Hi, fall harvest season here like everywhere else in the northern hemisphere!
Just felt like sharing some of this years harvest and canning highlights and hues, mainly red hues.
I’ll start off with my brightest highlight: roasting and pickling peppers. We have peppers in the garden but due to the wet and cool spring and extremely hot summer ours are behind when it comes to changing color. In other words: they are still green. For this project I deeded reds, yellows and orange colors so I went to the market at the hight of the pepper harvest and got 5 kilos of peppers in all shades and sizes. Back at home I got a fire going and figured out how to burn wood to get charcoals for a 40 min. roasting session. Even thought we have so much wood we still mostly grill on store bought charcoals…….. now that just does not make any sense! Unless you don’t know how to ‘do it with wood’. Well, now we know!
Roasted the peppers on all sides for the skin to give and to give them that nice smoky flavor. Placed the peppers in a large bowl which I covered with a lid so the peppers could sit in their own steam for a while. (at least 20 min) Pulled off the skins and removed the heads and seeds and cut the peppers in thin strips. The pickling mix I made contained balsamico, red wine vinegar, salt, sugar and water. I added sliced garlic and chili peppers to each jar and sliced ginger to some. The cans were processed using the hot water bath method.
We finished the 1st jar in 1 week. Yum!!!!
I don’t think we have ever had as many different tomato varieties as we have this year nor as many plants. I am counting 8 varieties and 24 plants from the top of my head. Luck has it that it is also the worst years for growing tomatoes so far with tomatoes developing late and leaving us with a bumper crop of green tomatoes. But, we have been eating delicious tomatoes, be it since the second week of august (late!!) and have so far canned: soup, tomato sauce and salsa. More to can soon because we want to ‘do something’ with all those green tomatoes. Thinking of making green salsa and pickling green tomatoes. We are also doing the ‘upside down tomato plant’ trick which is a way for tomatoes to ripen on the plant when plant-growing or fruit-ripening conditions stop being favorable.
Favorites this year are the medium sized orange and small yellow tomatoes. Both very juicy and sweet!
Back to the peppers. I have to say something about the peppers since I would not do Steven’s (head gardener this year) work justice without mentioning his/the peppers.
Maybe I should say something to the peppers since many of them are still on the plants and still need to ripen…. Dear peppers, you sparkle in our garden, spice up our dishes and brighten up our mood. It would be o so good to see you all be kissed by the sun and blush with warmth. Then we can bring your warmth into our winter and decorate our house with strings of yellow, red and orange. Just looking at you will warm our hearts. ……
Something like that.
Two peppers jump out this year: the long skinny and crunchy Jimmy Nardelo’s and Cherry Chocolate’s.