Friday, September 25, 2015

Tomato Juice: Love your tomatoes, even the mushy ones.

Late summer.  I love it.  However, sometimes I feel like my garden gets a little haywire in September.  We end up pulling summer squash due to downy mildew, the last of the lettuces bolt to flower and no matter how hard I try to stay ahead of it, some of my tomatoes over ripen.

You know the ones I'm talking about - great taste, mushy texture.  I suggest you make tomato juice rather than just tossing them in the compost pile.  Just cut the tomatoes into inch size chunks and set into a a sauté pan.

Cook these until they just come to a simmer.  They will be soft and will have released lots of juice.

Pass these through a food mill on the finest setting or press through a fine sieve.

There you go.  Tomato Juice.  Bloody Mary anyone?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Labor Day Weekend, Let's work!

September already.  As you know, its harvest time.  Lets get to work.

We have transitioned from harvesting in pretty baskets to wheelbarrows and buckets.  Good thing I have man power.

I spent the better part of Saturday afternoon canning 22 lbs of tomatoes.
You might ask yourself, "why spend time on such an endeavor?  You know they sell pretty good canned tomatoes at this thing called a grocery store."  I think I might have been born in the wrong century, or maybe this is just my working mom guilt manifested in something homemaker-like, or maybe its just kind of fun to do.  In any case, its done and in mid winter this family will be really happy about it.
We harvested hops.  These are Nugget and you would need to ask Tyler what sort of beer they will end up in.  My vote is for a barley wine this year.
I couldn't help but include W in the photos.  He mostly looks cute and snacks while the rest of us work, but we sort of like him, so will keep him around.

Its not all work, we are also eating pretty well, as any gardener in September should be.
Fresh tomato pasta via Smitten Kitchen
Eggs poached in tomato sauce and grilled Haloumi

Stay happy and keep on working, my fellow gardeners and eaters of fresh seasonal produce.  The season isn't done yet.

Winter, finally (and seriously)

I planned to start this blog last spring as my garden flew into action, but then got into the actual work of gardening and abandoned the task. However, today its winter, really winter. I'm wearing long underwear and sitting under a blanket and I'm still cold.
Today is the shortest day of the year so from here on in it gets better. I look forward to longer days, that's for sure. But I'll also tuck in and enjoy winter's freeze and snow, it does mean skiing after all. Maybe more importantly is the snow pack - without snow there isn't water for the West.
The end of the year and the solstice are a good time to think back on the last 365. I have no reason to complain and feel really lucky about the last year and really hopeful about the year to come.