Some of you may remember last week when I was talking about summer squashes, especially about how people often have specific preferences for a certain kind. I mentioned how I used to grow pattypan squashes for my mother (and me), and how she liked the White Scalloped squash. In writing that post I wound up jonesing for some scalloped squash, and decided I would grow some next year.
Well, turns out I didn’t have to wait that long to have some to eat. Our friend and fellow gardener Ruth read my post, and offered to share some of her supply of scalloped squash she had grown. How could I refuse an offer like that? I didn’t, and we had some for dinner Saturday night. It was yummy, just like I remembered it. We served it as a side dish for tuna casserole my wife made, and it was real comfort food to me. Thanks again Ruth for sharing! We both liked it so I will be adding it to the 2014 lineup.
This week has found us shelling out many of our dry beans, including Jacob’s Cattle, Rattlesnake and Cherokee Trail of Tears. The Jacob’s Cattle is a bush bean that set on fairly early. I only planted about a 10 foot length of row, and I had no idea how many beans we would get. They’re still drying, but it looks like there will be more than I expected. I will tally them up when they are all dried. There are a few still on the plants, but I would say most have been shelled.
The Trail of Tears is just now ready to be shelled. This is my first year growing this one, so I don’t know what to expect from it either. The beans are beautiful, and it looks like we will get enough to make it worth our while growing it too. As a pole bean at least the pods are held up off the ground, but our high humidity outside makes drying difficult. I did a Saturday Spotlight of the Rattlesnake beans, and it looks like they are a great performer here too.
I’ve started harvesting some of the winter squashes. Gold Nugget is a fairly early variety, and the squashes were definitely ready. They averaged right at a pound each, and are just the right size to cut in half for two servings. A few of the Delicata squashes were ready also. These will likely be the first ones we eat, since they aren’t good keepers like Butternuts and some of the other winter squashes. Baked Delicata is on the menu for tonight, along with some pole beans, which are still giving us enough to eat on occasionally. It’s been a great year for squash and beans in general.
The peppers have finally started to ripen. I got just enough hot ones to make a batch of my No Rooster Chili Garlic Sauce. This first batch had a couple of big ripe Anaheim peppers, plus a few Cayennetta and Serranos. I used some good tasting and fiery Spanish Roja rocambole garlic in it. It made for some great tasting fresh hot sauce. And it will surely taste better after it ages for a few days. Now I need something to serve it with. I see a baked potato in my future, and maybe some tacos or burritos!
The blueberries are done for the season, and the blackberries are winding down. It has been a banner year for blueberries. We have enjoyed fresh ones for 9 weeks now, and my wife has harvested 51 pounds of them. The total haul of blackberries is down this year, but we have still harvested a respectable 4 gallons so far. I got rid of some older plants that I had dug up from my old place in 2007 and replanted here, and that cut the totals back a bit. We actually have quite a few blackberries left in the freezer from last year, so that is not a bad thing. I do enjoy having fresh berries for breakfast, and other times too!
Tomatoes are still coming in, and we are dealing with them. We have made two batches of Homemade Ketchup, two batches of Freezer Tomato Sauce, plus I have frozen whole tomatoes, made tomato puree, and Slow Roasted Tomatoes. I don’t think it is going to be a great year for tomatoes. I believe that the 9 inches of rain we got in June and 5 inches in July was a bit more than they would have preferred. But we are getting plenty to eat and process, certainly enough to keep us busy.
You can find out what’s keeping other gardeners busy by visiting Daphne’s Dandelions, where Daphne hosts the Harvest Monday series. I’ll be back soon!