Sunday, October 28, 2012

Monsters in the Garden . . .

So I've been working on digging the potatoes out of the garden before it freezes - finding a couple of dry days in a row so they can lay in the sun and dry and harden off has been a real challenge. At least we're getting some moisture back in the ground after the drought this summer, but all the rain is wreaking havoc with finishing up in the garden - no idea if it will dry out enough to till down all the new weeds that have sprung up with the rain, or if they'll just have a big head start next spring!

Anyway, found this odd potato which looks like the maw of some undersea creature, ready to gobble up any small thing that comes its way. Don't know what it was eating underground - maybe grubs and such.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Odd Pods, revisited

Last year, I was bemused by the strange looking seed pods that formed on our radishes after they had gotten overgrown and flowered. I posted a photo of them then, and had mentioned them to someone recently who said the pods, when they're fresh and green, are good to eat! Raw in salads or such, or sautéed lightly was what I was told. So this past Monday, right before going traveling for 3 days, I was doing some last-minute gleaning in the garden and looked at the radishes. There are still lots of the pretty little white flowers, but many of the flower stems had beautiful green pods. I picked one and ate it - not unlike a sugar pea in its pod! And a very subtle taste of radishes as an after-note. So I harvested a bunch of them, put some in a salad for dinner that night - nice little crunchy addition! The rest are in the vegetable crisper - don't know how long they'll keep and be usable, but it was fun to try another idea to get even more yield out of the garden!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Homemade Ketchup!


I picked a bunch of tomatoes over the course of a few days, then cooked them down, ran them through the KitchenAid strainer to remove the skins and seeds (in the blue bowl) and got this lovely pulp (in the glass pitcher). Love that strainer attachment!

Darrell then strained that through a cotton bag (pillow case) to get rid of all the extra water, then seasoned it and made 18 pint jars of ketchup from a recipe in an Ohio Amish cookbook. The recipe calls for a huge quantity of pulp, but he recalculated and makes this batch with about 4 1/2 quarts of drained pulp.

This late in the year, I don't know if I'll get any more tomatoes off our plants - a slight frost caught me off-guard a couple of nights ago - weather forecast said it wouldn't get colder than high 30s, so I didn't cover the plants. Some damage, but probably can pull some tomatoes to ripen in the garage if it ever stops raining. I'd like to can some more tomatoes, or do the same process as with the ketchup, only can the strained pulp as paste - not sure that's going to happen, though!

Can't believe the garden is almost done! Still have beets out there, which I've been pulling, and any we don't get to will go to the hogs. Need to dig the potatoes, but the rain right now is preventing THAT from happening. Still a lot of kale, and pumpkins galore, which he is feeding to the hogs and we are giving to friends with kids for Halloween. We need to can some pumpkin for pies and such, too, so canning isn't done yet!