Baby Veggies on a Rainy Evening

After the late September heat wave, the baby veggies are still coming on. Tonight we picked a few squash and squash blossoms to cook up simply with some freshly dug potatoes. Harvest supper on a windy, rainy evening — a bit late for the equinoctial storm of autumn, but sure feels like that here tonight!

baby veggies!

baby summer squash and lebanese zucchini with freshly dug german butterball and red cherry potatoes – a few baby onions too!

 

marigolds

a few marigolds in autumn shades ~ these are still going wild in the garden

squash blossoms

beautiful summer squash blossoms!

baby veggies from the october garden

baby veggies from the october garden!

 

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Heat Wave ~ Late Summer in the North Woods Gardens

We thought about going to Lake Superior last weekend — then the week turned hot hot hot — far too hot to leave kitties home alone for days. Not to worry, however, because the late flush of hot temps brought the garden back to life!

We thought about going this weekend too — but more of the same, 90s for days and all of a sudden there are cukes and squash and brinjal galore. I cannot complain ๐Ÿ™‚

 

summer squash

healthy young summer squash plants at this late date!?

korean squash

korean squash ~ the gift that keeps on giving ~ there must be a dozen on now!

red pontiac potatoes

dear g dug all these beautiful potatoes this morning ~ I stuck a penny atop one to show the size ~ the largest was over a pound!

red pontiac potato

all fresh and clean and ready to cook!

san marzano tomatoes waning

most of the tomatoes are dying down ~ here are the San Marzanos ~ this late heat wave is good for ripening on the vine

healthy rogue tomatoes

the healthiest tomatoes we had all season were the rogue-volunteers!

african queen tomatoes

african queen tomatoes at various stages of ripening

cherokee purple heart tomato

cherokee purple heart tomato, perfectly ripe ~ we ate this with miss m’s amazing basil salad dressing tonight!

chard

the chard has taken off again

baby beets and gai lan

probably my fav ~ baby beets and gai lan (chinese broccoli)

I bought a small yellow mum to set near the doorstep but it sure doesn’t feel like autumn yet…

how does your garden grow?

 

 

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Fall Frenzy

Another hurricane is busy wreaking havoc — this time on Florida with other states to come — here’s hoping all in Irma’s path are safe tonight.

The week since I returned from Mass. was mostly rainy and cold — so cold we covered the beans in case of frost on Friday night — luckily that didn’t happen. This week should bring better weather. Tomatoes are still trying to ripen outdoors and the squash and cukes have taken on a second life. Peppers are coming on strong and the little chinese broccoli seedlings are growing… kohlrabi too. The lack of heat has meant fewer brinjals and no okra at all. Still there are chard and beets and so on… there’s nothing to complain about with the gardens this year!

squash and long beans

beautiful long beans, summer squash and lebanese zucchini ~ with one lonely brinjal

daisy is dreaming of agates

daisy is dreaming of catnip from the garden

lake superior waves

I am dreaming of Lake Superior …

lake superior agate

and her hidden treasures!

If this nice weather holds, we might be able to escape to the UP for a day’s agate hunting ๐Ÿ™‚

pickles and basil dressing

Meanwhile, here is Miss M’s scrumptious basil salad dressing, along with a mess of pickles we put up last night!

Miss M’s Basil Salad Dressing

I messaged Miss M to send me the recipe for the yummy basil dressing we had at her new apartment. Would you believe my baby is 25!??! She and her boyfriend made a salad of home-grown tomatoes (carried in bubble wrap all the way from Michigan!) with burrata — that creamy dreamy cousin of fresh mozzarella — with this fresh dressing drizzled on top.

Here is the recipe precisely as she told it to me ๐Ÿ™‚

“Take half a cup of olive oil, two cups packed basil, a bit of lemon juice–calls for 1/4 of a cup but I like less, and 1-2 cloves garlic. Salt and pepper to taste, blend together and enjoy!!

OH, and add three tablespoons pine nuts!!”

I used all the lemon juice and just love this dressing on any salad — but especially with burrata — check out this link!

 

Happy Monday!

 

 


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Late August ~ Harvest Begins

Here’s hoping everyone in the path of Hurricane Harvey is safe and dry tonight. There is always something to be thankful for.

I’m thankful for any harvest here this year. The spring was cool and late — the summer was not hot and did not encourage my tomatoes to do much — most are dying off from some unknown disease. Nevertheless we are picking, fast and furious, anything that has a chance to ripen. Everything is late — I finally got a few brinjals! Okra is just blossoming and I doubt it will grow in the cool of late August here, but we shall see.

As I’ve mentioned previously, the cucumbers and squash have been the stars this year — there is always something to be thankful for. We managed to salvage some corn from the blown-over stalks, and the green beans have been very prolific! Long beans are coming on, the little Chinese broccoli plants are growing, there will be beets and chard to pick, as well as the second planting of kohlrabi.ย  I have my winter stash of Thai and regular basil in the freezer — fresh dhania too. I can’t complain about the peppers, either.

Best of all, I am off on Thursday to see my kids and my folks in Massachusetts — when I get back there should be LOTS of tomatoes ready and waiting ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope your garden is flourishing — wherever you may be!

sweet corn, var. bodacious

sweet corn, var. bodacious ~ we got 14 good-sized ears for fresh eating!

mixed rogue ears

I boiled up the rogue ears ~ bodacious and double standard ~ cut the kernels from the cobs and got about a quart for the freezerย  ๐Ÿ™‚

korean squash and brinjals

at last, the brinjals ~ these are ‘orient express’ ~ with the lovely Korean squash, var. Pum Ae

tomatoes!

and yes, thankfully, there are tomatoes! lemon boy, cherokee purple, prudens purple, and parks whopper improved… hoping those green cherries turn yellow as they were meant to do ~ var. egg yolk

ingrdients for cornichons

all the ingredients for cornichons came from the garden save bay leaf and peppercorns

homemade cornichons

homemade cornichons with plenty of vinegar ~ enough to make you pucker!

Happy Monday!

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Garden Monsters

Just a peek at why it pays to check the plants daily ~ when I don’t, the monsters appear! ๐Ÿ™‚

Monster pickling cuke

a lovely little cornichon-sized pickling cucumber, and a monster!

baby summer squash and a monster

a lovely summer squash as it should be picked ~ young and sweet ~ and a monster!

giant cherokee purple tomato

the kind of monster I never fear ~ a giant cherokee purple tomato! 1.6 lbs!

Of course the monsters don’t go to waste – they just have all the big seeds removed and tough skin peeled before cooking/eating. I find with cukes and squashes especially, when they suddenly stop producing, I almost always find a monster lurking, usurping all the energy the poor plant has ๐Ÿ™‚

With those baby cucumbers, I tried a batch of homemade cornichons with this recipe — only I’m curing them in the fridge. We’ll see how that goes. Meanwhile…

Happy Monster Hunting!

summer squash

the summer squash plants… from whence came…. the monster ๐Ÿ™‚

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Gamjajeon and Hobak Buchimgae ~ Korean Fried Veggie Treats!

Homemade Gamjajeon and hobak buchimgae from Kimchimari!

a little crunchy outside, a little tender inside ~ Korean jeon with potato and buchimgae with Korean squash

I’m not sure how I happened upon Kimchimari last night, but since I found it I can’t stop reading (and drooling)! With the explosion of Korean squash in the garden and a few oldish potatoes hanging out until we harvest our own, I had all the makings for these deceptively simple, savory Korean fritters (or pancakes) called gamjajeon and hobak buchimgae respectively.

The recipes come from Kimchimari — I’m just putting pics up here because I love the look of the fresh fritters, white and green and crispy golden brown. They were a perfect taste treat dipped in a little soy sauce and rice vinegar, with a splash of sesame oil.

Thank you JinJoo!

Korean squash and potato 'fritters'

tasty and crispy potato and korean squash fritters!

The pickling cukes are still running strong, with Straight Eights just beginning to produce. Next in line is this beautiful cucumber kimchi!

Weekend garden pics:

chinese chive blossoms

chinese chive blossoms in a sea of green squash leaves

korean squash on trellis

amazing Korean squash plants covering the trellis!

finally -- brinjal!

at long last, the beautiful brinjals are here! this is Orient Express variety

mexibelle pepper

mexibelle pepper ripening…

thai basil

thai basil is beginning to flower amongst the thai eggplant

beets and their greens

I love beets and their greens!

bodacious corn

corn, var. bodacious, still standing while others fell to heavy rain

lebanese zucchini

lebanese zucchini coming on late

pinks chillin'

not a garden vegetable, but a chillin’ kitty named pinkie ๐Ÿ™‚

How does your garden grow?

 

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Jacques Pepin Meets Solai ~ Braised Baby Potatoes and Green Jackfruit in Coconut

garlic

home grown garlic ~ the first time!

We dug some early potatoes last week and they’ve been drying out/curing on a rack in the back room with the garlic dug in July. Today I brought everything outside — trimmed the stems and roots of garlic, brushed the remaining dirt from the potatoes, and sorted through it all in preparation for storage.

trimmed garlic

nice and neat and ready to eat!

The smallest potatoes were starting to turn a bit soft so I brought those inside, scrubbed ’em up, and thought of Jacques Pepin’s braised-and-browned-in-butter baby potatoes. One incarnation of that classic, delicious recipe lives here.

I had no chicken broth on hand, but I did have this wonderful emergency coconut milk in the fridge. I also had a can of green jackfruit. Immediately I thought of Solai’s amazing palakkai pirattal recipe, to which I always add more potato than called for… ring ring… hello? Fusion calling! This one is rich with butter, but soooo tasty.

Baby Potatoes and Green Jackfruit Braised in Coconut

1 can green jackfruit, rinsed to remove acidic taste, cut in small pieces

3-4 cups baby potatoes, washed well (cut larger ones in half)

3 TB butter

1 tsp fennel seed

1/2 tsp cumin seed

1/2 tsp mustard seed

small piece cinnamon

2-3 black cardamom

1/2 tsp red chili pwd

1/2 tsp turmeric

3-5 cloves garlic, chopped

So Delicious-type coconut milk to cover halfway (about 1 cup)

Salt and pepper to taste

~~~~~~~~~~~

baby potatoes and jackfruit

baby potatoes and green jackfruit waiting for a bath in spiced butter

Over med-high heat, melt the butter in a wide pan and add the whole spices, red chili and turmeric pwds, and fresh garlic. Saute a few moments, then add cut jackfruit. Stir to coat with the masala, then add baby potatoes and stir again to coat. Let it sizzle on medium-high heat 5-6 minutes, stirring to prevent burning.

coat with spiced butter

bathing in spiced butter

Now add coconut milk to cover the veggies about halfway, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer.

add the coconut milk

swimming in flavor!

Once simmering, prick the potatoes with a fork, lower the heat to med-low, cover, and cook about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. By now the potatoes should be tender — uncover and lightly press on each potato to crack it. Leave the cover off and cook an additional 5-10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Switch off the heat and serve hot with rice or bread — alternatively, allow to cool completely and eat the next day (even better!).

yummy baby potatoes and green jackfruit in spiced butter

it’s ready!

After a few warm days the garden is really starting to produce…

kentucky blue pole beans and tomatoes

kentucky blue pole beans ~ about 4 qts! with marianna’s peace and lemon boy tomatoes

korean squash blossom

korean squash blossom

korean squash

and the korean squash ~ variety pum ae

lebanese zucchini

lebanese zucchini are catching up

kai lan or gai lan - chinese broccoli

for autumn ~ kai lan or gai lan ~ chinese broccoli ~ quick growing radish interspersed

moolie-cat-in-a-basket

moolie-cat-in-a-basket

Happy Sunday!

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