow.
    Daphne recently posted…Harvest Monday, 13 July 2015My Profile

  10. Michelle says:

    I’m thinking that I’m not quite so envious of all that rain you are getting even though it is so dry here, I really don’t like mud. But your harvests still seem quite prolific in spite of the wet. Ottolenghi has a zucchini/turkey burger in one of his books that is quite delicious. I’m going to have to see how it compares.
    Michelle recently posted…New Adventure for 2015 – Chickpeas, Updated July 8My Profile

  11. Lexa says:

    Dave- With all of that rain you are having, you still are getting a wonderful harvest. We are experiencing the opposite problem in Oregon and could desperately use some of your rain. I LOVED the $64 tomato so I really appreciate knowing he wrote another book. I will put it on my “must-read” list. Have a great gardening and cooking week ahead.
    Lexa recently posted…Garlic HarvestMy Profile

  12. Susan says:

    Your bread looks delicious! How did you get the circle lines and oval lines on your 2 loaves? It looks beautiful.

    • Dave says:

      Thanks Susan! Those lines came from the flour in the brotforms. I dust the insides of the brotform with flour before I put the dough in it. I used one round and one rectangular brotform for the two loeaves of rye bread.

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