I have my mother to thank for all these tomatoes. She has been making sure they get water frequently resulting in the best tomato crop my garden has had in years. It’s so exciting. In the area it’s been known to be a mild/cool summer with heat spells only showing up the late in August and I know some people are not having great tomato harvests like we are – so I think they must be in a great spot and I also think my mother has some magic. We grew about 12 plants. I think I should go count them to be sure and for the record next year. The varieties we’re growing whose names I know are: Black Krim, Striped German, Sungold (2), Jaune Flamme (2), Yellow Brandywine, and a few others whose names I can’t remember and will be revealed when we rip out the plants and gather the plastic plant tags. I think there is a Pineapple variety and possibly a Japanese Trifele.
My mom also planted some snow peas around our flimsy garden fence and we’ve been getting quite a good crop of them. We have some lush lettuce and some beets that look like they might be getting big. We harvested and dried some kale and have been getting a slow but steady stream of cucumbers and zucchinis. Again- why does everyone have a “problem” with prolific zucchinis and I just have a trickle?
One of my favorite things to eat this summer has been a simple Greek-inspired salad. Just cucumbers, tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, feta cheese and vinaigrette. The Sungold tomatoes are unbelievably good in this and I could eat this for every meal. I would do it except for the fact that there’s a lot of other produce to use up too.
45 quarts of dill pickles. About 17 half pint jars of blackberry jam. 15 half pints of strawberry jam. 11 quarts of marinara sauce. 22 quarts of diced tomatoes. 4 pints of tomatillo salsa (my mom did that one on her own). 5 half pints of peach chutney. 5 pints of peaches in light syrup. That’s what’s been going on in my kitchen this past few weeks. I’m hoping to pick up some damson plums tomorrow to make jam with. A close friend has some Italian prune plums and I’m wondering what I could make with those. She has a lot of them. I do like prunes and I’d be interested in drying a few but what else are they good for?
Any ideas? Please share. Would they make a good savory plum sauce? Do they make a good jam? How about pickled plums? (I’ve never had those).
Today we got our first fall rain. It’s lovely. It means I need to go pick as many of the tomatoes that might be ripe out in the garden that I can because they’ll start splitting. Today I will be slow roasting a bunch of tomatoes and then freeze them. I also got 10 ears of corn for $3 at Harvest Fresh and will be making a spicy corn chowder with them. If the corn is good I will go and get more corn and make some chowder to freeze.
I also have pesto to make. As I’m writing this all out I suddenly feel serious pressure to finish my paid job so I can jump into the kitchen and get cracking on all those food projects. Food has a habit of going bad when left around. I wasn’t even going to make pesto but my friend Laurie and my mom talked me into it. I still have 10 batches in the freezer. Still, in case you didn’t know it- people love pesto and that makes pesto a great bribe or a much appreciated thank you to friends and family. Pesto in winter is one of life’s greatest indulgences. Mine, which my close friend Chelsea and I perfected together, is one of the best recipes out there. (According to Laurie and my mom) (I like it a lot too) So I bought supplies to make more and there are four beautiful bunches of fresh basic waiting for me to process them. I’m tired. Is it beer-O-clock yet?
You can make corn chowder too-here’s my recipe.
If you don’t know how to slow roast tomatoes and you want to try it you can follow my instructions for making slow oven roasted tomatoes.
This pesto recipe is fantastic. Making it always reminds me of Chelsea.