Tag Archives: peppers

Today’s Harvest Basket 10/17

Tomatoes in October

Tomatoes weighing a pound to and ounce fill the basket. Makings for the last garden fresh ratatouille and gazpacho are in this basket.

October 2017 tomato, pepper and eggplant harvest is the biggest all year. Everyday from now on is borrowed time. Green tomatoes just a few days from ripening can be picked just before that first frost warning.

The dehydrator is filled with tomatoes. Some will be made into tomato powder. It will thicken and enrich soups and sauces. Plus, this dehydrated bounty takes up very little room. A good thing since the pantry and freezer are loaded.

All the tomatoes and peppers that the family will eat from now till next summer, are canned, dried or frozen. I bought some of the produce at the farmers market, including onions, corn and green beans. I know where this food came from and how it is grown.

True homesteading isn’t possible in our case. But eating locally grown, tomatoes all year is possible. That includes fresh tomatoes for 5 or 6 months, plus, all the salsa, pasta sauce, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato soup we will eat for one year.

The canned, dried or frozen tomatoes will go into, chili, soups, stew, enchiladas, and casseroles. It’s comforting to know that we won’t have to buy any tasteless mass market tomatoes or imported peppers all year.

Tomato soup made fresh from scratch.

Whole paste tomatoes are frozen. On a cold snowy day the full bag will simmer on the stove top into something “tomatoey”. Maybe a dark, thick tomato sauce simmered low and slow, or vegetable soup.

These fresh picked heirloom tomatoes will be savored fresh as insalata Caprese, ratatouille, gazpacho and in salads.

There are a few more tomatoes, peppers, eggplant. The only other produce left in the garden are herbs and sweet potatoes. Butternut squash is curing on the covered porch.

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Today’s Harvest Basket 8/27

Summer color explodes

Peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, onions

I grow just a few eggplant because I believe it’s best fresh. Canned or frozen eggplant is always disappointing. Ratatouille and baked Eggplant Parmesan are my favorites.

Charred Anaheim peppers.

Anaheim peppers and poblanos are beautiful and plentiful this year, especially now that the weather has cooled a bit. These mildly hot peppers get charred on the grill and then chopped and frozen.

As the peppers are needed, I pop a cube of frozen peppers into whatever I’m cooking. Fresh roasted poblanoes go into my salsa. That’s the heat level perfect for my salsa.

 

Peppers are growing well in the raised bed garden and in 5-gallon buckets on the deck. Sweet bell peppers are red, black, chocolate, golden and green. The long Anaheim peppers are mildly hot and juicy green and continue to ripen to a bright red.

Charred, peeled, and chopped Anaheim peppers are easy to freeze in cubes.

When peppers are charred and peeled, remove the seeds and stem. Chop peppers and pack in cubes, freeze. Once frozen, store cubes in heavy-duty ziplock bags.

I’m getting a few tomatoes – if I pick them early. Before the squirrels get them.

Tomato Tarte Tatin with caramelized onion on puff pastry.

Tomatoes for salsa and marinara, soup are purchased at the Farmers Market. We pick enough home-grown tomatoes for fresh eating. I’m buying tomatoes, “canners,” for making winter time tomato dishes because I do not buy tomatoes in the winter.

Cherry and pear tomatoes seem like the perfect choice for Tomato Tarte Tatin. I’ve made a fast and easy version using puff pastry. Choose a recipe to fit your tastes, there are several versions on my Pinterest tomato page.

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Today’s Harvest Basket 8/20

A rainbow of peppers both sweet, mild bells and mildly hot Anaheim and poblanos.

Yellow eggplants, chocolate, red and black bell peppers, butternut squash and Anaheim peppers

Today’s harvest basket is full of colorful peppers and eggplant. That means it’s time for ratatouille, a French vegetable dish  hardy enough to serve as an entrée.

I now have all the herbs and vegetables for ratatouille. There are faster but not better ways to make this French peasant stew, but Julia Child’s recipe is simply the best. Find the Ratatouille recipe in her cookbook Mastering The Art of French Cooking.

Try this vegetable dish that has summer squash, eggplant, and bell pepper tied together by a fresh tomato sauce. I add a few more herbs than Julia does but her classic recipe can be a springboard for your own version.

Green, red and black peppers all on the same plant.

All the pretty bell peppers are meant to be eaten fresh or chopped and frozen for winter cooking. I make lots of stuffed peppers and freeze some for quick comfort food this fall. Depending on the degree of ripeness, bell three peppers start out green and color as they ripen.

We always grow more than we can eat fresh so there will be plenty for freezing. Most peppers are chopped and can be added frozen to any cooked recipe. Also, some are cut in strips to use in fajitas and wraps.

Roasted peppers are quickly blistered on the grill, outside.

I’m roasting and peeling the hot peppers, Anaheim and poblanos. What we don’t use fresh, will be frozen in cubes for winter use. Many are going into pint jars of salsa.

Each ice-cube square in the plastic tray holds about the equivalent  of 1 or 2 roasted and chopped chili peppers. The frozen pepper cubes can be added to soups, chili, casseroles.

If you are growing heirloom peppers, it’s easy to save seed. Be sure to let one stay on the plant until big and fully ripe.

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Today’s Harvest Basket 7/14

This is a small garden with a bit of many different vegetables.

green beans, red okra, a pepper variety show, two kinds of cucumbers, red onions,  scallions, Chinese cabbage.

Chinese cabbage  will become sesame slaw and veggie spring rolls.

Beans, okra, peppers, cucumbers, onions, cabbage

A  bit of a an overgrown garden. I pulled enough red onions to make a jar of two of pickled red onions.

There are a few pods of red okra, not enough to cook or add to a recipe. Maybe in a day or two I’ll have enough peppers and okra for a pot of gumbo.

Two kinds of cucumbers are growing in the garden. I like the long skinny English cucumbers* that grow about 12″ long. It’s thin-skinned, never bitter, very mild and crisp.

The smaller, more prolific pickling cucumbers** are also good eating. These are the ones used for bread and butter pickles. If I don’t have enough from my garden for a small batch of pickles, I’ll buy more at the farmers market.

The bells and Anaheim peppers are almost ready for picking. But the ones I’ve started picking are those little Padrón peppers. These small bright green peppers. Padrón peppers are from Padrón in the province of A Coruña, Galicia, in northwestern Spain.

Only about one out of ten of the small green peppers from Spain are wildly hot, L :Padrón and R: Red Okra

Padrón peppers are usually served as tapas and a bit like playing Russian roulette. Most are mild, but occasionally you’ll bite into a fiery hot one.

Tapas

Blistered Padrón Peppers

1/2 pound peppers, washed and dried

1 Tablespoon of good olive oil

Flaky sea salt

Try these peppers cooked on a grill pan or big hot skillet.  Once the peppers are clean and dry and the grill pan is hot.

Add oil and peppers to a bowl and toss together. Grill of flash fry until the peppers a softened and blistered. Pour cooked peppers back into the bowl and toss with a course or flaky salt.

Serve warm. Good luck,

Napa or Nappa cabbage is a type of Chinese cabbage

Cole slaw at our house means using this cabbage with a mild sesame and vinaigrette  dressing, It’s good and it’s tasty the second day so, make extra. Try Martha’s recipe Napa Cabbage Slaw – Martha Stewart or, use your own favorite dressing.

Any kind of cabbage makes a great slaw with this rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil dressing. It’s good to make ahead and just let it marinate in the fridge.

Seed Source

* English Cucumber, Chelsea Prize and ** Pickling Cucumber, Endeavor from Renee’s Garden Seeds

 

 

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Today’s Harvest Basket

Wrapping up the summer garden.

Celery, baby leeks, carrots, red onion, white potatoes, mild little red peppers.

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You never know what you will get with carrots. This curvy carrot grew right next to the straight 10″ carrot in the basket.

As I clean up the vegetable beds, I discovered a few veggies that were overlooked during the earlier harvest. I found a few potatoes, a couple of carrots, a red onion and two tiny sweet peppers. While this may sound like the beginning of a stone soup story, it’s just end-of-summer garden clean up.

I planted a few celery plants but forgot about them hiding behind the hearty and fern like asparagus. Celery would have done much better if it had received fertilizer and mulch. You can see the many skinny little stalks.

That curvy carrot was a surprise, all the other carrots were long and straight. But they all taste the same.

What to do with leeks

Use the tender reen and white parts.

Use the tender green and white parts.

I gathered a few leeks while young and tender to clean, chop and freeze. These little leeks will go into soups, and a 3 onion pie. There are more leeks still in the garden. They will stay in the garden until I want to use them for soup or stuffing.

 

Leeks, chopped

Leeks can be frozen and later added directly to soups or casseroles.

You can continue to harvest leeks from the garden up until the soil freezes. Those few leeks will overwinter. Their giant globe shaped flowers will be amazing next summer. They attract pollinators and are a novel addition to a wildflower bouquet.

 

A little later into fall, I’ll plant garlic. I have a few tiny broccoli plants in the raised beds and pots. A window box of green beans are just coming up. So the pending rain is much-needed and I am grateful.

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My Garden Post Page

My Garden Post – I’m growing a whole vegetable garden on the deck in just 4 square feet. That’s 2′ x 2′.

Get Your Own My Garden Post!

 

Here’s how:

  • You can buy My Garden Post from this Oh! Grow Up Blog. We both benefit. You save money and I get credit for your order. Use this code: 50offMGP at checkout to get $50 worth of savings for My Garden Post with Drip Irrigation.

My Garden Post sent the original post to me free of charge so I could demonstrate how easy it is to assemble, install the irrigation, and grow lots of food in a tiny space.

My Garden Post  Use the coupon code: 50offMGP 


The newest report on My Garden Post:

 

Vertical Gardening

Read about Vertical Gardening

Never get on your knees to garden. No bending. Self watering.

mixed lettuce, radish and green onions.

mixed lettuce, radish and green onions.

Easy Gardening

Beautiful! All planted and growing green and lush. – April 30, 2015

Spring harvest. Cool season crops lettuce, spring onions, radish.

Spring harvest. Cool season crops lettuce, spring onions, radish.

Thinning and trimming  lettuce kept them going and producing non bitter lettuce until mid June.

Thinning and trimming lettuce kept them going and producing non bitter lettuce until mid June.

How I got started: April 1, 2015

Small Space Gardens

Starter plants in My Garden Post.

I’m growing a whole vegetable garden on the deck in just 4 square feet. That’s 2′ x 2′.

Put MGP together in 10 minutes, no tools needed. Bring a tape measure and a pair of simple scissors will  set up the best and easiest to operate

 

  My Garden Post

  • You can buy My Garden Post from this Oh! Grow Up Blog. We both benefit. You save money and I get credit for your order. Use this code: 50offMGP at checkout to get $50 worth of savings for My Garden Post with Drip Irrigation.

My Garden Post sent the original post to me free of charge so I could demonstrate how easy it is to assemble, install the irrigation, and grow lots of food in a tiny space.

My Garden Post  Use the coupon code: 50offMGP 

No Container Clutter and No Dirty Knees Video

Todays Harvest Basket

September 4, 2012.

That big butternut squash weighs over 3 pounds.

Tomatoes, butternut, garlic, peppers, potatoes

I did not count the Riesentraube cherry tomatoes, but just one tomato plant produced all of these. They filled a 2.5 quart bucket. Riesentraube means “Giant Bunches of Grapes.” Plant them once – you will always have these little German heirloom cherry tomatoes in your garden.

Jere Gettle of Baker Creek Heirloom Seed is giving out free Riesentraube with some seed purchases. I suspect Gere is trying to cover the world with little pointy tomatoes. They are prolific.

Drying Cherry Tomatoes

Riesentraube is an early producer. When the big tomatoes start producing, I start drying these little cherries. Here is how I use these hundreds of cherry tomatoes: Tomato triage for too many tomatoes.

While I was cleaning out a raised bed, I found two pounds of these little potatoes. I did not plant potatoes this year. They came up from spuds I missed last fall!

TAM, a very tasty milder Jalapeno, just keeps producing.Kepp watering this pepper and it keeps producing as long as you keep picking peppers.

Quart sun pickles.

 

I left this jar of sun pickles out on the retaining wall for another day or two. When I made these, it clouded up and rained for three days. Which was good for the garden. But who knows about sun pickles?

 

Grow your own Chili Rellenos

How To: Make Chili Rellenos

Patsy Bell Hobson Patsy Bell Hobson is a garden writer and a travel writer. For her, it’s a great day when she can combine the two things she enjoys most: gardening and traveling. Visit her personal blog at http://patsybell.blogspot.com/ and read her travel writings at http://www.examiner.com/x-1948-Ozarks-Travel-Examiner.

Chili rellenos are one of my favorite Mexican restaurant foods. Last year, when I had a bountiful crop of mild chilis, I attempted to make chili rellenos. I never got the hang of it. The best I could do was make a greasy, cheesy mess. I did become a master at charing peppers.

The cook at El Acapulco Mexican Restaurant in Cape Girardeau, Missouri showed me the secret. Ramon Soriano Cruz is the cook at El Acapulco. He shared the secret about how to make chili rellenos from scratch..

Ramon had already blackened, peeled and stuffed the peppers. That is how the restaurant is able to serve chili rellenos in less than an hour.

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Gradually add flour to eggs a little at a time. Five egg whites are beaten until stiff.
Photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

My lesson started after the whole peppers were charred, peeled and stuffed. At this point the chilis were frozen. Ramon began by rolling the frozen chilis in flour and set them aside while making the batter.

Chili Relleno Instructions

Separate 1 egg for every chili. Beat the whites until stiff then sprinkle in flour to the egg whites as they begin to stiffen. With Ramon’s expertise, he mixed an unmeasured amount of flour into the eggs—I think a scant ½ of a cup of all purpose flour. He set aside the batter and rolled each frozen pepper in the flour again.

Then, he used the kitchen’s deep fryer to cook the chilis. At home, heat cooking oil 1- to 2-inch deep in a big frying pan to about 375 degrees.

Hold the chili by the stem, dip it in the egg batter until well coated. Use a rubber spatula to help spread batter if it doesn’t cover the entire chili.

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Ramon Soriano Cruz can serve a full restaurant. The sauce served over the chili is a mild seasoned tomato sauce.
Photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

Gently place the battered pepper in the hot oil, carefully turn the chili until it is well browned. You can cook two or three at a time, just don’t fry so many that it lowers the temperature of the oil. As each chili is browned, place it carefully on the plate. Ladle heated tomato sauce, over the pepper. Serve with beans and rice.

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Once the beans and rice are on the plate, a quick zap in the microwave insures the complete meal is served steamy hot.
Photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

Look for ancho or poblano pepper seeds or plants. Find seeds and plants in most of the seed catalogs. Wait on the last frost date in your area and hold off for another week or two before planting peppers. The seedling and plants do not like wet feet.

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Thanks Ramon!
Photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

Resource: El Acapulco Mexican Restaurant; 202 South Mount Auburn Road; Cape Girardeau, MO, 63703.

1. 2. 3. 4.

1. Chips and salsa with happy hour Margarita.

2. The cheese stuffed pepper should be completely melted. If not, a few seconds in the microwave will heat it through.

3. Removing the stem from the outside of the pepper, the seeds, (where the heat is) insides of the pepper were removed bef0re it was stuffed.

4. Handsome volunteer model, “discovered” in El Alcapulco Restaurant in Cape Girardeau MO.

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