Sunday, October 21, 2012

End of the Gardening Season...2012

At least for me.  The community garden closes November 1st and everything has to be cleared out by October 27th.  So today I took some time to clean out the mess that the garden has become.

It went from this:

To this:

And where was Morgan, you might ask? On his way to the city to watch football.  He was kind enough to send me this picture from the train:

Of me bent over in the garden. Can you spot me?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Football Season and the garden!

For the 2nd year in a row, I was able to incorporate the start of the football season with the end of the gardening season. Last year, we had over a dozen hot peppers (mild habenaros, to be exact) so for the Giants' season opener we made poppers! I did a small test run and then borrowed my parents deep fryer for the game. They were a big hit!

This year, I didn't have hot peppers appropriate for poppers because I didn't plant any, but I did have a bunch of almost rotten tomatoes and the end of season small green peppers and banana peppers. So...we made chili! And it turned out really well! It's a simple recipe: onion, garlic, all the peppers we had, all the tomatoes we had left, ground turkey, and cayenne pepper and chili powder for seasoning. of the peppers was a Serrano pepper that my neighbor gave us. It was perfectly spicey. Also we added kidneys beans and black beans. I'm a protein hog so I like to get it in as many forms as possible. We added a can of tomato paste too to thicken it up.

Serve with sour cream and cheddar.

Footnote: I'm a big fan of cast iron. I specifically use Le Creuset. And when I was stocking my cabinets with these products it was important to me to only buy what was very essential and very useful because these pots are heavy and expensive. Also, it's just my style to have as few items as possible with the most uses as possible so I end up researching a lot of gadgets/appliances before buying them. The price of these pieces and most kitchen items drives this too, but I just really like having less clutter so everything has to be very efficient. After extensive research, I ended up buying one round dutch oven, one braiser, and one roaster. I don't know the sizes off the top of my head, but i specifically bought the sizes that i felt would be appropriate for me-that is to say not too big, but not too small...for me. To each his own. We also have a skillet that we got as a wedding preset, which is handy to make paninis, but not in the everyday rotation just yet. We use our dutch oven and our braiser the most. The point of this footnote is that, admittedly, we should've used the Dutch oven here and not the braiser, but it worked. They're both my favorite pieces.

Monday, October 1, 2012

October in the Garden

Things are winding down in the garden, at least for me. Plenty of people grow fall vegetables that can withstand frost, but since the community garden closes in November, I haven't taken my gardening into the fall. We're still harvesting peppers (small peppers), some tomatoes, and the last of the eggplant. While I'm doing this, I'm also reading Eliot Coleman's The Four Season Harvest. It's an interesting read about harvesting throughout the winter. It's interesting because you plant in the late summer/early fall, but plants are harvestable throughout the winter with minimal intervention. It's basically about protecting small plants from wind, frost, and other harsh winter conditions. Not much grows, but you can still harvest. I'm about halfway through, and interested to put some of his advice into practice next summer/fall.

Also, the end of the season means trying to use up or preserve the remaining vegetables. I've frozen a lot more this year than last year and canned a bunch too. Both new hobbies for me.

We've also been cooking a lot. Here's Morgan using a lot of our CSA apples for an apple pie. This is him putting the crumble topping on before it goes in the oven. It was delicious!