A Kitchen Day

img_0511After twenty nine days with no measurable rain the garden has been seriously waning. You can water all day long and it will fail to thrive as well as if there were rain to appease the plants. The flower bed was in sad shape and dropping seeds for next year. Most of what little is left was dying, withering and producing little and that often misshapen. In spite of all that I continued to let things be and pick the few meager cucumbers and okra every day along with the last short row of bush beans.

Then it rained and I couldn’t even get out there for a few days.

There must be beans to pick and I could see the okra from the window. I could also see damage from hornworms on what was struggling tomato vines that most people would have ripped out long ago. The occasional fried green continues to grace our table and is every bit as good as a spring fried green tomato.

Finally this morning I was able to venture forth and to my surprise brought in eleven pounds from our little garden space. The peppers were the biggest surprise. I had planned on leaving them until they turned red but they too had hornworms and quite a bit of damage. So I harvested all the large and medium Jimmy Nardelo peppers, the Thai rat turds which are turning red daily, and every jalapeno as big as my little finger because that was where most of the damage was this morning. The pablano seemed fine as did the Marconi.

So I spent the day in the kitchen instead of lolling about like planned.

There were cucumbers

The cucumbers are still lounging on the counter. Horribly misshapen they continue to be delicious and sweet. We have dehydrated enough to fill three quarts.

The rat turds, tiny little peppers hot as a fire cracker.

The rat turds, tiny red peppers hot as a fire cracker. I pick a good handful of these every few days now, rinse, dry and trim the stems close. Then they go into the “rat turd” zip lock to be saved for later. I imagine they will turn in to a sauce when they are all picked. They are about 1/4 inch long.

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There were enough Nardelos to make four batches of Spanish rice mix to freeze. I brown a cup of rice in a tablespoon of hot oil then add 2 cups of chopped peppers and a whole chopped onion. Fry this for about two minutes then turn out onto a cookie sheet. Place the sheet pan on a cooling rack on the counter until it cools enough to turn in to a zip lock bag for freezing. We use six to twelve of these pre-made packs to make Spanish rice over the winter. Brown some ground meat, drain if need be then add the slightly thawed contents of this bag. Add a 12 – 16 ounce jar or can of tomato sauce or other tomato product, season and simmer with a tight fitting lid until the rice is done. It’s a pretty fast meal. We call it fast food in this house.

Jalapenos

Jalapenos are one of my favorite things to grow. I just love them. We eat a lot of them too.

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After purchasing several tools for the job I have settled on this 1/8 teaspoon to seed small peppers. Please remember to wear gloves when handling hot peppers – latex free, powder free and unscented.

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Rinse well in a colander to rid them of the stray seeds and drain dry.

Don't drink the green smoothie!

Don’t drink the green smoothie! Here I have processed the jalapenos in the blender with organic cider vinegar. Along with the last tomatoes in the freezer this will be salsa in a few days.

There was also a pound of okra which was breaded and frozen. Two pounds of green beans found themselves in a pot with bacon, onions, chicken broth and a few potatoes for dinner and leftovers for tomorrow. I picked a handful of tomatoes both red and green likely for tomorrow also. Overall a pretty darn good haul for September and a month with no rain.

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All the while this pot roast was simmering away in a big skillet drenched in Schlafly coffee stout. Add a quartered onion, some crushed garlic cloves and plenty of cracked black pepper. Simmer slowly for several hours and serve with your favorite sides.

We had the roast, green beans and some of that okra fried with homemade ketchup. Yum! Then we finished off the last of the no bake cookies and did a few extra laps on the treadmill.

What’s cookin’ at your house this time of year?

signature, Sarah

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5 Responses to A Kitchen Day

  1. Tauni Whitley says:

    WoWza Sarah!! KUdos!!! I love it when Mother Nature surprises us with the good stuff! Seems every time I get to travel north to see Robin … you have left something remarkable to eat!! I got a few meager peppers that actually did turn orange … it was enough to add to a very yummy saute’d shrimp salad … mmmmmmm! I felt a little bit healthy! 🙂

    • S says:

      Hey thanks Tauni! It took me a minute to figure out who you were… LOVE the name spelling btw! I wish some of these peppers would turn color, I love orange and yellow bells. Maybe I will grow some bells next year. Thanks for looking in here. Enjoy!

  2. Tauni Whitley says:

    Hey Darlin’ … I will be up there tomorrow to help Sister for a few days … I will leave some seeds for you to try … they are from last years red peppers … they are very sweet … I think u will like them 🙂

    • S says:

      That will be awesome! Thanks. I would love to meet up with you two one of these days… but up to my earlobes this week.

      • Tauni Whitley says:

        Definitely. .. when Robin is back on her feet … we’ll be sure to make a date!!! I don’t get out much so that will be so fun for me!! Thank you!

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