Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Veggie Tales

On Monday we enjoyed the first corn from the garden.  See how the cobs cluster at the bottom of the stalk?  I've never seen corn like this.  Earlier I said that it was called "Variety" but that was an error.  It's name is "Vitality."  Today we've picked another four cobs for dinner.  It's a bicoulored corn, and has very sweet kernels on its rather short cobs.

I took another picture this morning to show how short the stalks are.  It's from a low angle as I used the self-timer, but I think it still show quite well how short the stalks are.

Another interesting sight in the garden these days
is this bed of asiatic lilies.  I'm not sure why they were planted in one of the raised beds.  Perhaps we had too many of them for planting in pots to sell.  They looked so beautiful when massed together like this.  There's another massive planting of these lilies over next to the raspberry patch.  I need to get out there to take a picture too.

These masses of lilies are great for cut flowers.  They make beautiful bouquets that are quite long lasting.  You just need to be very careful around them because their pollen is a terrifically potent orange powder.  If you get it on your skin or clothing it will stain deeply.  The only way to get rid of it is to avoid getting any water on it, but just brush it gently off--preferably outside so it doesn't drift down onto the floor!

Another feature of the garden this year is this frame full of pots of tomatoes placed in the middle path through the beds.  Jim trimmed these plants radically, cutting off all the upper foliage a few weeks ago and placed them here where they would be watered along with the rest of the veggie garden.  Because they were trimmed that way, they been quite quick to produce ripe fruit.  On Tuesday I canned six pints of tomatoes for use in soups, stews and chillies this coming winter.

Today I dealt with the remaining tomatoes that had been picked that day.
There weren't too many, but I tried something new with these.  Canned tomatoes always have so much "water" in with them.  So this time I took the pan of boiling cut up tomatoes and put them on the colander, draining out most of the juice.  The two bottles on the left were packed that way.  They still have lots of "water" on the bottom of the jar.  The jar on the right was what was left and rather than just throwing it out, I canned it with lots of "water."  I think I'll put it through a strainer when I open it and use it as tomato juice.

There were also lots of Roma tomatoes and
several of these little cherry tomatoes.  I decided to cut them up and dry them in the dehydrator.  For these little cherry tomatoes that was too much of a hassle.  I won't do them again this way.  We'll just try to eat as many of them as we can.  But the Romas make pretty nice sliced tomatoes for drying.  Here's the tray full of slices, ready to be dried.

I'm not in the habit of using dried tomatoes in my cooking, so I'll have to

start looking for recipes that call for them.  I'm thinking maybe some carmelized onions and these dried tomato slices on foccacia bread would work out well.

Because it's plenty warm these days--real summer weather at last with temperatures in the high 20's C, or high 70's F--I didn't want to run the dehydrator in the house for 10 hours, so I placed it on this little table just outside
the back door.

Also from the garden lately: beets (and beet greens), oodles of sugar snap peas, enough lettuce for our whole town!, onions, raspberries, strawberries, new potatoes, turnips.  I picked a bucket of sugar snap peas a few days ago, took pictures of the vines, the peas in process (taking off the strings) and in the frying pan with a little olive oil, a dab of sesame oil and some sesame seeds.  I was going to blog the whole process, but lost the pictures when I prematurely cut off the download from the camera.

Here's to the wonderful fresh food we can enjoy this time of the year!

1 comment:

  1. WOW Mrs have you been busy!!! When I used to can tomatoes, my neighbor told me to add some tomato juice to each jar and that would keep the water "tomato" coloured and it worked!! Looks like your garden is way ahead in the tomatoes - we have been picking and picking and picking raspberries!!!