Harvest Monday October 22, 2018

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The cold weather continued last week, and we got a couple of light frosts early in the week. They didn’t seem to hurt the garden, but I harvested a lot of cold sensitive veggies as a precaution. I cut a monster Rancho Marques squash that weighed in at 24 pounds. I put it next to a smaller 9 pounder in the below photo for comparison. I’ve only gotten three fruits from the vines, but they have all been big. I have no idea what they will taste like, and as a moschata type they are supposed to get sweeter in storage. But what will we do with a 24 pound squash?!? I really want to find more uses for it in savory recipes.

Rancho Marques squash

Rancho Marques squash

I also cut three more of the Turkeyneck squashes. It has been a prolific producer this year, though the vines are long and rambling all over the garden fencing and onto the pole bean trellis. These three weighed 28 pounds total. It’s been a good year for winter squash overall, and we are well supplied.

Turkeyneck squashes

Turkeyneck squashes

And I picked all the ripe peppers I could find before the first frost. I got a selection of sweet ones, including Sweetie Pie, Orange Blaze, Jimmy Nardello, Escamillo and Carmen. We’ve been enjoying these every which way, including raw, roasted and added to a big pot of chili I made for dinner one night.

assortment of sweet peppers

assortment of sweet peppers

I got quite a few hot ones too. I have Aji Rico growing in a container, and I plucked all the ripe peppers off of it before I trimmed back the plant and brought it indoors for the winter. These 2017 AAS Winners are a mildly hot hybrid baccatum pepper, and I plan to make a fermented hot sauce with this batch.

Aji Rico peppers

Aji Rico peppers

Aji Rico

Aji Rico

I picked a basket full of the Kimchi peppers I have growing in a container. I have already dehydrated plenty of these for my kimchi making needs, so I decided to try drying them in the sun. Our weather is cooler and less humid now, and I thought it might be a good time to try this method. I cut the thin walled peppers open and removed the seeds before I spread them out on a dehydrator tray and put them out in the sun. I brought them in at night, and they dried in about four days. And speaking of kimchi, I ate some from a batch I made last November, and while it had lost much of it’s crunch it still had a great flavor. I like it medium hot, but not as hot as most commercial kimchi I have tasted, and I am looking forward to trying these peppers to make a batch soon.

Kimchi hot peppers

Kimchi hot peppers

I got quite a few Thai hot peppers, again from a container grown plant. These little jewels are fiery hot, but they are so small you can use one in a dish and it only adds a touch of heat. I’ve been using a lot of them in kombucha, where one pepper gives just a little kick to a 16 ounce bottle. I usually pair them with a slice of lemon and a sprig of Thai basil and call it Spicy Thai Basil kombucha. I dried quite a few of them so I can make this in the winter months.

Thai hot peppers

Thai hot peppers

I got a mixed bag of baccatum peppers, including Aji Golden and Kaleidoscope plusd a few of the Sugar Rush Peach. I put them all in with the Aji Rico peppers for fermenting. I’m hoping to get a mild hot sauce with the characteristic fruity taste the baccatum peppers have, though the Sugar Rush peppers are quite hot on their own.

baccatum peppers

baccatum peppers

I pulled all the Anaheim and Biggie Chili peppers I could find for smoking. I threw in a few jalapenos too, and I had enough peppers to make two rounds of it. I love the smoked green Numex peppers, and I use the powder a lot at the table to add a bit of smoky heat.

Numex peppers for smoking

Numex peppers for smoking

Other than peppers, I made one last picking of the pole beans. The Appalachian heirlooms are the only ones still going, and I got 3.5 pounds of them this time. The NT Half Runner bean has been the most productive of any bean this year, and my 4 foot planting along the trellis has yielded over 13 pounds of beans. We put a lot of these in the freezer for later use.

NT Half Runner beans

NT Half Runner beans

With cooler weather here, I am starting to harvest the first of the fall planted cool season veggies. I pulled enough Topper and Hakurei turnips to make a batch of turnips greens, with a few roots thrown in as well. Topper makes lots of green but no edible roots, while Hakurei is a white ‘salad’ turnip with small, sweet tasting roots. They’ll be better after a few frosts and freezes though, and we got our first full freeze on Saturday night. That had me scurrying with last minute work to bring in all the frost sensitive plants.

Topper and Hakurei turnips

Topper and Hakurei turnips

I cut two main heads that were ready on the Apollo broccoli. It’s a broccolini type, with tender stems, and we roasted these in a cast iron skillet for a side dish. I love Apollo and Artwork so much I am considering growing more of them next spring. I set out two plants of each this fall, and I might double that next year.

Apollo broccoli

Apollo broccoli

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest of any size or shape you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And please be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting, or wishing they were harvesting!

 

 


Posted in Harvest Monday | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Harvest Monday October 15, 2018

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. Our weather went from summer to winter in just a few days time. On October 5th we had a high temperature of 91°F, and a week later on the 12th the low dipped down to 35°F. I found a little bit of frost on the grass that morning, but it wasn’t enough to hurt the garden.

frost on the grass

frost on the grass

The cool temps will slow everything down though. Which is not a bad thing, as the cool weather crops have been suffering in the heat. I even have delayed planting lettuce because it has just been too hot for it, though the seedlings are ready to go. We got the first heads of broccoli this week from Artwork. It’s a broccolini type, and the real attraction will be the side shoots that follow. Artwork is consistently earlier in my garden than Apollo, though I like both of them. My wife cut up these first two heads and roasted them in a cast iron skillet.

Artwork broccoli

Artwork broccoli

With cold weather in the forecast, I brought in more of the winter squash that are maturing on the vines. Here’s a collection of the Turkeyneck squashes which shows how prolific they have been. They average from 8 to 10 pounds each. They are basically big butternuts, and I’m letting them cure and age before we start eating any of them. We’ve been eating the delicatas and acorn squash first since they are not good keepers.

Turkeyneck squashes

Turkeyneck squashes

The biggest of the Turkeyneck squashes weighed in at 13 pounds. That will make a lot of pumpkin pie! We will use it for savory dishes too, and I will be giving some of them away to folks who aren’t afraid of a big squash. New cat Ally photobombed me one morning while I was getting this pic of the squash straight from the garden. This was before it turned cold and I was still working in shorts.

me and the big Turkeyneck squash

me and the big Turkeyneck squash

I cut another of the Rancho Marques winter squash. This one weighed in at 9.5 pounds. I still have one more giant one on the vines that I’m going to let grow a bit longer since it was late to set. It’s a land race moschata type from Native Seeds/Search.

Rancho Marques winter squash

Rancho Marques winter squash

I also got a decent harvest of ripe peppers before the big chill came. There’s enough of the Malawi Piquante peppers to make a quart jar of pickled peppers.

Malawi Piquante peppers

Malawi Piquante peppers

The sweet peppers are still ripening, at least they were before it turned cold. I got a mixture of Orange Blaze, P.A.S.S., Sweetie Pie and Criolla di Cocina. I chopped these up and froze them, since we still had plenty of other sweet ones from earlier harvests. The green one fell off accidentally so I chopped it up too.

sweet peppers

sweet peppers

And I got more sweet paprika peppers from the Dulce Rojo and Hungarian Magyar plants. It has been a good year for peppers here, which is making up for a poor showing last year.

sweet paprika and jalapeno peppers

sweet paprika and jalapeno peppers

I smoked most of these, along with a few green jalapenos I found. I smoke them on a charcoal grill using indirect heat, so I only fill half of the grill so I can keep the peppers away from the fire. After smoking I dehydrated them.

peppers ready for smoking

peppers ready for smoking

Still in the pepper department, I got a couple of ripe Mad Hatter peppers. These baccatum peppers are a 2017 AAS Winner, and they have such a sweet and mild taste I’ve been eating a lot of them raw, much like you would an apple. The heat seems to be concentrated around the seeds, so if you avoid them you can avoid the heat. I want to try pickling a few of them too.

Mad Hatter peppers

Mad Hatter peppers

I finished digging the sweet potatoes last week. And I did it just in time before frosty weather got here too. 51 hills made a total of 118 pounds of tubers, which is way more than we can eat. I planted several test varieties, and next year I will reduce the plantings to around 30 hills. That should keep us well supplied. One new one I grew is an orange fleshed one called Ginseng, and it was the third best producer for me, behind Bonita and Murasaki which both have white flesh. It’s my first year growing Murasaki too, and it made a great showing. The real test will come when we get our first taste in a few weeks, after they’ve cured. I’ll wait until tasting time to do a full review of them.

Ginseng sweet potato

Ginseng sweet potato

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest of any size or shape you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. There are no rules or regulations, and wonky veggies are always as welcome as the prize winners. And please be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting, or wishing they were harvesting!

 


Posted in Harvest Monday | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Rye and Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf

I love rye bread, and this is my go-to recipe when I want a rye bread for sandwiches. It’s my own creation and based on my Light Rye Sandwich Loaf which I adapted from a recipe at King Arthur Flour. I have tweaked my recipe over the last few years, increasing the amount of whole grains and making it dairy-free and vegan. It now has 33% rye flour and 33% whole wheat flour, which makes it a bit more nutritious than the original recipe. It still has molasses for color and flavor, but I replaced the butter with vegetable oil and got rid of the powdered milk.

Rye and Whole Sandwich Loaf

Rye and Whole Sandwich Loaf

The addition of more whole wheat flour makes for a sturdy bread that stands up well to a variety of toppings. We often use it here for meatless reuben sandwiches, and I also like to use it to make a spicier version I call a kim-cheese sandwich (kimchi and cheddar cheese). We spread the slices with a little butter or ghee, assemble the sandwich, and toast it in a skillet until golden brown. It also makes a good base for tuna salad or BBQ.

grilled kimcheese (kimchi and cheese) sandwich

grilled kimcheese (kimchi and cheese) sandwich

Rye flour can be notoriously sticky to work with, but I use the dough cycle of my bread machine to do the work of kneading and the first rise. Then I form the dough into a rectangle and proof in a greased 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ loaf pan. The dough typically takes 60 to 90 minutes to rise, depending on the room temperature, and is ready for the oven when it has risen 1″ over the rim of the loaf pan.

dough rising

dough rising

Be sure and let the dough rise high enough before baking to avoid the bread splitting when it expands in the oven. And let the finished bread cool thoroughly before slicing. It slices even better the next day. I freeze any leftovers, and I try and always have some of this bread in the freezer since we use it so often.

NOTE: The recipe calls for using an 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ loaf pan, which produces a loaf that is about as tall as it is wide. Use a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan to get a loaf that is wider than it is tall, and when proofing allow the dough to rise to the top of the pan before baking.


Rye and Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf Print This Recipe Print This Recipe
A Happy Acres Original

4 oz unbleached flour
4 oz whole wheat flour
4 oz rye flour
1 tbsp Vital wheat gluten
1-1/2 tsp instant yeast
1-1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp cooking oil
2 tbsp molasses
1 tsp caraway seeds (optional)
8.25 oz water

1. Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Add liquids to bread machine first, followed by dry mixture. Use dough cycle. If dough seems too wet or too dry, add a bit of water or flour accordingly as dough is processing. It should form into a ball while kneading, and clean the sides of the bread machine.

2. When cycle is complete, remove dough from machine and punch down to remove any air bubbles.

3. Shape dough to fit a greased 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ loaf pan. Cover and let rise for 60-90 minutes, until dough has risen 1″ over the rim of the pan.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake loaf for 30-35 minutes, until instant read thermometer inserted into center of loaf reads 190°F. Bread may be covered in foil near the end if getting too brown.

5. Remove bread from oven, let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan and let cool thoroughly before slicing.

Servings: 12

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 137 calories, 24 calories from fat, 2.8g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 294.3mg sodium, 162.4mg potassium, 24.6g carbohydrates, 3.2g fiber, 2g sugar, 4.2g protein, 17.4mg calcium, <1g saturated fat.

Posted in Baking, Recipes | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Harvest Monday October 8, 2018

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. Last week was a busy one here. My wife and I volunteered a couple of days for a local organization, flipping burgers to help with their fundraising efforts at the Evansville Fall Festival. I am guessing we cooked well over 1000 burgers between us, and none were consumed by us during the process either! In between all that, I spent much of my time digging sweet potatoes. It looks like it wasn’t quite as good a year as 2017, but I am still pleased with the results. I’ve dug 43 hills so far, and brought in 101 pounds of sweet potatoes. I have a few hills remaining I hope to dig this week. I plan to do a full review of them when they’re all in.

freshly dug sweet potatoes

freshly dug sweet potatoes

Before I dug the roots, I harvested a tubtrug full of the leaves.  There’s almost two pounds of them before I cleaned them up and got them ready for cooking.

sweet potato leaves

sweet potato leaves

I stripped them from the vines, and did a quick stir fry on them with a little added garlic and ginger. They have a mild taste and great texture, sweeter than spinach and with less of the ‘bite’. They were tender but not mushy, and I like how they hold their shape. They cook in just a few minutes too.

sweet potato leaves stripped from vines

sweet potato leaves stripped from vines

I also pulled a few radishes to go in a stir fry. This is a mini daikon called Mini Mak I’m growing for the first time. It’s a handy size, and these two were perfect. I have the bigger Alpine sizing up now too, and I plan to use some of them in kimchi.

Mini Mak radishes

Mini Mak radishes

Speaking of kimchi, the Korean peppers are still coming on. In the below photo we have Korean Hot on the left and Winner on the right, with a lone Ethiopian Brown Berbere pepper in the middle.

Korean peppers

Korean peppers

There’s still quite a few sweet peppers ripening, including the bull’s horn types Carmen and Escamillo. I also got a few of their cousins Cornito Rosso and Cornito Giallo. I roasted them a couple of times in a cast iron skillet, and that is my new favorite way to cook them. They have much the same flavor as when I grill them, but with less chance to burn them up like can happen on the grill. They’ve also been starring in salads and frittatas.

Escamillo and Carmen peppers

Escamillo and Carmen peppers

I got enough of the NuMex types Anaheim and Biggie Chile to roast them on the grill. After they cool I chop them up and freeze for use later. They are so much more flavorful than the canned green chiles, which I haven’t bought in years since I started making my own.

Anaheim and Biggie Chile peppers

Anaheim and Biggie Chile peppers

I got a big bucket of Kaleidoscope peppers too. They are supposed to be mildly hot, but this year they have almost no heat to them. These baccatum peppers have a sweet fruity taste, and I am going to pickle this batch. The pickled peppers find their way onto pizza and salads, and I also use them to make a red pepper aioli.

Kaleidoscope peppers

Kaleidoscope peppers

And I got about a pound of ripe Aji Angelo peppers. I have them fermenting, and I plan to turn them into a mild Sriracha sauce. I added a few of the Kaleidoscope to make it even milder. Aji Angelo is one of my favorite hot peppers, and the mild heat and fruity taste make it a versatile choice in the kitchen. I got my seeds originally from Michelle (From Seed To Table), and it is hard to find commercially. I’m saving fresh seed this year, and should have some available later in the year for sharing.

Aji Angelo peppers

Aji Angelo peppers

I’m growing two baccatum peppers for the first time this year, Bert the Chilli and Aji Pena. After getting a taste of both, I have to say they are a bit too hot for my tastes. I am pretty happy with the four mild baccatums I grow already, Aji Angelo, Aji Golden, Kaleidoscope and Malawi Piquante.

Bert the Chilli and Aji Pena

Bert the Chilli and Aji Pena

I cut two more winter squash from the two varieties that are left growing. It’s the first one from Rancho Marques, a landrace type from Mexico, and it weighed 14 pounds. This variety makes fruit of all different sizes and shapes, and a second vine has a squash that is long and thick in shape. Behind it is another Turkeyneck squash, which weighed 12 pounds.

Rancho Marques and Turkeyneck squash

Rancho Marques and Turkeyneck squash

The pole beans gave us another pound of NT Half Runners. This small planting has given us over 10 pounds of beans so far, and my wife and I have truly been enjoying them as often as possible. I’ve also put up quite a few in the freezer, where we can enjoy them this winter. It’s been a great year for beans, after a slow start with germination issues due to waterlogged soil.

NT Half Runner beans

NT Half Runner beans

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest of any size or shape you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. There are no rules or regulations, and wonky veggies are always as welcome as the prize winners. And please be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting, or wishing they were harvesting!


Posted in Harvest Monday | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Harvest Monday October 1, 2018

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It’s October, and I’m so ready to start a new month. September was rainy and hot, and we got over 8 inches of rain combined with above average temperatures. We had 13 days with temps above 90°F, which is a lot warmer than average. The beans and peppers seemed to love it though, and I am getting ample supplies of both. I didn’t photograph all the beans, but I got over 5 pounds of them last week. We have been eating them often and putting the rest in the freezer. The NT Half Runner has been amazingly productive, and I got 2 pounds of them alone last week. The pods are big and fat and stay tender even when the seeds inside start to get big.

NT Half Runner beans

NT Half Runner beans

I’m getting both sweet and hot peppers, and I’m dehydrating many of them. Minero is a hybrid Guajillo type that I’ve grown for several years now, and it makes a tasty and mildly hot chile powder.

Minero peppers

Minero peppers

I’m also growing several o/p Guajillo peppers, and my favorite of the lot is one I got from Dustbowl Seed a couple of years ago. They have apparently ceased operations, so this year I was anxious to save seeds from this strain so I could keep growing them. I isolated one of the plants and covered it with netting, and I have saved seeds from it. Hopefully I can keep this one going next year and it will be true to type..

Dustbowl Seed Guajillo peppers

Dustbowl Seed Guajillo peppers

Dulce Rojo is an o/p paprika peppers I’ve been growing for several years, and it is one of my most productive paprika peppers, along with Hungarian Magyar. It dries to a deep red color and has a sweet taste.

Dulce Rojo peppers

Dulce Rojo peppers

I have quite a few paprika peppers dried already, so I decided to smoke this batch. I almost burned my last batch of smoked peppers, so this time I watched them carefully and they did much better. I build the charcoal fire on one side of the grill, and put the peppers on the other side to help keep them away from the heat. I use the smoked paprika often as a table condiment, where it adds a lot of flavor and aroma. After smoking the peppers were off to the dehydrator, which I have out on the front porch.

Dulce Rojo peppers ready for smoking

Dulce Rojo peppers ready for smoking

I’ve also been busy drying hot peppers for gochugaru flakes, which I use to make kimchi. I’m trialing several types of Korean peppers this year, and growing them all in containers. One is aptly named Kimchi (from Sherwood’s Seeds), and while it was a bit later to produce than the others the plant is absolutely loaded with fruit.

Kimchi pepper plant

Kimchi pepper plant

The peppers themselves are hot but not too hot, and have a deep red color when dried. They should do quite well for making kimchi.

Kimchi peppers

Kimchi peppers

I’m getting all the bull’s horn type peppers we can eat. This year the Cornito Rosso and Cornito Giallo have been more productive than their larger cousins Carmen and Escamillo. They’re all good though, and one of our staples for using fresh.

Cornito Rosso and Cornito Giallo peppers

Cornito Rosso and Cornito Giallo peppers

The Astia zucchini I planted in a grow bag back in August has paid off with at least one squash so far. In the below photo it’s hanging out with Orange Blaze and Sweetie Pie peppers. Some of the zucchini and peppers wound up in a frittata I cooked up yesterday for lunch.

zucchini and peppers

zucchini and peppers

And speaking of squash, I cut two more giant Turkeyneck neck pumpkins. They each weighed eight pounds, and there are at least five more on the vines that look like they have time to mature before first frost. These were sweet and tasty last year, and I am looking forward to getting another taste of them when they have cured a bit.

Turkeyneck squash

Turkeyneck squash

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest of any size or shape you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. There are no rules or regulations, and wonky veggies are always as welcome as the prize winners. And please be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting, or wishing they were harvesting!


Posted in Harvest Monday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments