It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The weather is beginning to get a bit cooler of late, just in time for the autumnal equinox. The mornings have been quite pleasant here, and there’s been no rush to get outside to beat the heat. The daytime temps are still warm though, and the summer crops continue to come in for us here. It hasn’t been the greatest year for beans or peppers, but I got some of both last week.
The mildly hot Aji Rico peppers are one of my favorites for using in a variety of ways. I’ve used them for a couple of batches of hot sauce, and others have been pickled in a sweet brine for later use. Those are one of my favorite additions to pizza, and they also are useful for salads and other dishes.
The Peppadew and Sugar Rush peppers are coming in little by little, and I have been pickling the Peppadews while using the Sugar Rush Peach in hot sauces.
I used a couple of the Sugar Rush Peach peppers to have another go at a pineapple hot sauce. I based this creation on a HiSpice Pineapple hot sauce I bought on Maui earlier this year, which combined Maui Gold pineapple with Habanero peppers, onion, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and honey. My pineapple came from the grocery store and no doubt lacked the sweet flavor of the Maui pineapples, but it worked well in the hot sauce. After whirring up the ingredients in the blender, I strained the mix through a fine mesh strainer, pressing to get as much liquid out as possible. This batch turned out just about right for my taste buds, with a pleasing blend of sweet, tangy and spicy. I want to try another batch soon using some yellow jalapenos as soon as they are ripe.
It has been a great year for tomatoes though, and I have now harvested right at 175 pounds of them. We got a bit less than 100 pounds last year, so this has been a big improvement in yield from a fewer number of plants. I got several pounds of slicing types last week, and while the size is getting smaller the taste is still quite good.
Another morning harvest included Juliet and Andiamo tomatoes along with some mature Centercut squashes. The paste tomatoes are about done for but these two varieties gave us a decent late harvest of fruit.
I’m growing Andiamo tomatoes here for the first time, and back in August I wrote them off as being not very productive. That first harvest was small, and those tomatoes did not have the classic San Marzano shape as promised in the catalog listing. However, later harvests were bigger and this last one weighed in at three pounds of tomatoes that more closely resemble a San Marzano shape. So far the total haul of Andiamo has been bigger than Granadero, and not quite as much as the Zenzei variety I am also growing for the first time. I cooked up the Andiamo tomatoes Saturday night for a batch of Bolognese sauce, and the result was thick and full of flavor. Andiamo has earned a place in next year’s garden, along with Zenzei and Granadero.
In non-harvest news, the hardy hibiscus plants are still putting on a show for us. Most of the plants are only one or two years old, and should give even bigger displays of flowers as the plants grow into their mature sizes. Midnight Marvel and Holy Grail are two of the red flowered hibiscus we have planted in our Sun Garden, and the large blooms rise above most of the other shorter perennials in that bed. The blooms only last for a day, but the succession of flowers has been lighting up that corner of the garden for weeks now.
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 you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And please check out what everyone is harvesting!